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Building Department

Electronic Permitting


Effective 3/16/2020, as a result of the City Hall closure in response to the COVID-19 Virus, all new plan checks & permits will be required to be submitted and issued electronically. Please refer to our Electronic Permitting page for information on how to submit electronically.

For projects submitted into plan check prior to 3/16/2020, the review of hard copy plans will continue. Existing hard copy plan resubmittals and revisions may be dropped off only on Mondays and Wednesdays before 5pm in the Plan Drop Off Bin located outside the main entrance to City Hall. No appointment is necessary to drop off plans in the bin. In order to allow a 48-hour plan hold, plans dropped off on Monday will be retrieved from the bin on Wednesday and plans dropped off on Wednesday will be retrieved from the bin on Friday. All hard copy resubmittals must be returned with the correct number of plan sets, including all redlines/old plan sets in order to be accepted for review. Revisions  to issued permits must be dropped off with a revision application and 3 stapled sets of only the affected sheets clouded. 

Per the County of Orange Health Care Officer's recommendation issued April 9, it is strongly encouraged that a face covering is worn when dropping off or picking up hard copy plans at City Hall.

Applicants will be notified by staff via email when plans return with corrections or approved plans are ready for pick-up. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact staff by phone (949) 443-6347 or email



New Project (Electronic) Submittal Process:

Please read the following instructions and gather all documents required for submittal. Please do not send plans until your application has been accepted. Once your application has been accepted you will be assigned a permit number along with instructions on how to properly format and label your PDF for electronic review.  Submittals that do not follow the instructions will be rejected.

1.  Submit all documents listed below via email to

  • Building Permit Application - (Please complete the application in it’s entirety to ensure that your permit is processed in a timely manner. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for completion and will require a re-submittal. Be sure to include heights, square footages, quantities and dimensions of all structures and areas. Please click on the following link to see an attached sample permit application.)
  • Contractor's State License Board (CSLB) Pocket Card Image
  • Workers Compensation Insurance Certificate
  • Letter of Authorization (On letterhead and notarized)
  • City of San Juan Capistrano City Business License Number
  • OCFA Commercial or Residential Screening Checklist 
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) Approval Letter
    • Required for all exterior work including but not limited to all Backyard Improvements, Patios, BBQ's, Firepits, Exterior Structures and Sheds, Additions, Door/Window Replacements, and Roofing Projects.
  • Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Plan


2.  The City will review your submitted application for accuracy and thoroughness.  Incomplete permit submittals will be returned to the applicant for additional information.

3.  Once an application has been accepted as complete, the applicant will be contacted with instructions on how to submit electronic plans for review.

4.  Payment - An invoice along with payment instructions will be emailed to the applicant by the City. Plan check/permit fees must be made by credit card with payment information taken over the phone.

  • Credit Card transactions have a maximum limit of $5000, in the event this is an issue please contact the Building Department for assistance.
  • Payments may also be made by check via the City's Drop Box (located in the front of City Hall).  Checks must be placed in a sealed envelope along with a copy of the invoice and labeled with the permit number. Once payment has been hand delivered to the City's Drop Box please call 949-493-1515 to inform the Finance Department that the payment was delivered.
  • Payments by mail will not be accepted.

5.  After payment is received, the City will provide target dates for projects under review or electronic permits/job cards for approved permits.

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