Minor Utility Permit

Permit Counter Temporary Closures

To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we closed our public-facing customer service counters on Monday, March 16, 2020. Our counters remain closed until further notice. This includes both the Street Use and the Traffic and Parking permit counters at the Seattle Municipal Tower on floors 23 and 37. We are still processing permit applications.

You can submit applications for all permit types online through the Seattle Services Portal.

Our staff will be available to provide application coaching and assist with issuing permits by phone or e-mail.

How to Estimate Permit Timelines

The Targeted for date found on each permit step on the Seattle Services Portal represents the "typical" time it takes to process that step only and does not account for total time of a review cycle. For most Street Use permits, a review cycle includes multiple permit steps.  

Current permit timelines can be found on our Street Use Permitting Timelines and Updates website. Information on our permit steps and how we estimate the Targeted for dates can be found in our Understanding the Street Use Permit Process, Status, Target Dates, and Permit Timelines help article


Step 1 – Confirm that this is the right permit for your work

This permit type is for installing or maintaining utility infrastructure with minimal impacts to the street and/or sidewalk and does not trigger the major utility review process. Typical uses include:

  • service installations (gas, water, power, telecom, etc.)
  • potholing for utility locations
  • ground water monitoring
  • aerial fiber installations

Note: these are guidelines for Minor Utility Permits and we may require a different permit type at our discretion. If you are unsure if you qualify for this permit type, please call (206) 684-7623 or send an email to 684-Road@seattle.gov.

Utility Major Permit thresholds

  • Scope based
    • installation of any main line greater than 2” in diameter
    • installation longer than 100 linear feet on an arterial street
    • installation longer than 300 linear feet on a non-arterial street
    • removal of underground storage tank
    • high potential for removal of contaminated soils
    • environmental remediation work
  • Installation based
    • directional bore (pneumatic bore is not a trigger)
  • Impact to other existing city assets
    • ADA ramp installation (trigger per ROWORR)
    • adjacent to City structure such as a bridge or retaining wall

Note: We may require a Utility Major permit beyond the thresholds outlined above in consideration of the complexity of the work including, but not limited to, the proximity to other utilities and/or mobility and access consideration due to construction impacts.

Step 2 – Determine whether or not you’ll have any major impacts to mobility

If your project will require any major impacts to mobility, you’ll be required to submit a Traffic Control Plan. A “major impact” includes:

  • Impact to a travel or bike lane on an arterial street, or in a Hub area, and/or
  • Sidewalk closure on an arterial street, or in a Hub area
  • To keep a sidewalk open, there needs to be at least 4-6 feet (depending on the area) clear and ADA accessible.

Note: If your project will require impacting mobility according to any of the points above, you’ll need to prepare and submit a Traffic Control Plan (TCP) along with your application. For details on preparing a Traffic Control Plan, please consult the following web page.

Step 3 – Create your right-of-way impact plan and site plan!

Now that you’ve determined you’re applying for the right permit, go ahead and prepare the plans depicting your impact to the right-of-way, as well as a plan that shows the utility installations being proposed by your work. These can be on the same drawing, as long as all the requirements are met.

For more details about these requirements, take a look at this web page.

In summary, the right-of-way impact plan needs to show the total area being used by all trucks, materials, etc. There should be a total area that is larger than just the disturbed ground where the utility work will occur.

The site plan will need to show the location of all existing utilities and features near the project. It should specifically call out the new infrastructure being installed or maintained, including trench depth, distance, location, clearances, and dimensions of anticipated restoration.

Click the thumbnail below to download a blank copy of a Right-of-Way Impact Plan!

Thumbnail of an example site plan

Step 4 - Apply for your permit!

Ready to get started? Click the Seattle Services Portal button on the right to begin your permit application. The Seattle Services Portal will guide you through the steps and ask you for relevant information along the way. You’ll be asked to provide the Right-of-Way Impact Plan that you created in Step 3.

Note: If you're viewing this page on your phone, the Seattle Services Portal button will be at the bottom.

Step 5 - Pay for your permit and print it!

After you submit your application, we will review the proposal. We may need to reach out for some clarifications, or you may receive an email specifying some required corrections.

Once any required revisions are corrected, and we have approved your permit, you’ll receive an email indicating that your permit is ready to issue upon payment.

Once you receive that email, you can pay for your permit online through the Seattle Services Portal and print your permit!

Please review the current fee schedule and consult with Street Use permit staff to determine the exact fees if you have questions.

Step 6 - Perform ‘Job Start’ and set-up No-Parking Zone

Notify us of work starting: Read the conditions of your approved permit and make sure you notify us that you’re going to start work. To do this, sign onto the Seattle Services Portal and complete your ‘Job Start Notification’. With the easy stuff out of the way, you can get started on your project! For additional directions on how to do this, please see the following web page.

If your project would benefit from establishing a ‘no-parking’ zone to ensure the area is available for your use, you’ll need to:

  • rent "no parking" signs from a traffic control vendor (you can go online and search barricade company near me)
  • attach a confirmation form to your no park signs
  • for non-metered parking areas, complete the Self-Verification of Temporary No Parking Zone and then print and attach the confirmation form to your no park signs.
  • for metered parking areas, you will need to visit our Traffic Permits Counter in person on the 37th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower
  • signs must be placed 72 hours in advance of the no parking period to be valid

Temporary No Parking zones are enforced by the Seattle Police Department's Parking Enforcement at (206) 386-9012. Without adequate advance placement of no parking signs, Parking Enforcement may be unable to enforce your no parking zone.

Visit the temporary No Parking zone page to learn more about how to set one up.