Los Angeles Building Permit Process

Permit Acquisition Simplified

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Los Angeles Permitting

Guiding Through Building Permits in Los Angeles

This hands-on guide is for any stakeholder involved in the construction process. When it comes to permitting, there is so much below the surface that most of us don’t think about when dealing with a standard paper submission or getting a clearance, for example. This guide will keep you on track on a reasonable timeline. 

The Standard Paper Submission

This is the common permitting process for larger complex projects; and are issued through a Regular Plan Check process. They will schedule the screening appointment at the time of paper drawing submittal, typically 2-4 days out. Once fees are paid, plans are routed to the plan check queue. 


Over-the-Counter vs. Backroom

Plan Check for simple, small to medium sized projects can be conducted over the counter through a Counter Plan Check process and can be reviewed the same day as plan submittal. Due to current COVID protocols, OTC projects are typically reviewed within 3-5 working days from the date the plan check fees are paid. Backroom plan checks are for medium/large sized, modest residential and commercial projects. Projects that can be reviewed in 2-3 hours can be plan checked as an Expanded Counter Plan Check (ECPC) which will have a slightly longer lead time than standard OTC projects. 

Over-the-Counter and Backroom Timelines: 

  • OTC corrections are released in 3-5 working days
    • Rechecks are done on first come first serve basis
  • Backroom corrections are released in 5-7 weeks for expedited reviews
    • Rechecks are done by appointment

Clearances and Acquiring Approvals

It’s important to start obtaining Clearances as soon as they are generated as the project cannot be approved otherwise.

LADBS Clearance Checklist: 

  • Disabled Access
  • Green
  • Planning
  • Engineering
  • Fire
  • Sanitation
  • Transportation
  • Health

E-Plan LA Submissions

This virtual submittal offers stakeholders the opportunity to apply for building permits in a convenient, timely manner. The Electronic Plan Review follows most of the same process as the previous submissions aside from plans being screened remotely in 1-2 business days. All corrections and correspondence is done virtually through ePlan portal and web conferencing apps such as Google Hangouts or Zoom. Rechecks are submitted virtually and virtual verification appointments are schedule.


County of Los Angeles Permit Submissions

All county of Los Angeles projects must be submitted online through EpicLA where stakeholders can view and track the process of their plans and permits. Before the project is submitted, it’s important to check with the local jurisdiction to see if a separate Planning Submission is required through the local Planning Department. 

After the project goes through the screening process, a notification stating that the fee is ready to be paid through EpicLA is sent. Keep in mind that Fire plan checks will need to be conducted separately through LA County Fire.The first building plan check can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks, while the first plan check for MEP can take 4-5 weeks.

Whether you’re located in Los Angeles or not, mismanaged time and lack of knowledge of the municipal entities can cut into productivity. Our Project Managers can take the lead on your project – saving you time, money and providing peace of mind knowing that our local experts will simply get it done.


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