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Apply for and manage your permit

COVID-19 update: Development, Building, and Licensing 

November 19, 2021: Services Centre access is by appointment only. Walk-in service and drop-in appointments are not available. 

To help process your applications more quickly, we have moved to a digital approach for all applications, enquiries, and payments. 

Wearing a mask is required if you need to visit City, Park Board, and library facilities.

  • General enquiries: Phone 604-873-7611
  • Building, development, and application enquiries:
    • Use our online form and receive a tracking number, which you can use to get real-time status updates from 3-1-1.
    • We will aim to respond to all enquiries within 10 business days.

You may still need to submit physical drawings and plans for your project through our online form or email.

Vancouver Building By-law (VBBL) update

Effective January 1, 2022, there are updated requirements for one to three storey residential buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions for new low-rise homes.

Learn more about the Vancouver Building By-Law updates

Most construction projects will require you to have permits and other approvals before you can begin or manage any work that is underway.

Types of permits and approvals

Below is a list of the construction-related permits and approvals that are required depending on your project. 

New electronic applications

Our new electronic applications allows you to submit permit applications electronically and perform other functions digitally. Currently, some permits can be submitted online and may include the payment of fees. We’re working on adding more permits online over time. Please refer to your specific permit's steps for more information.

Learn more about submitting your permit application electronically

Getting construction approval

Building permit

Construction projects on private property will require a building permit to be issued before any work begins.

Development permit

Depending on your site's zoning regulations and proposal details, a development permit may be required in addition to a building permit.

Demolition permit

Demolishing a building in Vancouver often requires at least one permit. Find out the requirements for your project, including for reusing and recycling demolition materials.

Sewer and water commercial connection permit

A sewer and water connection permit allows you to connect your new commercial property with our water, sanitary, and stormwater sewer services.

Sign permit

Signs, including painted signs, require a permit under the Sign By-law. Read the requirements, view the by-law, and download the application.

Tree removal permit

The tree removal permit allows you to take out, move, or replace trees on your property. Review the steps to getting this permit.

Heat pumps

Get the necessary permits to install a heat pump to heat and cool your home or hot water.

Alternative solutions

Alternative solutions (“equivalencies”) allow for flexibility in building construction. Read the requirements, view the fees, and more.

Underground storage tank removal or abandonment permit

Underground storage tanks that haven't been used for two years must be removed. Find out the benefits of removing a UST, how to detect one on your property, and how to get a permit to remove it or safely abandon it in place.

Solar photovoltaic panels

Learn about the permit process to install solar photovoltaic panels on your home.

Artesian wells and aquifers

In some areas of south Vancouver, flowing artesian conditions require specific professional expertise. An October 2017 advisory from the Province of BC cautions that you and your contractors may risk flooding, damage, and expenses if you drill without due diligence.

Trade permits

Electrical permit

You will need an electrical permit to perform most electrical work except for replacing switches, bulbs, and making minor repairs to an installation covered by an existing annual electrical permit.

Fire sprinkler permit

You will need a fire sprinkler permit to install a new or make changes to an existing fire sprinkler system.

Plumbing and gas permits

You will need a plumbing permit and gas permit to install, change, or upgrade any part of a plumbing or gas system.

Managing and completing your project


Book or cancel an electrical, plumbing, building, fire sprinkler, gas, or sidewalk inspection for your construction or renovation project.

Occupancy permit

An occupancy permit is needed for most new buildings, and for some existing buildings. The permit confirms the building is safe and complies with bylaws and building codes.

Noise by-law exception permit

A noise bylaw exception permit allows construction outside of the specified hours. Download the form, view the bylaw, find the fees, and more.

Wastewater discharge permit (groundwater and contaminated sites)

This permit covers contaminated groundwater discharge during construction. Read the requirements, view the bylaw, download the application.

Operating permit

Operating permits help the City and health authorities track new and existing cooling towers, water features, and water systems.

Fire safety

Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe from a fire. Get prevention tips, apply for fire permits and inspections, fill out a fire safety plan, and find out what to do after a fire.

Fire hydrant use permit

If you need to use a fire hydrant for a specific purpose, such as construction or filming, you will need a fire hydrant use permit. Find out what other requirments you must meet.

Traffic management for construction and special events

Construction, film, and special event projects that use streets, laneways, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities are required to control traffic.

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre

Contact us online

Phone: 604-873-7611

Access to the Services Centre is by appointment only. Walk-in service and drop-in appointments are not available. 

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Transit nearby

  • Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station
  • 99 B-line, #15, and #9 buses

Have you submitted an application online?

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