Filing Applications


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). 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.



Step 1: 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
  • PW1 Form (attach Schedules A, B, and C if necessary)
  • 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 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 the Required Items Page.

    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 (PE) and Registered Architects (RA) 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 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 thirty-five dollars ($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.


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