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The DC Business Center will be down from 10pm Friday, October 18 to 6pm Saturday, October 19th for scheduled maintenance. During this time you can still track business licenses and review account information by visiting the My DC Business Center.

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Safe & Simple

DCRA’s Safe & Simple initiative is aimed at improving the way we serve District residents and businesses. Moving forward, DCRA will be guided by this new mantra by making all of our processes and initiatives simple for our customers with safe outcomes for our community.


“My goal is to make Washington, DC, a city that works better for all our residents and businesses. We know that people want more predictability and shorter wait times from DCRA, and these new services will provide both. After I spent a week at DCRA last year, the agency committed to improving relationships with customers, and now they are making good on that promise. Going forward, we will continue making DCRA an agency that works better for everyone.” - Mayor Muriel Bowser

“DCRA does a lot of different things from licensing to permitting to inspections. But improving the way we serve the public really comes down to making processes simpler and District residents and businesses safer. Ultimately, to continue to be a full-service city, we must make doing business with the District safe and simple.” To underscore our commitment to being Safe & Simple, DCRA launched three new services: Online Appointment Scheduling, Online Scheduling for Permit-Based Inspections and a new how-to Deck Guide. - DCRA Director Melinda Bolling

Safe & Simple Initiatives

Online Appointment Scheduling
The online appointment scheduling option will provide our stakeholders with the ability to make a reservation from home or on the go before visiting DCRA – reducing unnecessary waiting times. Walk-in customers will also have the option to opt-in to receive customer notifications through SMS text messaging. Customers will receive important status updates to help better plan their visit to DCRA. The notifications will update the customer on where they are in queue and when their ticket has been called; providing faster, easier, more convenient service.

Online Permit Inspection
Online scheduling for permit-based inspections allows project managers and property owners to select their preferred day for required inspections without the need for a call to the agency. Customers with an active permit can select the appointment day through DCRA’s Citizen Portal.

Online Construction Permit Intake (OCPI 2.0)
DCRA continues to improve the way residents and businesses are served. Continuing with the Safe & Simple initiative the Online Construction Permit Intake (OCPI 2.0) will allow applicants the ability to apply, pay and receive construction permits online.

Elevator Certification & Shop Drawing Application (ECSDA)
The NEW "Elevator Certification & Shop Drawing Application (ECSDA)" is available online where you can submit and pay for your permit application to install, repair or renovate elevators, or submit your application for elevator certificate online directly from the DCRA website.

Deck Guide
This #SafeandSimpleDC tool was created to assist homeowners with their deck building projects. The Deck Guide provides step-by-step directions for building a single level deck. Following each helpful page of the guide will ensure the design and construction of the deck is consistent and code compliant. This guide will be a helpful tool to homeowners and contractors and will eliminate excessive wait times to obtain the permit. If the application and required documentation of the plat and plan submission have been met, the required permit can be issued in most instances within 1 business day.

Ramp Guide
The Ramp Guide will assist homeowners in designing an ADA-compliant wooden ramp, obtaining a building permit and passing inspections. The guide presents homeowners a step-by-step process to acquire the permits needed to build a handicap ramp for their residence. The Ramp Guide provides seniors with a resource that will assist them in the process of aging in place. If followed, the guide will ensure design and construction of the ramp is consistent and code compliant. It covers the application submittal, zoning approvals, process fees, code calculations, inspection procedures and many other aspects of proper construction.

How-To Permitting Video
This video will help customers navigate the permitting process, educate the public on how to submit a complete set of plans, and highlights how to avoid common application errors.

SurDocs is an online research tool that enables the public to search all digital land surveys. This tool is used to view all field survey records and surveyor plats. In the past, individuals were only able to access records by visiting DCRA’s Surveyors Office. Now people can skip the trip and find documents online without having to visit the agency. DCRA is one of very few municipalities that actually preserve field survey records. Having this service obliges the public’s desire to have easy access with a simple process. SurDocs has over 10,000 electronic copies of original district land records stored and accessible. Click here to get started.

Future Initiatives
DCRA will be releasing additional service enhancements connected to this new initiative in the coming weeks and months.

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