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***NOTICE*** (Updated July 9, 2020)
In an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, Orange County Government Administration Building is closed to visitors. The Division of Building Safety is open for business, and offering all services, with modified delivery methods. Orange County Division of Building Safety has launched an Economic Incentive Program to offset permit fees as of July 13, 2020. Find out more about this program in the FAQs below, or visit the Orange County Newsroom story. For answers to frequently asked questions about modified services, please see the FAQs below. For more details about the modified services provided by Permitting Services and our partners, please visit the Development Services Coronavirus Information Webpage.

Division of
Building Safety

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Headline 4: Orange County Division of Building Safety launches Economic Incentive Program to offset permit fees. Find out more in the FAQs below, or visit the Orange County Newsroom story.

Headline 5: Sign-up today for the Orlando Solar Co-op, open to all Orange County residents, at solarunitedneighbors.org/Orlando and learn how to install solar energy on your home!

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About The Division of Building Safety

Our mission is to ensure public health, safety and welfare through the enforcement of federal, state and local codes governing construction. The Division of Building Safety staff reviews plans, issues building permits and performs inspections to ensure compliance with the Florida Building Code, the National Electrical Code and Orange County’s Construction Regulations. Proper code compliance ensures the life-safety, structural integrity and accessibility of new construction, alterations and repairs as well as the safe installation and function of electrical, solar, plumbing, fuel gas, heating and air conditioning systems.

The Division of Building Safety consists of several specialized sections which include the following:

  • Administration
  • Contractor Licensing
  • Notice of Commencement
  • Inspections
    • Building Inspections
    • Mechanical Inspections
    • Electrical Inspections
    • Plumbing Inspections
  • Expired Permits
  • Permitting and Records
  • Fast Track Online Services
  • Front Desk
  • Plans Coordination
  • Plan Review
    • Commercial Plan Review
    • Residential Plan Review
Fast Track Online Services Online Permitting and Development Portal

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Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Contents

COVID-19 Assistance and Economic Incentive Program

Is there an assistance program to help with permitting fees?

Beginning July 13, 2020, Orange County Division of Building Safety will enact a program, approved by the Board of County Commissioners to offset permit fees and will continue until a total of $10 million dollars has been awarded and applied toward building permit fees, or January 15, 2021, whichever occurs earlier. Permit applicants will not need to apply for this assistance, it will be applied to the fees associated with a new permit application automatically beginning July 13.

Economic Incentive Program Guidelines:

  • a. The amount of the offset shall be no more than $100,000 per project, regardless of the total construction value of the project.
  • b. For purposes of this Resolution and the Incentive Program, a project is defined as the construction of one or more structure(s) that require a building permit on one, or multiple contiguous, parcel(s) of land by one or more entities, as determined by the Building Official.
  • c. The offsets shall be granted beginning on July 13, 2020, and will continue until a total of $10 million dollars has been awarded and applied toward building permit fees, or January 15, 2021, whichever occurs earlier.
  • d. Any request for an extension to an unexpired building permit issued under this Incentive Program must be in writing, directed to the Building Official, and, if granted, will require payment of the applicable total building permit fee that was originally offset.
  • e. If a building permit issued under this Incentive Program expires without completion of final inspections and issuance of a certificate of occupancy or completion, temporary or permanent, as applicable, any replacement permit shall be subject to payment of the total applicable building permit fee.
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    A copy of the resolution adopted by the Board of County Commissioners will be available soon.

Is Orange County automatically extending all permits by six months?

The Orange County Building Official is has authorized an extension to the expiration date of all unexpired building permits issued as of March 13, 2020, for an additional six months.

COVID-19 RESPONSE - Modified Services Information

How can I learn to use Fast Track Online Services?

Many customers may be able to get the information that they need to be successful with electronic permit applications by viewing the training videos or downloading the step-by-step User Guide. An interactive training course is also available upon request, please call the Division of Building Safety at (407)836-5550. Fast Track Training Video Library: https://fasttrack.ocfl.net/OnlineServices/videos

If you need more help, Orange County Division of Building Safety is offering free live webinars and Q&A sessions on April 16 & 17. Register here: http://ocfl-buildingsafety.eventbrite.com/

Can architects or other representatives apply online without a contractor?

