DHCD enforces the Baltimore City Building Code, as well as state laws pertaining to construction and occupancy. DHCD issues building permits and provides inspections for: construction, alteration, electrical, mechanical and plumbing work in both commercial and residential structures.
All permit applications (except permits for temporary events) are now processed online. Please click on ePermits below to create an account/log in and apply for your permit, or visit our One-Stop Shop (417 E. Fayette St., Room 100) to file for your permit using one of our ePermits kiosks.
Use ePermits (available 24 hours a day) to:
- Apply for a permit
- Send and receive messages about your permit
- Pay for your permit
- Receive your permit via email
Use QuickTrac (available 24 hours a day) to:
- Schedule inspections
- Cancel and reschedule inspections
- Check inspection results
- Check Permit & Plans Review Status
If you don’t find the answers you need on this page, please call us at 410-984-1809, or visit us at the One Stop Shop at 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 100 for more information.
What Type of Work Requires a Permit?
A permit is required to:
- Construct, enlarge, alter, repair, rehabilitate, demolish (interior or exterior) or move any structure
- Erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system
- Change the use of any structure or land
- Perform any grading or excavating
As a general rule of thumb, minor repairs do not usually require permits, unless the item is being replaced altogether or significantly altered. Renovations, modifications, and reconstructions always require a permit.
Please review the Work Exempt from Permit List for types of work that DO NOT require a permit.
If you are still not sure if you need a permit, call the One Stop at 410-984-1809, or visit us at 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 100, Baltimore MD 21202.
Do I Need to Submit Plans for my Permit?
Some permits require submission of drawings/sketches or ePlans submission. The matrices outlines which types of permits require ePlans submission, and which types of permits can be issued over-the-counter, with or without drawings/sketches.
Additional information for ePermits drawing/sketches: When Drawings/Sketches are required for ePermits.
If you are unsure if ePlans submission is required call the Plans Examining Office at 410-396-3460.
Please note that all permits for commercial and certain multi-family residential buildings are required to complete a Green Building Statement of Compliance to determine code applicability and identify a green building compliance path. See the Green Building Standards page for more information.
Sample Site Plans and Drawings
How Much Does a Permit Cost?
Permit fees vary by project type and scope and are outlined in the Building, Fire, and Related Codes of Baltimore City.
Process for Permit Review
The process for permit review and approval varies by type, size, and location of the project. Some permits can be issued through the ePermits process and others require ePlans Review and/or must be referred to another agency for approval prior to issuance of the permit.
Timelines for Permit Review
If your application is complete and correct, in most cases:
- Applications submitted for electrical, plumbing, HVAC&R, gas, extensions, and amendments to change or add contractors will be ready for payment within one hour of submission, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- For all other permit types, applications submitted by 9:00 AM will receive an approval or response by 2:00 PM the same business day. Those submitted after 9:00 AM will receive an approval or response by 2:00 PM the following business day.
- Regardless of your permit type, if there is a special circumstance (e.g., your application needs to be referred to another agency, or there is a tag on your property), a staff member will send a message to you within the timeframes listed in #2.
Permits Requiring Special Referrals
Certain permits require referral to another department or agency for additional review and approval. The following conditions will trigger additional review:
- Properties in City Historic Districts (CHAP)
- Properties in the Floodplain
- Projects requiring Design Review
- Temporary Structure Permits
- Temporary Event Permits
- Minor Privilege
Click HERE for additional information on types of Permit Requiring Special Referrals.
How Do I Report Unpermitted Work?
To determine whether a permit has been obtained for work currently under construction or to determine that the scope of work has been properly permitted, an existing permit search may be accessed by the property address, permit number or neighborhood (you can search permits issued since 1/1/2005).
If visible and substantial work is being done without a permit, please report it to 311 under Construction Without Building Permit.
Additional information for City Residents is provided in the Strengthening Neighborhoods Housing Code Enforcement Handbook. Find more information and track cases on the Code Enforcement Legal Section webpage.
Review the Regulations for Work Conducted Without a Permit.
If you are assessed a penalty surcharge for performing work without a permit and wish to contest the surcharge, complete and submit the Request for Reduction of Surcharge Form to the Building Official 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 202, Baltimore, MD 21202.