Applying for a Permit

*Please note: Due to a scheduled system upgrade our Planning, Permitting, Licensing and Compliance (PPL&C) solution will be unavailable from Friday, December 2, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. until Monday, December 5, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.                                                        ________________________________________________

How to Use the Online Permitting, Planning, Licensing & Compliance (PPLC) System

On this page you will find resources to help get your permit application process started. Viewing these user guides, videos and common questions will help you use the new Permitting, Planning Licensing and Compliance (PPLC) system more accurately and efficiently.

Note: Subdivision applications are still be accepted online. As always, zoning requests will still be able to be submitted via our online submission forms

Apply for a permit workflow

Permit Application Steps

Register for an Account, Log-in & Apply for a Permit

Are you having issues logging into your account? View these troubleshooting tips

System Requirements - For the best experience using our system:

  • Your browser must be current - The following browsers in the most current version are supported: Chrome (Windows and macOS), Firefox (Windows and macOS), Edge (Windows), Safari (macOS). 
  • Cookies must be enabled - Cookies are controlled in your browser settings. The Customer Portal only retains these cookies for the duration of the session; they are deleted when the browser is closed or the session times out. 
  • JavaScript must be enabled - JavaScript is controlled in your browser security settings. All supported browsers have at least JavaScript 1.1 installed as a plugin by default, but customers may need to enable it if it has been turned off. \
  • Pop-Up blockers must be turned OFF – Pop-up blockers are controlled in your browser settings. The system uses pop-up windows to request additional information throughout the application.
  • Browser Autofill should not be used - Browser autofill may cause unnecessary errors when using the system.

 

Getting Started

Below are helpful tips and guides to get you started in our new permitting system. 

Introduction

The new online Permitting, Planning, Licensing and Compliance (PPLC) system is part of a multi-year initiative within the Municipal Planning and Development business Unit to move to digital. With this move comes many changes to how permit applications are submitted, how the permitting process works and how customers and staff interact.

For more information about the PPLC project please visit our Project Page for updates and announcements.

Before You BeginThere are a few necessary steps to take before you begin an application. We’ve prepared a short Before You Begin (PDF) Checklist and a Before You Begin (Video) to ensure you don’t miss any steps in preparing your application.

Registering for a Customer Portal Account - The first thing you will need is a Customer Portal Account. Registration is easy and a How to User Guide (PDF) and video have been created to support you through the steps. If you are applying for permits on behalf of your organization or clients, please also create a Contractor Profile. View the How to Create a Contractor Profile (PDF) or watch the video.

Navigating the Customer Portal Dashboard - The customer portal dashboard is the landing page and home page of the portal. Here you will find a wealth of information. It will be helpful to become familiar with the different sections of the page as these are referenced in many of the How-To guides. View the How to Navigate the Customer Portal/Dashboard (PDF) or watch the video.

Things to Know

Permit Types - You’ll notice there are many types of permits. You can find a lot of helpful information on the permitting pages

Required Related Permits - Because each permit type is specific to a type of work, many projects require multiple permits to be able to complete the work. For example, installing a swimming pool will require a swimming pool permit, a lot grading permit and most likely a deck permit. There are called related permits. Within the application form, once you’ve completed all fields, you will be informed of all required related permits that must also be applied for.

Related permits must be submitted for before the main permit can be issued. Until staff confirm all required related permits are submitted, there will be a Hold on the main permit. A Hold means the permit cannot be Issued until specific criteria are met.

Each permit type and project will have different required related permits. For information about common related permits, navigate to the applicable building and development permit for your project.

You will be asked for the type of structure associated with your permit application. View the Use Designation/ Type of Structure table to see what is appropriate for your project. 

Document Standards
Application Documents must meet our standards, or they will be returned to the customer to correct before the application can proceed.  All information in the supporting documents must match the information in the application. 
1.    Documents must be legible:
            a.    Text font must be clear, using a standard font type, black ink, and be reasonable font size. 
            b.    Text, especially measurements, should not be overlapping.
            c.    If documents are photocopied, there cannot be ink blots impacting our ability to read text.
2.    Documents must be provided by relevant document type:
            a.    One package containing all documents will not be accepted. 
            b.    Each document must contain all required information for that document type (ex. all setbacks and watercourse buffers if required)
3.    Plans must contain the correct address or PIN matching the application information (lot# is not sufficient). 
4.    Document Files:
            a.    Uploads must not exceed 100MB
            b.    Acceptable file formats include: Word, PDF and JPEG. 
            c.    Zipped folders are not acceptable
            d.    Documents cannot be encrypted, or password protected.

Documents must be uploaded to the permit application. We cannot accept documents that are emailed or mailed to us. How to Upload Documents (PDF)

Document Naming Convention

  • Each document uploaded will need to have a document type assigned. The document type tells the system which required document the uploaded document is satisfying. 
  • If you follow the document naming convention (PDF) you can skip the manual step. The system will recognize the document file name. 
  • If you do not follow the document naming convention (PDF) you will need to manually select the document type. This is because the system does not know how to interpret the files you have uploaded and you must manually indicate the document type.  
  • If you are receiving a document type error, it is because the document type has not been properly selected. 
Common Questions & Troubleshooting

Q. How can I provide feedback about the Self-service website?
A. You can email your feedback us or call the Municipal 311 Contact Centre.

