Mechanical Permit

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. If a permit is not required, contact Zoning for approval of the location of any outdoor equipment. 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 Permit Arlington

  • 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 through the revision process
  • Review Permit Arlington 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, 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 a 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 a Mechanical Permit. Note: If you already have a Building Permit, you don’t need to submit plans with your Mechanical 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:
    • Cooling equipment (new or relocated)
    • Duct (new or relocated)
    • Expansion tank (new)
    • Fuel tank (new or removal)
    • Heating equipment (new or relocated)
    • Piping (new or relocated)
    • Pre-fabricated fireplace (new or relocated)

Step 2: Completeness Check

  • Applications will be checked for completeness within 2 business days.
  • If incomplete, the applicant and all email contacts provided on the application will be contacted by email with an attached letter explaining  what is required..

Step 3: Review and Revisions

  • 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.
  • The applicant and all email contacts provided on the application will receive an email with any review comments.
  • View Permit Revisions to learn how to respond to comments and revise plans or documents.

Step 4: Final Processing

  • After required reviews and revisions are completed, contractor information will be verified and permit fees will be calculated within two business days.
  • The applicant and all email contacts provided on the application will be contacted by email with any required changes or with fee information.
  • To pay the fee, enter the permit number into Permit Arlington Online Payment. See help guidelines for adding contacts to a permit.  

Step 5: Approvals and Printing

  • Once payment is received, you will receive a digital copy of the permit through your Permit Arlington account.
  • An approved plan set will be available within two business days, also accessible through your Permit Arlington account.
  • The applicant is responsible for printing the permit and plan set. Construction may not begin until permits have been approved and posted.

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.


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.