Apply for a Building Permit


Apply for a Plan-Based Building Permit

Permits for most types of building construction and rehabilitation work require that plans prepared by an Illinois-licensed architect or engineer be submitted with the permit application. The Department of Buildings offers four review programs for plan-based building permit applications:

plans for a small building
Standard Plan Review
plans with a checkmark
plans for a large building
Assisted Developer Services
plans for a large building
Direct Developer Services

Only an Illinois-licensed architect or engineer or City-licensed expediter can apply for a plan-based building permit.

Apply for a Building Permit without Plans

Some small projects are able to apply for a building permit without submitting any drawings. Other small projects can be permitted based on documentation less than full plans. To learn if your project is eligible, review the Express Permit Program instructions.

a speeding permit certificate
Express Permit Program
an electrical outlet
Electrical-Only Permit*

* Only a City-licensed electrical contractor or expediter can apply for an electrical-only permit. Electrical-only permits will be consolidated with the Express Permit Program in 2024.

Apply for a Specialized Permit

The following types of specialized permits may also be required for building construction, rehabilitation, or demolition work in Chicago:

an elevator
Conveyance Device Permit
a wrecking ball
Demolition (Wrecking) Permit
a fire alarm bell
Fire Alarm Permit
waste leaving a building
Sewer Connection Permit
a billboard
Sign Permit
a sprinkler head
Sprinkler/Standpipe Permit
water service to a building
Water Service Permit