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Permit

How do I obtain a permit?

Depending on the size of your project, you can get your permit online, by appointment, or at the counter of a Development Services Center

For simple projects where plan review is not required, you may obtain an Express Permit online or walk-in at a Development Services Center.

For medium to large projects where a plan review is required, you can get a Counter Plan Check on a walk-in basis at a Development Services Center.

For complex and major projects, call 3-1-1 for assistance.

What is E-Permit?

Also known as an Online Permit, e-permit is a service we provide to expedite less complex permit types. Obtain permits on our website or see a list of available permits in our e-Permit page.

When is a permit required?

Permits are issued for many different types of work, including Building, Electrical and Plumbing just to name a few. Please visit each our Plan Check & Permit page for more information about when a permit is required.

If you have a specific question on whether the work you are performing requires a permit, please feel free to call 3-1-1 for further assistance.

How much will my permit & plan check cost?

The Permit Fee Calculator is an online service that can assist in permit fee calculations. 

You can also review the LADBS Fee Schedule page for further information.

How long is a permit good for?

A permit expires

  1. In two years from the date of its issuance
  2. If no work has been started within six months from its issuance
  3. Work has started but stopped for over six months.

However, within 30 days of its expiration, an extension of time to extend a permit may be filed with the Department using either modification Request for Modification Form 41 or Request for Modification Form 42 . The request shall be filed with the inspection district supervisor if no work has been started. If the permit has expired and the work has started, the request shall be filed with any plan check office.

Can I, as a homeowner, apply for a construction permit?

A homeowner can obtain a permit and do the construction, alteration or repair on his/her house and accessory buildings or facilities thereto, if the owner resides or will reside in the dwelling.

Read more about the construction process.

Do I need a permit to build a fence around my property?

A permit is not required for any type of fence under 3'6" in height.

A permit is required for a masonry or concrete fence over 3'6" in height, and for a fence of any other material over 10'0" in height. 

Please note that even though a permit may not be required, all fences must comply with the requirements of the LA Zoning Code.

What is the allowable fence height?

In most residential areas, fences are limited to 3'-6" in height in the front yard and 6'-0 in the side and rear yards. 

Depending on lot size and location, the height limit may be increased to 8'-0 for the side and rear yards. The regulations can be found in Section 12 22 C 20 (f) of the LA Zoning Code.

Do I need a permit to change to a low-consumption toilet in my house?

No, when done as part of the City's "Water Conservation Retrofit Program" pursuant to the City's Water Conservation regulations. 

However, a non owner-occupied single family dwelling requires a permit obtained by a licensed plumbing contractor.

Is a permit required to install a domestic cooking range, broiler unit, or domestic-type clothes dryer in my single-family dwelling unit?

No.

Is heating required in a dwelling unit?

Yes. The space must be able to be maintained at a room temperature of 70 degrees F, 3 feet above the floor in all habitable areas.

I want to enlarge my house, how do I apply for a building permit?

A complete set of plans showing the proposed work is brought into the Department, likely as a Counter Plan Check. A permit is issued after the plan are reviewed and approved by our plan check engineers. A complete set of plans includes:

  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Roof Plan
  • Elevation of the building
  • Section of the building
  • Framing Plan
  • Foundation Plan
  • Architectural and Structural Details Plan

What is involved in the building permit process?

View our handy permit process flow diagram PDF here.

What is the Guaranteed Express Permit Program?

LADBS offers a money-back guarantee on Express Permit times. If a walk-in customer waits longer than 30 minutes for service to begin, or if the customer waits longer than 60 minutes for the processing of the permit from the time that service begins, then the permit fee is waived.

Is a permit required for installing any portable ventilating, comfort-cooling, or evaporative cooler equipment?

No.

Is a plumbing permit required to replace my gas water heater in my single family dwelling unit?

Yes, unless the work is performed by a contractor that holds a valid Certificate of Registration from LADBS as a Certified Licensed Contractor (CLC). 

The CLC is limited to the replacement of a water heater of equivalent capacity in gallons, BTU rating, and vent capacity.

Is a plumbing permit required to replace my residential garbage disposer?

No.

When is a plumbing permit required for natural gas piping?

A plumbing permit is required for the installation of any gas piping, except piping less than 6 feet in length between an existing gas outlet and a gas appliance in the same room.