Yes, Permits may be applied for on behalf of a licensed contractor on Fast Track. Before the permit is issued the permit must be assigned to a license holder and the license holder must log in to their account to verify the permit and accept issuance. Learn more about this process by viewing the Fast Track User Guide. The relevant section is titled, “Contractor Verification and Permit Issuance.”

Can homeowners apply for Owner-Builder Permits online now?

Yes, Fast Track has been updated to enable Owner-Builders to apply for permits. Special instructions for this process are available on the Registration Instructions page on Fast Track.

Are you conducting pre-review and other types of meetings remotely?

Yes, Orange County Division of Building Safety Reviewers are conducting meetings remotely utilizing Webex. To schedule a meeting, please send an email to Meghan.Dawson@ocfl.net

How do I submit a Notice of Commencement to be recorded and certified?

The Division of Building Safety offers an expediting service to assist our customers through email. We recommend utilizing this service. Once the recorded and certified copy is returned to us by Official Records, you may download it from your Fast Track Member Services Account. Learn about this process in the training video available at https://fasttrack.ocfl.net/OnlineServices/videos.aspx

Is the Division of Building Safety offering video-call remote inspections?

Most inspections are still occurring with modified protocols. We are working toward a solution in order to offer a remote-video inspection service for very specific inspection types, but do not currently have a solution in place.

Are owner-occupied structure inspections being conducted at this time ?

Inspectors will be required to maintain social distancing and are supplied with a questionnaire to ask the occupant(s) prior to performing the inspection. If the risk level is unacceptable, the inspection will be delayed and the permit will be automatically extended by six months.

For delayed inspections on work that will be covered up, how will this be checked later?

Inspections are being performed on their scheduled date; we are not currently rolling over any inspections. Inspections on new-construction are generally not experiencing any delays. For owner-occupied structures, where it has been determined that risk is too high to enter the structure, our inspectors have been authorized to conduct the inspection from the exterior of the building or by video call while onsite, if possible, to minimize any delay.

Where can I find information about other reviewing divisions and departments?

Partner information is posted on the Orange County Coronavirus Development Services Information Page under “Information About Other Reviewing Departments, Divisions and Permit Types”.

Can we continue work after our threshold inspection if there are delays?

No, threshold inspections do not replace required Orange County inspections. Currently, no inspections are being rolled-over and inspections are generally being conducted on new-construction projects without issues or delays. If you feel your inspection has been delayed or rolled-over, please reach out to one of the Deputy Chief inspectors for your specific trade.

How do we continue the process for previously submitted paper-plans applications?

A drop-box is in place inside the foyer of the Orange County Administration Building. Please contact PlansCoordination@ocfl.net in order to schedule a drop-off or pickup.

Orange County Administration Building
201 S. Rosalind Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

General

What are your hours of operation?

Orange County Government Division of Building Safety is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. During periods of high customer volume, the Division of Building Safety may stop accepting customers when daily capacity for serving existing customers who have already signed in has been met. You may shorten your wait time by getting in line remotely or scheduling an appointment using our online tool. Visit FastTrack.OCFL.net and click on the “Get In Line” icon to get started. Many services and online permitting tools are also available 24/7 through Fast Track Member Services.

Where can I download documents?

Orange County has compiled most permitting and construction forms and resources relevant to permitting and construction in one place online. To view and/or download, please visit the Permitting and Constructions Forms page.

Why do I need a Notice of Commencement (N.O.C.)?

Recording a Notice of Commencement is required by Florida Statute 713.13 when any improvement for which the direct contract price is more than $2,500, or $7,500 for mechanical work. F.S. 713.02(5). The N.O.C. provides a public record of all parties involved in the project, designates a project commencement date and helps to protect lien rights. For permitted work that require one, a certified copy of a recorded N.O.C. must be filed with the Orange County Division of Building Safety in order for you to be able to schedule your first inspection. For more information about the N.O.C., please review the Florida Lien Law.

To record an N.O.C. efficiently, you may download the Notice of Commencement form, complete it, scan it and email it to OrangeN.O.C.@ocfl.net. For more on this process, please view the N.O.C. Training Video on Fast Track.

How can I schedule a Pre-Review meeting?

Please email permittingservices@ocfl.net and request information on how to get started with a pre-review meeting.

Fast Track Online Services

What services are available online?

