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Electrical Permit

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What Is It?

You need an electrical permit any time electrical wiring is installed, altered, extended, or connected to any electrical equipment, including signs. As long as the electrical circuit isn't altered or changed, and it met the code at the time of installation, you don't need an electrical permit to replace some equipment with like-in-kind replacements, such as the following:

  • Snap switches
  • Fuses
  • Receptacle outlets
  • Electric ranges
  • Cook tops
  • Baseboard heaters

You may not need a permit for some residential or minimally-sized low-voltage systems.

Special events, such as street fairs, that have temporary power installations do require an electrical permit.

Any professional applying for electrical permits must have a Washington State electrical contractor’s license and a Seattle business license. Property owners may do their own work when they own and occupy the property they’re working on.

We can issue many electrical permits over the counter or online.

Some projects require plan review and are not over-the-counter permits. See Seattle Electrical Code Article 80, Sections 80.50 and 80.51, to determine if you need plan review.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our fees depend on what you are installing or altering.

How Long Does It Take?

We issue many electrical permits on the same day that you apply at the Applicant Services Center or online. If your permit requires plan review, our turnaround times depend on the accuracy and completeness of your plans, and the number of plans that are in the review queue. It will take a few weeks before we issue your permit if you don't need to make corrections.

Steps To Get Your Permit

 

1. Research

Determine permitting and plan review requirements. Carefully review the Seattle Electrical Code Article 80 to see if you need a permit or plan review. Sections 80.50 and 80.51 explain the requirements.

Read our Tips. Read our Tips for information to help you complete your project.

Determine restrictions to your project. Research our codes to determine other requirements for your construction project.

Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free coaching at the Applicant Services Center to answer electrical permit questions.

Ask a question. Call (206) 684-5383 for electrical technical support.

Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your electrical permit:

2. Submit Application

If your permit does not require plan review:

  • Most permits – You can apply online, or complete the electrical permit application (no plan review) form and submit it at the over-the-counter desk in the Applicant Services Center. You do not need an appointment; wait time is generally less than 20 minutes. You will get your permit the same day.
  • Small solar PV systems – If your solar PV system is rated under 7KW, you can apply online, or complete the electrical permit application (no plan review) form and submit it at the over-the-counter desk in the Applicant Services Center. You do not need plan review. However, you must have your plans and the manufacturer installation instructions available at the job site during your electrical inspection.

If you apply online, you will need to have all of the same information that is required for the paper application. If this will be your first online application, you may wish to review the application form before logging onto the system so you easily complete the online process.

If your permit requires plan review:

  • Most plan-review permits - You can submit your plans and specifications electronically through the DPD Project Portal. Or you may submit paper plan sets at the over-the-counter desk in the Applicant Services Center. You do not need an appointment; wait time is generally less than 20 minutes. Complete the electrical & fire permit application (plan review) along with 2 sets of plans (or 3 sets if your project has 7 or more fire alarms) and 1 set of specifications.
  • Mid-sized solar PV systems – You can apply online for solar PV systems rated from 7KW to 26KW. You need to email us your project plans and installation instructions after applying. Once you have completed the online application, print your permit. Use the permit number and project address to name your plan review document. Use the following format: permit number and address (e.g. 6441142 1111 2nd Ave SW). Send your project plans and installation instructions to dpd_renewable_energy@seattle.gov.
  • Large solar PV systems – If your solar PV system is rated at more than 26KW, you must use the electrical & fire permit application (plan review) along with 2 sets of plans (or 3 sets if your project has 6 or more fire alarms) and 1 set of specifications.

You can mail or messenger paper applications and plans to:

DPD, OTC Permits
700 Fifth Ave., Suite 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

3. Get Permit

If your permit does not require review, you’ll receive your permit immediately after you apply (either online or in person). If you apply by mail or messenger, we’ll send your permit to you.

If your permit requires review, our electrical plan reviewers will issue your permit when your plans meet all our code requirements. We will notify you if plan corrections are needed.

4. Schedule Inspections

The contractor or installer is responsible for scheduling schedule each inspections online or by calling (206) 684-8950 before the permit expires. You must have your permit number available when you call for an inspection.

Most permits require three electrical inspections: cover, service, and final. If your project has a feeder to a subpanel, you will also need to schedule feeder inspections. These inspections can be done at the same time, but you must schedule them separately.

What Do You Want To Do?


Still Need Help?


 Ask Us

  • Call us at (206) 684-8850
  • Electrical Technical Support: (206) 684-5383

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