What if my project doesn't conform to code?

If it is a building code issue, you may file a request for modification. Please refer to the Request for Modification form for reference. In approving such a request, the Department needs to determine that the slight modification is reasonably equivalent to the ordinance requirement involved, that a special individual reason makes the strict letter of the ordinance impractical, and that the slight modification is in conformity with the spirit and purpose of the Code involved.

If the request is denied by the Department, it may be appealed to the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners.

If it is a Planning Code issue, this Department can only review and act on items stipulated in Section 12.26, specifically, yard variances not exceeding 20% of the required yard and parking facility design as published in Sec. 12.21A5. (Reprint from Planning Code Section 12.26). All other request for changes from the Planning Code shall be filed with the Planning Department.

What are the building permit fees based on?

Building permit fees are calculated based on the valuation of the project. Please refer to the Los Angeles City Building Code section 91.107 , or call our Customer Call Center at 3-1-1 for assistance.

Plan Check

What is a plan check?

Plan check is when your building plans are reviewed to make sure they comply with basic safety, engineering and planning rules. LADBS plan check engineers will review the design of such things as the structure, plumbing and electrical systems to make sure they are safe and properly designed. They will also look at other items, like building setbacks, heights and lot coverage to see that the construction is compatible with the neighborhood.

Plan check is part of the permit process. If your project disqualifies you from directly receiving an Express Permit, you will need to have a plan check. If it's a small project, a Counter Plan Check will suffice. If it's a large project, you might need to have a Regular Plan Check, where your plans are submitted and reviewed over the period of several weeks.

When is plan check required?

Please refer to our Plan Check & Permit page to see what projects require plan checks. Other plan reviews, including plan reviews by other City departments, county and state agencies may also be required for the work being performed.

How do I get my plans checked?

For small to medium projects, you may visit the Metro (Downtown), Van Nuys, and West LA offices on a walk-in basis for a Counter Plan Check. Your plans are reviewed same day, in about 45-60 minutes

For large, complex projects, plans are sent in for a Regular Plan Check and reviewed within weeks.

For major developer projects, the design and permit process are allowed concurrently, in the Parallel Design - Permitting Process.

How long is a plan check application good for?

Plan check applications expire 18 months after the plan check fees are paid. However, within 30 days of its expiration, an extension of time to extend a permit application may be filed with the Department using a Request for Modification of Building Ordinances. The request may be filed with any Plan Check office, preferably with the office where the plan was reviewed. A fee shall accompany each request.

How many sets of plans do I need at the time of filing for plan check, and at permit issuance?

At the time of filing:

  1. For single family or duplex submittal, one set if the job is not in a hillside area, and two sets if it is.
  2. For apartment or commercial project submittal, two sets of plans are required. If it is a Title 19 project, a third set is required for Fire Department review.
At permit issuance
  1. For residential project permit issuance, two sets of plans if the job is not in a hillside area, and three sets if it is.
  2. For commercial project permit issuance, two sets of plans are required.

Can a homeowner prepare the drawings, obtain a building permit, & construct my own house or addition, without consulting an architect/engineer/contractor?

Yes, if the house is one story and will be built from plans based on the Department standard "Wood Frame Prescriptive Provisions One Story Residential Construction Only."

How are changes to approved plans during construction handled by the department?

Generally speaking, any changes to Department-approved plans shall be approved by the plan review engineer who reviewed and issued the permit. 

Sometimes, the changes can be handled over the counter on the same day it is brought in; other times, the changes may need to be resubmitted for further review with an additional plan review fee. In either case, it is always a good idea to first call the plan review engineer who issued the permit and ask for his/her help.

What is the current status of my plan check?

Call 3-1-1 to find out the current status of your plan check.

Inspection

What is an inspection?

All construction work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by authorized inspectors. An inspection must be performed before work is concealed or covered. It is your responsibility to notify the inspector when the work is ready for inspection. Work is generally inspected and approved in succession and no work may continue beyond the point indicated in each successive inspection without first obtaining the approval of the inspector. 

Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, ventilation equipment, plumbing, electrical, shear wall nailing, roof nailing etc. When completed, there shall be a final inspection and approval of the completed project.

When do I call for an inspection?