Q. Are there any charges for using the Self-service website?
A. No. The Halifax Regional Municipality does not charge you for creating and/or using an account.

Q. How can I reset the password of my account?
A. From the main login page, you can use the "Forgot password?" button and have the password reset link sent to your email. If this does not work, please email the password change request to 311.

Q. I have a contractor desk account can I use that account in the new System?
A. The previous system ‘Hansen’ is no longer being used for new permit applications. All permits submitted after December 15, 2020 will be processed in the new Permitting, Planning, Licensing and Compliance (PPLC) system. 

For a period of time we will be operating in transition. This means both systems will be active. All permits submitted before December 15, 2020 will be processed in the old system and you will continue to use your contractors desk account to monitor and manage those permits. 

All permits submitted after December 15, 2020 will be processed in the new PPLC system and you are required to ‘register a new account’ to submit permits. 

Q. Does my employer create a customer portal account for me?
A. The customer portal account belongs to you as an individual. Within the customer portal account you can manage your profile information such as contact email address. If you wish to use a work email address you can. It can be edited at any time. How To Register for a Customer Portal Account (PDF). Within your customer portal account you can create and manage your contractor profile and apply for permits on behalf of your employer. Create a Contractor Profile (PDF). 
 

 

Contractor Profile & Project Function

Here you’ll find tips on setting up your contractor profile and using the system’s built in project function.

Contractor Profile 

Your customer portal account is registered to you as an individual. The contractor profile allows you to apply for permits as a contractor. 
For the purposes of the PPLC system, Contractor means A Company that applies for permits as part of their work, or who applies for permits on behalf of their clients. Please note the system only allows you to associate with one contractor (company) at a time. 

To create your contractor profile please follow the How To guide or watch our demonstration video. 
Contractor Profile (video)
How to Create a Contractor Profile (PDF)


Contractor Functionality
Those individuals who have created a contractor profile can apply for permits on behalf of the company or clients but retain the option to also use their account to apply for personal permits as a homeowner. 

Those without the contractor profile you can only apply for permits as a homeowner. 

Contractor Profile Manger
The Contractor Profile Manager (CPM) is a setting within the contractor profile that allows you to see associated contractor (another way of saying co-worker) permit applications. 

The CPM by default is the first person to register the contractor account for a company. All others will associate to the profile the CPM created using a PIN. The CPM controls the PIN and distributes it to authorized co-workers so they can create their contractor profiles and apply for permits on behalf of the company. 

The CPM can assign the CPM role to any or all other associated contractors through their profile settings. The CPM is responsible for removing employees from the associated contractor list of employees if they are no longer authorized to submit permits for the company. 

As an associated contractor with CPM role you can:
•    Apply for permits under the name of the contracting company.
•    See all permit applications (yours and co-workers) within your company. 
•    Apply for inspections on a co-worker’s permit once Issued. 

Contractors Listed on the permit, even if they are not the applicant or an associate can:
•    See the permit once issued
•    Request inspections on the permit 

ROW Contractors

All types of work impacting the municipal right of way require an “approved ROW contractor”. Contractors must provide a current Certificate of Insurance that meets the requirements of By-law S-300 to be designated an “Approved ROW Contractor”. 

If the insurance meets our criteria, the policy number is recorded as the license number and forms part of the contractor profile. The contractor will be validated in the system up to the date of expiry of insurance. Once validated, applicants will be able to select the ROW approved contractor for ROW permit applications. 

Bonds / lines of credit or a security deposit are required in advance of certain types of Right-of-Way work as part of the application and are paid at time of submission. These deposits are paid to the municipality and refunded only when work is completed to our satisfaction and has passed the warranty period (typically 2 years) to our satisfaction. View How to Set up a ROW License (PDF).

Project Functionality

Within the customer portal there is a feature called ‘Projects’ that allows the owner of the account to group and organize permit applications in the way that best suits them. Project functionality is a file folder that can hold permit applications. Applications can be grouped by site, by type, by geographic region etc. 

Project folder numbers are autogenerated and the system uses the numbers to organize project folders. Each project folder is given a name by the account owner such as “15 Willow Drive “or “Deck Permits 2021”. 

Permit applications can be added to an existing project folder at the time of creation or can be added to a project folder later. The Project folder must be created before permits can be added to it. 

The use of project folders does not impact the permit application as staff do not use the project information in their assessment. Project folders are solely for use by customers to organize permit applications for the account owner. 

The project name project number and project folder creator are listed within the permit file. Anyone who can see the permit file (for example, associated contractors with CPM role, listed contractors after the permit is issued, and municipal staff) can see that it belongs to a project folder. However, only the project folder creator can see the entire folder contents and add or remove applications from the folders. Project folders are not shareable between associated contractors. 

Using Projects
The following How-To guide explains how to create and manage project folders. 
How-To Use Project Functionality (PDF) Coming soon

Common Questions & Troubleshooting Tips 

Q. If I am the Contractor Profile Manager (CPM) for my organization can I assign the role to someone else?
A. Yes, the CPM role by default goes to the first person who registers the company in the new system, however, the CPM role can be assigned at any time to individuals who are associated with that contractor account. 

Q. Our firm has two companies. Will I be able to schedule inspections for either company from one account?
A. No. You will need a separate Customer Portal Account with a new Contractor Profile for each company.

Q. I work for multiple companies; can I associate to multiple contractors at a time?
A. No. At this time you can only associate to one contractor at a time. You must disassociate from one contractor before you can associate with a new one.

Q. I can see a permit has been returned and requires revisions, but I cannot access the permit to make the changes?
A. The CPM role is a visibility-only role that allows you to see an associate's application, but you cannot edit or manage the application. Only the applicant can make changes or revisions to a permit application. 

Q. I created project folders - but I do not understand how they are ordered?
A. Project folders are ordered according to the unique project folder number that is auto-assigned at creation. Project folders cannot be ordered by any other field. 
 

 

Submitting An Application 

The applicant is responsible to ensure the information and documentation submitted in the permit application are correct, complete and meet our standards. Applications missing information or documents that are incorrect or unacceptable will be returned to the applicant to correct. 

This section contains many how-to step-by-step guides and reference tables to support you and ensure a smooth application process. 

The Application

The application is created as a series of questions that are answered by the applicant. We refer to this as the application wizard. 
Each page in the wizard asks different questions. Required fields are marked with an Asterix. If these fields are not answered the application will not submit. 
•    Some questions must be answered using the pull-down menu in that field. 
•    Some questions must be searched for in our database and selected from results. For these questions you will see a search button beside the field.
•    Other fields questions require text to be entered. 
•    Only the document page requires documents to be uploaded. See below for more about uploading documents and document requirements.    

The questions in the application are linked to application fees, document requirements, review requirements and inspection requirements. How you answer will also determine additional related permits required for your project. 

As a reminder, be sure you are applying for the correct permit type by visiting our permit pages or by reviewing our permit types (PDF) cheat sheet. 

Using the Application Wizard

The first page of each application captures information about the type and scope of work to provide context for the rest of the application information. 

Be sure you are selecting the correct Permit Types (PDF) and Type and Scope of Work (PDF) as these impact fees and trigger reviews and inspections. 

As mentioned, some fields will require a search to fill in a field. The first example of this is adding the location information to your permit application. Location can be added as a Parcel Identification Number (PID) or as a civic address. 
In the search bar enter all or part of the address (do not enter road, street etc.). The search function checks our GIS database and returns relevant results. Select the appropriate address and it will be added to the application. By adding the address in this way, the application wizard will ask the appropriate questions relevant for that location. How to Add an Address to an application (PDF). How to Add an Address with Multiple Addresses (PDF). How to Use Street Segments (PDF).

For the Building Permit and the Application to Occupy permit, there is a table to be completed by the applicant referred to as the occupancy grid (PDF). The occupancy grid asks questions about the size and use of footage on a floor-by-floor basis. 

If you are using a contractor for the work outlined, you will need to complete the section on contractors in the application. Applicants applying for permits as a contractor will need to add themselves as a contractor on the permit in the contractor’s section as well. The list of contractors in the application will appear on the permit. Contractors cannot be manually entered on the permit; they must be selected from the list of registered contractors.  How to Add a Contractor to an Application (PDF)

Application Documents 

Application documents are required for all permit applications. Each application will require different documents. Visit our permitting pages to see the required documents for your project type. 

Document Standards
Application Documents must meet our standards, or they will be returned to the customer to correct before the application can proceed.  All information in the supporting documents must match the information in the application. 
1.    Documents must be legible:
            a.    Text font must be clear, using a standard font type, black ink, and be reasonable font size. 
            b.    Text, especially measurements, should not be overlapping.
            c.    If documents are photocopied, there cannot be ink blots impacting our ability to read text.
2.    Documents must be provided by relevant document type:
            a.    One package containing all documents will not be accepted. 
            b.    Each document must contain all required information for that document type (ex. all setbacks and watercourse buffers if required)
3.    Plans must contain the correct address or PIN matching the application information (lot# is not sufficient). 
4.    Document Files:
            a.    Uploads must not exceed 100MB
            b.    Acceptable file formats include: Word, PDF and JPEG. 
            c.    Zipped folders are not acceptable
            d.    Documents cannot be encrypted, or password protected.

Documents must be uploaded to the permit application. We cannot accept documents that are emailed or mailed to us. How to Upload Documents (PDF)

Document Naming Convention

  • Each document uploaded will need to have a document type assigned. The document type tells the system which required document the uploaded document is satisfying. 
  • If you follow the document naming convention (PDF) you can skip the manual step. The system will recognize the document file name. 
  • If you do not follow the document naming convention (PDF) you will need to manually select the document type. This is because the system does not know how to interpret the files you have uploaded and you must manually indicate the document type.  
  • If you are receiving a document type error, it is because the document type has not been properly selected. 
     
