Start your accessory dwelling unit (ADU) application online

If your project is only for an ADU, start your application online.

What to do

1. Check if your project qualifies for this application

We accept applications for ADUs and work related to ADU construction.

Some examples include:

  • Expansions required for an ADU
  • Excavations required for an ADU
  • New construction for a detached ADU
  • Interior remodel work to create independent access to the ADU

Do not use this application if your project includes:

  • New construction of a single-family home
  • New construction of a multi-unit building
  • Expansion of existing building
  • New construction of a separate building
  • Legalizations
  • Demolition of an existing structure to make room for an ADU

For all non-ADU construction, see instructions from the Department of Building Inspection.

For unit legalizations, follow the Legalization Program process.

2. Gather your project location information

We will ask you about your project location:

  • Block and lot
  • Street address
  • Existing and proposed dwelling units

You must confirm that the property owner has authorized this work.

3. Gather your project details

We will ask you for your project details including:

  • Estimated construction cost
  • Proposed ADUs unit type and square footage

We will process applications as full permits, not site permits.

4. Review the Street Tree checklist

You may need to plant trees on the street. Our street tree checklist can tell you whether your project needs this.

If you do not need to plant a street tree, do not submit these forms.

If you do need to plant trees, you have an option of planting a tree or paying an in-lieu fee. 

If you choose to plant a tree, fill out the tree planting permit and attach it with your form.

If you choose to pay the in-lieu free, note that on your plans.

5. Download and fill out these forms.

You must upload these forms with your application.

Each form will take about 10 to 30 minutes to fill out.

6. Create PDFs of your plans

Follow these rules to create PDFs of plans.

PDFs must be editable. Do not submit locked, password-protected, encrypted, or “restricted” documents.

Each upload must be less than 350 MB. 

Title blocks must have your project address, sheet count, and sheet name.

Every sheet must have the signature and stamp of the professional of record. Use a scanned graphic signature with a PDF stamp.

7. Submit your application

We will ask you about:

  • Your project location
  • Your project details
  • Your contact info
  • Billing contact info

You will also need to upload completed PDFs of the required forms and PDFs of your plans.

This will take about 20 minutes.

8. After you apply

We will send you a confirmation email with your planning application number. 

Use our Property Information Map (PIM) for updates about your application. It will take 1 day for your record to appear in PIM.

A planner will email you about next steps within 14 business days. 


We will tell you what your initial fee is. You must pay your fees electronically. We will send you instructions.

After approval

Once your permit is approved, we will coordinate with you to verify your licensed contractor information.

We will email you your job card to start construction.

Additional permits

You will need to apply online for separate permits if you are:

For buildings resulting with 3 or more residential units after construction, you must fill out a Request for Water Flow Information.

Get help

Last updated March 11, 2021