Electrical Permit Basics

The basics for home and business owners ...

When You Need an Electrical Permit

An electrical permit is required for most new, remodel, and maintenance electrical work.

A permit is a vital step to a safe installation

An electrician working on wiring.A permit will ensure the work done on your property conforms to current safety codes. Your best protection is purchasing an electrical permit and having your electrical work inspected, as required by law.

If a permit is not purchased before work is started

You could be subject to civil penalties if you do not obtain a permit before the electrical work is started. By not purchasing a permit, you might incur additional penalties that could:

  • Affect your ability to obtain financing or sell your property.
  • Prevent you from obtaining insurance or collect on insurance claims.
  • Bring a fine of up to $2,000 for each day a violation occurs.
  • Result in a disconnection of your electrical power.

Each day at each location a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation. Additional penalties can be levied for failure to correct any violations noted during an electrical inspection.

Inspection requests

You must request inspection prior to covering any electrical work, no later than 3 business days after completing the work or 1 business day after any part of the installation has been energized, whichever occurs first. Failure to request an inspection may result in civil penalties.

When a permit is not required

Certain projects do not require a permit. They include:

  • Travel trailers.
  • Plug-in household appliances.
  • The like-in-kind replacement of lamps; a single set of fuses; a single battery smaller than 150 amp hour; contactors, relays, timers, starters, circuit boards, or similar control components; one household appliance; circuit breakers; single-family residential luminaires; up to five snap switches, dimmers, receptacle outlets, thermostats, heating elements, luminaire ballasts with an exact same ballast; component(s) of electric signs, outline lighting, or skeleton neon tubing when replaced on-site by an appropriate electrical contractor and when the sign, outline lighting or skeleton neon tubing electrical system is not modified; one ten horsepower or smaller motor.
  • For the purposes of this section, "circuit breaker" means a circuit breaker that is used to provide overcurrent protection only for a branch circuit, as defined in NEC 100.

For more information:
Go to Electrical Work on Residential Property: What You Should Know Before Work Begins (F500-078-000) to get:

  • A list of example electrical work that either requires or does not require a permit and inspection.
  • Helpful suggestions about how to protect yourself, your home and your property investment by getting the proper electrical work permits and inspections.
  • Detailed instructions and helpful hints about the electrical permit and inspection process.

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