Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Department of Buildings

Fireworks stands require permits from DOB; we will be processing applications through July 3, 2024. New applicants should view this form and follow the outlined steps, while returning applicants should follow the instructions laid out in this form. For any questions, please Contact DOB.

Menu Button

Welcome to the Department of Buildings

1 I Need To...
2 ...

Vacant and Blighted Commercial Properties

What is a Vacant Property? What Is a Blighted Property?

D.C. Official Code § 42–3131.05 (5) “Vacant building” means real property improved by a building which, on or after April 27, 2001, has not been occupied continuously; provided, that in the case of residential buildings, a building shall only be a vacant building if the Mayor determines that there is no resident for which an intent to return and occupy the building can be shown.

D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.05 (1) (A) A blighted vacant building is determined by the Mayor to be unsafe, insanitary or which is otherwise determined to threaten the health, safety, or general welfare of the community.


Do You Have a Certificate of Occupancy?

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 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; for more information about C of Os, please visit our C of O process page. Please note that as of October 23, 2023, all C of O applications must be processed through our digital platform, Certifi.


Are You Currently Undergoing Construction or Renovations?

Find building permits, applications, invoices, plans, or C of O permits with DOB's eRecords Management system.



Apply and Pay for Construction Permits Online

Commercial projects, solar, demolition, razes, and after-hours permits are processed through the Citizen Access Portal.

For one and two-family residential projects, use the DOB Permit Wizard for your online permit application. 


If You Believe Your Property Is Occupied, Please Request an Occupancy Inspection


How Can I Register My Vacant Or Blighted Property?

Vacant Property Registration

  • Create a Citizen Access Portal account using Access DC.
  • Register with Vacant Building Enforcement
  • Select Online application
  • Click Building20 arrow and select “Vacant Property Registration”
  • Continue filling out the required information. Make sure Under Step 2 that Vacant is selected
  • Complete the payment process via our online payment portal.

Blighted Property Registration (Please Note: Class 4 Properties Are Not Eligible For Exemptions)

  • Fill Out the Blighted Building Response Form
  • Complete the payment process via our online payment portal.