Applying for a permit at the Permitting Department
2015 Permit Fees - Notice of Changes
Effective January 1, 2015, the fees charged by the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER) changed. The average increase for all permit fees will be four percent to pay for inflationary cost increases for the next two years.
You have confirmed that your property is in unincorporated King County and that you will need a permit for your project. What is next for getting your permit at the Department of Permitting?
Over the Counter Permits (effective October 18, 2010)
Small project proposals that are limited in scope may qualify for an over the counter permit process where qualifying permits types can be submitted, reviewed, and issued the same day without an appointment. This permitting option is known as the Over The Counter Permit (OTCP) process. The list of applicable permit types, qualifications, and submittal items can be found on the Over The Counter Permits - Information and Submittal Checklist form. If your project proposal does not qualify for the OTCP, then please see the next sections below regarding Pre-Submittal Services and intake and scheduling an appointment.
Pre-Submittal Services Intake (effective April 25, 2011)
Medium scale building and land use permits at the Department of Permitting require completion of Pre-Submittal Services (PSS) before formal permit application. The PSS process is designed to provide advance screening of a permit application prior to actual permit intake. The PSS process will provide applicants with specific feedback and identify technical red flags before the applicant submits the formal permit application. This feedback will allow the applicant to prepare a more complete and accurate application package which should make the permit review process simpler and faster. After completion of the PSS process, there are several options for permit intake; by appointment, by mail, or by drop-off.
The types of permits that require the PSS process before permit intake generally are larger and more complex than the simple projects that qualify as an over the counter permit, but not large or complex enough to trigger a mandatory pre-application meeting. For projects that fall into this intermediate category, PSS is among the first steps to ensure that a complete permit application is ready for review. The list of applicable permit types, qualifications, and submittal items can be found on the Pre-Submittal Services Information and Submittal Checklist and Pre-Submittal Services Request Form. If your project proposal does not qualify for the Pre-Submittal Services process, then please see the next section below regarding intake and scheduling an appointment.
Intake and scheduling an appointment
Intake of larger building and land use permit applications at the Permitting Department is conducted by arranging an appointment through the Permitting customer Service Permit Center. These larger permit types typically require a pre-application meeting prior to permit intake and are assigned a dedicated Project Manager. As part of the pre-application process you will receive a list of the items required at permit intake as well as a Fee Estimate detailing the permit fees.
The appointment system serves to ensure that customers do not sit in the Permit Center for long periods of time waiting to submit an application, only to find that their permit application is incomplete or, worse, that staff are not available that particular day to meet with them.
The Permitting Department recommends that intake appointments be scheduled two to four weeks in advance. To schedule an appointment, call 206-296-6797. For information about submittals that may be dropped off or mailed, see Drop-offs: Permits accepted by drop-off or mail (PDF*, 79KB).
Preparing for intake
Forms and application packages. Permit application packages are available online or to have an application packet mailed to you, please call customer service at 206-296-6600. Application forms also are listed by the title of the form.
Customers should carefully study application requirements before scheduling an appointment and are encouraged to take advantage of the Permit Center's limited free technical assistance service prior to their actual intake appointment. During this free technical assistance, Permitting staff can verify that an application packet is complete. This service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and does not require an appointment.
Pre-application meetings. Pre-application meetings are available - and are required for some permit types - to assist customers in properly submitting required documents and plans. See pre-applications for more information.
Because first-time permit applicants often are intimidated by the process of selecting a consultant to assist with permitting requirements, the Permitting Department developed the Preferred Consultant Program to offer residential permit customers the option of choosing a consultant from the Permitting Department's lists of preferred consultants. Civil Engineer, Geotechnical, and Wetland Preferred Consultant lists are available. See Preferred Consultants for more information.
*Note: To view PDFs, free software from Adobe is required. To view the video, Windows Media Player is required; see free downloads (external links). For assistance, see helpful hints.
To request this information in alternate formats for people with disabilities, call 206-296-6600 or TTY Relay: 711.