Electrical Permit

What Is It?

You need an electrical permit any time electrical wiring is installed, altered, extended, or connected to any electrical equipment, including signs. 

You may not need a permit for some residential or minimally-sized low-voltage systems.

Special events, such as street fairs, that have temporary power installations do require an electrical permit.

Any professional applying for electrical permits must have a Washington State electrical contractor’s license and a Seattle business license. Property owners may do their own work when they own and occupy the property they’re working on.

Some projects require plan review and are not issued the same day. See Seattle Electrical Code Article 80, Sections 80.50 and 80.51, to determine if you need plan review.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our fees depend on what you are installing or altering. All fees are subject to an additional technology fee. See our Fee Subtitle for details.

How Long Does It Take?

We issue many electrical permits on the same day that you apply online. If your permit requires plan review, our turnaround times depend on the accuracy and completeness of your plans, and the number of plans that are in the review queue. It will take a few weeks before we issue your permit if you don't need to make corrections.

Steps To Get Your Permit

Determine permitting and plan review requirements. Carefully review the Seattle Electrical Code Article 80 to see if you need a permit or plan review. Sections 80.50 and 80.51 explain the requirements.

Read our Tips. Read our Tips for information to help you complete your project.

Determine restrictions to your project. Research our codes to determine other requirements for your construction project.

Attend a coaching session. We offer 20 minutes of free video coaching through the Applicant Services Center to answer electrical permit questions.

Ask a question. Email SCI_electricalplanreview@seattle.gov for electrical technical support.

Coordinate with other agencies. You may need permits or approvals from other agencies. These are the most common agencies you may need to work with for your electrical permit:

First, determine if your project requires plan review.

If your permit does not require plan review:

  • Most permits – You can apply online by choosing the Permit – Trade, Construction, and Land Use link and then selecting the appropriate electrical permit. You can print your permit the same day. For permits with an electrical heater as the primary heat source, you will need a Heat Equipment Sizing Form to apply.
  • Small solar PV systems – If your solar PV system is rated under 7.7KW, you can apply online without plan review. However, you must have your plans and the manufacturer installation instructions available at the job site during your electrical inspection. 

If your permit requires plan review, you can submit your plans and specifications electronically through the Seattle Services Portal by choosing the Permit – Trade, Construction, and Land Use link and then selecting the appropriate electrical permit.

Pay fees. You will need to pay your permit fees when you submit your application. See the 2024 Electrical Plan Review Fees or the Fee Subtitle to estimate your permit costs.

Make corrections and resubmit your plans. Once all of our reviews are done, you will receive an email telling you that corrected and/or additional documents can be uploaded into your portal. Your project may require multiple correction rounds before our reviews are complete.

Pay final fees. We will notify you if you need to pay any final fees before we issue your permit.

Print your permit.

  • If your permit does not require review, you can print your permit immediately after you apply.

If your permit requires review, our electrical plan reviewers will issue your permit when your plans meet all our code.

The contractor or installer is responsible for scheduling each inspection online or by calling (206) 684-8900 before the permit expires. You must have your permit number available when you call for an inspection.

Most permits require three electrical inspections: cover, service, and final. If your project has a feeder to a subpanel, you will also need to schedule feeder inspections. These inspections can be done at the same time, but you must schedule them separately. To help not overload our inspections cap maximum, schedule only one inspection and contact your inspector on the morning of your inspection to notify them of any additional inspections you will need. 

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.