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Tacoma Permits

Tacoma Permits is Now Live

Planning and Development Services has launched the online Tacoma Permits system that utilizes Accela software and offers a number of efficiencies. Visit TacomaPermits.org and go to the Apply For Permits section to sign up for your account today. 


About the Tacoma Permits System

Permitting is a core mission of the City of Tacoma and in some ways impacts almost every Tacoma citizen’s life. Whether it’s a sign permit or a multi-million dollar commercial development, it must pass through the permitting office. Planning and Development Services was managing the permitting process using a number of products that are both off-the-shelf and custom built.


The City has multiple departments and divisions dealing with various permitting projects that need to have access to the same information. The Building, Planning, Environmental Services, and Fire departments need access to the same information for review, inspection and planning activities. That’s why a system where information can be easily shared and accessed by all departments involved is a requirement.


In an effort to streamline this process and improve the customer experience, the City has launched a new Tacoma Permits system. This cloud-based permitting platform includes:

  • Citizen Access (online permit applications, payment, and status)
  • Electronic Document Review
  • GIS (mapping tools for permit status and review)
  • Mobile Office (field tools for inspectors)

Features of the Tacoma Permits System

  • An online permit application and payment process.
  • Transparency - access for citizens and the development community to track their permits throughout the entire process.
  • Ability to request inspection via website or phone.  

System Benefits

Improved Service Delivery
Planning, permitting, and inspections workflow will all be automated. 

Save Time 
Citizens and agency staff can access online services at all times for submitting plans, permitting applications, fee payment, scheduling inspections, and making inquiries or complaints.
Customer Efficiency 
Citizens will create an account that will save their information and automatically populate the next time the system is used. 

Agency Efficiency 
Staff can share a single information source across departments to save time, eliminate task redundancy, and improve decision making in the office and the field.

Now that the system has gone live, all land use, building, and site development permits will be processed through the new system. Application forms will be different and applicants will be required to set up an account which will then store your customer information for future permits, and allow access to permit information at any time.



Frequently Asked Questions 

Tacoma Permits is using Accela as the new web-based permitting platform. The platform has two key components: Accela Automation and Accela Citizen Access. Customers can now access the new system through the Tacoma Permits website under the Apply for Permits section. This is the same route customers have always taken but it will look and function very differently!


What is Accela Automation

Accela Automation, also known as AA, is a web-based civic platform that handles the day-to-day management of every permit that goes through the City of Tacoma. This central platform uses automation to increase productivity and communication to everyone involved in the permit process, making your trip to the permit office easier and more efficient.


How does Accela Automation help customers?

There is a customer-facing portal to Accela Automation called Accela Citizens Access, also known as ACA, where you can create an account, apply for a permit, pay for a permit and even check on the status of your permit as it goes through its process.


Do I need to make an account to view my permit status online?

No, you do not need an account to look up a permit. However, in order to apply for a permit through ACA you will need to create an account.


Can I still come into the office to apply for a permit?

If you prefer, you are still welcome to come into the office to apply, and a Permit Specialist can create an application for you. The permit office is located at

Tacoma Municipal Building
Third Floor
747 Market Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

Visit the Planning and Development Services page for office hours. However, it is encouraged that you apply through ACA.


How do I submit my plans for review?

You can submit all of the related documents needed for your permit through ACA when you are submitting the permit application. This allows the plan reviewers to review the documents electronically and provide feedback to you faster.


Will all of my previous permit history be transferred into AA and ACA?

Yes, all of the permit data that was in our previous software system will be migrated into AA. However, you will not be able to view this information in ACA; it will only be used by the internal staff.


How will I be able to track my permit?

When you complete a permit application, you will be given the unique permit ID that can be used to track your permit. On ACA there is a link where you can enter that permit ID and view the statuses and comments of your permit as it progresses through its workflow.

Can I start work once I submit my permit application on ACA?

No. You cannot start work until after the permit has been reviewed, issued and paid for.


What if I get an error when using ACA?

If you encounter a problem with ACA, you can come into the office and apply or you can send us an email at tacomapermits@cityoftacoma.org and attach a screenshot of the problem if possible, so we can help you solve your issue.


What if I have an additional question regarding my permit in AA or ACA?

If you find something unclear or have any additional questions you can contact us by sending an email to permitplandesk@cityoftacoma.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


Where can I learn more about Accela?

If you would like to learn more about Accela or the civic platform visit the Accela website. Here you can find videos, brochures and demos to learn about Accela and their products.



What about inspections?

As you may know, Planning and Development Services has been testing a requirement that inspections be requested by 3 PM the day before the inspection. We would like some feedback from our customers before we extend this requirement. Provide your feedback by taking a short survey.



click for customer survey 


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