Updated January 8, 2019
SDCI replaced its entire suite of permitting applications on Monday, April 30 with a new integrated system. As with any big software update, there are some things to work out in the transition. Here is a list of ones we know about and what has been resolved. We’ll update this list periodically as changes occur.
January 8: Requirements for Creating Records from Pre-Applications
Effective January 1, 2019, SDCI will not generate application records from pre-applications for master use permits (MUPs), new construction permits, and addition/alteration permits requiring site visits if the following items are outstanding:
- Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR)
- Addressing Review
- Water Review
Applicants will not be able to schedule intake appointments until these items are completed. Since initial processing times for pre-applications is 48-72 hours, SDCI does not anticipate a significant impact on our applicants. This is a return to SDCI’s original policy that was in place prior to our April 2018 transition to the current permitting system.
Please remember that a full Preliminary Assessment Report takes approximately 10 business days to complete from the date of the site inspection.
In most instances, application records are automatically generated once the Preliminary Assessment Report, Addressing Review, and Water Reviews are completed and will appear in your portal along with a notification message from SDCI listing the newly-generated records.
December 28: Mechanical Permit Is Now a Separate Application
To help streamline the mechanical permit application process, we created a new mechanical permit application in the Seattle Services Portal. This means customers can avoid the Building & Land Use Pre-Application process. As a result, they can get their mechanical permit much more quickly.
To access the mechanical permit application from the Seattle Services Portal home page, select Create New – Permits – Trade, Construction & Land Use, click on Trade Permits, and then select Mechanical Permit. See How to Apply for a Mechanical Permit for instructions, including information on how to ensure your application is correctly processed.
Once you fill out the application, you will get a mechanical permit number. You can use that number to schedule an intake appointment or to apply for a mechanical STFI (subject-to-field-inspection) permit. If you are applying for a mechanical STFI, you must upload your plans and contractor disclosure form when you apply or we will reject your application. We need these materials up front because there is no longer a delay in processing your application.
December 17: One Pre-Application Per Project
Please submit only one pre-application for your project, even if it has multiple aspects (e.g. lot boundary adjustment with an ECA exemption and two new single-family homes). Submitting multiple pre-applications for the various parts of your project will not shorten processing time. Instead, be sure to explain all aspects of your project in your pre-application so that SDCI can conduct the proper initial reviews, conduct site visits, and create preliminary assessment reports to cover your entire project up front. That way, we can generate all of the necessary records for your project in a timely fashion and ensure that all related records are properly displayed in your portal.
November 27: Clarifying Upload Documents
We clarified language in the section you upload your documents. The new language should make this section easier to navigate.
November 13: New Email for Help with Application Contacts and Changing Applicants
If you need assistance adding, managing, or changing contacts or applicants on your account or application, contact email@example.com. Do not use any other email to make these types of requests, as they will not be processed in a timely manner.
November 13: New Email for Pre-Submittal Conferences
Customers should use our new email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to request pre-submittal conferences. Do not use any other email to submit requests for pre-submittal conferences as they will not be processed in a timely manner.
November 2: New Status Filters for Permit Applications
SDCI made an update to the Seattle Services Portal that now allows you to filter your permit applications by permit status. We also added two new statuses, Intake Appointment Scheduled and Intake Scheduled and Documents Submitted. The new filter option will make it easier for you to track your projects.
To use the new filter, you need to be on the new My Trade, Construction & Land Use Permit Records page. To get there, login to the Seattle Services Portal and click on My Records. You will see a new drop-down menu; select Permits – Trade, Construction & Land Use. That will take you to a new page that lists all your permit applications. The filter is directly below the page title. We have also created an article, What Does My Filter Status Mean?, to help clarify the filter options.
We developed this new filter as part of our effort to respond to customer requests for improvements to the Seattle Services Portal. We will continue to make improvements over the next several months based on customer and staff feedback.
