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How to Obtain a Construction Permit in NYC - New York City

Updated: Feb 28, 2023




There are many permit types, such as construction, boiler, elevator and plumbing. The primary permit applications are: New Building (NB), Alteration-CO (Alt-CO), and Alteration (Alt):

  • NB: construction of new structures

  • Alt-CO: construction of a new structure or major alteration that will change the use, egress or occupancy of a building

  • Alt: multiple types of work that do not change the use, egress or occupancy of the building

The majority of construction requires a Department of Buildings permit. A New York State Registered Design Professional (RDP) – licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) – must file the construction plans. Your RDP, known as the Applicant-of-Record, is responsible for submitting the application, drawings and other required documents to the Department. A Department plan examiner will review the plans for any legal/zoning objections. When objections are satisfied, the Department will approve the application.

NOTE: The Department of Buildings offers a Professional Certification Program that enables RDPs 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 but are subject to audit.

Most permits are obtained through DOB NOW: Build, a self-service online tool to do business with the Department. During the transition of all permit applications to the DOB NOW system, permit renewals for jobs in the Buildings Information System (BIS) and some applications such as green roof and solar remain in the eFiling system.

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