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Department of Buildings

In observance of the Emancipation Day holiday, DOB will be closed on Tuesday, April 16, 2024; no construction will be allowed on this day without an after-hours permit. You may report illegal construction by submitting an Illegal Construction Inspection Request Form during normal business hours or by calling 311.

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Records Management Information

What Is A Public Record?

All documents, papers, letters, books, maps, photographs, sound or video recordings, microfilm, magnetic tape, electronic media, or other information recording media, regardless of physical form or characteristic and regardless of whether public access to it is open or restricted under the laws of the state, crated or received by the county or any of its officers or employees pursuant to law or in the transaction of public business are records.

Need to Know Information

  • Records requests will have to be resubmitted if not accessed or picked up within two (2) weeks.
  • Most records can be emailed, in the cases where they cannot, our address is: DOB Permit Service Center, 1100 4th Street SW Suite E270, Washington, D.C. 20024.
  • For records from years 1949-1962, if you do not have the permit number, you must first call National Archives to get the associated permit # by calling (301) 837-2000. However, if you have the permit number, please complete the online form below.
  • Please note, DOB MAY NOT HAVE building plans for years 1995-1998.

What Records Can You Request?

Our goal is to provide professional, dependable, efficient, and cost-effective services through our commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.  Here, you will be able to access records within the District of Columbia dating back to 1877.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions before your request. The types of records we provide include the following:

  • Building Permits
  • Electrical Permits
  • Plumbing Permits
  • Mechanical Permits (AC)
  • Building Plans
  • Certificates of Occupancy


  • Request for Certificate of Occupancy (Copy): $7.00
  • Certified Letter: $10.00
  • Request of Certificate of Occupancy (Certified Copy): $20.00

Depending on the size of the record(s) prices may vary.

All remittance are payable to: District of Columbia, Government Treasurer

Archived Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept by us forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching a historical topic that interests you. Learn more.

Records Dating Years 1877-1949

The National Archives AI Reference Branch holds microfilm of DC building permits issued between 1877-1949.  The permits for 1877 to June 15, 1915 were filmed by the National Archives on 35mm microfilm, rolls I-854.  The permits for July 1, 1915 to September 7, 1949, were filmed by the DC government on 16mm microfilm, rolls DC133-DC814.  There are no rolls for DC1-DC132.

The National Archives Cartographic Branch holds architectural drawings related to specific DC building permits issued between February 17, 1877 and June 30, 1915.  Drawings associated with permits issued between July 1, 1915 and September 7, 1949 were destroyed by DC government.  These drawings were not microfilmed prior to destruction and do not exist in any form.  The “Plan File” mention by some permits no longer exists.

DC building permits and any associated drawings dating after September 7, 1949 have been transferred from DC government to the National Archives.

Requests for DC building permits dating from 1877-1949 only should be directed to: 
National Archives at Washington, DC – Textual Reference
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Email: [email protected]

Requests for DC building permit drawings dating from 1877-1949 only should be directed to: 
National Archives at College Park, MD – Cartographic Branch
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740
Email: [email protected]

Records Dating Years 1949-1962

Record requests that include records dating anywhere in between 1949-1962 can be requested from the National Archives & Records Administration.  DOB will still assist you in these record requests, but your request will be forwarded to the National Archives & Records Administration to be processed and completed.

Records Dating Years 1958-1995

Record requests that include records dating anywhere in between 1958-1995 can be requested from DOB directly.  These records are housed offsite and we will assist you in these record requests, making sure they are processed and completed. The process normally takes thirty (30) days or less to retrieve the record you request.

Office hours are Monday – Wednesday, and Friday: 8:30AM – 4:30PM, Thursday: 9:30AM – 4:30PM