How to Easily Apply for the City of San Jose Building Permits

How to Apply for the City of San Jose Building Permits in Minutes

Wondering where to get your San Jose building permit? If you've ever built a new structure in San Jose, then either you or your contractor had to secure a building permit before construction. California building codes require every structure to have a building permit for safety and urban planning reasons.

Getting a building permit can be a challenge. There are several procedures to be followed and every document and drawing needs approval from a different planning department before your permit can be approved. The processing period can take weeks and sometimes even months if your drawings have errors. DoNotPay can help reduce the hassle by helping you apply for your in minutes.

When Is a Building Permit Necessary in San Jose?

Almost all major building construction projects require a building permit before work begins. Here's a breakdown of what projects require :

  • New building construction, commercial or residential
  • Enlarging a building
  • Building alterations - changing interior walls, new wiring or plumbing, etc.
  • Major building repairs
  • Building improvement
  • Demolishing a building
  • Building extensions - floor and story extensions

Why Should You Get a Building Permit in San Jose?

Building permits serve a variety of purposes, the most important being to ensure the safety of construction workers and the inhabitants of the building. The law dictates that every building must have a building permit in order to ascertain building standards.

A building permit also serves the following purposes:

  • To Get Insurance for Your Building - Insurance companies don't cover structures that were built without a permit.
  • Easy Sale/Transfer of Property - One of the documents you need to provide when selling a building is the building permit. Without it, you may not be able to sell because financiers don't issue loans on structures built without a permit.
  • To Retain Your Property's Value - Even if you construct a building according to acceptable standards, without a building permit, there's no way to prove it. Your property may be valued for less under the assumption that it carries high risks.
  • To Avoid Penalties and Save Money - The penalties for constructing a building without a permit range from $75,000 or more. In addition, if the building inspector deems your building to be below regulatory standards, it may be demolished, costing you your investment.

How to Get a Building Permit in San Jose

Apply for your San Jose building permit either online or in person.

Online Application

Applying for your San Jose building permit online is recommended for simple projects. Visit the San Jose permits website and fill the online forms with the required information. Upload all your documents and drawings, then submit them.

Once your documents are screened and reviewed, you'll receive an approval notification. Proceed to print your building permit or request for the permit to be mailed to your address.

In-Person Application

An in-person building permit application is best for more complex projects that require a ton of paperwork. To apply for your SJ building permit in person, visit the San Jose Development Services Permit Center (DSPC) at San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113.

You can either download the application form online or get one from the offices and fill in the required details. Attach all the building drawings and submit them to the office. When all your documents are approved, a representative will contact you to collect your permit or mail it to your address.

Alternatively, to avoid long wait times at the DSPC offices, schedule an appointment by calling 408-535-7641.

What Fees Do I Need to Pay to Get a San Jose Building Permit?

The City of San Jose charges different building permit fees depending on the structure and purpose of the building.

The table below shows a breakdown of San Jose building permit fees.

Type of StructureDimensions in Square FeetPermit Fee
New Construction (residential)0-1,000

Above 1,000



Accessory Dwelling Unit (Residential)Below 750

Above 750



New Construction (Commercial)0-2,500








Addition/AlterationBelow 750


Above 2250




Tenant Improvements0-10,000






Private Swimming PoolN/A$96
Public Swimming PoolN/A$193

How to Apply for San Jose Building Permit With the Help of DoNotPay

If you want to apply for a building permit in San Jose but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered. Create your own request letter in 6 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Planning Permissions product on DoNotPay.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    1. Check whether your project needs a building permit or if it's exempt
    2. Generate a permission request letter to send to your HOA
    3. Generate a guide on how to complete the building permit application
  3. Choose the focus of your project (new ADU, pool, shed, fence, etc.) and answer a few questions about your plans, including the size of the structure and estimated cost.

  4. Indicate whether you're hiring a contractor and include the estimated start date and timeline for the project.
  5. Indicate whether any public sidewalk/street space will be used during construction.
  6. And that's it! DoNotPay will help guide you through the building permit process by checking if your project needs a building permit, contacting any HOAs you're a part of to request building permission, or generating detailed instructions on how to start and complete your building permit application process.

DoNotPay can help you apply for other building permits including:

Why Use DoNotPay to Apply for San Jose Building Permit

You don't have to go through the long, complex process and wait for ages to get your San Jose building permit. DoNotPay helps you apply for your permit right from the comfort of your home within minutes. DoNotPay works with all government entities and private companies to get you access to all documentation. We will deliver your building drawings to the right department for easy processing and faster delivery of your permit. Sign up today to get started.

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