New Operations Plan in Response to COVID-19

The Houston Permitting Center is moving most services online beginning Monday, March 23. The Permitting Center is doing this to maintain operations while protecting the community by reducing the number of customers in waiting areas.

All services (including permits, certificates of occupancy and temporary certificates of occupancy) are available online, except for:

  • Fire Prevention Permits (Houston Fire Department)
  • Auto Dealers & Identification (Houston Police Department)
  • Boiler Operator’s Testing
  • Stationary Engineer’s Testing

Customers will have limited access to the Houston Permitting Center building. In-person visits to the Houston Permitting Center will be scheduled by appointment, only when necessary. Customers must show proof of appointment or a valid sales order to enter the building.

All customers must go through the north entrance by the Information Desk.

Begin the online process

Visit our eServices page to access our online services, user guides and more.  

Make a payment

Electronic forms of payment are preferred. Please review our guidelines to learn more about opening an Advance Pay Account. Cash over $20 is not accepted, except for clearance letter payments. All credit cards and debit cards are accepted, including pre-paid cards. Check, money order and cashier’s check are also accepted.

Make an appointment

Contact the group below to set up an appointment over the phone or using an online meeting platform.

 Group  Phone  Email
 Commercial Plan Review  832.394.8810  [email protected]
 Dangerous Buildings  832.394.8840  [email protected]
 Development Services (Planning)  832.394.8849  [email protected]
 Electronic Locks  832.394.9215  [email protected]
 Electrical Inspections  832.394.8860  [email protected]
 Elevator Operating Permits  832.394.8861  [email protected]
 Encroachments  832.394.9122  [email protected]
 Engineering Services (Utilities)  832.394.9138  [email protected]
 Engineering Services (Right-of-way)  832.394.9513  [email protected]
 Fire Marshal’s Office  832.394.8853  [email protected]
 Floodplain Management Office  832.394.8854  [email protected]
 Habitability/Investigations  832.394.8841  [email protected]
 Health (Food Establishments)  832.394.8848  [email protected]
 Health (Swimming Pools)  832.394.9377  [email protected]
 House Move Permits  832.394.8840  [email protected]
 Impact Fee Administration  832.394.8888  [email protected]
 Manufactured Homes  832.394.8842  [email protected]
 Mechanical/Boiler Inspections  832.394.8850  [email protected]
 Occupancy/Life Safety Inspections  832.394.8880  [email protected]
 One Stop Plan Review & New Residences  832.394.8820  [email protected]
 Open Records  832.394.8800  [email protected]
 Permits (iPermits)  832.394.8899  [email protected]
 Pipelines & Monitoring Wells  832.394.9490  [email protected]
 Plumbing Inspections  832.394.8870  [email protected]
 Residential Facilities  832.394.9000  [email protected]
 Sign Administration  832.394.8890  [email protected]
 Stormwater Quality Permits  832.394.9133  [email protected]
 Street Cuts  832.394.9097  [email protected]
 Structural Inspections  832.394.8840  [email protected]
 Taps & Meters  832.394.8888  [email protected]





















Administration and Regulatory Affairs services at the Houston Permitting Center

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, we will be implementing certain measures to protect our permittees as well as our employees. To minimize the number of customers in the lobby, we will be moving many services online, as well as scheduling appointments for in-person transactions, as described below.

Conducting Business with ARA

In-person visits to the Houston Permitting Center will be scheduled by appointment, only when necessary. If you need an in-person service, please contact our office at 832-394-8803. Be prepared to answer questions regarding type of permit you are seeking. We will gather as much information as possible telephonically to shorten the time you need to wait in our lobby.

Over the next week we will be moving to online appointment scheduling. Please look to the ARA webpage and the Houston Permitting Center webpage for our online link to schedule your appointment.

In the meantime, if you prefer to social distance by not coming to the Houston Permitting Center, you may email your permit applications and back up documentation to [email protected]. If you choose this method, we ask that you either mail your payment to our office at the address below or include in your email that you wish to make an online payment for your permit, when available. You may also mail your application along with a check payment to our offices at:

City of Houston
Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department
Attn: Regulatory Permitting Division
PO Box 1561
Houston, TX 77251-1561

Make a Payment

We will be moving toward an online payment option starting Friday, March 27th. More information about this will be made available as the date gets closer. If you choose not to pay online, we are asking you mail your payments into our office at:

City of Houston
Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department
Attn: Regulatory Permitting Division
PO Box 1561
Houston, TX 77251-1561


Updates as of March 24

Building Code Enforcement 

All satellite offices are closed. Staff have relocated to the main building.

One-Stop Plan Review

All new One-Stop projects must be submitted online.

Effective March 24, the residential online application will have One-Stop options available for selection under Type of Residential Structure and Scope of Project:

Residential One Stop options available on iPermits application

For commercial online applications, please select Other under Scope of Project until One Stop options become available for use next week. Also include “One Stop” in the project description.

Commercial One Stop option on iPermits application

Paper plans must be picked up by appointment. Please email [email protected] to schedule your pick-up time. These plans may not be resubmitted on paper. Please contact [email protected] to convert your existing project to online submission.

Occupancy Inspections

Pick-up of Certificates of Occupancy (CO) and Certificates of Compliance (CC) will be done by appointment. Please email [email protected] to schedule an appointment time.

When you arrive at the building, please wait at the building entrance and call Occupancy Inspections at 832.656.2773. Your certificate will be brought out to you. Please have your ID available.

Traffic Permits and Plan Review

Effective immediately, the Traffic walk-in service has been replaced with a quicker more efficient process. All customers seeking to remove and replace (in kind) sidewalks, driveway and curb must submit a permit application and site plan through iPermits portal. Customers should select Sitework Application.

The required permit application can be found here: Form CE-1023 Sidewalk Driveway Permit Application. All questions and concerns about the walk-in service can be directed to [email protected].

Any minor plan review, consisting of no more than two comments that have been effectively resolved may utilize the [email protected] inbox. Any other plan review requests submitted to this inbox will be reviewed through the standard HPC review process.

BCE Traffic review appointments will be handled over the phone, via Skype or by other virtual means. Customers are advised to contact their most recent Traffic reviewer to set up an appointment.

Storm Plan Review

Effective March 24, projects that qualify for the storm plan review walk-in service can e-mail [email protected] on Mondays from 8 am to 3 pm. Please include the project number in the subject of your e-mail.

All projects using this service must be electronic plans. Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] to convert your existing project to online submission before you request "walk-in" service.

To see if your project qualifies, please refer to the Stormwater Walk-In Service Guidelines.

If your project does not qualify for walk-in service and you need to expedite your project, please e-mail [email protected] for all storm projects and follow the procedures for paid plan review.

If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected].

Office of the City Engineer

Projects that started on paper must be continue through the paper and mylar approval process. They cannot be converted to online submission.

Pick-up and drop-off of paper and mylar plans will occur on the 1st floor by appointment. Please email [email protected] or call 832-394-9149 to schedule a time.


Last updated: April 1, 2020 at 9:40 am