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Certificate of Occupancy Supporting Documents

The purpose of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is to ensure that the use of a building, structure or land in the District of Columbia conforms to the Zoning Regulations (DCMR Title 11) provisions of the DC Construction Codes, and the Green Building Act. In most cases, no person can use a building, structure or land in the District of Columbia for any purpose other than a single family dwelling, until a valid C of O has been issued. There are six types of C of O applications as seen below.

To apply for a C of O, please complete the C of O Application and follow the directions listed below. If you propose to operate an eating establishment, please also submit the Eating Establishment Questionnaire with your Certificate of Occupancy application.

Documents Required for all C of O applications, regardless of type

  1. Certificate of Occupancy Authorization Form – if a hired agent is completing the application form on behalf of the applicant
  2. Lease, deed, letter of permission from property owner to use the property, HUD-1
  3. Building Permit, if applicable
  4. Most recent C of O on record
  5. All rough/close-in and final inspection reports
    • · If the inspection is performed by a third party agency, reports must be uploaded to Accela Mobile Office (AMO) prior to the submission of C of O application
  6. Special Inspections Final Statement of Special Inspections, as required
  7. Green - This will all depend on the designation that the project has taken:
    • Enterprise Green Communities: PreBuild approval (from Enterprise) must be submitted with the C of O Application
    • LEED: Financial Security (i.e., binding pledge, bond, escrow, cash, etc.) for Green Building Act compliance must be submitted with the C of O Application

Documents Required for Temporary C of O Applications

  1. Building plat depicting all existing and proposed structures
  2. Floor plan showing the proposed use and egress
  3. Structural details for tents (tie down details)
  4. A letter from the property owner stating the reason why a temporary C of O is needed. The letter shall identify the floor number, unit number, number of units, and/or areas to be included in the temporary C of O (e.g., number of parking spaces)


For New Construction, including alteration and repair:

  1. 1. Approved wall check
  2. 2. If the property is subject to a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) and Zoning Commission Order – Applicant must submit a letter from the property owner with a matrix and documentation, as necessary, to demonstrate compliance with the conditions of the Order
  3. Note, if there are any outstanding conditions not completed at the time of the submission of the C of O application and provide a timeline with the date for completion.
  4. 3. Signed GAR Landscape Checklist
  5. 4. Final Approval Notice (FAN) from Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)
  6. 5. Receipt of final payment of Housing Trust Fund contribution
  7. 6. Recorded Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) covenant

For Eating Establishments (e.g. fast food restaurant; prepared food shop; and restaurant):

For Sexually-Oriented Business Establishments:

For Automobile Sales:

  • DC Surveyor’s Plat showing any existing and proposed buildings and the location of the automobiles to be sold
  • Completed Auto Dealer Questionnaire

For Operating a Mobile Cart on Private Property:

  • · Submit the following information for review and approval by the Office of Zoning Administrator and the Structural Division of the Permitting Division:
    • Application must include an authorized letter from the property owner allowing the cart/vehicle on the property
    • Submit a scaled site plan or Surveyor’s Plat clearly identifying the location of the all structures on the property, all required parking spaces, the proposed mobile/vehicle cart. All structures and parking spaces should be clearly dimensioned and labeled. No required off-street parking spaces may be occupied.


For Core and Shell Applications

  • Submit proof of final elevator inspections

For Conditional Certificate of Occupancy (CCO) Applications

  • Letter from third party inspection agency (if they performed the inspections) identifying all conditions, areas to be occupied, a list of deficiencies, and a recommended duration
  • Letter from the property owner explaining the basis for the CCO request and a requested duration
  • Fire evacuation plan to show separation between occupied and non-occupied spaces