January 23, 2019

Building Permit Application Process

When a permit is required, it is necessary to provide at least two (2) sets of plans to the building department for review. After the plans are reviewed and approved, the applicant will get a set returned to him/her which has a stamp of approval from the building department. This approved set of plans must remain on the job site for the duration of the project. These plans must be available to the inspector, or inspections will not be performed. The second set of approved plans is retained by the building department. An additional copy of the floor plan is required and is sent to the assessor's office for their records.

Submitted documents shall reflect all proposed work. Plans shall be clear enough such that if you were to hand them to a complete stranger, he/she would be able to construct the project as you intend.

Most commercial projects, as well as any construction that does not meet the requirements for "Conventional Light-Frame Construction" as specified in Chapter 23 of the California Building Code (CBC), must be designed, and all plans and documents stamped, by a qualified architect or engineer licensed by the State of California.

  1. Two (2) sets of plans, drawn to scale, are required which include the following: 
    1. A site plan showing the location of all property lines and existing and proposed structures. The use of each structure and the distances between them and to the property lines must also be indicated. An arrow indicating "North" is also required. 
    2. A floor plan showing all walls, doors, windows, and the use of each room. Critical dimensions shall be indicated. 
    3. Structural plans which include: 
      • foundation plan 
      • wall framing plan including required wall bracing 
      • floor framing plan 
      • roof framing plan or truss layout 
      • cross section(s) 
      • details of critical connections statement of special inspections (if special inspections are required) 
    4. All plans for commercial projects and multifamily dwellings must show compliance with California Disabled Access Regulations. All required access features, with dimensions, shall be clearly indicated on the plans. Certain items must also be addressed when additions, alterations or structural repairs are proposed as well. 
    5. A complete electrical plan. (Residential plans must also show the locations of all required smoke detectors.) 
    6. A complete plumbing and mechanical plan is required for most commercial projects, but not for residential projects unless unusual construction is proposed. 
  2. Two (2) sets of structural calculations are required for most commercial projects and for all projects that are considered nonconventional construction. Unless specifically indicated otherwise by the Building Official, structural calculations shall include a complete vertical and lateral analysis. All construction requirements shown in the calculations shall be reflected on the plans. All structural calculations shall be stamped and signed by a qualified architect or engineer licensed by the State of California. 
  3. A foundation and soils investigation is likely required per CBC chapter 18. 
  4. Two (2) sets of (Title 24) Energy Documentation (if required). 
  5. Other information is required such as names and addresses of the owner, contractor, engineer/architect, and the applicant. 
  6. Contractors must provide Worker's Compensation Insurance information and a valid Contractor's License. 
  7. This may not be a complete list. Other departments may be involved. Additional items may be required.

  • If work is completed without the benefit of permits, it is a violation. No further permits will be issued for that site until the violation is corrected. Additional fees and/or fines may result and a lien may be placed against the property until the violation is corrected. 
  • Building permits must be obtained as required for new construction. The work must comply with the applicable codes in effect at the time of application. Therefore, work that may have been legal at the time of construction, may not be acceptable at the time of permitting. 
  • If the unpermitted work is commercial, a licensed architect or engineer must prepare and certify all plans and documents as indicated in this pamphlet and submit to the Building Official for review and approval. When the plans are approved by the Building Official, a building inspector will perform the normal inspections. However, any construction which the inspector cannot verify must be qualified by a licensed engineer or architect to the satisfaction of the Building Official. This may require expensive testing and/or demolition and often becomes very time consuming. 
  • If the unpermitted work is residential, you can pay for a building inspector to perform a site inspection and he/she will indicate, in writing, what documents and information must be provided to the building department in order to obtain the building permit. A licensed engineer or architect may be required to certify plans and documents. Again, any work that cannot be verified by the inspector must be qualified by a licensed engineer or architect to the satisfaction of the Building Official.


Public Services Building
2700 M Street, Suite 570
Bakersfield, CA 93301-2370

Phone: 661-862-5100 
FAX: 661-862-5101 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.