Permit Notification Program

Expired Permits

Last updated May 24, 2016 - 12:16 pm

The Permit Notification Program informs contractors and property owners when permits are due to expire and inspection of the project is needed.

This webpage provides answers to some frequently asked questions. If additional assistance is needed, emails may be sent to ExpiredPermits@raleighnc.gov.

Policy for New Permit Issuance on Expired Permits (applicable to all permits that expire on or after July 1, 2015)

A new permit is valid for 180 days (six months). Work must begin during that time to remain valid. To confirm that work has commenced, an inspection must be done. After each inspection, confirming progression of work, the permit remains valid for an additional twelve months. If work stops for more than twelve months at any point during the project, the permit will become invalid. At least one inspection should occur, confirming progression of work, every twelve months after the initial inspection to keep the permit valid.

Expiration of a single permit:
Customers that purchased a single permit at the minimum permit fee with expired permits must purchase a new permit at the current minimum permit fee.

Expiration of multiple permits on a single project:
Customers with expired permits for projects requiring multiple permits will be credited for any expired permit fees previously paid toward the purchase of new permits at the current rate. A one time administrative fee will also apply.

In addition, projects with expired permits that require a plan review due to changes in the design or a new building code will be charged all applicable plan review fees. This applies to commercial construction that is 4000 square feet or larger.

How does the program work?

Active permits will be monitored and permit-holders will be notified 30 days prior to the expiration of their permit as a reminder that required inspections must be made before the permit expires. Letters will also be sent out post-expiration date. A copy of all letters will be sent to homeowners for their records. Permit-holders will be instructed to obtain new permits and get required inspections to ensure that the work has been done in accordance with the code.

What is a permit and why is it required?

A permit gives authorization for work to be done on certain types of projects (see next question for project types). Once the work begins, inspections must be made to ensure that the work meets all applicable codes and specifications. All inspections must receive final approval from the City inspections department. Homeowners benefit from having a City inspector because they are a neutral party (not paid by the contractor or homeowner and have no financial interest in the work being done). They are knowledgeable about state codes and are required to make sure that work is done safely and in accordance with state and local laws/codes.

What types of work require permits?

Some common types of work include:

  • Construction, additions, remodeling, repairs, replacements, upgrades or any other project over $5,000
  • Accessory structures such as detached garages, sheds larger than 12 feet and platforms
  • Any project that involves structural support changes (roof or floor), load-bearing walls, screened porches, decks and balconies
  • Replacement of a hot water heater, duct running or ventilation
  • Running of lines or replacement of shower or bath tub enclosures
  • Projects that require electrical wiring, such as installation of ceiling fans, electrical outlets and overhead lighting
  • Landscape Irrigation systems
  • Retaining walls that stand over four feet in height
  • Interior and exterior fireplaces and fireplace inserts
  • Skylights
  • Exterior siding
  • Fences

Who is responsible for obtaining a permit and requesting inspections once the work has commenced?

In most cases a licensed contractor must obtain all required permits. However, homeowners may act as their own contractor in some situations. Whoever obtains the permits must request inspections at various stages of construction.

How long are permits valid?

Permits are initially valid for 180 days (six months). Work must begin during that time or the permit will become invalid. To confirm that work has commenced, an inspection must be done. After each inspection, confirming progression of work, the permit remains valid for an additional twelve months. If work stops for more than twelve months at any point during the project, the permit will become invalid. Therefore, at least one inspection should occur, confirming progression of work, every twelve months after the initial inspection to keep the permit valid.

Why did I receive a notice about an expired permit?

In an effort to improve customer services the City of Raleigh has conducted a review of open permits to ensure that all required inspections have been performed. The review revealed that a permit obtained for work on your property has expired without the approval of all required inspections.

What should I do now that I have received this notification?

The first step in resolving this issue is to contact the contractor that obtained the permit because it is their responsibility to make sure construction projects are permitted and inspected.

What should I do if the original contractor is no longer in business?

Property owners should call the City of Raleigh at 919-996-2705 to find out the details of the expired permit. Once aware of the situation property owners should secure another contractor to complete the work.

What will happen if I don’t take any action?

Because NC General Statutes 160A-417 requires permits and inspections any unpermitted or uninspected work on your property could result in property damage or personal injury, insurance issues or problems when you try to sell your home or building.

How much will it cost to obtain a replacement permit?

In an effort to ease the burden on property owners, the City will waive the cost associated with obtaining a replacement permit within 90 days of the date of the letter. After 90 days, normal fees apply. Free replacement permits apply to permits that have been issued as of 7/1/2012 and have expired or will expire as of 5/31/2015.

How long will it take for an inspector to conduct their review?

The City has dedicated two full-time multi-trade inspectors to handle all expired permits. Notices have been sent to property owners on a staggered schedule in order to balance the workload. Customer service representatives are available to answer questions and determine a schedule for your inspections.

If the project is complete, how will the inspectors be able to inspect the work?

In some cases, all the work will be visible to the inspectors. However, in cases where walls have been built around electrical or plumbing work, portions of the drywall may have to be removed.