Once you obtain a permit, you can commence with the work. However, you must call for inspection before you cover or conceal any work. If you are unsure of when to call for inspection, please contact our Customer Call Center.

How do I schedule for an inspection?

When the work is ready, request an inspection using one of three options:

  1. Request an inspection online using our Request For Inspection system. Requests made before 4:00 pm can be scheduled for the next business day.
  2. Dial 888-LA4-BUILD / (888)-524-2845 for inside Los Angeles County or (213) 482-0000 for outside Los Angeles County and choose Option 1 to request an inspection using our Automated Inspection Request System. The AIRS Sequence Chart is helpful to have when using our Automated Inspection Request System (AIRS)
  3. Dial 3-1-1 for inside L.A. County or (213) 473-3231 for outside L.A. County. Automated inspection requests may be made anytime (except between 2:00 am and 3:00 am). Requests made before 4:00 pm can be scheduled for the next business day. When calling for an inspection you will need to know the permit number, the site address, and type of inspection needed. To request an inspection for the next business day with one of our staff members, you must call in prior to 4:00 p.m. Automated inspection request systems will accept next day inspections prior to 4:00 p.m. We will attempt to contact you on the morning of the inspection.

For requests of four (4) or more seismic gas shut off valve inspections, please complete the Seismic Gas Shut Off Valve Inspection Request Form. To schedule fewer than four (4) seismic gas shut off valve inspections, please call 3-1-1 for inside Los Angeles County or (213) 473-3231 for outside Los Angeles County.

Deputy Inspection Notification

Deputy Inspection notification may be made by calling 3-1-1 or by completing a Deputy Fax Notification form and faxing it to (213) 482-6838 or 6839 by 3:30 pm one working day before the day of the inspection. Deputy Inspection Notification is not currently available on the Automated Inspection Request form.

Can I request an inspection for tomorrow?

You can request an inspection for the next business day, as long as the request is made before 4:00 pm.

Can I request an inspection for any permit & do I need to register beforehand?

You can request an inspection for any permit, regardless of whether it was obtained at an LADBS Development Services Center or on the Internet via e-Permit

Registration is not required to request an inspection, however, if you are already logged in as an e-Permit user, you do not have to log out to request an inspection.

Why are there only three days available for scheduling inspections?

The automated inspection request systems allow inspections to be requested only three days in advance. Call the Customer Call Center if you need to request an inspection more than three days in advance.

What types of inspections does LADBS provide?

LADBS provides the following types of inspections:

  • Residential
  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Elevator / Pressure Vessel
  • Fire Sprinkler
  • Grading
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • Sign
  • Green Building
  • Annual Inspection
  • Haul Route Violation
Refer to our Types of Inspections page to see more detail.

Can I select more than one inspection type?

Yes. You may select as many inspection types as you wish. Please limit your selection(s) to work that is ready to be inspected.

If the inspection I would like to request is not listed, what do I do?

Select the inspection that most closely matches the type of inspection you want to request. 

When in doubt, select the "rough..." inspection and place a message in the ‘Comments’ section. Alternatively, you may contact the Customer Call Center by dialing 311 or (866) 4LA-CITY/(866) 452-2489 within L.A. County or (213) 473-3231 outside L.A. County.

Can I cancel, reschedule or correct an inspection requested through the internet?

No, contact the Customer Call Center for assistance.

If I make a mistake when entering my inspection type or contact information, can I correct it?

Mistakes can be corrected on the page before clicking the "Continue" button, by highlighting the area to be corrected and retyping the information. Once "Continue" has been pressed, no changes can be made. 

For assistance, contact the Customer Call Center.

How do I cancel or re-schedule an inspection?

To cancel or re-schedule an inspection, please contact our Customer Call Center through the following numbers: 3-1-1 or (866) 4LA-CITY / (866) 452-2489 within Los Angeles County. If you are outside Los Angeles County, you may call (213) 473-3231.

When calling, you will need to know the permit number and the site address.

How long do I have to obtain a plumbing permit once work has commenced in order to avoid any LADBS fines?

You have until 12:00 noon of the third day that the office of LADBS is open for public business.

What is Extra Inspection Trip Payment?

"Extra Inspection Trip Payment" is a service offered by LADBS to provide its customers the capability to pay extra inspection trip fees via the e-Permit system, when an inspection is scheduled but cannot be performed due to customer error.

