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How to Apply for Permits

Apply for permits electronically below. Depending on the permit type or service, you will apply in one of two ways:

Account Linking

Link Your Online Account to Your Permits: In order to apply for permits and/or upload required documents, you must register with our online permitting tool. You also must submit this form to request that your online account be linked with your permits: Submit Request
Trust Accounts: If you have a trust account with Permit Sonoma and want to link it to your online account and your permits: Submit Request

Questions? Please contact us at PermitSonoma@sonoma-county.org

Sonoma County Wildfires

Expedited Permits (Fire-affected Areas Only)

Apply for expedited rebuilding permits in areas affected by the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire or 2019 Kincade Fire.

    You must use the permit wizard to apply online.

Planning / Project Review Permits

For continuity of operations, customers will have the option to submit planning applications electronically. Because our online permitting portal is not yet configured for Planning e-submittals, the submittal process will take place by email.

Planning Applications

    Please follow the process instructions to submit a planning application online.

Vacation Rentals & Hosted Rentals

    Please follow the process instructions to submit a online application for a vacation renal or hosted rental permit.

Construction Permits

Only the following permit types are available for you to apply online at this time. If you attempt to use one of the permit types below to apply for the incorrect permit types, your application may be delayed or voided.

Building Inspections

    Permit Sonoma is converting to electronic inspections when possible utilizing photographic documentation and video conferencing via FaceTime, Skype, VuSpex, or similar methods.

New Building Permit

  • New Building Permit with No Plan Check

    You may only use this option to apply for building permits for projects that do not require building plans. Make sure that your residential project or non-residential project does not require building plans.
  • New Building Permit with Plan Check

    Apply for a building permit for which plan review is required.

Building Revision

    If a construction project is revised, for example by altering floor plans or adding additional square footage, the revisions must be reviewed and approved by Permit Sonoma prior to making those changes in the field. (More Information: Revisions to Building Permits »)

Deferred Submittal

Deferred submittals are those portions of a project's design that are not submitted at the time of the Building permit application and are to be submitted to Permit Sonoma within a specified period.

Demolition Permit

    A demolition permit is required to demolish a building or structure in whole or in part. Some demolition permits may be included within a building permit application, especially for portions of structures.

Encroachment Permit

    An encroachment permit is required anytime work is conducted in a County of Sonoma public right-of-way such as water lines, sewer lines, construction of curbs, gutters, sidewalks or driveway aprons, or vegetation removal with chipper equipment. Please follow the process instructions to submit an application electronically via e-mail. (More Information: Encroachment »)

Grading Permit

    Grading is the removal or deposition of earth material by artificial means. A permit is required in many cases. (More Information: Grading Permits »)

Resubmittal

    Changes to plans or documents, based on comments received from Permit Sonoma Staff, can be submitted using the View My Records option to find your record.

Sanitation Permit

    A sanitation sewer permit is required for work associated with or related to connecting to a public sanitary sewer system. Typical work includes building sewers, side sewers, laterals, sewer mains, manholes, or similar items. Documents and applications can be submitted electronically via e-mail. (More Information: Sanitation Sewer »)

Septic Systems


In areas where public sewer is not available, homeowners must have septic systems installed on their property that will treat wastewater coming from their home.
  • Permit (SEP)

    This is for an OWTS Construction Application. (More Information: OWTS Application Types Available »)
  • Design Application (SDA)

    This is for an OWTS Design Application. (More Information: OWTS Application Types Available »)
  • Site Reviews for Septic Systems

    Site review applications can be submitted electronically via e-mail.

    Staff will focus on plan review activities. Permit Sonoma is converting to electronic inspections and electronic site inspections when possible utilizing photographic documentation and video conferencing via FaceTime, Skype, VuSpex, or similar methods.

Temporary

  • Temporary Emergency Housing

    Residential use of recreational vehicles and travel trailers for persons displaced by the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fire or the 2019 Kincade Fire, but on sites outside burn areas on residential or agriculturally zoned properties until December 31, 2021.

  • Temporary Structure

    Temporary installation of a non-residential, prefabricated structure such as a construction office or classroom.

  • Temporary Utilities

    A temporary permit for utilities for a permitted structure prior to the permit final. There are 2 types of temporary utility approvals.

Transportation Permit

    A transportation permit is required anytime a vehicle and/or load exceeds the following legal dimensions, on roads in unincorporated Sonoma County. Please follow the process instructions to submit a transportation application online.

Well Permit

Transition from Paper Plans to Electronic

  • As paper plans are reviewed and comments are provided, resubmittals and revisions will be required to be submitted electronically. Paper plans or documents will not be accepted.

  • Electronic plans and supporting reports or documents (drainage calculations, energy calculations, soils reports, structural calculations, truss calculations, etc.) can be uploaded electronically through the online permitting portal (using the “View My Records” icon) even if the original plan review was submitted in person as a paper application.

  • Prior to uploading electronically via "View My Records":
    1. The applicant will need to become a registered user and create an online account.
      To register for Permits Online, select the "Register / Log In" link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

    2. The applicant's user name and email address must be linked with the permit record(s).
      To link the account: Link Your Online Account to Your Permits »

    3. Once the user's account and permit project(s) are linked, the uploading of documents can occur.
      Applications are required to be submitted as a merged PDF or zip file depending on the application type.
      Instructions for merging PDF files and zipping files »
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Residential Projects That Do Not Require Building Plans

The following types of projects do not require building plans for residential structures and/or associated accessory structures:

  1. Plumbing work, including water heater replacement or installation (including associated water piping, gas piping, and vents)
  2. Electrical work (with a pre-existing meter). New solar (photovoltaic or thermal) systems require plans.
  3. Electrical service upgrade (maximum of 200 amps including associated wiring)
  4. Mechanical work, including heating and/or cooling equipment repair or replacement (including associated water piping, gas piping, and vents)
  5. Re-roofing, including roof sheathing, fascia boards and rafter tails that are replaced as a matter of required maintenance
  6. Siding installation or replacement
  7. Wall: Dry rot repair and/or replacement in kind or other alterations to not more than 40 lineal feet of wall, provided the work meets the requirements for conventional construction in the building code. “Wall” includes bottom plate to top plate and may include rim joist, rafter tails and fascia (foundation repair/replace and re-framing of room rafters requires plans).
  8. Decks: Repairs to decking or guardrails

Because there are no plans, it is important that the permit description include enough information so that the building inspector can determine the extent of the work. All work must conform to present codes. (Example: Guardrails which are replaced must meet current spacing and height requirements. Stairs must comply with current rise and run requirements.)

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Non-Residential Projects That Do Not Require Building Plans

For non-residential projects, the types of projects that do not require building plans are severely limited because, with some exceptions, when alterations or structural repairs are made to existing non-residential buildings, Americans with Disabilities Act requirements must be made as well.

The following types of projects do not require building plans for non-residential structures:

  1. Replacement heating, water heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment with the same type of unit in the same location. (New roof-mounted equipment or equipment in a new location requires plans. New solar (photovoltaic or thermal) systems require plans.)
  2. Re-roofing (reframing the roof requires plans)
  3. Electrical service upgrade (maximum 200 amps including associated wiring)
  4. Electrical work not involving the placement or replacement of switches or receptacles
  5. Plumbing work not involving the placement or replacement of plumbing fixtures

All other work for a non-residential structure requires plans.

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