Permits, violations & licenses

Request a preliminary review of construction projects

Service overview

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) offers two preliminary review options if you want early answers to design questions on your project.

A preliminary project meeting

A general project review and a formal response to specific code questions relating to the project

  • Minimal documentation is needed and L&I provides a written record of decisions at the close of the project meeting.
  • The meeting can’t explore more than five code topics.
  • The meeting is limited to one hour.

A preliminary plan review

  • A thorough review of preliminary plans by a plans examiner.
  • You can seek a variance from the Board of Building Standards under the preliminary plan review application.

You can submit generic questions about code and process directly to L&I.

Who

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

  • Contractor
  • PA design professional
  • Attorney
  • Licensed expeditor

Requirements

Plans required (preliminary plan review only)

  • Plans must be drawn to scale on a sheet that is at least 18 in. by 24 in.
  • Include two copies of plans.
  • The applicant can decide what level of detail to include. L&I will only review the details presented.

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

Preliminary project meeting
$350
Preliminary plan review
$350

For buildings, there is a $75 dollar fee for each story after three.

Record retention fee
$4

Per plan

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 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.

For preliminary project meetings, L&I will schedule the meeting when you apply.

2
For preliminary plan reviews, L&I will notify you when the review is complete.

Preliminary plan reviews are completed within 20 business days.

You will have the opportunity to meet with the examiner to discuss the results of the review.

3
Keep a copy of the plan review summary and submit it with your final permit application.

The results of your review will apply to the final permit application as long as it is filed under the same code edition.


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