Mechanical Permit

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

A Mechanical Permit is required for adding, removing or relocating:

  • Mechanical fixtures
  • Furnaces
  • Air-conditioning systems
  • Ventilation systems
  • Exhaust systems
  • Refrigeration systems
  • Duct work
  • Any related components to these systems

Replacement of these elements of the same type, size and location do not require a permit, unless its equipment is fueled by gas. In that case, a Plumbing/Gas Permit is required. Further exemptions from a permit can be found in §108.2 of the Building Code.

If you are unsure whether a mechanical permit is required, contact the Inspection Services Division by email or phone: 703-228-3800.

Submission Requirements

Mechanical permit applications must be submitted online via ePlan.

  • Upon the replacement or new installation of any fuel-burning appliances or equipment in existing buildings, an inspection shall be conducted to ensure that the connected vent or chimney systems are (1) sized in accordance with the building code and (2) are clean and free of any obstruction or blockages, defects or deterioration and are in operable condition. You must provide the completed Chimney Vent Certification form upon completing inspections of such fuel-burning appliances or equipment.
  • ReviewePlan 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 do not require plans to be submitted.
  • If there is an associated building permit, the mechanical plans should only be submitted under the associated 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 Mechanical Permit projects require plans to be submitted. Review the list below (click to expand) to determine which instructions apply to your project(s). If you don’t see your project listed, or if there is already a Building Permit for the project, plans should not be submitted with the Mechanical Permit. 

Does my project require plans to be submitted when applying for an Mechanical Permit? Note: If you already have a Building Permit, you don’t need to submit plans with your Mechanical Permit.

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

  • If there is a 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:
    • Cooling equipment (new or relocated)
    • Duct (new or relocated)
    • Expansion tank (new or removal)
    • Fuel tank (new)
    • Heating equipment (new or relocated)
    • Piping (new or relocated)
    • Pre-fabricated fireplace (new or relocated)

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 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 associated 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 Mechanical 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 Mechanical 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 two 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 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.
  • ePlan Review Guidelines and Help.

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

If your Mechanical Permit involves the removal of a tank, final trades inspections must be completed before a Fire Marshal inspection can be scheduled.

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 Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.