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Permits, violations & licenses

Get permits without plans (EZ permits)

Service overview

You can get an EZ permit for some construction and renovation projects. EZ permits do not require you to submit plans.

To find out if your project qualifies, check if the planned work complies with an EZ Standard. If you get an EZ Permit and don’t follow the standard, the permit will be revoked.

Types of projects that may qualify for an EZ permit include:

Alterations and interior demolition
  • Interior, non-structural alterations in single-family residences
  • Limited commercial alterations
  • Demolition of interior walls that aren’t load bearing
Miscellaneous exterior items
  • Residential decks up to 216 sq. ft. (excluding roof decks)
  • Exterior window and door replacement with no change in size (one-or-two-family dwellings don’t need a permit for this, unless they are historic)
  • Masonry facade replacement (not applicable for historic properties)
  • Above-ground pools and spas
  • Roof covering replacement
  • Security gates and grilles
  • Wall covering replacement
  • Retaining walls
Trade work

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues these permits.


Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for these permits. An authorized agent may include:

  • Design professional.
  • Attorney.
  • Contractor.
  • Licensed expediter.


Permit application

The permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.


  • A licensed Philadelphia contractor must perform the work, except when the project involves an existing one-or-two-family home. Then work may also be performed by:
  • A contractor with a specific license is always required for:
    • Fire suppression work.
    • Electrical work.
    • Plumbing work.
    • Sheet metal work.
  • Where required, the contractor must be named before final payment for the permit can be accepted. The contractor must:
    • Have an active license.
    • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
    • Have current insurance on file with L&I.

Where and when


You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.


Permit fee

There are several different fees applicable to EZ Standards. Before applying, review the summary of EZ permit fees to estimate the cost.

Surcharge fees

  • City surcharge: $3 per permit
  • State surcharge: $4.50 per permit

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $500,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.10% surcharge. The minimum fee is $1.50.)
  • Debit card (+$3.45 fee)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.10% surcharge. The minimum fee is $1.50.)
  • Debit card (+$3.45 fee)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Credit and debit card payments

Surcharges and fees are applied automatically to all credit and debit card transactions.

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.


You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.

In person

Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.

If a contractor is required, the application must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the contractor’s letterhead verifying involvement with the project.

Applications will be reviewed while you wait.

You are limited to three applications per ticket

L&I will either approve your permit or request more information.
Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information will be noted on your permit.

You need to arrange the inspections noted on your permit with your assigned inspector.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.


Log in to your eCLIPSE account and apply for a permit. Upload all required documents and submit the filing fee.

If applying as a licensed professional or contractor, you must first associate your license or registration with your online account.

The application will go to L&I and other City departments for review and approval.
  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm their association with the project.
  • Most applications without plans are processed within 5 business days.
  • Some permits may be issued immediately if the application is made by the contractor with a current license, insurance, and tax account. This includes permits for:
    • Exterior windows and doors, roof covering, and wall covering.
    • Replacing house drains, water distribution, curb trap, or water heater.
    • Rough-in approvals.
    • Telecommunications work.
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.