The Novato Police Department Lobby is open. All other City facilities are currently closed for walk-in service following the Shelter in Place Order for the County of Marin. Please call for details about the services you are interested in. 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information and resources

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 12 - 1 pm.  The city is closed on alternating Fridays.


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 $166,157 or less, must complete the Disabled Access Hardship Application Form


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 in place as of July 2015 under the new NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit. Some Building Permit applications may require an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP).

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