With some exceptions (see below), a permit shall be obtained before installing, altering, repairing, replacing or remodeling any building or structure. If you have mechanical, electrical and plumbing work, you will need separate permits for each of those categories. There is no single MEP permit that covers all three. However, if you are obtaining a Building Permit for a house, duplex, or new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), then the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work would be included together under a single Residential Building Combination (RBC) Permit. For example, if you are adding a bathroom, you can include all of the related MEP work within the building itself under the scope of the Combination Permit.
The following types of work are exempt and do not require MEP permits:
Most MEP permits do not require you to submit plans. However, you may request Plan Review for an additional fee. NOTE: MEP permits are separate from a Building Permit. That means you must obtain MEP permits in addition to other required permits before any mechanical, electrical or plumbing work is performed. Only projects that are eligible for a Residential Building Combination Permit (e.g., a house, duplex or related detached accessory structure) are exempt from this requirement since they are already included in the scope of the project. Please be aware that MEP permits will not be issued until the related Building Permit (if required) is issued.
Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.
Apply through our Online Permit Center (must be a fully registered and activated user):
Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.