Below are frequently asked permitting questions with brief answers and links to learn more.
Contact Permit Processing if you have additional questions or need more information.
Why are permits and inspections necessary?
It’s a health and safety issue.
- Permit review allows code experts to reduce potential hazards from unsafe construction.
- Mandatory inspections act as a system of checks and balances focused on complying with city codes.
It’s also a money issue.
- Proper permitting helps protect property values.
- More and more, property insurers aren’t covering damages caused by work done without permits and inspections.
- Disclosure of any improvements or repairs is required at sale, whether or not permits and inspections were obtained.
- Many financial institutions won’t finance a purchase without proof of a final inspection.
- Without a permit, work may be subject to removal or other costly remedies.
So, before you start a project, see if a permit is required.
Do I need a permit for my project?
In general, new construction and alterations or repairs to existing structures or systems require a permit. Review our requirements for commercial and residential building permits.
Other projects that may require a permit include:
- removing trees
- replacing a water heater or furnace
- working in the right of way
- modifying or changing a tenant space
Contact permit processing to determine if your project requires a permit.
How do I get started?
Visit our Permits page to:
- Learn about the different types of permits we review and inspect.
- Understand the difference between permits that require plan review and those that don't.
- Become familiar with the paperless permitting process.
- Find inspection and contractor information.
How much will my permit cost?
Permit fees depend on your project's scope of work. Some permit fees are flat rates while other permit fees are deposits.
Building, electrical and some mechanical permit fees are based on fair market value of the work.
When do I pay my permit fees?
Permit fees come in two categories:
- Submittal Fees: These are fees you pay when you apply for your permit and cover plan review and administrative services.
- Issuance Fees: These are fees you pay when your permit and approved plans are issued. These fees generally cover inspection and administrative services, and may include impact fees, where applicable.
Submittal and issuance fees can be a flat fee or a deposit.
How do I apply for a permit?
All permit applications will be submitted online at MyBuildingPermit.com. This regional portal offers 24/7 online permitting services where you can:
- Apply for your permit
- Upload plans and documents
- Pay online
- Check your permit status
- Request and cancel inspections
What information should be on my plans?
Your project's scope and complexity will determine which permit (or permits) you need and what type of plans and documents are required for that scope of work.
Visit our Forms and Publications page to find plan review resources and permit submittal forms.
What is an expired or cancelled permit application?
Submitting the required application is the first step in the permitting process. The goal for Development Services staff is to complete our work within timeline targets and decide whether or not the application can be approved.
We have expiration and cancellation code provisions to ensure that applications actively progress through the permitting process.
It is important for you to know that a submitted application has a limited life.
What are contractor registration requirements?
Under state law, the City of Bellevue is obligated to provide written notification to all homeowners regarding the contractor registration requirements set forth in the Revised Codes of Washington (RCW), Chapter 18.27 and to advise homeowners of the risks associated with using an unregistered contractor.
Any contractor conducting business in the city must be licensed by the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries.
Learn more about contractor registration requirements. You may wish to read the noted sections in RCW Chapter 18.27 for the exact language.
What are construction hours?
Under the Bellevue City Code, noise emanating from construction sites that exceeds allowed noise levels is prohibited outside of the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. No construction site noise is permitted on Sundays and legal holidays.
If after-hours sounds from a construction site are clearly audible across a real property boundary or at least 75 feet from their source, it will be considered a noise disturbance (BCC 9.18.040.A.4).
What is right of way?
Right of way – all public streets and property dedicated to public use for streets, together with public property reserved for public utilities, transmission lines and extensions, walkways, sidewalks, bikeways or equestrian trails.
Learn about right of way boundaries and find answers to more questions about right of way.
When does my permit expire?
Building permits are good for three years from the date of issuance.
Work must start within one year of the permit being issued or it can expire.
If the three-year life of the permit has expired, approval from the building official will be required for an extension. Otherwise, a new permit must be obtained.
**Due to COVID-19, the Bellevue City Council has approved an ordinance, effective April 20, 2020, extending the expiration date of building permit applications and issued building permits for 180 days (including electrical, mechanical and plumbing permit applications and issued permits).
The ordinance also extends the expiration date of clearing and grading permit applications and issued clearing and grading permits for 180 days.
This is to include the time period in which an applicant must commence work to prevent the permit from expiring.
These extensions will apply only to complete permit applications or issued permits active on the effective date of this ordinance. **
How do I request copies of project plans?
We keep a copy of all approved plans and project documents for the lifetime of a building plus six years.
To request copies of plans and project documents, submit a public records request online to the City Clerk's Office.
What is a landscape assurance device?
A landscape assurance device provides the city with monetary recourse in case all landscaping work required under a permit or land use approval is not satisfactorily completed in accordance with the conditions of the approval. The most common type of assurance device accepted by the city is an assignment of savings. An assignment of savings gives the city permission to access a special account set up at your bank in your name containing the required amount of the landscape assurance device. The city can accept other types of assurance devices—letters of credit, bonds or other accessible sources of funds—on a case-by-case basis.