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How to Replace Permits, Inspection Records...

If you’ve lost or damaged your building permit, inspection records, or City-approved plans, it is possible to replace these.

Lost or Damaged Permits or Inspection Records

Assemble any project information you have:
To make replacement easier, bring any project documents that have - the permit document or any inspection cards. Perhaps you wrote down the permit number somewhere; if so, having the permit number will be helpful and save time.

Put inspection cards in chronological order:
If you have several inspection cards, put them in chronological order to make reviewing these faster.

What does it cost? How might I reduce the fee?
The minimum charge is $37.50 for up to 20 minutes of staff time, and $37.50 for every 20 minutes thereafter. You can reduce your fee by retrieving records yourself, using a Self-Help Computer. Staff will then use these records to issue you a replacement permit or other document.

Use sjpermits.org to replace online permits
Did you get your permit online at sjpermits.org? If so, you can use this online permit system to replace a lost or damaged permit.

Viewing or Duplicating City-approved Plans

Plans are public records and may be viewed on computers at the Permit Center. Plans that are available have been converted to optical images and are filed electronically under the number of the associated permit or address. Bring any inspection slips or project plans that may assist with document research.

  • For non-residential and multi-family projects: Copies of City-approved plans are generally obtainable EXCEPT for those projects involving minor alterations
  • For single family and duplex homes: Copies of City-approved plans are generally obtainable EXCEPT for plans submitted prior to 1992 or for simple plumbing, mechanical, and electrical projects.

Copies of plans for an active permit. Copies of plans to replace those lost for an active permit may be produced for the permittee or owner and do not require written authorization. This process may take up to 10 days.

Copies of plans for a final project (restrictions apply). Copies of final plans may NOT be used for design purposes, but only for maintenance and operation of the structure. Permissions are required as follows:

  • The requestor of copies must obtain written permission from the original or current owner, or if the building is part of a common interest development, from the governing association.
  • The Building Division must obtain permission from the professional who signed the documents. Once all documentation is received, staff will send by registered mail a letter to the appropriate architect or engineer the request for permission to duplicate the plans. This process may take up to 60 days. A $35.00 non-refundable fee is assessed per plan or per affidavit required to process your request.

To obtain copies of plans, complete Plan Duplication Request so that your request can be processed.


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

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