See more information on Extra Inspection Trips.

What do I need at the time of inspection?

At the time of inspection, make sure the following are available on-site: 

  • A copy of the permit
  • Approved plans if plan review was required
  • The Building Card issued at the time of permit issuance (this is applicable to Building Permits only)
  •  Any equipment needed to do the inspection, such as a ladder.

I get an error message when I try to request my fire sprinkler, elevator, or pressure vessel inspections. Can I use the internet to request these types of inspection?

No. You must contact the inspector directly to request these types of inspections. You may obtain the inspector’s telephone number by contacting the Customer Call Center at 311 during business hours (8:00 am to 4:45 pm).

I get an error message when I enter the permit number which is not a Fire Sprinkler, Elevator, or Pressure Vessel Permit. Why can't I request an inspection?

There are three reasons why you might get this error:

  1. You may not have a valid permit number
  2. Your permit number is correct but the permit has not been issued
  3. A ‘hold’ has been placed on the permit.
If you know your permit number is correct and feel that you should be able to request an inspection and are unable to do so, please contact the Customer Call Center for assistance.

What is the Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy is issued pursuant to a building permit for new construction, additions, and changes of occupancy after all the necessary construction has been approved by the inspector. It is evidence that the Department of Building and Safety has determined that the construction was done according to the requirements of the code for the given occupancy to be housed in the building.

Code Enforcement

What is LADBS Code Enforcement?

The aim of LADBS Code Enforcement is to preserve and enhance the safety, appearance and economic stability of our community through the diligent enforcement of applicable ordinances and land use regulations. It maintains Los Angeles Municipal Codes (LAMC) by issuing an Order to Comply (OTC) to the property owner and any other person in control of a property who violates or causes or permits another person to violate any provision or requirement of the LAMC.

The OTC is essentially a warning letter with a time frame for voluntary compliance. The OTC describes the violation(s), instructions to remedy the violation(s) and warnings of possible penalty fees and criminal prosecution. Violation of the LAMC is a misdemeanor and code enforcement cases must therefore be prepared for the possibility of being resolved in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Read more about LADBS Code Enforcement.

How do I report a problem in my neighborhood?

Building and Safety addresses issues for single-family residential, commercial, industrial and vacant buildings inside the City of Los Angeles. You can report a code violation online, or call 3-1-1 to request an investigation.

What do I do if I receive an Order To Comply?

When you receive an Order To Comply (OTC) stating that your property violates Code, read the order carefully to identify which items:

  • require a permit
  • find contact information for the inspector or supervisor
  • determine what fees maybe applied and penalties if not paid on time
  • determine appeal procedures

The current property owner is responsible for complying with the Order, even if previous owners or tenants have performed the un-permitted work or created the violation.

Refer to the Obtaining Permits to Resolve Orders (.pdf) information bulletin for more detail.

What do I do if I receive an Order To Comply in error?

There could be many reasons why you received an Order To Comply. Do not dismiss it as an error. 

Contact the issuing Inspector so the necessary corrections can be completed, if needed. This helps avoid future fees and enforcement.

What do I do once I comply with the Order To Comply?

Call the Inspector immediately to schedule an inspection to avoid any non-compliance fees.

What if I disagree with the violations on the Order To Comply?

If you disagree on how the code is being applied to your specific situation, discuss the matter with the Inspector or the Inspector's immediate supervisor.

If the issue is not resolved, you have the right to Appeal to the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners. Further information on Appeal rights are on the Order.

How do I pay a code enforcement fee?

Building and Safety's Financial Services section should have sent an invoice to the person(s) responsible for the fee. If you believe you have fees due, contact the Inspector or the Inspector's supervisor for confirmation.

What do I do when I receive a non-compliance warning letter?

The letter is sent out as a reminder that the recipient of the order is required to comply with the violations, and to call the Inspector for an inspection before the compliance date on the letter. 

If you can not comply by the date, call the Inspector for further options specific to your situation.

What do I do if I cannot finish the work before the compliance date?

Several options are available. Talk to your Inspector to determine the best option for your particular situation.

How do I see what is happening to a property I reported?

You can review the past and present activity on a particular property with our free online Permit and Inspection Report. It shows both Permit activity and Code Enforcement activity.

