Permits, violations & licenses

Get an Electrical Permit

Service overview

You need an Electrical Permit for work on electrical and communication systems and components. This includes:

  • Installation.
  • Alteration.
  • Renewal.
  • Replacement.
  • Repair.

You need a separate permit for solar photovoltaic installations.

A separate PECO service and meter application (PDF) may be required.

EZ permits

Some kinds of work are eligible for EZ permits, which do not require you to submit plans.

Plans are not required for the following work:

  • All new and existing wiring for one-or-two-family dwellings with a connected load of less than 400 amps or 100 kw and equipment less than 600 V
  • All other service connections with a connected load of less than 400 amps
  • Interior wiring within an existing building and tenant space of less than 2,000 sq. ft.
  • Temporary wiring with an on-site power source for an approved use
  • Telecommunications cable
  • Equipment replacement (600 volts or less)
  • Replacement of fire alarm devices (no new wiring or panels)

Rough-in Permits

You can get a Rough-in Permit to install cables before the full permit is issued.

This includes:

  • Electrical cables, conduits, device boxes, recessed panels (without breakers), and service equipment.
  • Power supply and signal cables for fire and smoke alarm systems.

To get a Rough-in Permit, you must first submit an application for an Electrical Permit including plans and the associated fees. You must request and describe rough-in work on the permit application.

Who

Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for this license. Authorized agents may include:

  • Licensed electrical contractor.
  • PA design professional.
  • Attorney.
  • Licensed expediter.

Requirements

Permit application

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

Contractor

  • A licensed electrical contractor must perform all electrical work. The contractor must:
    • Have an active license.
    • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
    • Have current insurance on file with L&I.
  • If anyone other than the Electrical Contractor serves as the applicant, the application must be accompanied by a signed statement on the Electrical Contractor’s letterhead affirming association with the project.

Third-party inspection

The owner or the owner’s agent must hire a licensed electrical inspection agency to perform all inspections.

Plans

If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.

Plans are always required for:

  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Hazardous locations (such as areas with flammable gas or materials) as defined by the National Electrical Code.
  • Any building other than a one-or-two-family dwelling that is undergoing a change in occupancy classification.

Forms and documents

  • Completed Electrical Permit application
  • A copy of the contract between the owner (or the owner’s agent) and the licensed electrical contractor must be submitted before the permit is issued.
  • Application for Accelerated Review (optional).

Related permits

  • A separate building permit is required for all renovations.
  • Emergency generators and fire pumps may require a permit from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Where and when

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.

Cost

Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

  • $100

This fee is nonrefundable. It will be counted toward the final permit fee.

Permit fee

The permit fee is 2.5 percent of the electrical contract value rounded to the nearest thousand.

  • Minimum fee: $50
  • Maximum fee: $15,000

Surcharge fees

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

Record retention fee

  • $4 per plan

Rough-in Permit fee

  • $150

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5–10 business days.

  • Fee: $540
  • If your plans require more than four hours to review, you will be charged an additional fee of $135 per hour.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Amount must be paid when you submit your application and will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
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% surcharge)
  • Cash

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 authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center. 

In person

1
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.

Applications with plans will be reviewed within 20 business days.

  • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5-10 business days.
  • Applications without plans will be reviewed while you wait.
    • Applications without plans must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the contractor’s letterhead confirming their involvement with the project.
  • If you are applying for a Rough-in Permit, it may be issued immediately.

Before a permit may be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.

2
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.

3
Before you begin work, you must schedule required inspections.

Contact your licensed electrical inspection agency when the contractor is ready to start work.

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


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