Getting a Permit
Street Use & Urban Forestry offers more than 60 types of permits for use, occupation and/or construction in the right of way. We issue permits for temporary uses of the right of way, such as crossing the sidewalk with heavy equipment during construction or hosting a block party, and for longer-term private uses of the right of way, such as planting trees or posting signs. See below for more information on Permit Types.
WAYS TO APPLY
There are three ways to apply for a Permit:
OPTION 1: Email PDF
Street Use Permit Services is making the application process easier with fillable PDFs that clearly guide applicants to provide the required information. The PDF files also include the required Street Use General Application as well as the project-specific application forms in one convenient place.
Users fill out the forms, save the completed PDF and attach it to an email along with any additional required documentation (site plans, traffic control plans, etc.) and send to SDOTPermits@seattle.gov.
The available PDF forms are listed below and also posted on the Client Assistance Memos & Forms page. Each PDF begins with the required Street Use General Application Form.
You may apply for a permit in person at the Street Use & Urban Forestry Permit Services Counter. We are located at
700 5th Avenue
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
We do not accept payments after 4:45 p.m.
Applicants arriving after 4:30 p.m. may not receive a permit that day.
OPTION 3: PIN Access to Apply Online
The PIN method is for customers with a history of submitting 15 to 20 correctly completed permit applications yearly. Once approved for and issued a PIN, these high volume permit applicants can use the PIN to apply for permits online. Reserving this method for high volume users is expected to significantly improve permit processing speeds for all permit applicants, reducing processing time spent on incomplete submittals. Click the link below for more on this method for high volume permit applicants.
RENEW/EXTEND A PERMIT
There are two ways to apply for a renewal or extension:
*Please note: The renewal/extension is not valid, and work is not to begin, until you have been notified by SDOT that you have a valid permit and it has been paid for.
For both options, you need to provide the following:
OPTION 1: Email Permit Services
To request a permit renewal or extension via email, enter the permit number in the subject line and the details in the body of the email. Send the email to the Permit Services team at:
To request a permit renewal or extension in person, bring the required information to the Permit Services Counter.
Permits fall into four main categories, and have applications specific to those types:
Impacting Streets/Sidewalks for Construction Purposes
Many circumstances require use of the right of way for construction on both public and private property. Street use permits are issued for temporary use of the right of way during construction for activities such as material storage, scaffolding, crane placement, or crossing the curb and sidewalk with heavy equipment.
A temporary driveway is an asphalt driveway installed where there is no curb constructed. It requires a permit issued by Street Use, permits issued by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), and a field review by an inspector for approval. Property owners are responsible for providing a temporary or permanent driveway so that vehicles do not drive over sidewalks, planting strips or curbs.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their property. This includes ensuring that snow, ice and debris do not pose a hazard to pedestrians - it also means that property owners must repair cracks and other sidewalk damage. If your sidewalk is in need of repair, apply for a construction use permit to complete the work.
Simple Utility Permits
Simple utility permits are issued for the installation of underground and overhead utility mains and services in the public right of way. They include power, communication, gas, steam, water, sewer, drainage, and privately owned facilities such as oil pipelines. Also included are permits issued to other governmental entities such as the Port of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington.
Shoring and Excavation
Shoring permits are issued for work that supports the earth in a trench or vertical cut for construction or other activity. Excavation permits are issued for excavations in or near the right of way that could, by the nature of the excavation, negatively impact the right of way or utilities in the right of way. In cases where the right of way will be affected by shoring or excavation, Street Use performs shoring review in partnership with DPD.
Street improvement permits include the installation of major improvements such as street paving, curbs, and sidewalks in conjunction with development on private property. Included in the permit are utilities that are necessary to serve the private development. This type of permit can also be issued for larger community projects, such as a block-long rain garden or a curb bulb.
The Street Use Street Improvement Permits (SIP) group can assist you in interpreting and applying DPD Land Use Code requirements for improvements in the right of way during design and construction. SIP provides project management and facilitates approval for private projects ranging from single family residences to large-scale mixed use developments and major interdepartmental projects for SDOT.
Major Utility Permits
Major utility permits are issued for the installation of underground and overhead utility mains and services in the public right of way. They are distinguished from simple utility permits by their greater length and/or by scope elements that require enhanced technical review. Generally, this utility work is greater than 100 feet in length, disturbs existing curb lines or crosswalk areas, or involves directional drilling. Please refer to Client Assistance Memo #2600 for more information.
Public Space Permits
The Public Space Management group promotes and regulates a vibrant, safe, accessible, and attractive shared right of way. Public space management permits include uses of the right of way by the general public and by businesses and include both temporary and longer-term uses of the right of way, ranging from a one-night block party to a fence. Public Space Management permits for longer-term uses (such as sidewalk cafes or retaining walls) require renewal once a year and include an annual fee; these were formerly known as “annual” permits.
Note: If your proposed project includes construction of a permanent structure in the public right of way for your own personal use or for the private use of your business, you will be required to sign an acknowledgement confirming that you understand that your permit application may not be approved.
Vending permits are issued for food trucks that operate from a parked location and to mobile vehicles that sell flowers or food on the go (ice-cream trucks, for example). Vending also includes vending at stadiums for sporting or large-scale events; vending from plazas or sidewalks (such as hot dog stands); temporary vending or curb space activity, such as vending at a farmers’ market; and First Amendment vending.
Urban Forestry Permits
Urban forestry permits are issued for tree planting, tree pruning, tree removal and tree replacement in the public right of way. Permit requirements are based on specific site conditions and individual tree species. SDOT arborists review applications to ensure the health, preservation and expansion of Seattle’s urban forest. For more information, visit SDOT Urban Forestry online, Seattle.Trees@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-TREE (8733).
Contact Street Use & Urban Forestry at: