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Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy is required when there is a change in the use and occupancy of a space in accordance with the International Building Code. Certificates of Occupancy are also required for new construction and additions.

To obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, gather the materials listed below and submit a completed permit application in-person at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) Concourse.

See Building Permits for complete building permit information, including processing time and fees.

Building Permit Application


  • Prerequisite Approvals Before obtaining a building permit, your project may need to receive approvals from various city departments if it meets the listed condition.
    • Zoning/Use Registration Permit for any change in use of the property.

      Use Registration Permit Application

      Contact Licenses and Inspections Zoning Unit (Concourse - 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 215.686.2567)


    • Changes in use of existing buildings where the area being changed is 5,000 sq. ft. or more in Use and Occupancy designations: R-2, R-3, A, B, M and E Use Groups. (As per PA Act 537 and Clean Streams Act.)

      Contact the Philadelphia Water Department (2nd Floor – 1100 Market St., 215.685.1419)


  • Three sets of building plans
    • Plans must be of professional quality and drawn to scale (e.g. 1/4" = 1'- 0").
    • The minimum sheet size is 18” x 24”.
    • The following information must be included on the plan:
      • Applicable codes
      • Construction type, use and occupancy classification
      • Identification of fire-resistance rated construction


RETURNED CHECKS: Licenses and Inspections uses eCollect, LLC to collect returned checks. If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize eCollect, LLC to make a one-time electronic funds transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) eCollect, LLC may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment. For inquiries about charges to your account please call (888) 569-9001 or email admin@ecollectpayments.com


Department of Licenses and Inspections

Municipal Services Building (MSB)

1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard

Concourse Level

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am- 3:30pm (except for the last Wednesday of each month when the hours are 8:00am- 12:00 Noon)

Phone: 311 or 215-686-8686 (outside of the City of Philadelphia)