Right-of-way (ROW) Construction

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone.

Status Inquiries

On November 7, 2020, we'll be migrating to our new permitting platform Accela. In order to achieve a smooth transition, our teams will be taking part in extensive training in the new system throughout the remainder of September and October.

During this time, we'll still be processing permits, but we'll be operating at reduced capacity. Since our primary concern is processing permits in a timely fashion, we will be unable to respond to status inquiries during this time if the application is within the published issuance timeframe posted on our permit webpages. We appreciate your patience during this transition.  

Estimated Permit Timelines for Street Use Permits

As of October 1, 2020, review times are currently:

For All Permit Types

  • Application timeline: 8 business days

ROWM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 10-12 weeks
  • Single review: 3 weeks
  • Extensions: 3 weeks

Street Improvement Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 8-10 weeks
  • Corrections review: approx. 8 weeks

Utility Major Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Initial Full review: 6-8 weeks
  • Corrections review: 4-6 weeks

PSM Permit Timelines (including application time)

  • Simple review: 10 days
  • Full Review: 2-3 weeks

These are average timelines. Owing to an increase in permit applications combined with reduced capacity, our timelines are higher than normal. We are working diligently to reduce these timelines in advance of our transition to Accela in November. 

 NOTE: If a ROW Management Design Guidance meeting is required (see CAM 2109 for details) or correction cycles are necessary, additional time will be added to the timelines above.


We teamed up with Rooted in Rights to create a video to educate contractors and other people working in the right-of-way on the importance of maintaining a safe space for people to travel through construction sites. These tips aren't only useful for wheelchair users, they make sites safer for everyone! 

You can learn more about how to set up safe access through a construction site in How to Plan, Document, and Implement Pedestrian Mobility In and Around Work Zones (CAM 2110)

Permitting for Stay Healthy Streets

We've recently published a fact sheet outlining the additional conditions related to construction use and utility permitting on Stay Healthy Streets.

Step 1 – Confirm that this is the right permit for your work

This permit type is for staging materials and/or equipment for construction related purposes, such as:

  • construction-related deliveries
  • temporary material staging
  • public safety buffers from construction
  • scaffolding and/or temporary structures
  • This includes construction related deliveries, safety buffers, scaffolding, etc.

Note: If you are unsure if you qualify for this permit type, call (206) 684-5253 or e-mail us at sdotpermits@seattle.gov.

Step 2 – Determine what documents may be required

If your project will require any major impacts to mobility, you’ll be required to submit a Traffic Control Plan. A major impact includes:

  • Impact to a travel or bike lane on an arterial street, or in a Hub area, and/or
  • Sidewalk closure on an arterial street, or in a Hub area
    • To keep a sidewalk open, there needs to be at least 4-6 feet (depending on the area) clear and ADA accessible

If your work requires impacting mobility as listed in any of the points above, you’ll need to prepare and submit a Traffic Control Plan (TCP) along with your application. For details on preparing a Traffic Control Plan, please consult CAM 2111.

For certain uses, we may require a technical plan. You can find more information about this in CAM 2116.

Step 3 – Create your right-of-way impact plan!

Now that you’ve determined you’re applying for the right permit, go ahead and prepare a plan depicting your impact to the right-of-way.

For more details about these requirements, check out CAM 2116.

In summary, this plan should show what parts of the right-of-way needed to perform the related construction activities(i.e., where will deliveries, materials, scaffolding, etc., occur?) We've made templates for you to use

Step 4 - Apply for your permit!

Go to the Seattle Services Portal. You can also use the button in the right side bar when you're ready to get started!

Under “Create New” click Permits-Street Use

If this is your first time applying for a permit online, click on the “New Users: register for an Account” located at the bottom of the page.

Once you are registered, you can log on and apply by selecting “ROW Construction” under the ROW Construction record type.

Follow the step by step instructions to complete the application process.

Step 5 - Pay for your permit and print it!

Once we approve your permit, you’ll receive an email indicating that your permit is ready to issue upon payment.

Once you receive that email, you can pay for your permit online through the Seattle Services Portal and print your permit!

We've created a page where you can review our current fee schedule and estimate your permit fees. Consult with Street Use permit staff to determine the exact fees if you have questions.

Step 6 - Scheduling the job start notification and temporary no-park permits

Prior to starting your project, you will need to notify us of when your project will begin by scheduling a job start notification. Review your approved plans and carefully read all the conditions of your permit and then schedule the job start.

To schedule a job start notification, follow the instructions found in this Help article

For more information on inspections, visit our Inspections page.

If you need to reserve a non-paid parking space, follow the instructions on our Temporary No Parking Permits page.