4.4 SDOT Permit Types

Last Updated: 6-11-2017Print page

The City of Seattle requires an SDOT permit for any work in or use of a street right-of-way.

Applicants will need to carefully review the right-of-way improvements required for their project.

With all of the permitting requirements, it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to obtain the necessary building permits for their building project. It will also be important to obtain and coordinate the required (if any) SDOT permits – prior to construction. It is also the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required permits are obtained prior to project construction. Problems that occur during construction that are due to the lack of coordination with SDOT are the responsibility of the Permittee.

The permitting fees and the cost of services provided by the City of Seattle vary based on the type of permit, duration and amount construction within the right of way. Permit and inspection fees are based on the number of hours required to complete the work. Refer to How to Estimate and Pay Permit Fees for more information. 

The types of permits that are of most interest to those engaged in private development are explained in this chapter. For more information on the various kinds of SDOT permits, visit the SDOT Permits Page. Also, consider reviewing the Programming Public Space section of this manual for details on programs and permits of interest to businesses and community groups. SDOT Street Use also allows customers to apply for certain types of permits online. For more information on submitting an online application for a street right-of-way permit refer to the Seattle Services Help Center for Help Articles and visit our Street Use Permitting Timelines and Updates page.

SDOT permits can be generally grouped into three types of permits.

Construction Permits:  Are those permits that are for construction, maintenance or repair of transportation or utility related infrastructure.  These permits can be further broken into three types based on complexity.

Right-of-Way Management Permits:  Are those permits required for the use of the right of way for staging, material storage, and use of the right of way for purposes of construction on private property.

Public Space Permits:  Are required for private non-construction related use of the right of way, for items like vending, sidewalk cafés, signs, street furniture, fences, retaining walls (including residential walls), structural building overhangs, and other uses.  Depending upon the scale and nature of the use, a limited duration, annual, or term permit may be required.