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Permitting Step-by-Step

Below is a general step-by-step outline of the permitting process.  It is illustrative only, spanning dozens of permit types for both contractors and homeowners, so does not include every potential step or requirement.  Please contact the Building Inspection Division with any questions you might have regarding your specific permitting need.

  • Step 1: Application Submitted

    The first step in the Building Permit process is application.  With the exception of homeowner permits, that is those for which a homeowner (as opposed to a contractor) is applying with the intent of completing the work themselves, permit applications should be made through iMS.  Registered contractors, subcontractors, architects, and engineers can apply for every type of permit through iMS. If you are a contractor but are not yet registered with the City of Lakeland, please contact the Building Inspection Division for assistance.

    HOMEOWNERS: Your permitting process also begins with an application, but because you are not a licensed or registered contractor, your application must be submitted in person.  Permit applications can be accessed here.

  • Step 2: Plans Submitted

    Most permit applications will be accompanied with or followed by the submission of plans, drawings, specifications, and/or a scope of work.  The type of permit and complexity of work proposed dictates the plans required for review and permit issuance.  Simple permits generally require only a description of the work to be completed while complex permits, including new construction and additions, require plans signed and sealed by a certified design professional (architect or engineer). 

    Effective March 15, 2017, all plans except those for very simple homeowner permitted projects must be submitted through ePlan electronic plans review system.  Electronically submitted plans also require that the design professional who created them sign and seal them digitally.  Please refer to ePlan Help for assistance using ePlan, or feel free to contact the Building Inspection Division.

  • Step 3: Plans Reviewed

    Once a complete permit application has been received and plans have been uploaded, one or more plans examiners will review the plans to ensure compliance with applicable codes and ordinances.  Again, the complexity of the review depends on the work proposed and type of permit sought.  In completing their reviews, the reviewers will provide comments or feedback on various parts of the plans submitted, and may require corrections before the plans and permit can be approved. 

    Once the corrections are made, the plans are resubmitted for review and this process continues to permit approval.  The approved plans are extremely important as they provide clarity as to what is to be done and how, ensuring everyone involved, i.e. owner, architect, engineer, contractors and subcontractors, plans reviewers and inspectors, is on the same page.

  • Step 4: Permit Approved & Issued

    Once the plans are approved the permit application is reviewed and approved by a Permit Technician, and is then ready for issuance.  Permit issuance requires payment of all fees, including impact fees if applicable, and applicants are notified of permit approval, including a fee total, by the Permit Tech.

  • Step 5: Work Commences

    Once the permit has been issued, work can commence.  A printed copy of the approved plans should be kept on the job site through the entirety of the project, for reference by both contractors and inspectors.

  • Step 6: Inspections Completed

    As work progresses, inspections will need to be scheduled and completed.  Inspections should be scheduled using iMS, the Building Inspection Division's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System, which can be accessed by calling 863.226.1519, or SelectTXT, which can be accessed by texting 877.667.1720.

  • Step 7: Certification of Occupancy or Completion


    When all work proposed and authorized by the permit has been completed and verified with all inspections approved, a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion is issued. 

    To request a CO or COC, please contact the Building Inspection Division.