Building Permit Expiration & Renewal


When building permits are issued, they include a built-in expiration date, governed by the Building Code.  The information below explains how long permits last and how they may be renewed.  If you have additional questions about the status of a building permit, please call us at 858-565-5920.

San Diego County's Building Code sets timeline requirements when building permits are issued.  The work authorized by the permit must begin and demonstrate progress by certain dates, and all work must be completed within three years.  From the day the permit is issued, it will expire if the work is not started within two years.  To meet this requirement, the permittee must call for, and pass a valid inspection.  If no inspection has been scheduled and passed within the first two years, the permit becomes null and void.

Once the work has started and the first required inspection has been passed, the permittee must show that the work is progressing by passing a valid inspection at least every 180 days (six months).  If these progress requirements are not met the permit will expire.  This applies regardless of when the first inspection took place within the first two years of the life of the permit.

To renew an expired building permit that has received and passed at least one valid inspection, but has not exceeded the three-year mark:

  • The plans cannot be changed, nor changes proposed.
  • One-half of current permit fees are due upon renewal unless progress has been made (and approved) so that only a final inspection is needed, then one-quarter of current permit fees are due.  (Sec. of the Amended County Building Code.)

If the three-year deadline to complete work has been exceeded and the work has received valid inspections, full current permit fees are due upon renewal.

When requesting a renewal of an expired permit, you must bring the full set of the original stamped, permitted plans, along with supporting documentation (such as truss and/or engineering calculations) and present them upon request.

To schedule an inspection on an open, unexpired permit, you can call the automated inspection hotline at 800-351-2551 (or 858-694-8971).  You must have your full twelve-digit permit number and the number for the inspection type you wish to schedule.  This information can be found on the permit card.

You can also call our offices at 858-565-5920 and speak with an operator to schedule an inspection.

For complete information on the expiration and renewal of permits, please see the Amended County Building Code.