Permit Center

We Are Upgrading Our Customer Portal

The City of Charleston is excited to announce a new Customer Self Service (CSS) portal debuting Tuesday May 11, 2021. This website will replace the City’s current Customer Access Portal (CAP) and provides our customers with an all-new HTML platform experience that can be used on your desktop and mobile devices.  Please note the following:

  • The new CSS application works optimally using Google Chrome browser.
  • You will continue to use your active CAP account credentials. HOWEVER, when you initially log into CSS, you will need to reset your password using “Forgot Password” option in the login screen.

Alert!  

The Permit Center Will be Closed to the Public on Monday May 10, 2021:

  • The City’s Permit Center (2 George Street) will not be open to the public
  • Customer will not be able to access CAP
  • Customers will not be able to schedule inspections using CAP

Customer Feedback Survey 

  • As we make plans to reopen The City, we want to hear from our valued customers on their Permit Center experiences during the pandemic.  Please take a brief survey to help us adjust our services based on your needs.

Permit Office Service Changes due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The City of Charleston’s Permit Center has the following modified operations until further notice in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

The Permit Center is open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for limited in-person services to the public as follows:

  • Drop-off only for paper plans, applications, submittals
  • Pick-up only approved plans and permits
  • General consultation only – Zoning, BAR, Fire Marshal, or Building Inspections staff will NOT be available to the public
  • Some same-day permits are available - residential reroofing, window replacements. fences, signs and mechanical 'change-outs
  • Business license renewals are available
  • Drop-off only for new business license applications

Please note when visiting the Permit Center:

  • Members of the public are required to wear face coverings when entering.  Masks are available.
  • Meetings with staff  by appointment only. Customers must call or e-mail the appropriate city staff members directly to schedule meetings
  • Applicants are encouraged to have all appropriate applications completed prior to entering the Permit Center.

For All Other Permit Center Services:

  • All permit applications, construction documents, and plans must be submitted via permits@charleston-sc.gov.
  • We are only accepting .pdf format files. Any links, JPEG files, embedded documents, or other file types are not accepted.
  • To successfully receive a permit, applicants must have a CAP account.  Please register through The City’s Customer Access Portal (CAP).
  • Paper documents are not accepted; this includes parcel deliveries.
  • The information on this page is subject to change at any time, so we encourage our customers to review often.

Digital Permit Submittals

  • Please consider delaying submittal until the City resumes normal operations if your permit submittal can wait.
  • The City is accepting digital (.pdf files) development and construction related permit applications and construction documents for processing.  Please see below for specific permit guidance. 
  • All permit applications, construction documents, and plans must be submitted via permits@charleston-sc.gov.
  • The City is only accepting attached .PDF file format documents.  We will not open any links, JPEG files, embedded documents, etc.
  • No paper documents are accepted; this includes parcel deliveries.
  • If your permit submittal can wait, please consider delaying submittal until the City resumes normal operations.
  • All digital permit submittals must be accompanied by the appropriate application.
  • Once the permit application is approved, an e-mail notification will be sent to the applicant advising them on payment and printing the permit placards (if applicable).  

Payments

  • Permit payments can only be accepted via our Customer Access Portal (CAP).  
  • Apply for a CAP account, see “CAP Registration”.
  • Once the permit application is approved, the applicant will receive an e-mail notification to log in to their CAP account to pay for the permit. Once the permit is paid, permit status will be updated to ‘Issued’ in 1 – 2 business days.
  • Once the permit status is ‘Issued’, the applicant can log into their CAP account, print the permit placard for display at the project site, and work can commence. Click here for instructions for printing permit placards.
  • Business and Hospitality License renewal payments options

Inspections

  • Building, Fire, Zoning, BAR/DRB, and Engineering inspections will continue, when practical, based on guidance from Center for Disease Control (CDC), South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and City leadership.
  • City deemed non-critical inspections and inspections of existing occupied structures may be deferred or delayed.
  • The City will not inspect buildings and structures that have 3 or more people congregated in enclosed areas. 
  • The City inspector may ask for occupants to vacate in order to conduct the inspection
  • The City inspector may ask for the inspection to be rescheduled when the areas/buildings are cleared of occupants
  • For more information, visit:

Business License
Renewal business licenses and hospitality payment options:

New business license applications, please email hamiltoni@charleston-sc.gov

Contact Us
Please contact us if you have questions or need guidance:

Permit Center

Outside of the Permit Center
Permit Center Doors
permit center map

Permit Center Flow

Commercial and Residential projects are to be submitted at stations 5 & 6 with a Development Coordinator. Development Coordinators also answer questions relating to most permitting processes and other City related inquires.

The Customer Service Coordinator at the front of the Permit Center processes all new Single Family projects. This process can be initiated using our Customer Access Portal or by coming into the Permit Center.

Permit Issuance

Stations 1 through 4 are the Permit Center's Permit Technicians. Building Permits, Sub Trade Permits and Business Licenses are issued at these stations.

Business Licensing

You can renew or apply for a new Business License, Home Occupation License, Business license CO, Taxi and Limousine licenses and more. 

Desk Phone: 843-742-3711

 Zoning Division:

The Zoning Division is located at station 7. They answer citizen inquiries regarding the interpretation and application of the zoning ordinance. You can also submit for the Technical Review Committee (TRC). For application information visit their page.
Desk Phone:
  843-579-6414

Building Plan Review

Building Code reviewers at station 9 in the Permit Center verify code compliance with South Carolina and City of Charleston building codes and ordinances.



Desk Phone:  843-573-6416

Board of Architectural Review and Design Review Board 

At station 8 the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) and the Design Review Board (DRB) oversees permitting in the Old and Historic District, Old City District and Design Review sections of the City.

Desk Phone: 843-579-6415


Plat Review and Submission

Plats to be recorded at Charleston and Berkeley County can be dropped off with the Engineering Technician at station 10 in the Permit Center.


Desk Phone:  843-579-6417


Fire Marshal Division

The Fire Marshal Division is responsible for conducting plan review and inspections of permit required work. Plans and applications will be reviewed during the intake process and assigned to one of five levels based on the type and size of the project. Their office is located on the third floor.

Office Phone: 843-724-3429