Zoning

What is the Zoning Code Manual?

The Zoning Code Manual and Commentary PDF is an interpretation of the Zoning code. It is a useful tool to answer more specific questions regarding Zoning.

How big, and how high, can I build my house or room addition?

The requirements are different depending on factors such as the zone of the lot and its location. For example, lots in hillside areas are subject to different regulations when compared to the flat areas of the City. Moreover, there are certain ordinances that designate Specific Plan areas in the City that have their own set of requirements. Please visit a Concierge Desk, visit an LADBS location, or call 3-1-1 for more assistance.

How can I determine what the zone of my property is?

Zoning Information for a particular property can be obtained by:

What is a prevailing setback?

A prevailing setback is a calculation used to determine minimum distance construction can be from the front property line. An online Prevailing Setback Calculator is provided to assist in determining this complex calculation.

Data & Records

How do I get official LADBS property records?

Many building records can be researched online.

You may also obtain copies of these documents in person at our following locations:

Downtown LA - Metro
201 N. Figueroa St.
1st Floor, Room 110
Van Nuys
6262 Van Nuys Blvd
2nd Floor, Room 251
You may find it saves time to fill out the Research Request Form (.pdf) before visiting an LADBS office.

 

By Mail

The Metro and Van Nuys offices accept requests for records (Research Request Form (.pdf)) by fax and/or mail. (Please allow 7 - 15 working days for processing). The following mailing addresses are:

Downtown LA - Metro

Department of Building and Safety
Building Records Section
201 N. Figueroa St
1st Floor, Room 110
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax # (213) 482-6862

Van Nuys


Department of Building and Safety
Building Records Section
6262 Van Nuys Blvd
2nd Floor, Room 251
Van Nuys, CA 91401

Fax # (818) 374-5013


The Metro and Van Nuys offices also provide training for individuals who wish to learn how to research for high volume jobs.

To schedule for training at the Metro office on Tuesday only, please call (213) 482-6899 or at the Van Nuys office on Wednesday only, please call (818) 374-4390.

How do I make a request for LADBS permit data & records?

Find all the forms to make a data request here.

The areas that provide records include the Plan Check and Inspection System (PCIS) and Code Enforcement Information System (CEIS).

The forms package includes:

  • Request to Purchase PCIS/CofO/CEIS Data
  • Instructions for Obtaining PCIS/CofO/CEIS data
  • Record layout for Building Permit data from PCIS
  • Record Layout for Building Permit Data with CofO Data from PCIS
  • Record Layout for Mechanical and Electrical Permit Data from PCIS
  • Record Layout for Code Enforcement Cases from CEIS
  • Record Layout for Customer Service Request from CEIS
  • Refunds

    What form do I use for refunds?

    Claim for Refunds must be prepared on the Department of Building and Safety Claim for Refund form (.pdf). You may also use the "City of Los Angeles Claim For Refund" form (Form Gen 64).

    What do I need to attach to my refund?

    You will need to attach your original cash register receipt and your application or permit copy containing the original cash register validation. If you do not attach your original receipt and application or permit, an affidavit stating why you cannot submit the originals, signed by you and notarized, will be accepted. However, if you submit an affidavit in lieu of receipts, you will also be required to submit a copy, front and back of your canceled check or other proof of payment. Your claim will NOT be processed without these documents.

    Where do I file the refund?

    Your completed refund form and attached documents can be filed at any Office of the City Clerk or mailed to:

    City Clerk
    Room 395, City Hall
    200 N. Spring St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012-4869

    You may also submit your refund form at any Department of Building & Safety cashier counter.  The cashier will then forward the claim to the City Clerk's Office.

    How long do I have to file a claim?

    A claim for refund of fees paid to the Department of Building and Safety must be filed:

    1. Within one year from the date of payment of the fee (L.A.M.C. Section 22.12 & 22.13)
    2. Within one year from the date of expiration of extensions on building or grading permits granted by the Department of Building and Safety (L.A.M.C. Section 98.0420).

    What will be refunded?

    Refunds will be made on fees where no work has been performed for which the fee, application, permit or appeal was required, provided that the City has not made any physical inspection or review or conducted any hearing, conducted any test, or done any similar work. Under these conditions, 80% of the fees paid will be refunded (20% is retained to cover clerical and administrative costs).

