Frequently Asked Questions

What is a driveway permit?

A permit is an official document which grants approval to an owner, allowing them to install a driveway in compliance with City of Chicago standards.

Why must I obtain a driveway permit?

To secure legal authority for use of the public way to obtain vehicular access to a garage or parking space.

How can I obtain an application for a driveway permit?

You may call and request an application by mail or e-mail, or obtain one from City Hall, Room 905

Can I process a name change instead of reapplying for a permit?

No. Driveway permits do not transfer from owner to owner.

What is the difference between a residential permit and a commercial permit?

Residential permit—property not to exceed 4 units

Commercial permit—property contains a commercial business, more than 4 residential units, a combined residential/commercial business, a schools, a church, etc.

How long does it take for approval of an existing/proposed driveway application?

Existing—one week by mail delivery

Proposed—minimum 30 days

What is the minimum width of a driveway?

Single-family residence—8 feet at property line

Residential parking lot of six cars or less—16 feet at property line

Commercial driveway with two-way traffic—20 feet at property line

What is the maximum width of a driveway?

25 feet wide measured at the property line.  

When do I need a zoning sign-off?

For a commercial business, motor vehicle sale, repair, parts, service station, vacant lots, business type change, re-zoning, previous permits not applied for, all proposed applications.  Per CDOT discretion, some driveways not listed may need zoning sign off as well.

How far must the driveway be from:

Above-ground utilities (light poles, fire hydrants, etc.) —minimum 5 feet


—Minimum 10 feet from property line of residential street

—Minimum 20 feet from property line of arterial street (far side of intersection)

—Minimum 30 feet from property line of arterial street (near side of intersection)

Alleys—minimum 10 feet from edge of the alley to edge of the driveway measured along property line

Railroad tracks—approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) may be required for driveways located near railroad tracks.

Adjacent driveway—the minimum distance between driveways is 10 feet, measured at the property line.

Trees—typically 5 feet from face of tree trunk.  However, the Bureau of Forestry reserves the right to review each submittal on a case-by-case basis.


Do I need an IDOT permit?

Driveways on streets under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Transportation must also have IDOT driveway permits.  The applicant is responsible for determining whether an IDOT permit is required.

Supporting Information Facts