ePlan Review Guidelines and Help
The Arlington County Permit Office is CLOSED for in-person customer service. Many services are available online. Learn more.
ePlan is an online system for reviewing and approving plans. Through ePlan, you can obtain the following types of permits:
Note: If you have an account in the Permit Arlington online system and are signing up for an ePlan Review account, or vice versa, you must use the same username in both systems.
ePlan Review Submission Requirements
- Maximum files size: There are no size limitations to documents submitted online.
- Typical sheet sizes:
- 11 in. x 17 in.
- 24 in. x 36 in.
- Sheet orientation: Landscape only.
- Scalable vector drawings: While scanned images are accepted, every effort should be made to submit scalable vector drawings.
- No encryption or passwords: Placing encryption or passwords on files generates an error that prevents staff from viewing the files.
- Upload as individual files; save as searchable PDFs: Upload files individually through the ePlan Review portal. The construction set should NOT be submitted as one file. Save all documents submitted for review as searchable PDF files.
- Retain file names: File names must remain the same throughout the submittal and re-submittal processes. If you change file names, the County will reject your plan re-submission.
- Do not “version” or rename files when uploading and resubmitting files. The electronic plan review software will automatically track and add a revision number in the system that can be viewed once uploading is complete.
- Do not delete files: Files should not be deleted between revisions unless the submitted file is being completely removed from the permit set.
- Utilize naming conventions:
- Comment response letter: Submit a comment response letter with each permit revision. This letter should address all outstanding County comments and any additional revisions to the plan set. Upload the letter as a PDF file with the revised sheets.
- 3 in. x 3 in. blank space: A 3 in. x 3 in. blank space is required at the top-right corner of each submitted document. This space is for Arlington County’s approval stamp, which is applied at permit issuance.
Standard File Naming Conventions
When naming plans for building and land disturbance permits, follow the conventions below. Doing so will facilitate uploading of your files and re-review in the event of re-submission. Using the file naming conventions will also ensure that your plans are placed in the correct order in the final plan set.
Standard File Naming Conventions
During the application process, the ePlan system will assign your application a status, which will appear in your ePlan account and in the comment letter(s) from County staff. Contact the email(s) listed in the comment letter with any questions.
Some of the most typical status designations are:
- Awaiting Plan Submission: The application has not yet been submitted. It may have incomplete fields or missing documents.
- Missing: *List of required docs not uploaded yet*: The application is missing the specified document(s).
- Awaiting Initial Processing or Completeness Check In Progress: Staff are confirming that the application and plans meet the requirements for acceptance. This step can take up to 2 business days.
- Submission Incomplete – Re-submission Required: The application has been rejected for the reason(s) stated in the comment letter.
- Review Type Change Required: Application rejected because the type of building permit submitted does not match the scope of work or the plans. Refer to the comment letter.
- Awaiting Deposit Payment: You must pay the filing fee before plan review can begin.
- Department Review In Progress: Review time varies by permit type and scope of work.
- Review Complete – Re-submission Required: Application or plans were rejected. Refer to the comment letter.
- Review In Progress, Awaiting Deposit: You must pay a filing fee before the next review can start.
- Pending Additional Approvals for Permit: Reviews or approval outside of the permit process are required. Refer to the comment letter.
- Pending Final Review: The permit has been approved by all assigned plan reviewers and is pending final review before issuance. Final review takes 2 business days.
- Approved, Awaiting Payment: You must make a payment before the permit can be issued.
- Permit Issued, Creating Approved Plan Set and Letter: Manual creation of the approved plan set and letter can take up to 2 business days.
- Permit Issued: You can access the permit, placard, and approved plan set through your ePlan account.
Approval and Printing
When a permit is approved, you will be provided a permit fee balance to pay online. Once payment is received, a digital permit is issued. In addition, County staff will create an approved construction document set. Both are available for your use from your ePlan Review account.
You (the applicant) are responsible for printing and posting the approved permit prior to construction.
You are also responsible for printing the approved construction document set and having it available on site prior to the first scheduled inspection. The plan set must meet the following requirements:
- Permit set must be kept at construction site prior to scheduling the first inspection.
- Residential construction drawing sets should be printed on a minimum sheet size of 11 in. x 17 in.
- Commercial construction drawing sets should be printed on a minimum sheet size of 18 in. x 24 in.
- Plans should be of legible and easily readable scale.
- Other than site plan drawings, no drawing should be printed at a scale smaller than 1/8 in. = 1 ft. 0 in.
- Supporting documentation such as project specifications, manufacturer’s product data sheets and structural calculations may be printed on 8 ½ in. x 11 in. sheets.
We’re Here to Help
Instructions & Video Tutorials
The help desk hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Arlington County Permit Office closes at noon every third Thursday.