Applying for a Permit - Tutorials 

An overview of the application process is captured in the following tutorials. 
How to Apply for a Permit Online (PDF)
How to Apply for a Permit Online (video)

The following How-To Guides have been created to support specific application types. 
How to: Apply for a Backyard Suite (PDF)
How to: Apply for a Secondary Suite (PDF)
How to: apply for a townhouse building permit (PDF)

Common Questions & Troubleshooting 

Q. Can documents be uploaded as one large file or do documents need to be individually uploaded?
A.  The system is designed to look for each document type to ensure an application is complete. Documents must be uploaded as they are indicated. Multiple pages of the same document type may be grouped. Note: maximum file size per document is 100Mb. Not all permit applications require the same documents, and not all documents are reviewed by all staff. 

Q. Is there a maximum file size for documents?
A. Yes, the maximum file size per document is 100Mb.  Larger documents take more time to upload. Ensure each document you upload is less than 100Mb in size. Before you upload documents to the system, here are three ways to reduce the PDF file size:
1. Open the PDF in the PDF application, then print to PDF. The new document will be much smaller 
2. In a PDF with many pages, separate out the pages into separate PDFs. You can upload 1 or more documents to align with a Document Type (eg. Floor Plan)
3. Some PDF applications also have a compress file option.

Q. What is the unit of measurement to be used in permit applications?
A. All measurement fields in the new online application form must be entered in metric. These include area and height (for example: building footprint area and height of building). All measurements captured in metric on the online application should also be noted in metric on the submitted plans. A soft conversion is recommended and notation on the plans or a cover letter is acceptable for those specific data fields found on the application. Conversion to metric for all document measurements will occur at a later date and a transition plan will be communicated in advance. 

Q. Do I need an address to apply for a permit?
A. Yes. For online applications, either a civic address or a parcel identification number (PID) is required to apply for a permit. 

Q. If I am the subcontractor on a building permit for a house, do I need to apply for a separate subcontractor permit? 
A. No. The building permit will list subcontractors doing the work. All fees will be paid and linked to the submission of the building permit. (ex. plumbing, gas, electrical)

Q. How can I find out the fees associated with the permit I am applying for? 
A. There are several options to find fees associated with permits:
1. View fees list for all Halifax Regional Municipality permits.
2. A fee estimate can be done within your customer portal account before applying for the permit. Estimate Fees is an option on the homepage of your customer portal account.
3. At the end of the application, before it is paid and submitted, the fee breakdown will be shown. 


Q. I created a permit I do not require. How do I get rid of the unwanted permit?
A. If the permit is still in draft form it will remain in your account. You cannot delete it. Eventually it will move off the page. You can also re-use drafts at a later date provided, they are from the same year.

If the permit was submitted, you can "withdraw" the permit by clicking the "withdraw" button in the permit file, accessed through the My Activities tab. Click the permit to open the file, and scroll down in the permit file to the withdraw button. For step-by-step instructions please see How To Withdraw a permit and request a refund.

 Q. Is there a way to confirm if the application was successfully submitted?
Yes. Check your My Activities tab within your customer portal account. The status is listed beside in the status column.

 

Financial Matters

Below are a number of resources to help you navigate all things financial, from paying for a permit to requesting a refund to paying a security deposit. 

The Application

Application fees must be paid in full at time of submission. Fees can be paid by credit card online, or by dropping off cheque at a customer service center. At the end of the application, the fees will be summarized on the Customer Attestation Page. Use the [Pay and Submit] button to open the payment interface. Once the payment is processed the permit will submit to us, and the status of the permit will change to ‘Submitted’.  View a complete list of permit fees.

Saved Application
If you chose to save the permit application instead of pay and submit, the permit will remain in draft form in your customer portal account. 
You can pay for the permit at any time by opening the permit application and selecting ‘Next’ until you arrive at the end of the application. You will arrive at the same attestation summary page with the [Pay and Submit] button available to you. 

Pay Menu
Alternatively, you can pay for multiple permits in one credit card transaction by using the ‘Pay’ option from the top menu of the customer portal. Save the permit at the end of the application. The ‘Pay’ menu opens a list of outstanding permit fees and you can select which permits to pay at one time. Paying for permits through this method does NOT auto-submit the permit application. 
Each permit application must be submitted after payment is completed by opening the permit file and using the next button to navigate to the Attestation and summary page. At the bottom of the page you will see a [Submit] button.  View How to pay fees on a saved permit application (PDF).

Estimate Fees
It is possible to create an estimate of permit fees before completing an application. 
On the customer portal home page, select Estimate and fill in required fields. This is an estimate only

My Payments
The My Payments tab contains a list of all transactions made from your customer portal account. The table lists the permit, date, receipt number and amount paid. The table can be exported to Excel for integration with other accounting software. 
The Receipt Number links to a receipt PDF that can be used for invoicing purposes. Check out How to View Receipts (PDF)

Additional Fees and Refunds 

Outstanding Fees
If changes in an application result in changes to the fees owing, you will be required to pay the difference. In these situations, the permit will be returned to you to pay fees and re-submit the application. This typically happens at Completeness Check and the permit will be returned as Application Incomplete. For example, if the footprint area in the application was smaller than documents indicate, staff will update the field in the application. This will result in outstanding fees owing. Use the ‘Next’ button to navigate to the last page of the application and use the [Pay Fees and Submit] button. 

