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Getting Started

Customer Service

Welcome to the Permit Center where representatives from the Building Services, Planning and Public Works Departments are committed to providing you with excellent customer service at each and every visit. The Permit Center is located inside of City Hall and is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. New applications accepted until 4pm.

The Permit Center staff can help you identify what rules and zoning regulations apply to your property, assist you in applying for a land use or building permit or provide clarification on the building codes enforced by the City of Bellingham. If you need to apply for a fire operation or construction permit, or identify the fire and life safety rules that apply to your property, business or project contact the Fire Department Permit Counter or visit them at 1800 Broadway Street.

In addition to the Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Permit Experience (PDF), the answers to some frequently asked questions have been provided to assist in the successful completion of your project with the city.


Can I pay for my permit with a credit card?

Yes, the City of Bellingham now accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover credit/debit cards for permits up to $1500.00

Do I need a permit?

This How to know when you need a permit (PDF) document will provide you with guidelines to determine if the work you are performing within the city limits requires a permit or if it is exempt. 

Can I access permit applications on-line?

Applications and Forms - This web-page will provide you with the links to Building, Land-Use, Public Works, and Fire Department Applications and Forms

Can I submit my permit application via email?

The following types of permit applications are accepted via e-mail!
Please Note: For the purposes of permitting:
Simply email your permit application to

How much will my permit fees be?

The Permit Fees page will help calculate the estimated cost of your project's permits.

How long will I have to wait for my permit?

The review time for your application depends on the scope of work proposed. The Permit Timelines and Criteria (PDF) outlines thresholds for the different review timelines. 

Can I schedule an inspection or check my permit status online?

Yes, the Permit Status and Schedule Inspections web-page was created for this purpose.

Does my project qualify as a Subject-to-Field-Inspection permit?

Subject-to-Field-Inspection Permits (PDF) - This document explains which types of projects qualify as subject to field inspection permits.

What information is available about my property online?

City IQ is a great tool that allows you to look up your property's zoning, boundaries, utilities, easements and more.

How can I find out more about the periodic updates that take place at the Permit Center?

To receive information regarding code changes, new polices and programs and other announcements from the Permit Center you may subscribe to our Technical Assistance Bulletins (TABs).

M 7/23/2015

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