Certificate of Occupancy

When do I need a Certificate of Occupancy?

A Certificate of Occupancy, also known as an Occupancy Permit, shall be required for the lawful use or occupancy of all land, structures or premises, including accessory uses such as parking, fences and sheds. A valid Certificate of Occupancy is required to obtain a building, sign or HVAC permit. Anytime a change in use occurs, a new Certificate of Occupancy is required.  

How to Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy

  1. Verify Whether or Not You have a Valid Certificate of Occupancy: The Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI) File Room is the source for the complete collection of Certificates of Occupancy.
    • To inquire as to whether there is an occupancy permit on file for your property, complete PLI's request form and email it to plirecords@pittsburghpa.gov. This form is also available at PLI's permit counter (200 Ross St, 3rd Floor) weekdays 8 am-3 pm, excluding City holidays.
    • Please be sure to include any alternate or previous addresses available.
    • If there is not a Certificate of Occupancy on file that exactly matches the current use of the property or if you do not have a valid Certificate of Occupancy, you must apply for one through the Zoning Office and PLI.
  2. Apply for a Certificate of Occupancy: The applicant must apply in person at the Zoning Counter during business hours Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Department of City Planning offices at:
    • ​​​200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219  
    • The applicant must bring a valid photo ID, a valid address, a plot plan or survey (if required), and a check or money order for the fees. 
    • Please note that some projects may require additional review such as Site Plan Review or approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustments or the Department of Public Works.
  3. Verify Whether it will be Required to Submit a Plot Plan or Survey: A Plot Plan or Survey is required for properties that have on-site parking, decks, and other accessory structures or uses that are not explicitly included in a valid Certificate of Occupancy, as well as for any application that includes new construction.
    • A stamped and sealed survey is required for any application that includes parking or new construction of a primary (or main) structure.
    • A hand drawn plot plan may be acceptable for other applications. Information about plot plan and survey requirements can be found here.
  1. Complete Application at Zoning Counter: Once the Zoning Office has approved the application, the applicant will go to PLI for their review and approval and to pay the fees.
    • For an Occupancy Only application, the fees will be $70. 
    • If there is another permit (building, HVAC, sign) with the application, there will be additional permit fees (see PLI’s fee schedule for more information).
    • All fees must be paid by check or money order made payable to "Treasurer City of Pittsburgh."