Orange County’s Fast Track Online Services offers a wide range of services online such as the ability to apply for and obtain a permit, track application and review status, submit corrections and revisions, research contractor licenses, schedule and cancel inspections, download development documents, view meetings and hearings dates, topics and notes, search for permits, investigative reports, addresses and parcels, track the progress of your inspector en route to your location and more. Many tools are available to all visitors but permit applications and electronic plans submittals require a Fast Track Member Services account.

Who can register for Fast Track?

Anyone may register for a Fast Track Member Services account, however, most permit types require a licensed contractor in order to be issued. To learn more about the types of accounts, please visit the Fast Track Registration Instructions page.

How do I learn how to use Fast Track?

Fast Track offers educational videos, user guides and monthly training classes. To register for a class, please visit Fast Track and click on the red ‘Training’ icon.

Code Standards

Which building code is Orange County using?

Orange County abides by the current version of the Florida Building Code which includes these volumes: Building, Residential, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fuel Gas, Energy Conservation, Existing and Accessibility. Additionally, Orange County Division of Building Safety enforces the Orange County Code of Ordinances and the National Electrical Code. If you have additional questions, please email permittingservices@ocfl.net.

Do I Need a Permit?

What projects can be performed without a permit?

Work types that do not require a permit are limited to minor repairs such as residential painting, installation of plug-in portable mechanical equipment such as heating/cooling appliances, installation or replacement of finished floor covering, replacing cabinets and countertops in the same location without reconfiguring the space, residential landscaping excluding irrigation installation, residential satellite dish installation, residential flag poles 15 feet or less in height or sectional removable flag poles 20 feet or less in height.

Work types required for permitting follow Florida Building Code section 105.1, which states, “Any owner or owner's authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any impact resistant coverings, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be performed, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit.”

When are irrigation permits required?

When installing a new irrigation system, when installing or replacing a backflow prevention device or when changing the connection from the house service to an irrigation meter. Repairing or servicing existing equipment, such as sprinkler heads, does not usually require a permit.

Is a permit required to replace my water heater?

Yes, a permit is required to replace a water heater.

When is an electrical permit required?

An electrical permit is required to perform any electrical construction, to install any electrical wiring, apparatus, or equipment, or to make any extensions or changes to existing systems of wiring for light, heat, or power per Orange County Code of Ordinances Section 9-86 (a).

A low-voltage permit is required for security systems, burglar alarms, cable TV, closed circuit TV, data cabling, phones and speaker wires unless exempted by statutory requirements.

A solar permit is required for the installation of photovoltaic systems.

Is a permit required to replace Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment?

A mechanical permit is always required for HVAC equipment replacement or modification. If the system is an upgrade requiring different size wires or breakers then you need both electrical and mechanical permits.

Who may apply for a permit?

Building permits may be obtained by a Florida licensed Certified or Registered General Contractor, Building Contractor or Residential Contractor. The property owner may obtain an owner/builder building permit as long as the property is for the occupancy or use of the owner. Additional exemptions apply. Permit applications for properties owned by a corporation, LLC or trusts must be applied for by a Florida Licensed building contractor. If you have additional questions, please email permittingservices@ocfl.net.

Permitting Questions

Where can I obtain a building or sub-trade permit?

The Division of Building Safety is located on the first floor of the Orange County Administration Building at 201 S. Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL 32802. If you are a homeowner doing your own work, you must appear in person. If you are a licensed contractor or sub-trade contractor, you may register for a Fast Track Member Services account and obtain permits online.

How do I apply for a new structure building permit?

We have compiled online resources which explain the processes:

How much does a permit cost?

Please see Orange County’s Fee Directory, Building Safety fees are in Section 3, Planning, Environmental and Development.

Permits for new construction can involve review and/or inspection fees by 10 or more different divisions. These fees are not all set amounts, but can be based on factors such as site perimeter, square footage, value of work, use/number of units and type of construction which can only be determined during plan review. Many of the fees are generated automatically by the computer system when the reviewer approves the review. Consequently, it’s not possible to provide the total cost of a permit before it’s ready to issue.

Permits for mechanical, electrical, plumbing or gas work are usually based on the estimated cost of scope of work to be completed.

How many copies of plans and associated paperwork do I need?

This depends on the type of project and method of submission.

