Building Permits

Properties under Hamilton County's jurisdiction may require a permit for certain projects. Check the status of a building permit or apply for zoning, building, and site permit.

Check My Permits via ezTrak  


Applying

The permit Counter of the Hamilton County Planning and Development Department Coordinates all Building permit applications. All applicants must complete and file an application for any building permit. Applicants can file or apply in person, by mail or on-line. Online application is limited. Please find below a list of building applications:

Application by mail or in person

Visit the Applications and Forms page for a list of applications that can be completed on-line, printed out and submitted with the requisite plans and check via mail or in person. Printable Applications and Permit forms are available in a PDF documents that will automatically complete common fields for your convenience.


Online Applications

The following permits can be completed and submitted on-line via ezTrak, an online permit service used by Hamilton County.

Application Options

Applicants can submit commercial projects for review in whole or in part dependent on the project.

Coordinated (non-separated) Application – Applicants can submit an application that includes all associated applications (includes Mechanical, Fire/IBI Routing, Water Availability, Earth Work, Storm Drainage System Forms).

Associated Applications – Hamilton County allows applicants to submit various elements of a projects as part of one application or separately (including HVAC, Gas Line, Exhaust Hood, Fire Alarm, Hood Suppression System, Fire Suppression System, Underground Fire Line), however all approvals must be in place before a permit is issues. 

Partial (Phased) Permits – Hamilton County allows commercial applicants to phase construction by requesting a partial construction permit for footings and foundations (F&F), Shell, and Interior Build out of Shell.

Submission Requirements

Number of Plans - All permit applications received at the counter or by mail must be submitted with multiple sets of plans. The number of requisite plans is determined by the type of project.  Typically Residential Plans usually require 3 sets of plans, while commercial plans require 6 sets of plans. 

Required Content - Please see Ohio Building Code Section 106 and Residential Code of Ohio Section 106 for specific requirements. 

Stamp/Seal Requirements - Plans that require stamp/seal must meet State of Ohio stamp/seal requirements. All design professionals (Engineers and Architects) must be licensed in the State of Ohio. Please contact Buildings and Inspection at (513) 946-4550 to find out the exact submission requirements. 

Scanning Fees/Digital Requirements - An approved digital version of the plans is recommended for all commercial and residential permits. Scanning fees will be charged for all commercial and residential related documents.

How Do I Submit?

Submit your completed application(s) with plans and fees in person or by mail at the Planning and Development Department, 138 East Court Street, 8th Floor, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202. The office is open Monday–Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Online permits can be submitted online using ezTrak. Start ezTrak Online Applications here  . For questions about applications, please contact (513) 946-4550 extension 1. Applications must includes all plans and fees. Applicants will receive a Building Permit Number at the permit counter which can be used to track the permit process using ezTrak (see above).

Post Submittal Routing Information

Once a building permit application has been submitted and assigned a building permit number, most plans are required to be routed and approved by all necessary approval agencies. A Building Permit will only be issued by the Planning and Development Department when all required approval agencies approve the plan. Approval by one or more of any approval agency does not constitute a building permit approval. Work starting on any project without an approved building permit by the Planning and Development Department shall be deemed starting without a permit and subject to a penalty fine. Applicant is responsible to coordinate with all required review agencies.

Included Routing

The Planning and Development Department routes copies of the plans to various agencies and departments.  These agencies review the plan concurrently except the Storm Water and Infrastructure which review the plans for Stormwater and Flood approval prior to Building Plan Examiners.

  • Hamilton County Planning and Development - Division of Building and Inspections and Storm Water and Infrastructure (storm water and floodplain) and building plans examination.
  • Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (erosion control, slope, and soils)
  • Local sewer supplier - typically Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC)
  • Local water supplier - typically Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
Applicant Required Routing

Applicants are required to hand carry plans to the following agencies and departments who coordinate the review process:

  • Hamilton County Engineers Office – If applicable, applicant must obtain a separate driveway permit if necessary to release building permit.
  • Hamilton County Health District – Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) approves plans, issues permits and conducts inspections for all household sewage treatment systems and small flow onsite sewage treatment systems located within its jurisdiction (all of Hamilton County excluding cities of Cincinnati, Norwood, Springdale, Sharonville).   (Click here for details  )  Applicants with onsite collection systems are required to complete a separate HCPH permit for most improvements (including interior changes) in order to obtain a building permit. Other permits relating to the use (such as public swimming pools and food services) may be required.
  • Local fire departments – Local Fire Departments review and approve fire and life safety issues. Certain plan review may be required. If applicable, approval is necessary for building permit approval.
  • Electrical through IBI (Inspection Bureau Inc.  ) – Approval is recommended if applicable, but not necessary to release building permit.
Internal HCPD Routing Procedure

Please note, that once plans are processed (including digital scanning), Hamilton County Planning and Development Department routes plans directly to the Storm Water and Infrastructure Division for Storm Drainage and Flood review if applicable. Once any issues have been mitigated, they will be forwarded to the Building Plans examiner for review. Applicants with storm sewer and flood plain related elements are highly encouraged to submit plans to storm water and flood prior to submitting the building permit application, otherwise this may delay the building plan review.

Tracking your Permit via ezTrak

Applicant can use ezTrak to track the status and progress of your application for all approving agencies using ezTrak Online Services