Permit Timeline

How long will it take to get my permit? 

Current level of service for review of a complete application is listed below.  Actual review time largely depends on the quality, accuracy, and completeness of a permit application.

The Planning & Development Services department is currently not meeting our published level of service.

Permit Record Type Level of Service for Initial Review Average Service for the Last 6 Months for Initial Review* Level of Service for Revision Review
ePermits** Same Day Same Day Not Applicable
Residential, New 4 Weeks 3 Weeks 2 Weeks
Residential, Fire 3 Weeks *** 2 Weeks
Residential, Demo 3 Weeks 3 Weeks 2 Weeks
Residential, Alteration 3 Weeks 2 Weeks 2 Weeks
Residential, Plumbing 2 Weeks 1 Week 1 Week
Residential, Mechanical 2 Weeks 1 Week 1 Week
Commercial, New 8 Weeks 7 Weeks 6 Weeks
Commercial, Fire 3 Weeks *** 2 Weeks
Commercial, Demo 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks
Commercial, Alteration 4 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks
Commercial, Plumbing 4 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks
Commercial, Mechanical 4 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks
Sign 4 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks
Work Order 4 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks
Site Development 4 Weeks 6 Weeks 4 Weeks
Noise Variance 3 Weeks *** Not Applicable

Residential – Single-Family, Duplex, and Townhomes 1-2 Units

Commercial  Triplex, Multi-Family, Mixed-Use and Non-Residential Buildings

*Note: These figures calculated June 1st

**Note:  To find out more about ePermits, see our Getting an ePermit Tip Sheet.

***Note: Not enough data to accurately estimate yet.

Planning & Development Services has established a 10-year stretch goal for Commercial and Residential permit performance as outlined below:

Permit Record Type From Application Submission to Permit Issuance
Residential New 14 days
Residential Alterations 14 days
Commercial New 40 days
Commercial Alterations 40 days

The levels of service for Land Use permitting are outlined below:

Land Use Permit Record Type Decision Appeal Period
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) 30 days
Boundary Line Adjustment 30 days 14 days
Conditional Use, Variance, Major Modification 120 days 14 days
Environmental Review (SEPA) 30 days 14 days
Plat, preliminary  2-9 lots 45 days 14 days
Plat, final 2-9 lots 30 days
Plat, preliminary 10+ lots 120 days 14 days
Plat, final 10+ lots 45 days 14 days
Shoreline Exemption 60 days
Critical Areas: Mitigation Monitoring, Activities Allowed with Staff Review 60 days
Critical Areas Permit 120 days 14 days
Rezone 120 days 30-60 days approx. for Council Readings
Shoreline Development 120 days 14 days City+ 21 days Ecology
Zoning Verification Letter   21 days

How do I find out the status of my permit application? 

Applicants may log in at Tacoma Permits (ACA) to check permit status.

For instructions, see our Permit and Inspection Status Tip Sheet.

Does the City allow deferred submittals?

A building permit review normally includes plumbing, mechanical, and energy code (MEP) unless the applicant chooses to defer submittal.  Please see the Deferred Submittals Tip Sheet for more information about this process.

Note:  While energy code review is included in the building permit review, electrical permits are not included and must be obtained separately by the applicant’s electrical contractor/engineer from Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU).  For more information, visit www.mytpu.org.

When does my application expire?

If an applicant has been notified that action is needed, such as, plan corrections or that a permit is ready to issue, it is the applicant’s responsibility to respond.  If the applicant does not respond or take action within 180 days of being notified, the permit will be cancelled.

When does my permit expire? 

A building permit will expire if the work hasn’t begun within 180 days from the date the permit was issued, and this must be verified by City inspection. Once work has begun, progress must be verified by City inspection.  At a minimum, a progress inspection must be completed every 180 days.

Land Use permits have different expiration timelines that will be listed in the Decision of the Land Use Permit.

Can I extend my permit? 

If a building permit has not yet expired, a permittee may apply for an extension of the permit if he/she is unable, for good and satisfactory reasons, to commence work or continue work within the time required. The request for extension may be made in writing to the Building Official prior to the expiration of the permit. The Building Official may extend the time for action for up to 180 days. Permits may be extended more than once at the discretion of the Building Official. Building Permit Extensions Policy

If you wish to extend a building permit, please send a request in writing to our office at Planning & Development Services, 747 Market St. Rm. 345, Tacoma WA, 98402 or via email at:  Sue Coffman, Building Official, sue.coffman@cityoftacoma.org.
The extension request must include the following items:

  1. Associated permit numbers
  2. Reason for the extension
  3. Date that the work will commence
  4. Date that the work will be completed by

Land Use permits cannot be extended.  If a Land Use permit has expired, a new application will be required.