November 2: New Video on How to Schedule Inspections and Appointments
We just released a new video, How to Schedule an Inspection or Appointment. This short, animated video shows you how to complete this task through the Seattle Services Portal.
October 24: Pending Assignments
We’ve received several questions about what “pending assignment” means in a record’s status. Pending assignment usually means that the review is in the queue to be assigned to the next available reviewer in the appropriate work group. Reviews are assigned in the order received, based on the complexity of the project.
October 10: Pay Multiple Fees at Once
Watch our new, brief video to learn how to pay multiple fees at once. You can do this from the My Records tab or from one of your collections.
October 8: Search by License Number
We update our search page for Licenses & Equipment so that customers can search by record number. This allows licensed contractors to more easily find their existing license to start the renewal process.
October 8: Search for Registered Side Sewer Contractors
We updated the search page for Licenses & Equipment so that when a customer searches for Registered Side Sewer Contractors (RSSCs), the returned results include all RSSCs. The full list includes active and inactive RSSCs and initiated RSSC license applications.
October 5: Automatic Advancement of Some Permit Preliminary Applications
We have modified the pre-application process in our system to automatically advance some permit types. This new process automatically creates a permit record and will send applicants their new record number. This allows applicants to schedule their intake appointments within a couple of days of submitting their pre-application. This automatic process applies to construction projects and those applications that require a master use permit.
September 26: Annual Equipment Inspections Notices
We have updated our system so that annual equipment inspections notices will be emailed to the associated financially responsible party as well as the owner. The email will let them know fees are due once an inspection passes. If no email address is available, SDCI staff will mail out a copy of the invoice.
September 26: Refrigeration Permit Fees
We have changed our system so that we are no longer using horsepower to calculate refrigeration permit fees. Applicants will now see a field asking for the tonnage when they apply for a refrigeration permit.
September 26: Side Sewer Inspections
Side sewer permit customers will now be able to schedule inspections even if fees are owed on the permit.
September 26: Electrical OTC Fees
We have added a new renewal or reestablishment fee to Electrical OTC permits.
September 17: Side Sewer Payment Due Emails
We have updated our system so that Side Sewer applicants will now receive an email that a payment is due once we have processed the side sewer permit application.
September 17: Pre-Construction Conference Correction
We have corrected a system error that was adding pre-construction conference inspections to some projects that didn’t need that inspection. This prevented some customers from scheduling inspections on their construction permits. This correction allows customers to schedule inspections on their construction projects.
August 28: Improvements to Appointments & Inspections Calendar
We have added a “next available days” hint on the appointments and inspections calendar to help customers schedule their construction intake appointments. When you need to schedule an intake appointment, try those dates first, and then try later dates if necessary.
August 28: Change to Pre-Application Fee Process
We changed the fee payment process for Building and Land Use Pre-Applications so that anybody can pay fees after the pre-application is submitted. This allows professionals to have their clients pay the initial fees.
August 28: Submit Your Preliminary Assessment Report with Your Application
We allow customers to schedule intake appointments before they have a PAR (preliminary assessment report). However, you must submit the PAR with your application. If you don’t, we will reject your application, adding additional time to your permit process.
August 14: Public Notice Improvements
We’ve received several suggestions from customers for improvements to the public notices section of the Seattle Services Portal. We heard you, and we made some changes based on your feedback. As of Monday, August 13, the public notices now include:
- The ability to search by project number
- A Public Notice Summary that you can customize by date range
- Direct links to the notice and supporting documents on the notice page
- Better project description in the search results
In addition, the LUIB email will include a direct link to that day’s Public Notice Summary.
These are the first of several changes we’re making to improve the public notices. We’ll release additional improvements in the future.
