Mayor Breed, Supervisor Peskin, and Supervisor Stefani have introduced legislation to simplify the permitting process for existing awnings. The legislation must be approved before the new process takes effect. Once approved, the new process will remain in effect through 12/31/23.
The information below is meant to assist property owners in preparing the required information to obtain a permit for an existing awning after the legislation is approved. Once the new process is in place, a step-by-step guide will be published on SF.gov.
The simplified process will enable property owners to:
- Obtain an awning permit for an existing awning without a licensed contractor or awning installer
- Abate notices of violation for unpermitted awnings
There will be no permit, inspection or penalty fees assessed for awning permits obtained using this temporary process. Some modest state fees and local surcharges will still apply.
New uninstalled awnings cannot use this process and should follow the standard new sign/awning permit process. All new or additional awning installation/construction must be performed by a licensed contractor or awning installer.
Review the following information to fill out the right forms and prepare the required photo documentation. For additional permitting assistance, please visit the Permit Center Help Desk at 49 South Van Ness or contact the Office of Small Business.
Documents to prepare and where to submit them
To get a permit for your existing awning, you will need to submit:
- Owners Package documenting that you are the building owner or representative
- Building Permit Applications –
a. Form 4/7 Sign Permit
b. Form 3/8 Alteration Permit - only if you have received a Notice of Violation
- Dimensioned photographs with information about your existing awning, including measurements and other awning details, written on them; an example is provided below
- Once the proposed process is codified, you will submit the documents to the San Francisco Permit Center at 49 South Van Ness
- Owners Package
a. To get a permit for your existing awning, you will need to submit an Owners Package documenting that you are the building owner or representative or a Contractor statement documenting that you are authorized to obtain the permit
- Building Permit Applications – assistance with completing these forms is available at the Permit Center Help Desk at 49 South Van Ness
a. Fill out a form 4/7 Sign Permit Application with the following information
i) Check box 4 - Erect Sign
ii) Description of Existing Building – note: (x) represents the box number on the
(1) Type of construction
(2) Number of stories
(3) Present use of the building – commercial, retail, food service, etc…
(4) Approximate height (measuring the center of the front of building)
(5) Estimated cost of the awning at installation
iii) Description of Proposed Sign
(7) Check box for "Existing Awning/Marquee/Canopy" and describe your
awning, including size, estimated weight and thickness, confirm the
awning is not illuminated and, in the purpose section, check the box
for "New Sign"
(8) Provide contact information for the licensed contractor or awning installer
who did the work
(12) Write "Comply with NOV #xxxxxx" or "Permit Awning Installed Without
b. Fill out two copies of a Form 3/8 Alteration Permit – only if you received a Notice of
Violation – with the following information
i) Provide the building address, block and lot
ii) Legal Description of Existing Building – note: (x) represents the box number on
the Form 3/8
(4A) Type of construction
(5A) Number of stories
(6A) Whether the building has a basement or cellar
(7A) Present use of the building – commercial, retail, food service, etc…
(8A) Occupancy class, if available
iii) (16) Write In Description of All Work To Be Performed Under This Application –
write “To comply with Notice of violation (NOV) ############ and
legalize existing awning installed without a permit”
- Dimensioned photographs – assistance identifying the information required on the dimensioned photographs is available at the Permit Center Help Desk at 49 South Van Ness
a. Provide dimensioned photos with labels documenting the information detailed
b. Photos need to be printed on 11”x17” paper. Two copies of the photos are required with your permit application
c. Required information to be printed on the photographs:
i) Dimensions of awning
ii) Approximate weight of awning
iii) Awning frame to be 8’ above sidewalk
iv) Awning valance (fabric hanging off the frame) to be 7’ above sidewalk
v) Wall type – wood, masonry, steel, concrete
vi) Structural information:
a) Wall anchor used – must be the appropriate anchor (generally a screw)
for the wall type, such as wood, masonry, steel, or concrete
1) Top anchors - number, diameter, depth of anchor, if available
2) Bottom anchors - number, diameter, depth of anchor, if available
Click here for a sample labeled, dimensioned photo. (Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog)
- Submit documents and apply for your permit – do not do this yet
You will then come to the Permit Center at 49 South Van Ness and submit your
documents in the Over the counter (OTC) permit area and follow the normal
permit and inspection procedures.
As noted above, this temporary process is not in place yet and the information
provided above is only to assist you in preparing the required documentation.
If you need assistance in completing these forms, please visit the Permit Center
Help Desk at 49 South Van Ness or contact the Office of Small Business.