    If a valuation on a building permit was reduced, 100% of the difference will be refunded.

    If a Department of Building & Safety error was made in issuing the application, 100% of the fees paid will be refunded.

    What happens to my refund claim?

    1. The City Clerk's office will assign a number, date stamp and log in your claim. They will then send it to Building and Safety, Financial Services for review.
    2. Financial Services staff will also log it in. The refund will be forwarded to the applicable division for refund recommendation. For example, if the refund is for a building permit, requests will be sent to our Plan Check Engineers and our Building Inspectors. Our Department staff will review the refund requests and make appropriate recommendations. These recommendations will be sent back to Financial Services.
    3. Financial Services staff will complete the audit on the claim, make the necessary calculations and set up either the refund or the denial letter. When completed, the refund or denial letter will be mailed to the claimant.

    Board of Building & Safety Commissioners (BBSC)

    What is the Board of Building & Safety Commission (BBSC)?

    The BBSC consists of five citizens appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The BBSC is granted the authority, by the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) and by the City Charter, to hear many kinds of appeals related to Building ordinances.

    Read more about the BBSC.

    What types of appeals does the BBSC have authority to rule on?

    The BBSC is granted the authority by the Code and by the City Charter, to hear many kinds of appeals, including but not limited to the following:

    • Appeals of the Department’s action regarding requests for slight modifications of the Building Ordinances and/or Code Violation Inspection Fee Ordinances, pursuant to the authority described in LAMC Section 98.0403.1(b) 1.
    • Appeals from determinations, orders or actions of the Department pertaining to enforcement of specific ordinances, regulations or laws in individual cases, pursuant to LAMC Section 98.0403.1(b) 2 (i.e. error and abuse, except land use issues)
    • Applications for import/export of soil pursuant to LAMC Section 91.7006.7.4.
    • "Quasi-Judicial" proceedings pursuant to Division 89 of the LAMC (NOID, PNH)
    • Adoption of Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, HVAC, etc Ordinances
    • The BBSC does not hear cases related to land use ordinances. These cases shall be heard by the Department of City Planning in accordance with Section 12.26K of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.
    Read more about the BBSC appeals process.

    How much does it cost to file an Appeal/Application with the BBSC?

    1. The Appeal processing Fee is $130.00 for the first item plus $39.00 for each additional item and a 6% surcharge. Additional fees may be added for research ($104.00/hour) and inspection ($84.00/hour).

      Board Fee is based on Table 4-A (found in LAMC Section 98.0403.2) (see Table 4-A below). The cost to file the appeal consists of the appeal processing fee and the Board fee combined.

      Applications for import/export have a filing fee of $529.00 for the first 1000 cubic yards and $100.00 additional for each 1000 cubic yards or portion of 1000 cubic yards, plus surcharges (17% + $10.00).
    2. Department of City Planning Case applications have an Appeal processing fee of $130.00 with a 6% surcharge. Additional fees may be added for research ($104.00/hour) and inspection ($84.00/hour).
    Table 4-A
     FILING FEES * FOR APPEALS
     FIRST ITEM FOR SINGLE BUILDING TYPE OF BUILDING **
     GROUP OCCUPANCY  V IV and II-N  III  I and II EXCEPT II-N   Each Additional Item
     R-3 and U  $215  $215  $215  $215  $76
     A,B,E,F,H,I,M,S and R-1 and R-2  $354  $354  $354  $632  $215
     All other filing fees not covered in the above schedule including appeals   pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 12.26, shall be $500.00 for the first item and $150.00 for each additional item.

    When will my appeal be heard?

    Generally, an appeal to the BBSC is scheduled for a hearing date within thirty days of receipt of the appeal to the BBSC. This time period will be extended in cases that require additional documentation and/or research. In the case of import/export applications, the scheduled hearing date is contingent upon receipt of the appropriate environmental clearance from the Department of City Planning (i.e. Categorical Exemption, Mitigated Negative Declaration, or Environmental Impact Report) AND responses from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works. 

    How will I know that my case is on the BBSC agenda?

    Notices for all cases on an upcoming hearing are mailed out to interested parties and/or the owner approximately ten days prior to the date of the hearing. For more information regarding a specific application or appeal, contact the Commission Office at (213) 482-0466.