  • Residential (one- and two-family dwellings) – You are only required to submit one set of construction documents for review when submitting projects electronically through the Orange County FastTrack system. Electronic plan review allows all reviewing agencies to review the plans at the same time. When submitting residential projects in person, you are required to provide two sets of construction documents.
  • Commercial – You are only required to submit one set of construction documents for review when submitting projects electronically through the Orange County FastTrack system. Electronic plan review allows all reviewing agencies to review the plans at the same time. When submitting commercial projects in person you are required to provide six sets of construction documents for alterations and nine sets for new construction.

 

What is the status of my permit?

Permit status can be viewed in real-time onFast Track Online Services. In the left-hand orange column, click on “Permits, All Types” then click on “Building Permits” and enter the permit number, address or parcel ID. When the Building permit number appears at the bottom of the screen, click on it. Every item in blue is a hyperlink to more information.

How long is a permit valid?

A permit expires six (6) months after the date it was issued or six (6) months from the last passed inspection.

Is it possible to extend permits?

A one-time 90-day permit extension can be granted on active permits for a fee.

Can corrections or revisions be emailed?

Corrections and revisions cannot be emailed. For applications which have been made on paper, please submit paper corrections or revisions to the Plans Coordination section in our office. For applications which have been made electronically, please upload corrections or revisions through Fast Track Online Services.

What steps must be completed before the Building Permit can be issued?

Before Orange County will issue a Building permit, all Issuance processes listed on the permit must be complete. You may check this on Fast Track, please check to ensure that all the required processes have been successfully completed. Permits are not ready to issue if any processes are still in “Open” status. To inquire about the status of your application, please contact the entity that shows the open status. Contact information for these entities can be found below.

Why do I have to have a C/O or Certificate of Occupancy?

It is required by Orange County Code of Ordinances, Construction Regulations. Orange County Code Chapter 9, Article II - 111.1. Building use and occupancy. “An existing building (except for a one or two-family dwelling or non-transient residential buildings) or a new building shall not be occupied or a change made in the occupancy, nature, or use of a building or part of a building until after the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy in the name of the occupant or tenant. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this Code or of any provisions under any laws including, but not limited to, the Orange County Code.”

How do I get my Certificate of Occupancy (C/O)?

Email BuildingRecords@ocfl.net and include the building permit number in the subject line.

What’s the difference between a Use permit and a Building permit?

A Use Permit is the process for new tenants with the same type of business as those before to obtain a C/O if they intend to use a space as is without making any changes which would require a Building Permit. A change of occupancy, as defined by the Florida Building Code, usually requires a Building Permit because improvements to the building’s safety features are often necessary.

For any additional questions, please email mailto:permittingservices@ocfl.net

What is process to obtain a Use Permit?

Please see our online guide to Use Permits.

For any additional questions, please email mailto:permittingservices@ocfl.net

Expired Permits, Change of Contractor, Violations and Fire Damage

How do I find out if a property has expired permits?

Permit information can be found on Fast Track Online Services. Click on Property (Address/Parcel) in the side bar and search for your property by address or parcel ID. Information about past will be displayed.

How can a contractor find out if there are expired permits associated with their license(s)?

A license holder may contact Contractor Licensing or login to their Fast Track Member Services account.

How can I resolve my expired permit?

Expired permits must be replaced with new permits and all remaining inspections must be performed. For questions concerning expired permits please email PermittingServices@ocfl.net.

How do I obtain a permit for a damaged property (fire, accident, flood, etc.)?

Submit a request for a Field Investigation Report (FIR) report which will require paying a fee. Once a FIR Reference Number has been generated, you will have to schedule an inspection. After the inspection, the inspector will note the course of action necessary to secure permit(s).

How do I clear a violation on a property?

A violation is commonly issued for work done without a permit. To address a violation, apply for a permit to either remove the work or leave it. If the applicant wishes to keep the work done without a permit, they must submit plans showing the work complies with the current codes, including any retrofitting necessary. After plan review is approved by all applicable divisions, and the permit is issued, all required inspections must be passed. Some uncovering of completed work that was not inspected may be required.

How do I change the contractor associated with an existing permit?

Please view the Change of Contractor Resource Guide (PDF). For additional questions, please contact PermittingServices@ocfl.net.

Inspections

What inspections are required for my project?

