The Permit Process

Obtaining the Building Permit

Step 1: Fill out permit application

One may obtain an application for a building permit online or in the Inspection Division office. Fill out the application with as much information as possible about the work being done. The property or homeowner should be listed on the application and the contractor, when applicable, should be listed as applicant. For most projects, detailed plans for the work to be done should be submitted with the application.

By ordinance, the owner is allowed to obtain the permits. However, the permit holder is responsible for making sure the work done meets the codes and ordinances adopted by the City of Rock Island. So, if the home owner has little or no knowledge of the pertinent codes, it would be recommended that the contractor apply for the permits.

Step 2: Application and plans are reviewed

Once the submitted drawings, specifications, and permit application have been submitted, the Building Official will review the application and plans. If the application or plans are incomplete, the applicant will be notified by the Inspector and informed of what is still needed. Once the complete application and plans are submitted, the Inspector will review the plans and approve them if they meet code requirements. If the submitted plans and documents meet these requirements, a permit is issued. If not, the Inspector may suggest solutions to help correct the problem. The applicant may also need approval from Zoning for setbacks, variances, and sign installation or a Grading & Drainage permit.

The review process can take time so it is important for the applicant to submit all required documents and plans as soon as possible before beginning work.

Step 3: Obtain permit

Once the plans and application have been approved, a permit will be issued. There are fees associated with permits to cover the cost of the review and inspection process. The permit must be posted in a visible place at the job site at all times.

Permits are valid for 180 days, provided that work is started within 30 days of the issuance. The Building Official may extend a permit for an additional 180 days, pending a written request from the permit holder. Request for extension must be received before the current permit expires.

Step 4: Inspections are done

Persons doing permitted work are expected to know when inspections are required. Necessary inspections may vary greatly based on the scope or work being done. Please keep communications open with the appropriate Inspector. Inspections require 24 hours notice.

For a list of required inspections please view the Inspection Division handout:

Remember, if the items needing inspection are covered without inspection, the permit holder will be required to expose these items through any means necessary, at the expense of the applicant.

Step 5: Construction is approved and certificate of occupancy is issued

The Building Official will provide a certificate of occupancy or other certificate when construction is complete and code compliance is determined. This certificate verifies that the project has been completed to code and to the City’s satisfaction. The structure may NOT be occupied until the occupancy permit has been issued.