Generally, only a California Licensed Contractor or the property owner can pull a permit. You can check with the CSLB (Contractor State License Board) to see if your contractor has a valid license. There are, however, a few exceptions to this basic rule. There are different categories, for example; General Building Contractors, Electrical Contractors, Plumbing Contractors, Re-roofing Contractors, and many others. By State law, these different types of contractors are limited as to the types of permits that they can pull. For example, a Plumbing Contractors cannot pull an electrical permit, and visa versa.
If the permit is to be pulled by someone other than the licensed contractor (the actual licensee listed on the contractor’s license) or the actual property owner (as listed in the Assessor’s database) then you will need to review the question, "What paperwork do I need if I am not the property owner or the licensed Contractor?"
As a California licensed contractor, you will need the following paperwork in order to pull a permit:
As the property owner, you do not need any paperwork other than proof of identification, typically a state photo ID such as a Driver’s License. If you have recently acquired the property and the Assessor’s database does not yet show you as the owner, then you will need to show evidence that you are the actual owner.
In some cases the real estate transaction papers will confirm the ownership status. Other cases may require contacting a title company to confirm the ownership status. If you are not the property owner, then you will need to have a notarized "authorized agent form" which lists you as being authorized to pull the permit on behalf of the property owner. We recommend that you read the notes from the California State License Board about the risks of becoming the Owner/Builder of your project. View the notes section of the State site.