August 6: Get Your Subject-to-Field-Inspection Permit Processed Quickly
If you have a Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) application, make sure you indicate this on the preliminary application. In order for your STFI to be put in the correct queue, you must answer “Yes” to both of the following questions:
- I’m making additions or changes to an existing building:
- I think my project qualifies as subject-to-field-inspection:
If you answer “no” to either question, your application will be sorted to the end of the queue for projects that require more review. This will significantly increase the time it takes to get your STFI.
August 6: Get in the “Express Lane”
Submit your completed application early to be eligible for an earlier appointment in case of a cancellation. Once you submit your application, we’ll add your project to the express lane. This means your application will likely be taken in well ahead of your scheduled appointment. We can usually take in your application within 2-3 weeks after you upload your application.
August 6: Avoid a Double Payment
Some customers have experienced getting charged twice for a single payment. This seems to happen when the payment processing takes too long and the customer closes out the screen and then starts the payment cycle again. To avoid a double payment, do not close out the screen while the system is processing your payment. The processing will charge your card before you see the green Thank You page.
August 6: Improved Processing Speed
We identified a GIS query that was slowing down the processing time for all record submissions. We’ve moved that query to the background to help speed things up. Customers should see significant improvements in how quickly the system is processing records, including applications and payments. Please contact SeattleServices_ITHelp@seattle.gov if you’re still experiencing system slowdowns.
June 30: Add Contact to Existing Application or Permit
Customers can only add contacts to their application when they are creating their preliminary application. If you need to add a contact to an existing application or an existing permit, you need to email SCI_ASC_support@seattle.gov.
June 15: Have Someone Else Pay Preliminary Application Fees
Currently, customers can’t submit their preliminary application until the inspection fee is paid, if a pre-application site visit is required. Before an application is submitted, only the applicant or contact on application can pay fees. We are revising the process steps so that the fee will be added after the application is submitted, allowing anyone to pay it. Until the change is made, you can allow another person to pay fees on the application before it is submitted by adding them as a contact (see How to Add Contacts to Your Application). They will need to create an account and log on to see the application. You can also have another person pay those fees by calling the SDCI cashiers.
June 15: Print Payment Receipt
If you want a receipt for your fee payment, print it as soon as you have submitted your payment. Once you submit your payment, you will receive a Thank You screen with a Print Receipt button. If you don’t print the receipt then, you will not be able to get a receipt later. Your record will, however, show that you don’t owe fees after you have paid them. We are working to add the ability to regenerate the receipt from the Portal.
June 1: Submit Your Early Design Guidance Application
Some customers have requested additional information about how to submit an EDG application. Please read How to Submit Your EDG Application for step-by-step instructions.
May 29: Not Able to See All Project Documents
Some documents are not correctly showing in the Seattle Services Portal. We are working to correct this as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can see all your project documents by entering your record number into our Permit and Property Records search tool.
May 24: Preliminary Assessment Report Delays
Some customers are experiencing delays in receiving their Preliminary Assessment Reports (PARs) that are required before they can progress to the next permitting step. This delay is because some projects were reverted to an earlier phase in the new system due to missing prerequisite data. We are aware of this issue and working to resolve it as soon as possible.
May 17: Using the Help Center
The Seattle Services Portal Help Center has many articles that will help you set up your account and navigate the system. You’ll find information on creating and managing accounts, customizing your project views into “collections,” adding contacts to accounts and applications, applying for permits and much more. The quickest way to find your topic is to use the search feature on the home page. Read How to Use the Help Center to learn more about using keyword searches and how to browse articles.
May 17: Let Someone Manage Your Account
If you need somebody, such as a coworker, contractor, permit runner, architect, etc., to manage an application in your account, you can add them as a contact to that application. The new contact will need to create an account. Once that person has an account and is added as a contact, that person will have full rights to manage the application, including the ability to upload corrections and make revisions. The new contact will be able to see your application under My Records. Read our article on How to Add Contacts to Your Application.
You need to add these contacts to your permit application every time you apply. If you work frequently with the same people, it’s best to add those contacts to your account. Then, each time you apply, you can quickly select the appropriate contact from your account and add it to your application. See How to Add Additional Contacts to Your Account for instructions.
