May 23, 2021 Adam Jancsek

San Francisco DBI Announces Updates to its In-Person Permitting Process

San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection (DBI) recently led a presentation regarding updates to their permitting process.

As of May 6, the drop-in system used during the pandemic lockdown has ended, as DBI begins in-person permitting again.

Here’s a summary of their latest changes…


Over the Counter Service

  • Returning plans previously submitted using the drop-in system is DBI’s top priority right now. 


  • Currently, DBI is accepting new over the counter (OTC) appointments, but there are no availabilities until at least August. 


  • Once the remaining drop-in plans are returned to customers, DBI will then begin to move the new OTC appointments to earlier dates. DBI is only allowing for one set of plans per appointment at this time. You must sign up online, and will receive an email invite with a time window to come in.


  • DBI recommends those with a morning review to come in between 9:30 and 10:30, while those with afternoon appointments should arrive between 11:30 and 12:30. The customer list is on DBI’s website and updated daily. 


Smaller Permit Applications

For smaller permit applications, here are the available times you can drop in to DBI:


  • No plans permits: 7:30 – 9:30am, Monday through Friday, first come first serve. Same-day permit issuance and limited to two projects.


  • Fire-only permits: 9:30 – 11:30am, Monday through Thursday, first come first serve. SFFD will review at a later date.


  • Plans re-check: 8am – 3:30pm Monday through Friday for all departments. DBI suggests coordinating with your assigned plan reviewer for when to come in.


  • Trade permits: Electrical, plumbing, mechanical and boiler, and reroofing are all online. Kitchen and bath remodel are coming soon. 


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