What Is A Public Record?
All documents, papers, letters, books, maps, photographs, sound or video recordings, microfilm, magnetic tape, electronic media, or other information recording media, regardless of physical form or characteristic and regardless of whether public access to it is open or restricted under the laws of the state, crated or received by the county or any of its officers or employees pursuant to law or in the transaction of public business are records.
Need to Know Information
- Records request will have to be resubmitted if not accessed or picked up within two (2) weeks.
- Most records can be emailed, in the cases where they cannot, our address is: DCRA Permit Service Center, 1100 4th Street SW Suite E270, Washington, D.C. 20024.
- For records from years 1949-1962, if you do not have the permit number, you must first call National Archives to get the associated permit # by calling (301) 837-2000. However, if you have the permit number, please complete the online form below.
- Please note, DCRA MAY NOT HAVE building plans for years 1995-1998.
What Records Can You Request?
Our goal is to provide professional, dependable, efficient and cost effective services through our commitment to deliver exceptional customer service. Here you will be able to access records within The District of Columbia dating back to 1877. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions before your request. The types of records we provide include the following:
- Building Permits
- Electrical Permits
- Plumbing Permits
- Mechanical Permits (AC)
- Building Plans
- Certificates of Occupancy
- Request for Certificate of Occupancy (Copy): $7.00
- Certified Letter: $10.00
- Request of Certificate of Occupancy (Certified Copy): $20.00
Depending on the size of the record(s) prices may vary.
All remittance are payable to: District of Columbia, Government Treasurer
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching a historical topic that interests you. Learn more.
Records Dating Years 1877-1949
The National Archives AI Reference Branch holds microfilm of D.C. Building Permits issued between 1877-1949. The permits for 1877 to June 15, 1915 were filmed by the National Archives on 35mm microfilm, rolls I-854. The permits for July 1, 1915 to September 7, 1949, were filmed by the D.C. Government on 16mm microfilm, rolls DC133-DC814. There are no rolls for DC1-DC132.
The National Archives Cartographic Branch holds architectural drawings related to specific D.C. Building Permits issued between February 17, 1877 and June 30, 1915. Drawings associated with permits issued between July 1, 1915 and September 7, 1949 were destroyed by D.C. Government. These drawings were not microfilmed prior to destruction and do not exist in any form. The “Plan File” mention by some permits no longer exists.
D.C. Building Permits and any associated drawings dating after September 7, 1949 have been transferred from D.C. Government to the National Archives.
Requests for D.C Building Permits dating from 1877-1949 only should be directed to:
National Archives at Washington, D.C. – Textual Reference
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Requests for D.C Building Permit Drawings dating from 1877-1949 only should be directed to:
National Archives at College Park, MD – Cartographic Branch
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740
Records Dating Years 1949-1962
Record Request that include records dating anywhere in between 1949-1962 can be requested from the National Archives & Records Administration. DCRA will still assist you in these record request but your request will be forwarded to the National Archives & Records Administration to be processed and completed.
Records Dating Years 1958-1995
Record Request that include records dating anywhere in between 1958-1995 can be requested from the DCRA directly. These records are housed offsite and we will assist you in these record request, making sure they are processed and completed. The process normally takes thirty (30) days or less retrieve the record you request.
Office hours are Monday – Wednesday, and Friday: 8:30AM – 4:30PM, Thursday: 9:30AM – 4:30PM