The permit process FAQ
How do I apply for a permit?
If your property is in unincorporated King County, permit applications are filed through the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review Customer Service Center. Most permit applications require an intake appointment which can be scheduled by calling 206-296-6797. See applying for a permit for more information.
Clearing and grading permits and certain other land use permits do not require an intake appointment and can be filed by mail or directly with the Customer Service Center cashier. Please refer to the Permitting Department Customer Information Bulletin #28, Clearing and Grading Permits (PDF*, 157KB) for more information.
If your property is within a city boundary (Seattle, Issaquah, Kent, etc.) in King County, you must contact the city directly. The Permitting Department processes permits for property in unincorporated King County only. Check jurisdiction online to determine whether property is in unincorporated King County or within city limits.
Filing instructions and other information are available online at permit forms, handouts and application materials or by calling the Permitting Department customer service at 206-296-6600.
If you have questions regarding road impact mitigation measures for new developments, please contact the Roads Department at Road Impact Mitigation Measurers
What is the cost of a permit?
For property in unincorporated King County, permit costs vary by permit type and, for those permit types requiring hourly reviews, according to the amount of required review time. Other permit fees vary according to project valuation.
See permit fees for more information or fee estimates by permit type.
How can I get help with bonds or financial guarantees?
See the Permitting Department Customer Information Bulletin #40, Financial Guarantees (PDF*, 123KB). For questions not covered in Bulletin 40, contact the Permitting Department Financial Guarantee Management Unit staff at 206-296-6659 or e-mail email@example.com.
Financial guarantees are required by Washington State statutes and certain sections of the King County Code (KCC) on various types of projects, such as commercial or residential permits, subdivision of land, grading permits, or code enforcement.
They are a form of financial security posted by the applicant to ensure timely and proper completion of improvements to ensure compliance with the KCC and/or to warranty materials, workmanship of improvements, and design.
Financial guarantees include assignments of funds, cash deposits, surety bonds and/or other financial securities acceptable to the Director of the Permitting Department. KCC requires such financial guarantees to ensure that certain conditions are met at various stages of the permit process (e.g., before plan approval or before issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy).
What is the status of my permit?
Customers who have submitted a permit application to the Permitting Department and would like to know the review status can:
Go to the online permit search at https://aca.accela.com/kingcounty/ to view permit status.
Call the Permitting Department customer service at 206-296-6600 where staff can research your permit application and tell you which review stations have issued approvals and which review stations are still pending.
Check with your Project Manager or Project Coordinator if applicable. For proposed projects that are large and/or complicated, a manager or coordinator will have been assigned to the permit. You will have been introduced to that Project Manager early in the intake or review process, and you can call directly for periodic updates.
How do I schedule a building inspection?
To request, cancel, or check the status of building and fire inspections for unincorporated King County 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, go online to https://aca.accela.com/kingcounty/ or call 1-888-5-INSPCT (1-888-546-7728). Please refer to Inspections for information on the building inspections process and scheduling.
Online Inspections: To use the Permitting Department online Inspection Request System at https://aca.accela.com/kingcounty/, simply enter your permit number.
Inspections via Automated Phone System: Access the 24X7 Voice Inspections Line by dialing 1-888-5-INSPCT (1-888-546-7728).
Permit customers need only a touch tone telephone, their permit number, and a list of inspection codes which is provided to customers upon permit issuance. The Voice Inspection Line User's Guide (PDF*, 43KB) gives detailed information.
Please note: The Permitting Department conducts inspections for building projects that are under construction in unincorporated King County only. If your property is inside city limits, you must contact your city directly.
Will I need a pre-application meeting for a permit?
Pre-application meetings are held between a prospective permit applicant and Permitting Department staff before a permit application is filed (see pre-application meetings for building permits).
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss project parameters and site conditions pertinent to review of a permit. The intent of the pre-application meeting is to prepare prospective applicants for the permit process and provide technical guidance to assist customers with the application and review process.
For large or complex building permits in unincorporated King County, a mandatory pre-application meeting is required as specified in section 20.20.030 (PDF*, 351KB) of the King County Code (KCC). Typically, this includes any project proposing 5,000 or more square feet of building area and/or site development area.
Additionally, proposals on a parcel that include critical areas such as wetlands, streams, steep slopes, critical drainage basins, landslide hazards, or erosion hazards require a pre-application meeting.
Voluntary pre-application meetings also are offered on smaller projects, should a customer simply want to carefully prepare before submitting an application.
Please refer to the application materials in the Pre-applications Packet for detailed information.
To schedule a pre-application meeting for a building permit, please contact Permitting Department staff at 206-296-6600.
What is a testamentary segregation?
A Testamentary Segregation or Division is a simultaneous conveyance that is reviewed, approved and recognized by King County in accordance with RCW 58.17.040(3) (external link) and King County Code 19A.08.040(D) (PDF*, 218KB). In layperson's terms, it is an exempt division of land that is divided and dispersed among heirs in accordance with the instructions in a Last Will and Testament.
The items needed for submittal and review are:
- A cover letter explaining that you are requesting a Testamentary Division Review, and
- Copy of the Death Certificate, and
- Copy of the Last Will and Testament, and
- A title certificate of the subject property, and
- Map page prepared by a Professional Land Surveyor, which includes:
- a statement and signature from the person or persons legally responsible for the execution of the Will, stating that the land segregated hereon is segregated in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, and
- a graphic representation of the segregation with survey boundary control, and
- a Recorder's Certificate, and
- a Land Surveyors Certificate, and
- the original Legal Description (the new lots will be numbered, and therefore no new legal descriptions will be necessary), and
- an approval block for the authorized person at the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review to sign, and
- proof of legal lot status for the original parcels involved in the segregation pursuant to KCC 19A.08.070, and
- Payment of applicable fees.
King County will recognize only one lot per heir, per legal lot. The heirs cannot divide the property into extra lots beyond their single allocation for the purpose of maximizing the zoning density. Also, though this type of exempt segregation may create legal lots, it does not guarantee that the newly configured lots contain adequate building sites.
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To request this information in alternate formats for people with disabilities, call 206-296-6600 or TTY Relay: 711.