Electrical Permit

The Arlington County Permit Office is CLOSED for in-person customer service. Many services are available online. Learn more.

An Electrical Permit is required for adding, removing, or relocating fixtures, appliances, or wiring for any electrical work.

Replacement of these elements of the same type, size, and location does not require a permit, unless the elements are located within plenums or penetrate fire-rated or smoke-protected construction. Those cases require a Building Permit. Further exemptions from a permit can be found in §108.2 of the Building Code.

If you are unsure whether an Electrical Permit is required, contact the Inspection Services Division by email or phone: 703-228-3800.

Submission Requirements

Electrical Permit applications must be submitted online via ePlan.

  • Review ePlan online submission guidelines, which include document sizing and layout, standard file naming conventions, and file type requirements.
  • Based on the permit holder and applicant for your project, you may be required to upload a Permit Authorization Affidavit.
  • Applications that do not have an associated Building Permit may require plans or other supporting documents to be provided.
  • If there is an associated Building Permit, submit the electrical plans under the Building Permit.
  • For some commercial permits, a fixture count may be required.
  • When you apply, you must identify the type of building in your project. Some residential properties are considered commercial per the Building Code and therefore require a commercial permit. Determine whether your project is considered residential or commercial.

Application Process

Apply online

Some Electrical Permit projects require a Building Permit and plans to be approved and issued before applying for an Electrical Permit, while others require plans to be submitted. Review both lists below (click to expand) to determine which instructions apply to your project(s). If you don’t see your project listed in either list, or if there is already a Building Permit for the project, plans should not be submitted with the Electrical Permit. 

Does my project require a Building Permit to be approved and issued before applying for an Electrical Permit?

The following projects require a Building Permit to be approved and issued before applying for an Electrical Permit, because the electrical plans must be submitted and reviewed with the Building Permit:

  • Modular housing – commercial or residential
  • Signs – commercial only
  • Site lighting/light posts – commercial only
    • For poles that exceed 30 feet in height or includes a footing
  • Solar panels – commercial only
  • Special locks/door locks – commercial only
  • Systems furniture – commercial only
Does my project require plans to be submitted when applying for an Electrical Permit? Note: If you already have a Building Permit, you don't need to submit plans with your Electrical Permit.

The following projects require plans to be submitted when applying for an Electrical Permit. Note: If you already have a Building Permit, you don’t need to submit plans with your Electrical Permit.

  • If there is new or relocated equipment on the roof, in the parking garage, or in other exterior locations on the site, a plan showing the location of the equipment is required
  • If the project involves any land disturbance, a plan showing the area of land disturbance is required
  • Commercial projects that include any of the following:
    • Car charger, new or relocated
    • Circuits, new or relocated
    • Hard-wired fixed appliances, new or relocated
    • Heating appliances, new or relocated
    • Meter
    • Motors, new or relocated
    • Other receptacles, switches or devices, new or relocated
    • Outlets, new or relocated (greater than 20 amperes)
    • Swimming pool
    • Service or panel
    • Subpanel
    • Temporary installations (view the fee schedule for how this is defined)

 

Completeness check

  • Applications will be checked for completeness within 2 business days.
  • You will receive an email with further instruction if your application is incomplete.

Review

  • Commercial projects take up to 3 business days to review.
  • Residential projects take up to 2 business days to review.
  • Review times do not include completeness check or final processing windows.
  • Depending on the scope, some projects may not require further review and will proceed to final processing immediately.

Revisions

  • Applicants will receive an email with any review comments.
  • View the Permit Revisions webpage to learn how to respond to comments and revise plans or documents.
  • If there is an associated Building Permit, the revisions to plans should be submitted under the Building Permit.

Changes to applications previously submitted in paper or email

  • If the permit was not assigned a permit number, please submit a new application in ePlan.
  • If the permit was assigned a permit number and there is an associated Building Permit:
    • Plan changes must be submitted, reviewed, and approved under the Building Permit.
    • Once the Building Permit is approved, email an amended Electrical Permit application to ISDTradePermits@arlingtonva.us.
    • Note on the application, “Amendment to <insert permit number>”.
    • Fill out all of the information exactly the same as the original application, except for the quantity of fixtures and equipment. Only include changing information in the fixture counts; do not include all original fixtures.
  • If the permit was assigned a permit number and there is not an associated Building Permit:
    • Email an amended Electrical Permit application to ISDTradePermits@arlingtonva.us.
    • Note on the application, “Amendment to <insert permit number>”.
    • Fill out all of the information exactly the same as the original application, except for the quantity of fixtures and equipment. Only include changing information in the fixture counts; do not include all original fixtures.

Final processing

  • After required reviews and revisions are completed, contractor information will be verified and permit fees will be calculated.
  • You will receive an email with final processing information within 2 business days that includes a permit fee balance to pay online.

Approvals and printing

  • Once payment is received, you will receive a digital copy of the permit through your ePlan account.
  • An approved plan set will be available within approximately one business day, also accessible through your ePlan account.
  • The applicant is responsible for printing the permit and plan set. Construction may not begin until permits have been approved and posted.
  • View printed plan set requirements.
  • Any changes to the plans after permit issuance will require revisions to the permit application or to the approved plan set. If there is an associated Building Permit, revisions to plans should be submitted under the Building Permit.

Scheduling Inspections

Once your permits have been approved, you must schedule inspections to ensure the safety and proper progress of the project.

The individual that will be onsite the day of the inspection must contact the assigned inspector the morning of the inspection. If the inspector is not contacted, the inspection will be cancelled. After 7 a.m. on the day of your scheduled inspection, use this guide to contact your inspector.

Fees

Fee schedules provide the range of fees charged for each type of application or activity related to land development in Arlington. Fees cover permitting, plan review, enforcement, inspection, service delivery, performance agreements, and conditions. There are separate fee schedules for the Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning Division, and Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.