Frequently Asked Questions
It's the law. The City of Miami Beach is guided by the Florida Building Code. Section 105.1 states: "Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit." (Exemptions on Section 102.2 of the Building Code).
A permit brings you the service of Building Department Plans Reviewers and Inspectors who are experts in their field. In addition to providing advice, they approve each phase of your project, checking to see that the work is done in accordance with the code and the approved plans. Working without a permit is illegal and can result in fines and cause problems if and when you sell your house.
A Permit Application is required for submission of a permit.
Fill out a Permit Application including a folio number (13 digit number from property tax statement or Miami-Dade County Property Appraisers) or visit the Miami-Dade Property Information website.
Submit two (2) sets of plans for Drop-Offs and for Walk-Thru at the Permit Counter to obtain a processing number. Plans submitted must be considered 100% complete to qualify for plan review. Click here to obtain a list of Projects Required to be Signed and Sealed by a Design Professional.
You will be required to pay an up-front permit fee prior to beginning the permitting process. Once all required approvals have been obtained and your plans have been signed off by the plan reviewers, the outstanding balance of your permit must be paid prior to the issuance of your permit and permit card.
There are different building jurisdictions. Each city has its own building official who issues building permits for work within that city's jurisdiction. The City of Miami Beach Building Department (Main Office) is located at 1700 Convention Center Drive and the North Beach Office is located at 962 Normandy Drive. Online Permitting is now available! To apply for a permit, click here.
The Building Department's offices close daily for lunch from noon to 1 PM.
Homeowner's Permit Assistance: By virtual appointment only, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 3 PM
Permit Services: By in-person appointment only at the North Beach Office branch, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 1:50 PM.
North Beach Office is located at 962 Normandy Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33141.
To consult with a Trade Chief (Plan Review/Inspection): By virtual appointment only, Tuesdays 1 PM to 3 PM and Thursdays 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Records Management (Public Records Requests): By virtual appointment only, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 3 PM
The City of Miami Beach Development Review Departments which include the Building Department, Planning & Zoning Department, Public Works Department and the Fire Prevention Department are working towards a 30-day review time for residential projects and 60 days for multi-family and commercial projects. Please be aware you may need Miami-Dade County approvals for the environmental core and/or impact fees depending on the scope of work.
You must apply for a permit and submit plans. If the construction conforms to code and your plans are acceptable, the permit will be issued and appropriate inspections will be made. If the construction does not conform to code, you have two options:
Construction must be brought into compliance or construction must be removed. If the construction is not permitted under any circumstances, then it must be removed.
You must have a permit to demolish and an inspection must be made to ensure that it has been demolished and the property cleared.
When work for which a permit is required is commenced prior to obtaining a permit, the permit applicant shall be required to pay $500.00 plus a double permit fee. In no event shall the applicant pay less than $500.00 plus double the amount of the minimum fee as specified for each type of work. The payment of the required fee shall not relieve any person, firm or corporation from fully complying with all applicable regulations and codes, nor shall it relieve them from being subject to any to the penalties therein.
The double fee requirement shall be applicable to all sections of the Building Department noted herein. For the second offense of doing work without a permit, the permit applicant shall be required to pay a $1,000.00 penalty fee plus a double permit fee. For each subsequent offense, the permit applicant shall be required to pay a $2,000.00 penalty fee, plus a double permit fee.
Inspections depend on what is involved in the project. Simply stated, an inspection is required prior to covering up any part of the construction.
Inspections are performed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The following are required for inspection:
- The approved job copy of the plans and documents
- Permit Card
- Recorded Notice of Commencement
- Property address must be properly posted and visible from the street
- Job to be inspected must be accessible
- An OSHA approved ladder must be available if needed
Inspections may be requested, canceled, or re-scheduled via the Citizen Self Service (CSS) portal.
*Important: If you are neither the contractor nor the owner, you must be added to each permit for which you seek access to. To be added to a permit, you must submit a notarized letter from the contractor or the owner giving you consent to be added as a contact.
Each permit has a unique pin number associated to it. The pin number is shown in each Work Permit and it can also be looked up by logging into the contractor's Citizen Self Service (CSS) account.
Once you are registered as a contractor with the City of Miami Beach and have created your CAP account, you can also access your permit details, schedule inspections, pay fees, and more. If assistance is needed to locate the pin number, please contact the Building Department at 305.673.7610.
Owner-builder permits are limited to the new construction of one single-family residence per 24 month period and interior remodeling of commercial buildings is limited to $75,000 in value.
Under certain circumstances, owners of property may be exempt from contractor qualification and certification requirements. To qualify for such an exemption, an owner must personally appear and sign the building permit application and must satisfy local permitting agency requirements, if any. The owner must also complete and sign a Disclosure Statement which is provided by the Building Department.
Florida Statutes, Disclosure Statement 489.103 (7) states: State law requires construction to be done by licensed contractors. You have applied for a permit under an exemption to that law. The exemption allows you, as the owner of your property, to act as your contractor with certain restrictions even though you do not have a license.
You must provide direct, onsite supervision of the construction yourself.
You may build or improve a one-family or two-family residence or a farm outbuilding.
You may also build or improve a commercial building, provided your costs do not exceed $75,000.
The building or residence must be for your use or occupancy. It may not be built or substantially improved for sale or lease. If you sell or lease a building you have built or substantially improved yourself within 1 year after the construction is complete, the law will presume that you built or substantially improve it for sale or lease, which is a violation of this exemption.
You may not hire an unlicensed person to act as your contractor or to supervise people working on your building.
It is your responsibility to make sure that people employed by you have the license required by state law and by county or municipal licensing ordinances.
You may not delegate the responsibility for supervising work to a licensed contractor who is not licensed to perform the work being done. Any person working on your building who is not licensed must work under your direct supervision and must be employed by you, which means that you must deduct F.I.C.A. and withholding tax and provide workers' compensation for that employee, all as prescribed by law.
Your construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes, and zoning regulations.
Please be advised that the Owner-Builder is liable for the employees he hires to perform the construction. This responsibility may include the following where required by Law:
- Worker's compensation (for workers injured on the job)
- Social Security Tax (must be deducted from the employees' wages and matched with the owner's funds)
- Unemployment Compensation (may or may not be required)
- Liability Coverage
- Federal Withholding Tax
Contractors working in Miami Beach are required to be registered with the City. Contractors must file valid, updated copies of licenses and insurances to the Building Department prior to obtaining a permit. Contractors must also have all previous jobs closed or in "active" status; any open/expired project will stop any further permitting activity.