San Francisco made ADU application possible online

Posted on
February 28, 2021


Permit fees cost 6% to 9% of building costs.  You can pay the fees electronically.


You'll receive an answer to your reviewed application in 14 days.

Steps on how to apply for ADU

1. Check if your project qualifies for this application      

These are the type of work related ADU that are accepted on-line:

  • Expansions required for an ADU
  • Excavations required for an ADU
  • New construction for a detached ADU
  • Interior remodel work to create independent access to the ADU

For all non-ADU construction, see instructions from the Department of Building Inspection.

For unit legalizations, follow the Legalization Program process.


2. Gather your project location information                            

Make sure you have this information about the project location:

  • Block and lot
  • Street address
  • Existing and proposed dwelling units

You must confirm that the property owner has authorized this work.

3. Gather your project details                

Make sure you add these details:

  • Estimated construction cost
  • Proposed ADUs unit type and square footage

4. Review the Street Tree checklist                  

You may need to plant trees on the street. This street tree checklist can tell you whether your project needs this.

If you do not need to plant a street tree, do not submit these forms.

If you do need to plant trees, you have an option of planting a tree or paying an in-lieu fee.

If you choose to plant a tree, fill out the tree planting permit and attach it with your form.

If you choose to pay the in-lieu free, note that on your plans.

5. Download and fill out these forms.      

You must upload these forms with your application.

Each form will take about 10 to 30 minutes to fill out.

6. Create PDFs of your plans                    

Follow these rules to create PDFs of plans.

PDFs must be editable. Do not submit locked, password-protected, encrypted, or “restricted” documents.

Each upload must be less than 350 MB.

Title blocks must have your project address, sheet count, and sheet name.

Every sheet must have the signature and stamp of the professional of record. Use a scanned graphic signature with a PDF stamp.

7. Submit your application                  

You will be asked for:

  • Your project location
  • Your project details
  • Your contact info
  • Billing contact info

You will also need to upload completed PDFs of the required forms and PDFs of your plans.

This will take about 20 minutes.


                       Submit here            

After you apply      


After submitting the above forms and plans, planning department will send you a confirmation email with your planning application number.

Use our Property Information Map (PIM) for updates about your application. It will take 1 day for your record to appear in PIM.

A planner will email you about next steps within 14 business days.


You'll also receive a notification with the cost that has to be paid electronically. We will send you instructions.

After approval

Once your permit is approved, a planner will coordinate with you to verify your licensed contractor information.

You'll receive by email your job card to start construction.

Happy ADU!      









Posted on
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