Please review the Permit Requirements below as these vary from project to project.
Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please see our video: How to Apply for Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) Permits.
Most MEP permits do not require you to submit plans. However, you may request Plan Review for an additional fee. MEP permits are separate from a Building Permit. That means you must obtain MEP permits in addition to other required permits before any mechanical, electrical or plumbing work is performed. Only projects that are eligible for a Residential Building Combination Permit (e.g., a house, duplex or related detached accessory structure) are exempt from this requirement since they are already included in the scope of the project. Please be aware that MEP permits will not be issued until the related Building Permit (if required) is issued.
With some exceptions (see below), a permit shall be obtained before installing, altering, repairing, replacing or remodeling any building or structure. If you have mechanical, electrical and plumbing work, you will need separate permits for each of those categories. There is no single MEP permit that covers all three. However, if you are obtaining a Building Permit for a house, duplex, or new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), then the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work would be included together under a single Residential Building Combination (RBC) Permit. For example, if you are adding a bathroom, you can include all of the related MEP work within the building itself under the scope of the Combination Permit.
The following types of work are exempt and do not require MEP permits:
Apply through our Online Permit Center (must be a fully registered and activated user):
Need additional guidance? Try using our Permit Wizard to help you select the right permit type for your project.
Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your submission. If we need further information, we will contact you. If your application is approved, we will contact you to issue your permit. For the latest processing estimates, please see our Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times webpage.
Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit & Services Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.
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