On occasion, additional fees may be incurred during the review or inspection process. To pay fees at this stage, open the permit file from the My Activities tab. The file will open to the Permit Details tab and a [Pay] button will be available. Clicking the button opens the payment interface and outstanding fees can be paid by credit card. 
 
Refunds
Changes in an application may also result in a refund. Refunds can be requested from the customer portal once a permit is at the In-Review status. View How-To Request Refund (PDF). If the refund is requested because the permit is being withdrawn, you must also withdraw the permit. View How to Request Refund and Submit a Withdraw (PDF). 

Security Deposits

All types of work impacting the municipal right of way require an “approved ROW contractor”. Contractors must provide a current Certificate of Insurance that meets the requirements of By-law S-300 to be designated an “Approved ROW Contractor”. 

If the insurance meets our criteria, the policy number is recorded as the license number and forms part of the contractor profile. The contractor will be validated in the system up to the date of expiry of insurance. Once validated, applicants will be able to select the ROW approved contractor for ROW permit applications. 

Bonds / lines of credit or a security deposit are required in advance of certain types of Right-of-Way work as part of the application and are paid at time of submission. These deposits are paid to the municipality and refunded only when work is completed to our satisfaction and has passed the warranty period (typically 2 years) to our satisfaction.  View How to Set up a ROW License (PDF).

Common Questions and Troubleshooting Tips

Q. My credit card was declined. What can I do?
A. Check that your credit card number and expiry date are correctly entered. If the problem persists, check with your credit card company. The municipality does not know the reason for declines. It may help to print the Transaction Declined screen for conversations with your bank. If your card was declined, your permit remains in the draft status, and is not submitted.

Q. My transaction is incomplete, or my transaction was declined, what can I do?
A. This is a common error message and is frequently related to autofill or timeout on the webpage. Troubleshooting tips:

•    Autofill sometimes enters the address incorrectly in the form – check the address.
•    Ensure the Address entered is the registered address on file associated with the credit card. 
•    The payment page timed out or was not refreshed before completing the payment. This may be due to a blip in wifi connectivity or due to inactivity on the page for too long. Close down and start again. 


Q. I paid for my permit using the ‘pay and submit’ button but the status still says Draft?
A. If you received confirmation that your payment was successful after using the “Pay and Submit” button but your permit status still reads Draft your permit has NOT been submitted and we cannot begin the application process. This is unfortunately a common error and we are working to resolve it. In the interim, to submit your permit you must navigate through the application pages using the ‘NEXT’ button and click the “Submit” button at the end. You do NOT need to re-pay for the permit if you received confirmation of payment.


Q. I would like to use the customer portal, but I do not want to pay online using Visa or Mastercard. Do I have any options?
A. •    In order for a permit application to be submitted online it must be paid in full using either Visa, MasterCard, Visa Debit, Mastercard Debit or Amex.  (Only one tender type is accepted via our online payment system.)

  • If you prefer to pay in person you can visit our Planning & Development Counter at: 5251 Duke St, 3rd Floor, Suite 300, Duke Tower, Halifax 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed between 12-1 p.m.) Monday to Friday, excluding Holidays


Q. Can I see what payments I have made on permits within my online account?
A. Yes, when logged into your account, you can see all payments made under the "My Payments" tab on the top right of your screen. You can search for specific payment dates and ranges, and then you can view, print or download a copy of the payment receipt. You can also save all payments as an excel document for your records.
 

 

Monitoring & Tracking Your Application

Learn tips here about using the system to monitor the progress of your application. 

My Activities Tab

The My Activities tab is the heart of the customer portal for permitting. The My Activities tab shows the status of all your permits in real time; As the permits progress, the status will update. If a permit is returned to you for edits, you will see the notification in the My Activities Tab. 
View How to Navigate the Customer Portal/Dashboard (PDF)

Monitoring Status
Permit applications begin as Drafts in your customer portal account. Drafts are not visible to municipal staff and are therefore not considered applications. They are only applications once they are paid for and submitted. The status will change to Submitted when visible to municipal  staff. 

As permits progress through the application steps the status will change from: Submitted, to In Review, to Ready For Issue, to Issued. 
As the status changes, the actions you can take on the permit also change. For example, you can only request a refund once the permit reaches In Review status. You can only request inspections after the permit is Issued. These actions are available as buttons in the permit file. At any time, you can open the permit file from the My Activities tab by clicking the icon beside the permit number. 

Using the My Activities Table
The information visible on the My Activities tab is in a Table that can be searched, sorted and expanded. By default, the permits with the most recent activity will be at the top of the list. To search the table, use the search link at the bottom of the table or from the main menu bar. Enter search criteria into the search fields. View How to Search for a permit in the Customer Portal (PDF)

To sort the table, click on any of the column headers. The table will sort ascending to descending based on the information in the column selected. If you click the same header again, it will sort descending to ascending. This feature allows you to sort the table according to your preferences. To expand the visible list of permits in My Activities click the “Show More” button at the top of the table. The table will expand to show other types of information (not related to permits) and will reveal a second “Show More Button” at the bottom of the list. Clicking the second “Show More” button will show up to 100 permits in the My Activities tab. If there are more than 100 permits, use the search function to open permits that are not visible on the table. View How to Search for and Sort Permits (PDF). 
 

The Permit File

At any time, you can open the permit file by clicking the icon beside the permit in the My Activities Tab. 

The permit file will open by default to the details tab. The details tab is always present and contains a summary of the application information. It is from this tab that customers can take actions on the permit such as request refund, print permit or request inspections to name a few. 

As the permit progresses through the various stages of approval additional tabs will appear in the permit file. 
•    When the permit is first submitted you will see a Documents Tab summarizing the documents uploaded to support your application. You will also see if there are any holds on your application. 

Hold Issuance: Holds are placed on a permit for a variety of reasons. The most common holds are for required related permits. The hold is triggered to flag the processing staff to check for the related permit. If the related permit is not in the system the hold will remain and the permit will not be issued. If the related permits are in our system as required, staff will remove the hold as part of the “Ready for Issue” final checks. For other holds, the staff will evaluate at “Ready for Issue” and resolve each hold on a case-by-case basis. Any unresolved holds must be addressed before the permit can be issued. 

Hold Completion: These holds prevent a permit from issuing the final completion or occupancy certificate. There are many types of completion holds that can be placed on a permit. The most common are related to documents that must be provided during the inspection phase. When the requirements of the completion hold are met, the hold will be removed and the certificate will be issued. 

•    During In Review, the documents tab is no longer visible, but a Reviews Tab will appear to allow you to track reviews in more detail. Each permit has multiple reviewers and in the Reviews tab you can track when each review is completed. At the bottom you can see the documents associated with the application. There is also a Review Schedule tab that appears and lists all required reviews on the permit (completed and outstanding). 
•    Both the Reviews Tab and the Review Schedule tab disappear when the permit is Ready For Issue and the Documents tab reappears summarizing all documents on file as part of the permit. 
•    When the permit is Issued, the permit file will show an Inspections tab that summarizes required inspections, requested inspection dates and inspection completed date. It also provides a link to cancel a scheduled inspection.  See more about inspections in the Inspection Help section. 

Common Questions & Troubleshooting 

Q. My permit appears to be missing from my Customer Portal account? Where did it go?
A. It’s likely your permit is not missing but has been removed from your customer portal dashboard, because the permit has been completed, a certificate has been Issued and the permit requires no further action.  

To locate your permit, you’ll need to use the Search function. You can search by the permit number or address.  Only one criteria is needed to run your search, in fact, entering multiple criteria may not return any search results. For certain permits (ex. sign & development) where there are typically no inspections, the permits will be removed from My Activities immediately after issuance. 


Q. What about my existing permits before the new online permit system went live?
A. Any permits submitted prior to December 15, 2020 will remain in the existing system until complete, and you will continue to interact with Planning & Development as you have been. Any new permits submitted in the new system will be processed in the new system, and if you created them in your customer portal account, you will be able to monitor them in that account. 

Q. How do I know my permit status?
A. At any time you can see the status of your permit in the ‘My Activities’ Tab of your customer portal account. Note: applications with the status of Draft are NOT visible to municipal staff and we cannot begin their application process until the status reads ‘Submitted’.


 

Incomplete Application & Revisions Required

If your permit is returned to you for edits check out these step by step guides to help you get your permit back on track. 

Introduction

There are two stages when a permit application may be returned to you for editing. 
1. The first occurs just after submission. The permit application is reviewed for completeness. If municipal  staff determine information  is missing the application will be returned as Incomplete Application
2. The second opportunity for staff to return the file occurs during In Review Stage. If a reviewer has questions or issues with an application document, the file will be returned as Revisions Required
In both instances you will see red text in My Activities alerting you to the issue. You may also receive an email notifying you that your permit requires attention. When permits are returned to the customer, they are removed from our processing queue until they are re-submitted. When the application is corrected, and the file is resubmitted, it will go to the end of the queue. 

There may be instances where changes to the permit are initiated by you as the applicant. These are called revision requests, if requested before the permit is issued. See below for more information on requesting a revision. 

 If the change is requested after the permit is issued, it is called an amendment. See After your permit is Issued help section for information on Amendments. 

Incomplete Application

Applications that are missing information or contain documents that do not meet our document standards, will be returned Application Incomplete. For instructions on dealing with permits returned at this stage please review How To fix and re-Submit an Incomplete Application (PDF)

Revisions Required

Applications returned during In Review will appear as Revision’s Required. The reviewer is requesting a change or edit to a document. At this time in the application process you cannot alter the application information, you can only adjust the documents, and only when the file is returned to you.  View How to View and Submit Revision Requests (PDF). There are step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting tips and critical must do’s listed in the document.  

