How To File


New York City laws require that one or more permits be obtained before starting construction work (refer to NYC Building Code §27-126 for work that requires a permit). Some application can be submitted at a borough office. However, there are some job filings that must be submitted online in DOB NOW: Build.

This diagram below describes the general process at the Department of Buildings for filing an application and obtaining a permit for jobs that are not Professionally Certified.



Step1: Applicant pre-files application in a borough office

  • Applicant meets with Department pre-filer and submits three (3) copies of each of the following to pre-filer.
  • Complete set of drawings, including energy calculations.
  • Asbestos Forms
  • Pre-filer checks for completeness, estimates cost and determines job type.
  • Pre-filer enters basic job information into Buildings Information System (BIS), assesses fee and assigns a BIS Job Number to the application.

Note: When the pre-filing phase is completed the application folder is given back to the applicant. Applicant will bring the application folder to the cashier when ready to pay the fee.


Step 2: Applicant Goes to Cashier and pays the fee

  • Applicant submits the application folder to the cashier and pays the fee.
  • Cashier transfers the folder to the DEAR section.


Step 3: Department data enters application details

  • DEAR checks the application information for completeness.
  • DEAR data enters details of the application.
  • DEAR transfers application folder to Plan Examiner.
Tip: Applicant can use the BIS Job# assigned at the pre-filing time to check BIS-on-the-WEB for current application status ‘Building Information Search’ any time during the entire process


Step 4: Department reviews application plan

  • A Plan Examiner reviews the plan for compliance with one of the requirements below:

    • Directive 14 requirements: zoning (use), egress and LL58/87 (disability) only.
    • Directive 2 requirements:

      • Egress (Building Code)
      • Fire Protection (Building Code)
      • Multiple Dwelling Law
      • Housing Maintenance Code
  • During the review, the Plan Examiner data enters into BIS any required items needed for the construction work being described. Refer to Required Items.

Note: Sprinkler applications are filed under Directive 14s but receive a Directive 2 review in that, the water supply is checked for compliance with the Building Code.

If the plan is approved

  • Plan Examiner stamps and signs the three complete sets of approved plans and other appropriate paperwork.
  • Plan Examiner data enters approval status into BIS.
  • Applicant is given the approved application (drawings and forms) to be perforated at the Record Room or other area designated by the borough.

If the plan is disapproved

  • An objection sheet will be completed by the Plan Examiner and emailed to the applicant (or mailed when email address is not available), informing applicant of areas that do not conform to applicable laws.
  • Plan Examiner data enters disapproval status into BIS.
  • Applicant calls 311 to make an appointment to resolve the objections.
  • The process described above may be repeated until all objections are resolved and the plan is approved.

Note: If changes need to be made to plan after the plan is approved, the applicant may be required to file a Post Approval Amendment (PAA).

Note: Buildings Department offers a Professional Certification Program which enables Professional Engineers (P.E.) and Registered Architects (R.A.) to certify that the plans they are filing with the Department are in compliance with applicable laws. Plans that are professionally certified do not go through plan review.


Step 5: Department perforates the plan

  • Applicant brings the folder to Record Room
  • Record Room clerk perforates the plans and forms and returns them to the applicant
  • Applicant is required to microfilm the approved application (plans and forms) and deliver them to the Record Room before obtaining a permit
  • Record Room clerk files the microfilm and stamps the folder and returns it to the applicant. Application is now ready for permit


Step 6: Applicant obtains permit

  • Applicant submits to the permit clerk the approved folder with a stamp indicating that microfilm has been received, along with the
    documents below:
    • PW2 Form, signed and notarized by contractor. If licensee, seal is required in lieu of notarization
    • PW3 Form (cost affidavit), signed by contractor and notarized. If licensee, sign and seal
    • A check for $35.00 (final microfilming fee)
  • Permit clerk checks for fees due and valid insurance prior to producing the permit
    • Any fees due, including balances and civil penalties for work without a permit, must be paid prior to permit issuance
    • Appropriate insurance must be held by all potential permittees unless the permittee is a homeowner who will be performing the work himself on his own home. In that case, a waiver from Worker’s Compensation Board must be submitted.
  • The permit is generated and the permit clerk enters the permit issuance date in BIS.
  • The application folder is retained by the permit clerk and sent to the Record Room for filing.

Step 7: Post Permit Activities

Some applications require a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy, and others should simply be signed off when the work has been completed.


Submitting a Job Filing and Obtaining a Permit in DOB NOW: Build

DOB NOW is an interactive, web-based portal that enables building owners, design professionals, filing representatives, and licensees to do all business with DOB online. One of the benefits of filing online is that you can file from your computer and do not have to come to DOB.

This diagram and the steps below describe the general process at the Department of Buildings for filing an application in DOB NOW: Build and obtaining a permit for jobs that are not Professionally Certified.


DOB NOW: Build Filing Steps


Step 0: Register for eFiling

  • All stakeholders associated to the filing must register for eFiling before logging into DOB NOW: Build

Step 1: Log In to DOB NOW: Build

  • Use the log in information that is registered in eFiling to log into DOB NOW: Build.

Step 2: Initiate Job Filing

  • Log into DOB NOW: Build and data enter job filing information.
  • System generates job filing number

Step 3: Upload Required Documents

  • Upload a PDF of the plan sets.
  • Upload DPL1 document.
  • The system will determine if additional documents are required based on the information that is data entered on the job filing.

Step 5: Obtain Attestation

  • Applicant, owners and other stakeholders must electronically sign the job filing.

Step 4: Submit payment

  • Payments will be made online using a credit card, debit card or e-check.
  • Anyone associated to a job filing can submit a payment.

Step 6: Preview to File

  • Applicant must review the filing and provide a final electronic signature.

Step 7: Submit Job Filing

  • Applicant must officially electronically submit the job filing to the Department.

Step 8: Department Review and Approval

  • Department staff will review the job filing.
  • If objections are issued, the applicant will be able to make corrections in the system and resubmit.
  • If a meeting is required to resolve objections, meetings will be conducted online.
  • The system will send email notification to all associated stakeholder listed on the job filing once the Department has approved the job filing.

Step 9: Enter and Submit Permit Request

  • Permit request must be submitted online.
  • Data enter all required information.
  • All required stakeholders must provide electronically signature.
  • Resolve any civil penalties for work without a permit prior to submittal.
  • Submit the permit request electronically to the Department.

Step 10: Department Review and Approval

  • Department staff will review the permit request.
  • System will notify associated stakeholders if there are any objections to the request that will need to be resolved.
  • Applicant or contractor will be able to resolve any issues regarding the permit request in the system and resubmit.
  • The system will send email notification to all associated stakeholder listed on the job filing once the permit is issued.

Step 11: Print Permit

  • Associated stakeholders can log into DOB NOW: Build to print the permit.
  • Anyone can print a copy of the permit on the Industry Portal.  

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