    Also, you may refer to Import/Export Route (Haul Route) Requests Status Table (.pdf) for the status of Import/Export (Haul Route) cases submitted to the Department.

    The Department of Building and Safety sent me a Notice of Hearing regarding someone else's property. Why did I receive this?

    LAMC requires that notices are sent to other property owners that may be affected by the request when an appeal request is submitted to the BBSC. You may attend the hearing and are allowed to speak on any case on the agenda, by completing a speaker card on the day of the hearing. 

    Can I speak before the BBSC on an item that is not on the agenda?

    Members of the public may address the BBSC during the appropriate time scheduled on the agenda (usually at the end of the hearing); however, the BBSC will not take any action on an item that is not on the current agenda.

    How do I appeal a BBSC decision regarding an Import/Export Application?

    Whenever an application for import/export is approved by the BBSC, any interested party may appeal the decision to the City Council within ten calendar days of the Board’s action. The appeal must be filed at the Office of City Clerk any time prior to 5:00 p.m. on the final day of the ten day appeal period. 

    When does my approved Import/Export Application expire? Can I get an extension?

    An import/export approval is valid for twelve months from the date of the Board’s action. The BBSC does not grant extensions on import/export applications. If you fail to obtain your grading permit within the twelve-month period, the application will expire and a new application must be submitted to the Commission Office to be heard before the BBSC. 

    Building Product Review (Testing Agency)

    Can I use testing conducted within our testing facility (in-house testing agency)?

    For General Approval – City of Los Angeles only:

    Testing must be witnessed by a Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS)-approved testing agency independent of the Company. The approved testing agency must request a Los Angeles City Research Report and will also issue the test report. The approved testing agency must approve the testing facility where the testing occurs as meeting the requirements as specified in Rules and Regulations for Recognition of Testing Agencies (.pdf).

    For Research Reports based on an evaluation report from a nationally recognized model code agency:

    The testing must be conducted under the supervision of an approved testing agency and the approved testing agency will issue the test report. The approved testing agency shall take necessary steps to ensure that the integrity and condition of the test specimens is maintained and that the test specimens have not been altered during periods when a laboratory representative is not present. Also, the manufacturer’s testing facility shall show, to the satisfaction of the approved testing agency, that it meets the requirements for an approved testing agency.

    What is a one-time approval & how do I apply for one?

    A "one -time approval" is granted to a material/product that will be used only for a project-specific case and allowed to be used only once. 

    Section II of Alternate Building Materials Products Approval Requirements (IB-P-BC2014-119) (.pdf) describes the procedure for obtaining a one-time approval. An Application for New General Approval along with substantiating data and application fee must be submitted to the Building Research Section prior to considering a One-Time Approval by LADBS. 

    The fee for a One-Time Approval is $174.90, plus $110.24 per hour spent to review the alternate material or product and substantiating data with a two-hour minimum fee (total fee of $395.38).

    What is the process to obtain a Los Angeles City Research Report for my product?

    It takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks to complete the evaluation of the product information and issue a Research Report Approval Letter from the date the application for new research report is received.

    The process to obtain a Los Angeles City Research Report consists of the following steps:

    1. Submit the following information to the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety Permit and Engineering Bureau:
      1. Product literature describing how your product is to be used
      2. Substantiating data (i.e. test reports by approved 3rd party testing agency, engineering analysis)
      3. A completed application form for new LARR
      4. A check in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank.
    2. Once this information is received, your application package will be reviewed for completeness. If any deficiencies are determined, a letter will be sent to the applicant stating the deficiencies requiring correction.
    3. After determining the application package is complete, the application will be logged in and assigned a log number and placed in line for review. It takes approximately 5 weeks for your application to be assigned to one of our engineers.
    4. The substantiating data submitted will be evaluated to determine if it is at least the equivalent of the prescribed device, material, or method of construction specified by the Los Angeles City Building Code in terms of quality, effective time period of fire resistance, strength, effectiveness, durability, and safety.
    5. After reviewing the substantiating data, the research engineer assigned to the application will write a letter stating their comments and the information needed to complete the evaluation, if necessary.
    6. Upon resolution of all comments, a draft copy of the Los Angeles City Research Report will be written. The draft copy of the Research Report will be e-mailed to the applicant for their review and comments.
    7. After all comments from the applicant have been resolved, the Research Report will be submitted to the Chief of the Permit and Engineering Bureau for final review and approval. A signed copy of the Los Angeles City Research Report will be mailed to the applicant and will also be posted on the LADBS website.

