Building & Renovating

ePLANS - Online Building Permit Application Process

Online building permit application process

Your one-stop access to submitting your building permit online. This service will save you time, money and simplify the process.

ePLANS is a web-based building permit online business solution. It will allow you to submit, review, pay a portion of the required fees and seek approval online of your building project.

Please review all of the information provided in the user guides and FAQs to have the best success in submitting a complete application.

Apply for a Building Permit


  • Paper permit applications CANNOT be accessed through the ePLANS system. Contact us by phone at 905-546-2720 or by email at [email protected] regarding your paper permit application.
  • If you are REVISING an already issued paper permit you must apply for a REVISION permit as a paper application. ONLY permits applied for through the ePLANS system can be revised through ePLANS.

User guides

Step-by-step guides & easy reference documents:

Access application forms that may be required to apply for your building permit

Benefits of online building permits

  • When it's convenient for you. You’ll be able to apply for a building permit 24/7.You apply when the timing works for you.
  • Track your permit submission as you go. You'll be able to view where you are in the approval process online as well as retrieve and review all your past documents
  • All hands on deck. This approach enables us to have several staff review your permit at once which saves time and is a more efficient application process. You will be automatically contacted if further clarification is required.
  • Efficency and cost savings. By eliminating the paper process, the Building department will be able to provide to citizens a better and more efficient way to deliver one of our busiest City services. The City endeavours to deliver top services while being respectful of the bottom line costs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to some on your frequently asked questions:

I am trying to create an account but not receiving the verification email. What should I do?
Check your Spam and Junk folders in your email for the verification email. You will need to move the email into your inbox or otherwise indicate that emails from [email protected] are acceptable and it should not happen again. If you are using a business email it may be getting caught in the company spam filter. Please make sure all emails are allowed. For assistance, contact us at [email protected].

I can’t get back into my application or I can no longer access my tasks.
ePLANS is updated regularly. Clearing your internet browser cache of outdated information often solves this problem. View instructions on how to clear your cache (PDF, 616 KB)

I need to reset my password and forgot my security question.
Call the Building Division at 905-546-2720 and someone will be happy to assist you.

I'm applying for a permit and I'm receiving an error message on the address screen in Step 1 when I hit the Next button. The error message states 'Your Search did not return any results. Please clear search and try again'. What do I do?
This error occurs when a user searches and chooses the proper property address and than proceeds to add and/or alter the information that is automatically populated in the "Address Details" section. Once you have chosen the address DO NOT add and/or alter the information in the "Address Details" section. This will allow the project to move forward when the applicant hits the "Next" button.

When I login into my ePLANS account, hit the Details button of the project I want to view and hit the E-PLAN UPLOAD/REVIEW button within the project, I get a new login screen. My account details do not work in this second screen. Do I need to create a different account?
No. This second login screen is occurring due to the program being interrupted by your internet browsers pop-up blocker. When the pop-up blocker message appears, choose to always allow pop-ups from this website. Close the window and try again. Moving forward when you hit the "E-PLAN UPLOAD/REVIEW" button you will no longer receive a login screen. You will now be able to access the next portion of ePLANS that allows you to upload your documents/drawings and finalize your task to submit your application to the City of Hamilton.

Can I apply for a revision permit to my issued paper permit in ePLANS?
No. A paper permit application must be revised as a paper permit application and submitted in person. Please contact the Building Division at 905-546-2720 or by email at [email protected].

I have filled out my application, paid my deposit fee and am trying to upload ePLANS but nothing happens?
You likely have a pop-up blocker preventing the new web page from opening. Check for a message near the top of your browser page or change your browser settings to allow pop-ups from this site.

What format do my drawing files need to be?
All drawings need to be in vector based PDF format.

How long is the screening time to determine if my application meets the minimum requirements to be accepted?
Your application is not considered accepted by the Building Division until it has been pre-screened for completeness.  The legislated timeframe requirements contained in the Ontario Building Code will begin once the pre-screen is complete and your application has been accepted.

