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Permit Application Procedure


The City of Detroit’s permit application procedures are aimed at making the process as convenient and simple as possible for you. We need to obtain certain information to be sure that your project complies with existing ordinances and is safe for you and others. To help us meet these goals, we ask that you follow the steps outlined below.

The requirements for obtaining a permit vary, depending on what your project is and what permit you are applying for. The Permit Information Center will be happy to help you figure out which documents are needed in your particular situation. The following documents are typical of those you may have to supply:

   1. Permit Application--All applications are available in the Permit Information Center.
   2. Legal Description of Property--Description can be a deed, land contract, lease, or bona fide sales agreement.
   3. Evidence of Ownership--Deed or other evidence of ownership is required before a permit will be issued.
   4. Plans & Building Details--Please consult our brochure for your specific activity or the Permit Information Center for details on which plans are required.

The permit process can be accomplished by visiting only one City Department. Here are the typical steps involved:


Obtain all informational material, applications and answers to any questions at:

Permit information Center
Buildings & Safety Engineering Department
4th Floor, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
(313) 224-2733

Visit the Center or call weekdays between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. We can mail all required materials to you.

STEP 2:   

Completely fill out the applications on a typewriter or print in ink and bring them, along with any other required documents (such as evidence of ownership, legal description of property and construction plans) to:

Plan Review Center
4th Floor, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center

Signage at the Permit Station will help you identify the appropriate position at the counter. Trade permits are also processed there.


The Building Inspector at the Zoning Counter will verify that your activity conforms to the area’s zoning requirements. If it does, the Inspector will conduct a review of your plans or forward them to the departments which need to review them. The complexity of your project will determine which approvals are necessary and how long the reviews will take.

If your activity is in conflict with the zoning ordinance, the Inspector will explain the appeal process and refer you to the Zoning Coordinator, who will guide you through the process.


When plans are submitted for review, corrections are sometimes necessary to bring them into line with code requirements for your safety. If your project requires multiple reviews, we will let you know of any corrections needed before the application can be approved. Once all reviews are completed, the center will notify you. If you want to check on anything during the approval process, call the Plan Review Center at 224-3233.


When your application has been approved, you will pick up your plans at the Plan Review Center. Once the permit is prepared, the cashier will call your name and collect the appropriate fees, which may be paid by cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card or check.


Start your project.


During the work and after it is completed, various inspections will be needed. The number and type vary by project. Typical inspections needed include: Buildings; Electrical; Heating; Plumbing. Call (313) 224-2733 to schedule them. Remember, it is your responsibility to schedule the inspections and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy to legally occupy or use a new or modified structure.