Permitting Process 101

The City of Irvine issues a variety of building and construction-related permits, with varying review processes and requirements. Some permits have a short review time, but all projects will require some type of review for conformance with established codes and standards (such as the California Building Code, fire and life safety standards, and planning and zoning requirements, among a variety of other disciplines).

Before starting your project, we recommend you review the list of items that do not require a building permit. Although these activities do not require a permit, many are still subject to other standards which you should be aware of before proceeding. For example, a residential fence of five feet in height does not require a building permit, but there are setback requirements which limit fence height in certain parts of a residential property. The construction must also conform to industry standards and code requirements. Please review the notes provided for each type of project to ensure you are aware of any special requirements.

The City of Irvine has digitized the permitting process, and all permit applications must now be submitted electronically. Training videos and detailed instructions are provided to guide you through this process.

Plans submitted in connection with a permit application will be reviewed by the City Plan Check staff for compliance with the provisions of all City adopted codes and regulations, and for compliance with the State mandated energy conservation standards and handicapped accessibility regulations. The permit application may be approved after the first review, or the permit applicant will receive a plan check correction list indicating all issues that need to be clarified or corrected before the plan can be processed for permit issuance. There are different timelines for different permits, depending on the complexity of the review process. For general timeframes, click here. Most fees are paid in advance. Review the City’s Fee Schedule to identify the types of fees that may apply to your project.

Typically, permits are pulled by a contractor or property owner. Contractors must be able to provide a copy of their City of Irvine business license, Contractors State Licensing Board Pocket Card, and Workers Compensation Certificate (or claim exempt).

For more information on the permitting process, please call 949-724-6313.

Related Links

Wet Signature Requirements on Plans 

Workers Compensation Requirements for Permit Issuance