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Construction Permit - Subject-to-Field-Inspection

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What Is It?

A subject-to-field-inspection permit is a construction permit for small projects that meet certain criteria. We don’t have as many plan requirements for subject-to-field-inspection permits because of the simplicity of the work. Examples of common projects that qualify for a this permit include constructing a detached garage, a small single-story addition to your house, and interior alterations to an existing commercial space.

Find out if your project qualifies for this type of permit:

How Much Does It Cost?

Fees are based on the value of your project and are due when you receive your permit.

How Long Does It Take?

If you apply in person, your subject-to-field-inspection permit is issued over the counter on the day you apply. If you apply electronically, it is issued within a few days. We will review your plans at the counter to make sure they comply with the land use code. Your building inspector will review building code requirements on site during the inspections.

Steps to Get Your Permit


1. Research

Get your property information. Find property information to help you plan your project.

Note: If your project is in a commercial or multifamily building, you need to confirm that you will not change the use (such as retail, restaurant, dance hall, or warehouse) and occupancy of your space in order to qualify for a subject-to-field-inspection permit. You can confirm this by finding the most recent permit that established a use and occupancy for the space in the Microfilm Library.

Determine restrictions to your project. Research our codes to determine building size limits and construction and life safety requirements.

Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free coaching to answer drainage, land use, geotechnical or construction permit questions. If you need a longer coaching session, we offer one-hour sessions for a fee.

2. Start Permit Application

Apply for a project number. Get a project number by starting your preliminary application online through your Project Portal. You will need to upload a site plan and a complete legal description for your site.

Request a pre-application site visit. You need a pre-application site visit if you will disturb more than 750 square feet of land or disturb any land on a site with an environmentally critical area (other than liquefaction or peat-settlement prone areas). Request a pre-application site visit online through your Project Portal. Our report will include information about your site conditions and additional requirements.

If you will disturb more than 750 square feet of land, your project will require an Addition or Alteration permit. If you will disturb any land on a site with an environmentally critical area, your project will probably require an Addition or Alteration permit permit. Visit the Applicant Services Center for coaching.

Apply for exemptions. You may need an exemption from code requirements if your project is located in an environmentally critical area or near the shoreline.

Prepare your plans. Plans should be to scale and easy to read and scan.

Fill out forms.

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 permit type:

3. Submit Plans

Submit your application. You can submit your application electronically or in person.

  • Apply electronically: Sign in to your Seattle DCI Project Portal, click on your project number, and upload your application materials and plans. Click the "Submit for Screening" button when you are ready to submit. We will review your plans to make sure they are complete. If changes are needed, we may ask you to revise your plans and submit them again.
  • Apply in person: Bring your application materials and 2 copies of your plans to the Applicant Services Center. We will review your plans on a walk-in basis to make sure they are complete. If changes are needed, we may ask you to revise your plans and come back again.

4. Get Permit

Pay fees. You pay most of your fees when you submit your application. If you submit electronically, we will notify you when you need to pay your fees, and you may pay fees online.

Receive your permit. We will stamp your plans and issue the permit. You will be given a copy of the permit and one set of plans to keep on site. If you submitted your plans electronically, you can print your permit and approved plans from your Seattle DCI Project Portal.

Display your permit. Place your permit in a visible location on the project site.

Get related permits. You may need to get additional permits or approvals from other departments.

5. Schedule Inspection

Request an inspection. See the construction inspection page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.

6. Complete Project

Close your permit. Your permit information will be archived in our electronic document management system.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

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  • Call us at (206) 684-8850