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How to Extend a Plan Review Submittal

All plan review submittals expire and become void after 180 days from the date of submittal. The associated building permit must be paid for and picked up before this expiration date. If not and the applicant wants to continue with the project, new plans must be submitted for review of conformance to building codes, and fees for plan review will again be assessed.

To avoid this expiration, within 180 days of the date of plan submittal, you need to either:

  • Pay for and pick up the building permit, or
  • Apply for and receive approval for an extended plan review submittal

To Extend a Plan Review Submittal

Contact the Permit Center to request an extension before the plan review timeframe expires.

A plan review submittal expires 180 days from the date of submittal. If you are unable to pay for and pick up the associated building permit before this expiration date, request an extension of time. Contact the Permit Center at 408-535-3555 and ask for assistance with a plan review extension.

Approval of the extension is at the sole discretion of the Chief Building Official and the decision may not be appealed. If approved, another 180 days will be added to the original expiration date.

How are multi-building projects handled?

If a permit has been issued for at least one building in a multi-building project, the plan review approval is valid for 180 days from the latest permit issuance date or approved inspection.

For a second extension, submit a Letter of Request to the Chief Building Official.

Generally only one extension is allowed. For either single- or multibuilding projects, the Chief Building Official has discretion to approve a second extension of not more than 360 days if the applicant demonstrates that circumstances have prevented action from being taken. The Building Official may require that additional fees be paid and/or plans revised to comply with current codes. A Letter of Request is required for a second extension; see the example below. Mail the request to:

Chief Building Official
City of San José - Building Division
200 E. Santa Clara Street - Floor 1
San José, CA 95113

What if a foundation permit has been issued?

If a foundation permit has been issued, then all subsequent building or sub-trade permits under the same application must be paid for and picked up before the foundation permit expires, and no later than one year after the adoption of new building codes.

What if building codes change during the extension period?

Permits are based on the codes that are current at the time the project plans are approved. Plan submittals must be updated to meet changes to state building codes only when the extension is granted one year or later after the adoption of new codes.

Why Is There an Expiration Date for the Plan Review Submittal Period?

The review period for submitted plans cannot be open indefinitely because state and local building codes evolve over time. Plans can therefore become outdated and no longer legally applicable. This is why a building permit must be obtained within the plan review submittal period of 180 days from the date of submittal or the plans become void.


  • San Jose Municipal Code 24.02.350 and 24.02.355.

Example of a Letter Requesting an Extension

[If a company, use company letterhead]


Chief Building Official
City of San José - Building Division
200 E. Santa Clara St. - Floor 1
San José, CA 95113

ATTN: Permit Center Supervisor


Name of Project/Business:
Project Address:
Building Permit # or Plan Check #:

I would like to request a Plan Review Submittal extension for the above project. Reasons beyond our control for the delay include ___[state reason/s]________________________.

Thank you for your consideration,



Your Name
Title if applicable
Business Name if applicable
Phone number
Email address

A pdf handout version of this information is available on our Building Handouts and Forms page.