Safety and Permits

The Department of Safety and Permits is made up of six divisions and two bureaus, which collectively work to ensure that safety standards are met for all construction and use of buildings and properties in the city of New Orleans.


Building Inspection Division

The Building Inspection Division insures new construction or alterations to existing structures are being safely done and in compliance with the International Building Code. This division also investigates complaints of work without proper permits.

Electrical Inspection Division

The Electrical Inspection Division issues permits for all electrical work – installation, repairs or alteration of any electrical equipment or wiring for any purpose or service. This division also issues Electrical Contractors License in Orleans Parish. All new license applicants must apply in person with original documents.  

Mechanical Inspection Division

The Mechanical Inspection Division issues permits for all HVAC/Gas/Elevators, Boilers/Pressure Vessels and Hood work; new or repairs and for buildings vacant for more than 6 months. Also issuance of Mechanical Contractors License in Orleans Parish. All new license applicants must apply in person with original documents. 

Zoning Administration Division

The Zoning Administration Division is responsible primarily for the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of the City’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. In addition to these responsibilities the Zoning Administration Division is charged with verifying the zoning compliance of all building and sign permit applications and reviewing all Occupational License and Alcoholic Beverage License applications. The Zoning Administration Division routinely interacts and coordinates with numerous City Departments, Agencies, Boards and Commissions and serves as the representative of the Department of Safety and Permits on several inter-agency City committees.

Plan Review Division

The Plan Review Division is responsible for reviewing all construction documents to ensure that the documents - Plans and Specifications- are in compliance with the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Gas Code, Handicapped Accessibility Code, National Electrical Code among other codes as listed the International Building Code and as the case may be.

The purpose of the code is of course to establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards.

To accomplish the intent of the code, Plan Examiners, under the supervision of the Chief Plan Examiner, review residential, commercial, and sign plans for compliance with the above codes. Apart from the actual plan review, Plan Examiners meet with architects, engineers, contractors and owners to discuss their projects either before or during the review process of their projects. The plan examiners also coordinate the reviews of commercial projects with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Orleans Parish Sanitarian Services of the State Department of Health and Hospitals, the Fire Prevention Division of the New Orleans Fire Department, the City of New Orleans Public Works Department and the City of New Orleans Department of Property Management as the case may be.

Permit Processing Division

The Permit Processing Division issues permits for all new construction, renovations, additions, and special events, commercial and residential.  These permits include Taxi Cab; Non Emergency Medical; Bus; Van; Tour Guide; Tour Planners; Limousine; Garden District Tour Pass; Charter Permits; Special Events.


Ground Transportation Bureau

The Ground Transportation Bureau function is for all administrative and enforcement operations related to the For-Hire Industry by the authority of the New Orleans Municipal Code, Chapter 162 and Chapter 30 (as it relates to tour guides and tour planners).

Their responsibility also includes:

  • testing and permitting of new and returning applicants
  • conducting public meetings for new business applicants
  • attending monthly council committee meetings and the issuance of CPNC numbers
  • conducting Bureau Court.

The law enforcement wing is responsible for investigations; coordinated activities with local and federal agencies; calls for service; arrests and prosecutions of violators of the municipal code.

Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau (Brake Tag)

The Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau oversees the inspections of all motor vehicles registered in Orleans Parish according to State Law, City Ordinances, and City Policy which includes: automobiles, motorcycles, heavy duty commercial vehicles, tractor trailers, and school buses through independent dealers and fleet operators.