Required inspections vary depending on the scope of work. A list of required inspections are on the back of the Inspection Record provided to you when the permit is issued.

How do I schedule inspections?

It is the customer’s responsibility to schedule all required inspections. Inspection information is listed on the back of the Inspection Record provided to you at time of permitting. You may schedule and track inspections online at FastTrack.OCFL.net with your permit number. To learn more about scheduling inspections, please watch the Scheduling Inspections training video on Fast Track.

Is a final inspection required for my project?

In order to close out any permits, a final inspection is required.

Is someone required to be present for an inspection?

The only time we require the presence of a representative onsite is when our inspector is required to access the interior of an occupied structure. If safe access to the site and the permit documents are provided we will perform the inspection. For inspections that require interior access of an occupied structure, we require the presence of a responsible person that is at least 18 years of age.

Is it possible to get an estimated time of arrival (ETA) on my scheduled inspection?

You may visit Fast Track and use the inspections tool to view the inspectors routed work to see where you are in the scheduling. Visit FastTrack.OCFL.net and click on the green “Inspections” icon to get started. To learn how to track your inspection, please watch the Tracking Inspections training video on Fast Track.

Will I receive notification if my inspection fails?

Yes, the inspector will leave written notification on site and if you provided your e-mail address at time of permitting, you will also receive e-mail notification.

My inspection failed, who should I talk to if I have questions?

You should always talk to your inspector first. Job Site Corrections Notices include contact information for your inspector. They will be able to explain the code deficiency(s) and go over the code reference(s).

Do you offer inspections on Saturday?

We offer after-hours inspections for a fee pending availability. An inspection may also be scheduled after or before normal working hours including weekends and holidays. Please contact PermittingServices@ocfl.net to request an after-hours inspection.

What is a 135 Inspection?

A 135 Inspection applies to properties with active building construction in an area that has been identified as a flood plain. It is also known as a FEMA Elevation Certificate. For more information, please review the 135 elevation certificate inspection document.

May I take pictures of the work and just show them to the inspector?

No, Orange County Division of Building Safety does not accept pictures in lieu of inspections. All inspections must be performed prior to any insulation or coverings being installed. All underground inspections must be left uncovered until an Orange County electrical inspector has completed the inspection.

Can I schedule a specific time for an inspection to be performed?

We do not schedule specific times for inspections. For assistance with special inspection needs, please email PermittingServices@ocfl.net. You may also track your inspection using Fast Track. The Fast Track Video library page has a helpful video that shows how to find your inspector’s schedule using your permit number. Visit the Video Library and click on “Tracking Inspections”.

Who to Hire

Can Orange County recommend contractors or design professionals?

The Division of Building Safety is unable to provide recommendations. We do suggest checking a contractor’s license using Fast Track’s Licensed Contractors Search. Go to FastTrack.OCFL.net and click “Licensed Contractors” in the sidebar. Additionally, to verify a Florida State license, you may also use the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) License Search.

Does my project require a design professional?

Chapter 9 of the Orange County Code of Ordinances requires that new buildings or structures, additions to existing buildings or structures, and alterations to components which may affect the structural stability of a building or structure shall be designed by a Florida-licensed architect or engineer, in accordance with state statutes. Construction documents shall show that the design meets the applicable wind loading requirements of Section 1609 of the Florida Building Code, Building and R301 of the Florida Building Code, Residential for any building or structure, addition or alteration where wind loading is applicable.

Zoning

What are the setbacks on my property?

Typically, Zoning setbacks are more restrictive than Building setbacks. Please contact the Zoning Division for the applicable front, side and rear setbacks, then call the Division of Building Safety at 407-836-5550 and ask for the Plans Examiner of the day to discuss the ratings of the exterior walls.

How do I find out where on my property I can put a shed?

Please contact the Zoning Division with questions concerning the placement of structures on your property. You may call the Zoning Division at 407-837-3935 or email zoning@ocfl.net.

Contact Us

Division of Building Safety
E-mail: permittingservices@ocfl.net
Phone: 407-836-5550

All e-mail sent to this address becomes part of Orange County public record. Comments received by our e-mail subsystem can be read by anyone who requests that privilege. In compliance with "Government in the Sunshine" laws, Orange County Government must make available, at request, any and all information not deemed a threat to the security of law enforcement agencies and personnel.