May 17: Filter Your Projects
Please review the Help Center article on How to Add Records to a Collection. This feature will allow you to group projects in your portal according to criteria of your choosing so that they are easy to locate and manage.
We understand that for our customers with many records, the limited view of 10 records per page makes it difficult to scan through and find projects. We are working with our web team to determine if more than 10 records can be displayed at a time in My Records. In the meantime, try downloading a list of your projects by clicking “Download Results” at the top of your list of permits in My Records.
May 17: Respond to Corrections
If you are submitting materials for permit application intake, in response to corrections, or in response to request from SDCI for additional information, please use the Make Changes button that appears next to the record on the My Records page. Using the Make Changes button will ensure your materials are seen and put in the queue for review by SDCI staff. You should only upload materials through the attachments page when SDCI staff specifically tell you to use this page. (Electrical and Sign Plan Review permits are the exception to this rule; be sure to notify your reviewer.)
May 17: Unable to Find Environmental Sign Installation Notification
Notifying us that you have installed your environmental (large land use) sign is now done as an inspection. See How to Submit an Environmental Sign Installation Notification for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
May 7: Trouble Scheduling Inspections
Our new system was incorrectly limiting the number of available inspection slots each day. As a result, some customers had difficulty scheduling inspections. We have updated our system settings to correct this, and we will be monitoring this to make sure the problem has been solved.
May 7: Trouble Scheduling an Intake Appointment
Customers are finding it difficult to schedule intake appointments because the calendar looks like each blue date is available. You need to select each date and wait for the “Confirm Date” button to appear. Once that button appears, you will be able to pick the date and move on. Right now, SDCI is booked into September for intake appointments, so any date before then will not present the “Confirm Date” button.
Tip: Submit your completed application early to be eligible for an earlier appointment in case of a cancellation. Once you submit your application, we’ll add your project to the express lane. This means your application will likely be taken in well ahead of your scheduled appointment. We can usually take in your application within 2-3 weeks after you upload your application.
May 4: Trouble Using Automated Phone Line to Schedule Inspections
Our 24-hour automated phone line for scheduling inspections was not working for some customers. This has been resolved. Customers can now use this line to schedule inspections. Call before 7:00 a.m. for same-day inspections.
May 4: Contractor License Validation Issue
The Labor & Industries database SDCI relies on to validate contractor licenses was not sending us current information. This issue has been resolved.
May 3: Not Seeing Projects
If you have duplicate contacts, you may not see all of your projects in your portal. We can help you merge your contacts. Please contact SeattleServices_ITHelp@seattle.gov. Be aware that we are experiencing a high volume of emails, and we are working through them in the order received.
May 3: Incorrect Process Stages
Some existing projects were converted into the wrong process stage. We are adjusting those projects to make sure they are in the correct process stage.
May 2: Account Access
- Some current customers did not receive the email we sent with an activation link and password change instructions. We’ve resent the links. If you’ve still not received your emailed link, please try one of the options below.
- If you believe you had an existing account, and you didn’t receive an email, create a new account, using the same contact information that you used previously. If we have you in the system, you’ll have an option to associate your existing profile with your new account.
- Due to heavy user traffic, it may take a few tries to get your password to change. Tip: if you copy and paste your temporary password, be sure you do not inadvertently include an extra space at the end or beginning. Typing directly avoids this problem
- If you still have trouble accessing your account, email SeattleServices_ITHelp@seattle.gov. We are experiencing a high volume of emails during this initial transition, and we are working through them in the order received.
May 2: Uploading Documents
We corrected a glitch that eliminated the option to upload documents to existing project records. Users may need to refresh their browser to activate the change.
May 2: System Capacity Issues
Heavy user traffic caused the system to deny access to customers or to stop responding. We’ve added additional memory to our servers which seems to have resolved the issue.