Yes, we have a new look.

Welcome to the City of San José's new digital front door!

Electronic Plan Review - Setting up a Successful Submittal

Electronic plan review can save time and resources. For a successful eplan submittal, follow these format requirements. An electronic plan review will not commence until the submittal meets these requirements.

Submittal Requirements

Bring the following non-returnable items to your scheduled meeting at the Permit Center.

  • USB drive or CD/DVD with files of the project drawings and support documents as follows:
  • Place all files on the root folder; do not use sub-folders.
  • Only files for the current submittal are to be provided. For example, if your project is a resubmittal, do not include files from the original submission.


Follow the formatting requirements outlined below:

  • PDF or PDF/A - Digital documents must be PDF (portable document format) or PDF/A, compatible with Adobe Acrobat Version 9.0 or higher.
  • Exported PDFs required for most projects - An exported PDF from the native file, not a scan saved as a PDF, is required for most projects. PDFs of scanned documents are accepted only for single-family additions or alterations, in which case, scan the hard copy plan at 150dpi minimum and 300dpi maximum to achieve an acceptable legbility and file size.
  • Separate sub-trade PDFs - Create a separate PDF for each sub-trade or plan review item; see page 2.
  • Unsecured setting - Choose “unsecured” on your security settings so that plan reviewers may mark up the documents or create notes.
  • Landscape orientation - All drawings must uniformly use landscape orientation. Maintain a uniform page position for all files in the submittal.
  • 6x6-inch stamp space on Cover Sheet - Provide a 6 x 6-inch clear space on the cover sheet for jurisdiction approval stamps.
  • 3x3-inch stamp space on each drawing sheet - Provide a 3” x 3” clear space for jurisdiction approval stamp on the lower right quadrant in the same location of the title block.
  • Scale, legibility and legends - Plans shall be to scale, fully dimensioned, and legible:
  • Text prints at minimum 10pt font size - Use a legible font, equivalent or better than Arial, Gill Sans or Tahoma, set at minimum 10pt when printed.
  • Use symbols and grayscale, not color - Do not use color to differentiate items on the plans; instead use symbols, hatches, line-type, and line-weights to relay information. Include a legend that defines all symbols. Plans shall be legible when set to print in grayscale
  • Index Sheet and Indexed Pages - Provide an Index Sheet that summarizes all the documents in the submittal. Index/bookmark the pages within the PDF. The index should note the sheet number as well as the title/description of each sheet.

File Naming Conventions

Use these conventions for naming all files. Use uppercase and hyphens (up to three hyphens allowed), not spaces, in the name.


S# - This is the submission number where S1 = first submittal; S2 = second submittal for a resubmittal or revision; each subsequent resubmittal becomes S3, S4, S5 etc.

Discipline - This is the abbreviation for trade plans or area of review as applicable to your project:

  • AC = Architectural Plan PB = Plumbing Plan
  • ST = Structural Plan PL = Planning Division review
  • EC = Electrical Plan FE = Fire review (Bureau of Fire Prevention)
  • ME = Mechanical Plan PW = Public Works Department review

Folder# - Permit center staff will assign you a Folder Number when you submit an Electronic Plan Review Application.

Descriptor - At the end of the name, you may include a word or combination word to describe the file further. For example, “Foundationcalcs” might be added to a file that shows the foundation engineering calculations. Do not uses spaces in the descriptor.

Here are more examples of file names followed by how they are decoded:

  • S1-ME-12345678.pdf - First Submittal, Mechanical Plan, Folder Number, no descriptor added
  • S1-AC-12345678-Ref_Grading.pdf - First Submittal, Structural Plan, Folder Number, descriptor for Grading Plan is added
  • S2-FE-12345678-Hazmat.pdf - Second Submittal, Fire Review, Folder number, descriptor for Hazmat  is added
  • S3-EC-12345678-EVC.pdf - Third Submittal, Electrical Plan, Folder Number, descriptor for an Electrical Vehicle Charger plan is added

Remember: Do not use more than three hyphens and do not use a space between words the Descriptor.

The PDF version of the Electronic Plan Review Requirements is available for download.

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer