How to Fill Out a New Jersey Building Permit Application

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Things You'll Need

  • Building plans

  • Fees

  • Architect seal and signature

  • Owner affidavit


Some cities, such as Jersey City, have websites dedicated to describing how local and state regulations intersect (see Resources). They provide local ordinances and the UCC regulations on which they’re based, as well as contact names.

Permit fees vary among municipalities and are based on the nature of the project.

Completing a New Jersey building permit application is straightforward, but do your homework first.

When building in New Jersey, you must apply for a state construction permit and perhaps county and local permits. All New Jersey municipalities adhere to and enforce the state's Uniform Construction Code, and some local governments impose additional building and code requirements. For example, Tenafly's Borough Code regulates historic preservation projects, property maintenance, tree removal and aspects of construction operations such as noise and pollution.

Step 1

Download and print a construction permit application packet (see Resources). This packet contains the general permit application and other application forms you may need, depending on the nature of the construction. Referred to as "Subcode Technical Sections," these forms relate to building, electrical, plumbing, fire, framing, mechanical and elevator aspects of your job.

Step 2

Familiarize yourself with building permit requirements in New Jersey before filling out the application. Some types of construction don't require permits. For example, no permit is needed for temporary greenhouses and other membrane structures, certain emergency projects, and "ordinary" and "minor" jobs as defined by statute. These jobs can include painting, plumbing, some electrical work, household siding, window and door installation, roof repairs and interior remodeling.

Step 3

Complete the two-page construction permit application. Read the form carefully before you start to fill it out. Call the local building department if you have questions. You may not understand certain terms, especially if you haven't previously completed a permit application. The "Name of Owner in Fee" box, for example, refers to the property owner, not the contractor.

You'll be asked to describe the proposed structure or characteristics of the building and the nature of the work being done, such as new building, plumbing, electrical, lead hazard abatement or demolition. Cost estimates also are required.

Step 4

Attach any plans, affidavits or other required documents. The architect's or engineer's seal and signature must be affixed to each copy of the plans submitted and on the first page of any supporting specifications. If you are filing the application on behalf of the owner in fee, the application must be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner verifying that the proposed work is authorized and that you are empowered to file the application.

Permits are the property of the owner. If you are the homeowner and prepared your own plans, the seal requirement will be waived, but you must submit an affidavit attesting that you prepared the plans.

Step 5

Complete any accompanying state permit applications that you'll need. Application forms can be obtained through the municipality in which your building project will occur, or online (see Resources). Inquire about any county or local permits that might be necessary to commence your building project.

references & resources

John Kibilko

John Kibilko has been writing professionally since 1979. He landed his first professional job with "The Dearborn Press" while still in college. He has since worked as a journalist for several Wayne County newspapers and in corporate communications. He has covered politics, health care, automotive news and police and sports beats. Kibilko earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University.