Requesting Revisions

If you wish to make a change to the application before the permit is issued, you can Request Revisions. To request a revision please contact 311 and ask to speak to a Processing Coordinator. Inform the processing coordinator you would like to Request a Revision to your application. The processing coordinator will initiate our internal processes to have the permit returned to you for editing.

Common Questions & Troubleshooting 

Q. I made changes to my documents as requested but the page only says Save and I cannot Resubmit the application.
A. You are in the wrong section to fully address the Revisions Requested. You are in the permit file and you need to be on the revision portal page. Please refer to How to View and Submit Revision Requests for instructions (PDF). 

Q. My application was returned Application Incomplete but I cannot find the reason it was returned.
A. Municipal staff comments appear on the bottom half of the first page that opens when you click the icon beside the permit in My Activities. Please see How To fix and re-Submit an Incomplete Application (PDF) for complete instructions. 

Q. How can I copy the comments sent to me by the reviewer?
A. Unfortunately, at this time the format of the comments prevent them from being copied. We are working with out vendor to address this limitation. You can download and print mark-up comments. Please follow the steps outlined in How to View and Submit Revision Requests (PDF).

Q. The Review Tab disappeared from the permit file -how do I see the comments?
A. Once a permit application completes all of the reviews, the review tab and reviewer comments are removed from the file as that step is complete. The tabs and information that remain in the permit file are what is approved and considered the final version of the application. 
 

 

Inspections

When you’re ready – request inspections and see the results by following these steps in this section. 

Introduction

As soon as a permit is issued, the file is open to request inspections. Inspections are requested from the customer portal - My Activities tab by clicking the Request Inspection link OR by opening the permit file and selecting the Request Inspection button from the details tab. For more information view How to Request Inspections (PDF).

To see what inspections are required for your permit, and in what order they need to be requested, click the Request Inspection. In the pop-up window below the section to schedule an inspection is a list of required inspections and the recommended order. If an inspection is requested and the date or time are no longer suitable, you can cancel an inspection request from the pop-up window or from the My Inspections Tab.  

After an inspection has been completed, the result of the inspection will be visible on the My Inspection Tab. the result options will be Passed, Partial Passed or Failed.  Check out How To View Inspection Results (PDF).

View the important inspection-related information sheet (PDF).
 

Common Questions & Troubleshooting 

Q. I scheduled an inspection for the following workday, but the inspection did not occur. What went wrong?
A. Planning & Development works on a 'best efforts' basis and attempts to provide the requested inspections on the next business day. Sometimes a given day's workload is too high, and some inspections must be rescheduled.

Q. Our firm has two companies. Will I be able to schedule inspections for either company from one account?
A. No. You will need a separate Customer Portal Account and separate Contractor Profile for each company.

Q. I have scheduled a future-dated inspection and now wish to adjust the date. What should I do?
A. If the inspection scheduled is within one business day, call the inspection line 902-490-7097 to reschedule. If the inspection is scheduled more than one business day away, you can cancel it on your Customer Portal account in the inspections tab by pressing “Cancel”. You'll then need to reschedule the inspection by requesting a new date. 
 

 

 

 

After Your Permit is Issued 

Once your permit is issued there are still a number of steps and actions you can take. Check out this section for what you can do, and how you can do it, in the customer portal.

Introduction

Issuing a permit is not the end of the permitting process. There are still a few steps to complete and actions to be taken at this stage.

Print Permit
The permit, once issued, is available to you immediately in your customer portal account. View How To Print an Issued Permit in the Customer Portal (PDF)

Submit Inspection Documents

You may be required to submit documents after certain stages of work are completed, for example Location Certificates after footings are placed, or Geotech certificates for footings placed on fill.  Except for location certificates, all post issue documents are submitted through the customer portal as Supplemental documents. View How to Upload Supplemental Documents (PDF).

Location certificates are a different because they need to be approved by multiple reviewers. Location Certificate must be uploaded as an amendment request. View How to Submit a Location Certificate (PDF)

Amend or Cancel a Permit

Amendments
Amendments are requests to change the permit application information after a permit is issued. Amendments are requested from the customer portal, permit file, details tab. 

Amendments can be minor and adjusted by the processing coordinators upon request, or complex and require all reviewers to re-approve an application. In some cases the amendment will be so significant that an entirely new application is required. View How to Request and Amendment (PDF). 

Cancel a permit
A permit can only be cancelled once it has been issued. If the permit has not been issued and you no longer wish to proceed with the work, you will withdraw the permit. Permits can only be cancelled by contacting HRM (311) and requesting the permit be cancelled. There is no function in the customer portal for this action. 
 

Change a Contractor or Applicant

If required, customers can change the applicant information or contractor information on an issued permit. This is typically done if one contractor is responsible for the permit application, but another is responsible for completing the work. View How to change an Applicant or Contractor after the permit is issued (PDF) for step-by-step instructions. 

