The City of Portland plans to utilize SmartGov for our permitting and development software in the near future. SmartGov allows registered contractors and the general public to submit permits and development applications, upload site-plans, pertinent documents, and pay the permit fees online. We will post more information on this exciting new change, here, soon!

Permit Requirements

Permitting is a step in the building approval process and is the tool that the City uses to ensure planned construction meets all applicable codes and regulations. Permits are required to erect, alter or enlarge any structure, including swimming pools and fences, and install, alter, repair or replace any electrical wiring, plumbing or mechanical equipment. Plans must be drawn to scale, dimension and be of sufficient clarity to be easily read. Plans must show the property lines, location of the buildings in relation to the property lines, all easements, and setback lines.

To determine any other information that is required for your specific project please utilize the Permit Requirements Checklist (PDF)

All permits are obtained through Development Services. However, new construction building plans are reviewed by Bureau Veritas through a professional services agreement the City of Portland has secured. Applications and plans should be submitted to the Development Services Department.

Permit Processing Timeline

  • New residential construction permits may take up to 5 business days to process
  • New commercial construction permits may take up to 15 business days to process
  • Other permits typically take up to 2 business days to process

Contractor Licenses & Registrations

The permitting process also helps verify that the contractors have the proper licenses or registrations required by city ordinance or state law. Many contractors such as plumbers, irrigators, electricians and air conditioning contractors must have a state license. Contractors must be registered with the City of Portland prior to any construction activities via the Contractor Registration Form.