Express Plan Check (Coming Soon)

Express Plan Check is a process in which your plans are reviewed by the Department of Planning and Development on the same day.

Projects Eligible for Express Plan Check (this process is currently suspended)

Residential: Single-Family Dwellings; Any ONE of the following types of projects:

  • Single-story addition less than 500 square feet
  • Single-story deck, patio cover, patio enclosure, trellis (greater than 50% open), less than 500 square feet
  • Interior alteration – Non REBUILD (estimated contract price required)
  • Repair of minor fire damage (estimated contract price required)
  • Roof pitch change, new roof structure, siding, fence over 7 feet high
  • Garage conversion less than 500 square feet
  • Detached accessory structures: garages, carport, storage buildings, barns, stable, greenhouse (1 story and less than 500 square feet)
  • California State approved Brace & Bolt program
  • See exclusions

Commercial (Non-Residential) (all require amount of estimated contract price); Any ONE of the following types of projects:

  • Nonelectric signs (with ASA Approval from Planning Office)
  • Minor tenant improvements (B and M occupancies) with no change in occupancy, exiting or structural systems
  • Minor accessibility upgrades

Exclusions (Projects NOT eligible for Express Plan Check):

  • Violations or work started prior to permit issuance
  • Storage/use of hazardous materials of any amount
  • Detached building with more than 2 plumbing fixtures
  • Secondary (ADU) or new dwelling units 
  • Second story additions
  • Revisions to plans for projects which are under construction
  • Structures with fire sprinkler systems
  • Retaining wall
  • Photovoltaic systems
  • Solar water heating systems
  • Swimming Pools and Spas
  • Buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas
  • New Buildings located in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
  • Foundation underpinning/repair (case-by-case)

Information you will need before your plans are prepared (this process is currently suspended)

  • Please follow the listed link below on the information that is required to be on the plans Building Permit - Department of Planning and Development - County of Santa Clara (
  • Planning Office Staff will provide information about zoning districts, design review, architectural review, building site approval, permitted uses, setbacks, height limitations, site plan requirements and Planning Office fees.
  • Permit Center Office Staff will answer general questions about requirements for applications, permits, fees, inspections, plumbing, mechanical and electrical.
  • Development Services Office staff will answer technical questions about the requirements of California Building Codes, inspections, plumbing, mechanical and electrical, grading & drainage requirements.

Application materials you will need

  • Permit Application
  • Assessor's Parcel Map
    • You must provide a parcel map, which can be obtained from the Assessor's Office on the 5th floor OR obtained online.
  • Verification of Sewer Connection OR Septic System Clearance
    • Sewer: Upload your tax bill or letter of verification from the sewer provider, which confirms sewer connection to the ACA portal. If you do not have this bill, you may obtain a copy from the Tax Information counter at the Department of Tax and Collections.
    • Septic: The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) will require that you obtain septic clearance from the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) prior to issuance of the building permit. This is a separate submittal to DEH subject to completing a separate service application and payment of applicable fees. An inspection/pumping of the existing septic tank and conducting a 30-minute water test on the existing drain field may be necessary to obtain this clearance.   Upon achieving septic system clearance (receiving an approval recommended stamp) from DEH, provide/ upload the approved site plan to the ACA portal for sign-off.    For additional information regarding septic system clearance, please follow the provided hyperlink:
      • Department of Environmental Health (DEH):
        (408) 918-3400
        1555 Berger Drive, Suite #300
        San Jose, CA 95112-2716

How Do I Apply for Express Plan Check?

Once a EXP record is generated after you submit the application on the ACA portal, please call 408 299-5770 to schedule an appointment. The applicant is required to provide the EXPXX-XXXX record number to the staff to make an appointment.  Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM

The owner must sign the Owner-Builder Declaration on the application, unless a licensed contractor signs the application. If you are the owner's representative, you will need the NOTARIZED Owner Builder form designating you as the authorized agent of the homeowner to sign the application.

Licensed contractors must provide a copy of their Workers' Compensation Insurance Certificate.


Bring at least two checks or cash with you. We now accept MasterCard, Discover and American Express Credit Cards and VISA Debit Cards. (A service fee applies.)

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