The Building Division will pre-screen your application within 2 business days. Our staff will determine if your application meets the minimum requirements to accept an application and you will receive an email notification that your application has either been accepted and assigned OR you will receive comments from the Building Division indicating any issues or missing information that must be submitted/met prior to the acceptance of your application. Please refer to pages 24 to 27 in the "Applicant User Guide" to see how to view the comments and complete the "Pre-Screen Corrections Task".

I've started to apply for a permit and am not ready to upload my drawings. The ePLANS system indicates I have a due date to upload the required drawings/documents. Do I need an extension if I am going to take longer then what the due date is indicating?
No, an extension is not required. The due date is set as a reminder to ensure that the applicant does not forget to continue with the application. The application will not automatically be cancelled at this time. Please note that the applicant must finish uploading the required documents and drawings and finish the "Applicant Upload Task" before the Building Division will be notified and receive your application. See pages 21 to 23 of the "Applicant User Guide" for instructions on how to complete this task.

I applied for a permit application and uploaded my drawings but have not received any response and/or an email notification indicating I have an outstanding task from the City of Hamilton. What is the status of my application?
If drawings and documents have been uploaded but the "Applicant Upload Task" has not been accepted and completed, then the application is NOT complete and the Building Division has not received or been notified of your application at this time. Please complete this task to submit your permit application to the Building Division. See pages 21 to 23 of the "Applicant User Guide" for instructions on how to complete this task. You will receive an email notification called "Applicant Upload Successful Notification" when your application has been successfully submitted.

I have completed uploading my drawings and documents in ePLANS. Am I done submitting my online ePLANS application?
No. When applying for permits or responding to an application under review, the applicant must complete their task to successfully submit or resubmit the application to the Building Division. Please refer to pages 21 to 27 in the "Applicant User Guide" to see how to complete the required task.

I've uploaded drawings and/or documents to the appropriate folders and the files state 'Processing' and are not progressing or uploading properly. What do I do?
Contact the Building Division at 905-546-2720 or by email at [email protected] for assistance.

The Submission Standards indicate that a 2x3 inch space is to be left blank in the upper right-hand corner on the drawings. Is this needed on things like Truss specifications, HVAC designs, guard specifications, prescribed forms etc.?
No. The stamp space is not required on documents and is only required on drawings.

Do I need to apply for a septic permit separate from my new house, addition or alteration permit?
Yes. A separate Part 8 septic system permit is required for a new or altered septic system and can not be included with the new house, addition or alteration permit.

I am applying to demolish an existing building and build a new building. Do I need to apply for a separate demolition and new building permit?
Yes, separate permits are required to demolish a building and to rebuild. Other permits for septic systems, water/sewer etc. may also be required as separate applications. Please contact the Building Division for specific information related directly to your project. The Building Division can be contacted at 905-546-2720 or at [email protected] for inquiries.

I've received an email notification indicating that my permit is issued. Where do I go to download my building permit and documents?
Log in to your ePLANS account. Find the application on your Dashboard and hit the "Details" button to the right. On the next screen, scroll down to the bottom and you will find a section called "Other Support Document Details". Here you will find all approved drawings, documents and the permit for you to download.

My permit has been issued and I have downloaded all approved drawings, documents and the permit. Do I need to provide these onsite?
Yes. It is required that all approved drawings, documents and the permit be printed and provided onsite for use by the Building Inspector. All drawings and documents are to be printed so they are clear, legible and of a size that is sufficient for the inspector to refer too.

How do I make an application to revise an issued ePLANS building permit application?
Login into your ePLANS account. On your dashboard to the right of your issued project you will see a “Revision” button. Click on this button and follow the prompts to apply for a revision application.

Can I view the status of my paper permit application by logging into my account in the ePLANS system?
No, paper permit applications are not accessible through your ePLANS account.

Contact us

Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2720
General questions: [email protected]
Technical questions relating to ePLans: [email protected]