Last Updated: 2017-07-31

Richmond VA > Planning and Development Review > Permits and Inspections Bureau

Last Updated: 2019-10-30

The City of Richmond is pleased to announce the launch of our NEW
Online Permit Portal (OPP),
providing our customers the ability to apply for certain Permits from
their office or home without coming into City Hall.
More information about the Online Permit Portal can be found on the
OPP web page
Customers who have already registered and are familiar with the portal,
click on the Online Permit Portal to get started.

Customers can now submit applications for the following plan types using
the portal:
Residential trades (Electrical, Gas Piping, Mechanical, Plumbing),
Certificate of Zoning Compliance and Plan of Development.
Customer information sessions are being held to assist customers with registering and using the portal, Email for more information.
Customers will need to register online before applying for a permit through the portal.

The Permit Center of the City of Richmond (Room 110 of City Hall) has new office hours.

We are now open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Visitors conducting business in the Permits and Inspections office (room 110 of City Hall) will receive one or two hour parking validation when they use the Standard Parking Deck located on Marshall Street between 6th and 7th Streets.

News Regarding EnerGov

    We are ONLY accepting PDF plans submittals on thumb drives or CDs.
    We are NO longer accepting paper plan submissions.
    Please bring your plans to us on a thumb drive when you come in to apply for a
    permit and we’ll upload it onto our system.
    Doing so will save you time, money, and provide for enhanced plan review.

The Bureau of Permits and Inspections reviews applications and construction documents for the construction, alterations and improvements to all new and existing structures in the city of Richmond. After permits are issued, the bureau inspects the work at specific stages through the completion of the job. This process is to ensure the life safety and code compliance of buildings. The process provides safe buildings for citizens, whether they live in, work or are visiting the city of Richmond.

Our staff and department is dedicated to helping you build a better, code-compliant city of Richmond.

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Building Permit Process

A building permit must be obtained prior to commencing any new construction or alterations to a building. In the city of Richmond, a building permit only covers the building and structural portion of a project. The permit is only reviewed for compliance with the building code. Any electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work for a project will be done under a separate trade permit. Reviews for code-compliance will be done as those permits are submitted.

Building permits are typically reviewed by multiple agencies. In addition to the Building Code review, permits may be forwarded to some or all of the following departments.

These agencies would review a specific aspect of the proposed construction to verify compliance with their regulations.

Building Codes for Richmond, Virginia
(Adoption Date: July 14, 2014)

One and Two Family Building Codes

Codes Document Year
Elevator Code ASME17.1 2010
International Residential Building Code Virginia Edition 2012
Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code Virginia Edition 2012

Commercial Building Codes

Accessible and Useable Buildings and Facilities ANSI A117.1 2009
Elevator Code ASME17.1 2010
Fire Sprinkler Code 2010
Flood Resistant Design and Construction ASCE 24-05 2005
International Building Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Energy Conservation Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Fire Prevention Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Fuel Gas Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Mechanical Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Plumbing Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Property Maintenance Code Virginia Edition 2012
International Rehabilitation Code Virginia Edition 2012
National Electrical Code 2011
National Fire Alarm Code 2010
Standard for Single & Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms UL2034 2008 with revisions through February 2009
Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code 2012

Structural Design Requirements

The following are Structural Design Requirements specific to Richmond, Virginia

  • Frost Depth - 18 inches
  • Design Wind Speed - 90 mph, 3-second gust
  • Ultimate Design Wind Speed For Risk
    • Category I Buildings - 105 mph
    • Category II Buildings - 115 mph
    • Category III & IV Buildings - 120 mph
  • Snow Load - 20 psf
  • Seismic Design Category - B

Construction Document Submission Requirements

Submitting a Building Permit

There are a number of ways to submit for a building permit, such as in person or by mail. If submitting your application by mail, please include a completed application, construction documents, and payment. You may not submit your request by fax if the permit requires plans. Be sure to include a Credit Card Payment Form along with your completed Permit Application.

You can bring in your completed application, construction documents, and payment. Contractors should have copies of their contractor's license and business license.

Bureau of Permits and Inspections City Hall, Room 110
900 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Fax: (804)646-1569

You will need a city of Richmond Business License if the value of the work is more than $25,000 or if the total value from permits exceeds $25,000 during the calendar year.

Checking Permit Status

The easiest way to check the status of a permit is through the city's Permit Web Inquiry System. When you arrive at the main screen choose "Search Existing Permits". You can look up permits by the permit number, address, contractor's license number or city tax parcel id number. When you have selected a permit choose "Permit Approvals". This will allow you to see what agencies are reviewing your permit, who the reviewers are and the status of their review. In most instances there will be a phone number for the reviewer so that you can contact them directly with any questions that you might have.

You can also check the status of a permit by calling the city's 311 Call Center. Your inquiry will be routed to the appropriate reviewer and they will contact you.

Policies and Procedures Handouts

NEW Policy for Inspections Involving Exposed, Energized Electrical Parts

As of March 1, 2015 City of Richmond Department of Building Inspection will require the installing electrician or qualified representative to be on site for the inspections listed below in order to de-energize, open and close the equipment for the inspection:

  • Release service change
  • Generators
  • Any inspections related to service equipment after the utility connection is complete

We encourage you to contact your inspector prior to 7:00 a.m. on the morning of your inspection to arrange a time to meet on site for the inspection. Or, when scheduling your inspection, you may request that the inspector give you a thirty (30) minute call ahead. Please contact George (Rick) Paul Electrical Inspections Supervisor, at (804) 646-6959 with any questions regarding this matter.


The city of Richmond has been recognized as a Silver designee by SolSmart, a national program to assist communities in fostering the growth of strong local solar markets by taking key steps to reduce barriers and make it faster, easier and less expensive to go solar. Find solar specific permit and zoning information.

Contact Information:

Permits and Inspections
  - Planning and
    Development Review
City of Richmond
900 E. Broad St., Room 110
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: (804)  646-4169
    Fax: (804)  646-1569

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If you have any questions, please call the City's Customer Care Center at 3-1-1 or (804) 646-7000

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