Process Overview

Permitting Timelines

Event Organizer Responsibilities

Special Event Office Responsibilities


The permitting process for Seattle Special Events can be very straight forward and simple or very complex and detailed depending on the type, location, size, impact, and timing of the event.  The application, while very detailed, is built to accommodate any size of event.  If there are fields that do not relate to your event activity, click "N/A" or leave them blank, we will contact you if we have questions.

Below is a very broad overview of the Special Event permitting process. Please see relevant sections of handbook for detailed information on any item.  If you have a question on something that is not covered below or in the handbook, contact our office.

  1. Review this entire handbook and the Special Event Permit Application.
  2. Complete and submit a Special Event Permit Application no later than 90 days prior to your event.
  3. Meet with the Special Events Committee or Subcommittee (if required).
  4. Receive preliminary approval approximately 30 days after your application. 
  5. Submit all paperwork and documentation as required by the Special Events Committee or Special Events Office.
  6. Submit approved insurance documents and payment for Special Event Permit fees no later than 30 days prior to your event.
  7. Receive final Special Event Permit via email.

Permitting Timelines

The below timelines assume an application is submitted a minimum of 90 days prior to an event.  Applications submitted later than 90 days prior to an event are subject to late fees and may not be approved.  If an application received later than 90 days prior to an event is approved, the following timelines will change.

Event Organizer Responsibilities

90 Days Prior to Event

  • Completed Special Event Application
  • Event Map(s)
  • Run of Show [Addendum A]
  • Street Use Plan [Addendum B] (Run/Walk, Cycling, Parade Events)

60 Days Prior to Event

  • Neighborhood Communication Plan

45 Days Prior to Event

  • Temporary Noise Variance Application (Events with off-hours amplified sound)
  • Public Safety & Event Management Plan [Addendum C] (Events with 1,000+ Attendees)

30 Days Prior to Event

  • General Liability insurance documents
  • Liquor Liability insurance documents (Events with alcohol service)
  • Vendor List [Addendum D] (Events with any vendors)
  • Neighborhood Sign-Offs (Events with street closures)
  • Full payment for Special Event Permit fees

15 Days Prior to Event

  • Final revisions or changes to Run of Show
  • Final revisions or changes to Vendor List

30 Days After Event

  • Written request for adjustments to Special Event Permit fees (if applicable)

Special Events Office Responsibilities 

3 Business Days After Application Submitted

  • Confirms receipt of application 

*If you do not receive a confirmation within 3 business days (please allow 10 days if submitting by US Mail), contact the Special Events Office at (206) 684-8017.

10 Business Days After Application Received

  • Informs you what Event Category your event has been assigned
  • Requests any additional documentation regarding your event application

30 Days After Application Received

  • Sends you a Special Event Preliminary Permit (if requested by applicant)

45 Days Before Event

  • Sends invoice for Special Event Permit Fees

3-15 Days Before Event

  • Sends final Special Event Permit

Special Events

Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5752, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94708, Seattle, WA, 98124-4708
Phone: (206) 684-8017
Fax: (206) 684-7025

The City of Seattle plays a strong role in helping event planners bring people together safely and successfully in both city-wide and neighborhood events.