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Permitting in the District of Columbia

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) protects the health, safety, economic interests and quality of life of residents, businesses and visitors in the District of Columbia.

To achieve our mission, DCRA regulates construction activity through the process resulting in the issuance of construction permits. After receipt of applications and thorough reviews of construction documents to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning regulations, construction activity and buildings are inspected and rendered safe for occupation.

Throughout this process, DCRA is here to help you identify the best course to get your project under way and get your building sooner.


47,000+

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permits issued since October 2020.
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98%

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of permit applications received are assessed and assigned to reviewers within two business days.
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99%

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of ProjectDox plans reviewed within 30 days.
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Permits posted on residential property

How to Get a Permit

Find out if your project needs a permit, what type of permit, and follow step-by-step instructions to obtain your permit. Then, apply and pay for your permit online. 

 

Corner home with trees in DC

Homeowner's Center

Are you undertaking a home-improvement project on your deck, fence, windows, or planning interior renovations? Visit the Homeowner's Center for assistance with permitting, plan review, and general information. 

 

New building in DC

Get a Certificate of Occupancy

Ensure your building, structure, or land conforms to District of Columbia Zoning Regulations. View requirements and submit an application online. 

 

House under construction, property owner had to notify neighbors

Neighbor Notification

Are you a property owner undertaking a building project? It is your responsibility to notify adjoining public and private properties with the intent to protect these properties from damages during construction. Learn more about your responsibility as a property owner and the adjoining property owners' role. 

 

DCRA plan reviewer looking at submitted plans

Plan Review

Learn about our Accelerated Plan Review Program, schedule a digital walk-through if your project meets specific requirements, and easily submit plan drawings online using ProjectDox.

Apply and Pay for Permits Online

For one- and two-family residential projects, including trade, solar, demolition, and raze permits, or for trade permits for commercial projects if no building permits are required, or those projects for which building permits have already been obtained, use the DCRA Permit Wizard online permit application. For other commercial projects, use the Citizen Access Portal.

Rooftop view of business and residential area in Northeast DC

Zoning Services

Do you need a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit? Check out these zoning services and more. The DCRA Office of the Zoning Administrator plays an important role in the District's zoning process. Learn about other entities and their roles too.

 

Surveyor's Office display case

Surveyor Services

Take action to meet survey requirements for your project. Get a Building Plat, a Subdivision Plat, a Wall Check, and find useful survey information using our online land records platform, SurDocs