To apply for an encroachment or grading permit, please visit the Public Works permitting website.

The building permit process in the City of Novato is a simple procedure for various types of building permits including minor “One Stop Shop” permits to more complex types of building permit submittals. The building permit office is at 922 Machin Avenue. The office is open Monday - Friday from 9 - 5, and is closed for lunch from 1 - 2 pm.  The city is closed on alternating Fridays.

(limited to simple over the counter permits) 
9 am- 11 am, Monday - Thursday.


Please be aware: All information on this page consists of general directions; specific projects may have additional requirements. Please review our Required Permits Bulletin.

ATTENTION CONTRACTORS: We now offer LIMITED online permitting

Complete Permit Worksheet 

For permits applied for by property owner, please complete Property Owner's Package (also known as owner/builder).

For permits applied for by a licensed contractor, you must have a City of Novato Business License.

ALL permits must complete Waste Management Plan

Some permits required completion of an energy form. More information on California Energy Code at

New permits must adhere to current California Building Code

MINOR PERMITS (Plans not required)

These types of minor residential permits do not need plans and can be processed over the counter at One Stop Shop.  Examples of permits that do not need plans include: Window replacements, residential electrical service upgrade, reroofs, water or gas line repair/ replacement and residential water heater, furnace and/or air conditioner replacements. Please review these instructions for minor permits plans not required.

MINOR PERMITS - Plans Required

These types of minor residential permits require plans and can be processed over the counter at our “One Stop Shop.
Examples include: Minor Kitchen Remodel, Minor Bath Remodel, decks, sheds, fences, Landscape structures. Please review these instructions for minor permits plans required.


These types of projects require plans and a deposit. Please review these submittal requirements for large projects, plans required.
For Existing Buildings: ALL nonresidential projects with the job valuation of $161,298 or less, must complete the Disabled Access Hardship Application Form. Accessible features of the building including path of travel from the public way, parking, entrance to the building, path of travel to the proposed alterations/improvements and restrooms must be shown on your plans. All accessible issues must be shown on your plans.


For smoke detector/C02 alarm exemption self-certification (applies to exterior work only), read and complete this form.

  • Non-exempt contractors MUST bring a copy of the Worker's Compensation certificate EACH time a permit is applied for.
  • A new Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control Program is coming in July 2015 under the new NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit. Starting in July 2015, some Building Permit applications will require an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP). Post Construction Storm Water Management including Source Control, Site Design Measures, Low Impact Development (LID) Design Standards, and possibly Hydromodification Management will affect certain projects. More information about the new Phase II to come.

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