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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a copy of a license, permit, or violation

Service overview

You can access information from the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) online at no cost, including:

  • Business license information.
  • Certificate of Occupancy information.
  • Construction permit details.
  • Lawful Occupancy Sign information.
  • Violation information.
  • Zoning records.

You can also request copies of permits, licenses, certificates, and some plans.

Any requests for information exceeding these services must be filed through a Right to Know request.

Where and when

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.

Cost

Permits, licenses, and certificates
$15
Plans, per file
$50

You must be the owner or authorized agent or have written permission to get building plans.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% 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 (+2.25% 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 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.

How

Certificates of Occupancy

The availability of a Certificate of Occupancy is based on the construction date.

Construction permits and plans

If you are not the property owner or the permit applicant, you must include a letter of authorization from the owner with the form.

Plans processed before 2004 were not kept by L&I unless they were associated with a building variance or major project.

Lawful Occupancy Sign

You can find signs retained by L&I in the zoning file on Atlas.

Review the instructions to file for a new or replacement Lawful Occupancy Sign.

Licenses

You can search for current business license information using Atlas or eCLIPSE.

You can get copies of a current license by submitting the Permits, licenses, and certificate of occupancy request form with the associated fee.

Violations

You can search for violation information including the Case File number on Atlas.

To get a copy of a violation, the property owner may submit the online request form or schedule an in-person appointment to visit the Permit and License Center. You must have the specific Case File number to submit a request.

All other inquiries must be submitted through a Right-to-Know request.

Zoning

You can access complete zoning records using Atlas.


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