FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a permit?

It is not only the law to obtain a permit, but a permit ensures that the plans are drawn and the structure constructed in accordance with the Florida Building Code, and all other applicable codes and ordinances, thereby protecting the welfare of life and property.

What types of work needs a Building Permit?

Section 105.1 of the Florida Building Code states:

Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any required impact-resistant coverings, electrical, gas mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permits.

Who may obtain the permit?

Licensed Contractors or qualified homeowners, as long as they meet all of the requirements listed below

What are the requirements for owner builders?


1. The owner must prove to the Building Official, or a designee, that he has the knowledge and ability to do the work. Test will be administered.

2. Proof of ownership (warranty deed, closing statement, or Miami-Dade County tax Bill).

3. An owner may apply for a permit, supervise and do the work in connection with the construction, maintenance, repair, alteration, and addition to a single-family or duplex residence for his own use, occupancy, and not intended for sale.

4. No more than one (1) permit shall be issued to an owner for the construction of a new single-family or duplex residence in any twenty-four (24) month period. Permits for alterations and additions, or plumbing, electrical, mechanical, or gas installations shall be issued only in connection with one single-family or duplex residence in any twenty-four (24) month period, although more than one permit may be issued for such work on the same single-family or duplex residence during that period.

5. The owner must come in person between the hours of 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM for review of permit documents and application.

6. The permit application and affidavit must be signed and notarized.

7. If there is a violation on the property:

a. No building permit will be issued to a homeowner to cover illegal work.
b. The work must be done by a general contractor or a specialty contractor licensed to do the work.
c. Permits for all work must be obtained ( i.e. Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, etc.).
d. An architect’s or engineer’s report may be required, certifying that the work was done in accordance with the applicable code, and general construction practices as a substitute for required inspections.

What are the requirements for a contractor?


Copies of the following:
1. State registration or certification.
2. Municipal contractor’s occupational license or certificate of registration.
3. Certificate of Competency.
4. Certificate of insurance:

a. Liability with no less than $100,000 per accident or occurrence for bodily injury and $25,000 per accident for property damage.

b. Must show name of insurer, type of policy issued, policy number, date of inception and expiration, type of insurance, and that no changes or cancellation of the insurance shall be effective without thirty (30) days written notice by registered or certified mail.

c. Permits will be issued to the contractor with a notarized signature from the owner or his agent who acknowledges the affidavit statement on the permit application.

What makes up a complete application?

For most scopes of works, a completed building permit application and 2 sets of plans.

How long does it take to get a permit?

The time to get a permit issued varies. Some permits can be issued the same day, over-the-counter and others require that the plans be left for review.

What is an inspection card?

An inspection card is issued at the time a permit is issued. The card details the inspections required and by which divisions and/or departments. The card is signed by each inspector conducting an inspection. Once completely signed, it becomes an official record.

What is an inspection?

The inspection card will list all inspections required for a particular job. Inspections are performed by the City inspectors at various intervals. It is the responsibility of the contractor/ owner to call for the inspections. The permit and the top portion of the permit inspection card must be displayed on the job site. In order to avoid a re-inspection fee, make sure that the site is ready to be inspected, all required documents available and access to the inspection site.

What if I have a permit and do not call for inspections?

Permits expire after 180 days if no required inspections have been approved. In order for a project to be complete, it must pass final inspections. In some cases, a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Occupancy may also be required. If a permit expires before final inspections, it becomes null and void, and the project is in violation of the Code. If this is your case, please call our office, we’ll help you activate the permit or apply for a completion permit with as little inconvenience as possible. Our interest is in seeing the project completed, including all final inspections and the protection of life and property.

How do you close a Permit?

To close a permit all required inspections for both the master permit and any linked permits must be completed and approved.

If your permit is about to expire, and you know you will not be able to request and pass a required inspection prior to the expiration date, you can request a one-time extension. This extension can only be requested when the permit is still active and not expired. You will need to submit a letter requesting the extension and you will be charged a fee of $100, excepting Residential permits with Total Cost less than $2500 with $45. Once a permit has expired it can only be extended with a completion permit.

If your permit has expired and you have not completed all required inspections, you must first obtain a completion permit to re-open the permit and then you can continue requesting all remaining inspections.

To obtain a completion permit you will need a permit application signed and notarized by the original contractor only. If the permit was done by owner then only the owner’s notarized signature is required. The fee for the completion permit is based on the value of the work remaining to be completed. You will be charged $32 for the first $1000 of value and $16 for every $1000 of value thereafter, Residential permits with total cost less than $2500 have a maximum fee of $45.

If you cannot find the original contractor and you wish to change the contractor, both the owner and the new contractor must sign and notarize the application. At the bottom please mark the boxes for both completion permit and change of contractor. You will be charged for both on the same application. The fee for change of contractor is $100,excepting Residential permits with Total Cost less than $2500 with $45.

If your permit is expired but no work was performed and no inspections were requested, you have the option of requesting a revocation of the permit. There will be no refund of the permit costs if this option is chosen. You will need to submit a “Revocation of Permit” form which can be found online under the “Building Forms” drop down list.


The City of Miami enforces Chapter 8, Section 8-11 of Miami-Dade County. As per Chapter 34, of the Florida Building Code this applies to any building or structure built without proper permits in which the work performed commenced prior to March 1, 2002 or permits obtained under the South Florida Building Code which expired without Certificates of Completion or Occupancy having been issued.

How can I find out if my property has had permits issued that have not been finalized?

You can call the building Department in order to find out if there are any open permits.

What if I am not the original owner of my home, but I am aware that work has been performed without permits or with permits that are lacking required mandatory inspections. Who is responsible for bringing the property into compliance?

The current owner of the property is ultimately responsible for bringing the property into compliance. If permits were issued to a licensed contractor but mandatory inspections were not obtained, you should contact the contractor and request that he or she renew the permit under the provisions of the Amnesty Ordinance.

What type of construction projects qualify for renewal or permit issuance under this Ordinance?

Any building or structure built without proper permits in which the work commenced prior to March 1, 2002 or permits obtained under the Florida Building Code under the South Florida Building Code.

Does the Amnesty Ordinance apply to work on any commercial properties?

Yes, the ordinance has been amended to include commercial properties.

How long is the amnesty ordinance in effect?

The amnesty ordinance is part of Miami-Dade County, Chapter 8 and the Florida Building Code.