Action Items for Occupancy Permit

For new construction, and additions your occupancy or certificate of completion will be issued at project completion, after all inspections have been passed and all hold completions have been satisfied. You do not need to apply for an occupancy permit.

Do you have an expired building permit, (more than one year), a commercial occupancy, (with no renovations) or home occupancy? If so, use this application to occupy

Often there are two overlooked action items for the occupancy permit to be issued, the final lot grading certificate and, where applicable, the final septic installation report.  

Process for Final Lot Grading Certificate and/or Owner Undertaking

  • When landscaping and final grading of the property has been completed, you must submit a Final Lot Grading Certificate, produced by a professional engineer or registered surveyor.  
  • When landscaping cannot be completed, such as during winter months,  you must submit a Deficiency Report, produced by a professional engineer or registered surveyor, and an Owner Undertaking, which must be signed by the owner.  Both are required to be submitted. 
  • You must then submit the Final Lot Grading Certificate within nine (9) months, after having submitted the Deficiency and Owner Undertaking.
  • The final lot grading certificate and/or deficiency report with owner undertaking, must be submitted to the associated Lot Grading permit or Grade Alteration permit.
  • You must request a Lot Grading Inspection in the associated Lot Grading permit or Grade Alteration permit. The final lot grading certificate and/or deficiency report with owner undertaking are to be uploaded as supplemental documents.

Process for Final Septic Installation Report

  • After the septic tank and field have been installed and inspected, a Final Septic Installation Report, must be submitted to the building permit. Please upload the document and select Document Type as “Certificate of Installation – Sewage Disposal”, and submit it as an “Amendment”.  If you are unable to submit the Amendment, select “Partial CO”.
Certificates

Certificates of occupancy and certificates of completion mark the end of the permitting process. Once a certificate is issued, there are no more actions to be taken on a permit. The permit remains accessible to you in the customer portal through the search function, but is no longer visible in the My Activities Tab. View How to Find a permit that is no longer visible on the customer portal dashboard (PDF). 

To access and print the certificates, use the search function and download the certificates following the steps outline in How to Print a Final Certificate from the Customer Portal (PDF).

Expire or Renew

Permits will expire a certain amount of time after being Issued. The expiry varies based on permit type. Prior to a permit expiring, the applicant will receive an email notification that the permit is about to expire. These are autogenerated a set amount of time before the expiration. Once the email is received, the permit can be renewed from the customer portal. A renewal is requested if more time is required to complete the work described in the permit. View How to Renew a Permit (PDF).

Alternatively, a permit can be left to expire. If a permit expires it cannot be re-activated. The application process must begin again. 

 

Complete List of All User Guides (PDF) & Videos

 Here's a complete list of the step-by-step documents & videos to guide users of the new Online Permit and Inspection Application process.

Step-by-Step User Guides (PDF) to using the System

Getting Started:
Before You Begin (PDF)
How to Register a Customer Portal Account (PDF)
How to Create a Contractor Profile (PDF)
How to Navigate the Customer Portal/Dashboard (PDF)
How to Sign Up for Notification Email (PDF)
How to Use Street Segments (PDF)
Permit Types (PDF)
Document Naming Convention / Document Standards (PDF)

Contractor Profile & Project Function
How to Create a Contractor Profile (PDF)
How to Use Project Function (PDF)

Submitting An Application 
Permit Types (PDF)
Type and Scope of Work (PDF)
Type of Structure (PDF)
How to Navigate the Customer Portal/Dashboard (PDF)
How to Add an Address (PDF)
How to Add an Address with Multiple Addresses (PDF)
How to Use Street Segments (PDF)
Occupancy Grid (PDF)
How to Add a Contractor to an Application (PDF)
How to Upload Documents (PDF)
Document Naming Convention / Document Standards (PDF)
How to Apply for a Permit Online (PDF)
How to Apply for a Backyard Suite Permit (PDF)
How to Apply for a Secondary Suite Permit (PDF)

Financial Matters 
How to Pay Fees on a Saved Permit (PDF)
How to Submit a Withdraw and Request a Refund (PDF)
How To Request a Refund (PDF)
How to Establish an ROW Contractor License (PDF) (coming soon)

Monitoring & Tracking Your Application
How to Search for a Permit in the Customer Portal (PDF)

Incomplete Application & Revisions Required
How to Fix an Incomplete Application (PDF)
How to View and Submit Revision Requests (PDF)

Inspections 
How to Request Inspections (PDF)

After Your Permit is Issued 
How to Change an Applicant or Contractor after the Permit is Issued (PDF)
How To Print an Issued Permit in the Customer Portal (PDF)
How To Print a Final Certificate from the Customer Portal (PDF)
How to Find a Permit That is no Longer Visible in the Dashboard (PDF)
How to Request an Amendment (PDF)
How to Renew a Permit (PDF)
How to Submit a Location Certificate (PDF)

Videos

Here's a series of videos to help guide and introduce users to our new Online Permit and inspection system.

Before You Begin
Website 
Registering Customer Account
Customer Portal Dashboard .
Create Contractor Profile
Customer Portal Permit Application