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Permitting Step-by-Step

Below is a general step-by-step outline of the permitting process.  It is illustrative only, spanning dozens of permit types for both contractors and homeowners, so does not include every potential step or requirement.  Please contact the Building Inspection Division with any questions you might have regarding your specific permitting need.

  • Step 1: Application Submitted

    The first step in the Building Permit process is application.  All permit applications should be made through iMS.  Registered contractors, subcontractors, architects, and engineers can apply for every type of permit through iMS. If you are a contractor but are not yet registered with the City of Lakeland, please contact the Building Inspection Division for assistance.

    HOMEOWNERS: Homeowners can now apply for permits through iMS using a desktop or mobile device. Homeowners will need to register as a user to apply for online permitting.
    Please contact the Building Inspection Division for assistance.

  • Step 2: Plans Submitted

    Most permit applications will be accompanied with or followed by the submission of plans, drawings, specifications, and/or a scope of work.  The type of permit and complexity of work proposed dictates the plans required for review and permit issuance.  Simple permits generally require only a description of the work to be completed while complex permits, including new construction and additions, require plans signed and sealed by a certified design professional (architect or engineer). 

    Effective March 15, 2017, all plans except those for very simple homeowner permitted projects must be submitted through ePlan electronic plans review system.  Electronically submitted plans also require that the design professional who created them sign and seal them digitally.  Please refer to ePlan Help for assistance using ePlan, or feel free to contact the Building Inspection Division.

  • Step 3: Plans Reviewed

    Once a complete permit application has been received and plans have been uploaded, one or more plans examiners will review the plans to ensure compliance with applicable codes and ordinances.  Again, the complexity of the review depends on the work proposed and type of permit sought.  In completing their reviews, the reviewers will provide comments or feedback on various parts of the plans submitted, and may require corrections before the plans and permit can be approved. 

    Once the corrections are made, the plans are resubmitted for review and this process continues to permit approval.  The approved plans are extremely important as they provide clarity as to what is to be done and how, ensuring everyone involved, i.e. owner, architect, engineer, contractors and subcontractors, plans reviewers and inspectors, is on the same page.

    The review processing time will take approximately 5-7 business days (larger projects may take longer).

  • Step 4: Permit Approved & Issued

    Once the plans are approved the permit application is reviewed and approved by a Permit Technician. If all permit requirements such as sub-declaration are met, it is then ready for payment. Permit issuance requires payment of all fees, including impact fees if applicable. The permit will be issued immediately upon payment. 

  • Step 5: Work Commences

    Once the permit has been issued, work can commence.  A printed copy of the approved plans should be kept on the job site through the entirety of the project, for reference by both contractors and inspectors.

  • Step 6: Inspections Completed

    As work progresses, inspections will need to be scheduled and completed.  Inspections should be scheduled using iMS, the Building Inspection Division's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System, which can be accessed by calling 863.226.1519, or SelectTXT, which can be accessed by texting 877.667.1720.

  • Step 7: Certification of Occupancy or Completion

    When all work proposed and authorized by the permit has been completed and verified with all inspections approved, a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion is issued. 

    iMS will automatically generate a CO/COC review, which will be processed within one business day. The CO/COC will be available to view in iMS files.