    How do I obtain an application form for a Los Angeles City Research Report?

    The application form for a Los Angeles City Research Report is available here, as an "Application for New General Approval or Technical Modification."

    How long does it take to obtain a Los Angeles City Research Report? Can the process be expedited?

    It takes approximately 5 weeks for your application to be assigned to one of our engineers and an additional 3-5 weeks for the evaluation to be completed, a draft copy of the research report to be written, and the final copy of the research report signed. 

    If the substantiating data is incomplete, such as missing test reports, testing not conducted by an approved testing agency, incomplete or missing engineering calculations, etc, the time to obtain a Los Angeles City Research Report may take longer. 

    Expedite report review is available pursuant to section 98.0422 of the Los Angeles City Municipal Code. The amount of the fee for this service is in addition to the normal review fee and is equal to one-half of the review fee. The expedite service will reduce the time to assign your application from approximately 5 weeks to 2 weeks and will reduce the review period from 3-5-weeks to 3 weeks.

    How can I renew my Los Angeles City Research Report?

    Complete the Application for Renewal and Clerical Modification of General Approval form (pdf)

    The fee for renewal (without modifications) is $3,118.52 for City of Los Angeles Only Report and $959.30 for Los Angeles City Research Report based on the  nationally recognized model code Agency evaluation report. 

    The Report is approved for two years beyond the expiration date listed on the expiring Research Report.

    I have an additional product I want to add to my LA City Research Report, and I also need to renew my current LARR. What is the process?

    The fees for a Technical Modification and Renewal are $4,718.06 for City of Los Angeles Only Report, and $2,878.96 for Los Angeles City Research Report, based on nationally recognized model code Agency evaluation report.

    Two forms also must be completed:

    The Report is approved for two years beyond the expiration date listed on the expiring Research Report.

    Can I still use a research report which was based on the 2008 Los Angeles City Building Code (LABC)?

    A Research Report based on the 2008 Los Angeles City Building Code (LABC) may only be used for projects allowed to be designed under the 2008 LABC. 

    Any new project submitted after January 1, 2011 must be designed under the 2011 LABC and would not be allowed to use products approved by Research Report based on the 2008 LABC.

    Is my current Los Angeles City Research Report approved for the 2011 Los Angeles City Building Code (LABC)?

    If you have a Los Angeles City Research Report (LARR) based on a Nationally-Recognized Model Code Agency, the Evaluation Report attached to the LARR must include the 2009 International Building Code listed under the section, Evaluation Scope, “Compliance to the following codes” to be used with the 2011 Los Angeles City Building Code. 

    LARR based on an Evaluation Report which list 2006 International Building Code (IBC) and which does not include 2009 IBC may be used only for projects permitted with the 2008 LABC.

    Who are the nationally-recognized model code agencies accepted by the LADBS Engineering Research Section?

    Los Angeles City research reports are allowed to be based on an evaluation report from a nationally recognized model code organization. 

    Alternate Building Materials Products Approval Requirements (.pdf) specifies the qualifications necessary for nationally recognized model code agencies to meet, for their evaluation reports to be used as a basis for a Los Angeles City Research Report.

    Currently, evaluation reports from The International Code Council, Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) and The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Evaluation Service (IAPMO ES) may be used as a basis for a Los Angeles City Research Report.

    Who can apply for a Los Angeles City Research Report?

    The company who has the legal rights to all testing used to substantiate the product and the legal rights to the product to be approved. Tests shall bear the name of the applicant, unless a release letter accompanies the test report(s).

    What is the difference between a research report with a code date of 2002, 2008 and code date of 2011 LABC?

    The Code Date stated on a Research Report (upper right corner on 1st page of Research Report) identifies which Los Angeles City Building Code (LABC) the product covered in the research report is approved for. 

    Projects submitted to plan check prior to January 1, 2008 may be allowed to use the 2002 LABC. 

    Projects submitted to plan check between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010 must use the 2008 LABC. 

    Projects submitted to plan check after January 1, 2011 must use the 2011 LABC.