Duplication of Plans

Anyone requesting copies of building plans must have written permission from both the owner of the property and (1) the certified, licensed, or registered professional or (2) his/her successor (if any) who signed the original documents, or (3) by order of a proper court.

Duplication of Plans * (PDF—10K)

The plans may be maintained on microfiche and/or in the permanent City address files, and they are public record for viewing; however we do comply with the "copyright law" which states it is against the law to allow the duplication of these documents without meeting the above criteria.

If you have any questions regarding this law and/or the proper procedure required to duplicate these documents, our Building Inspection Division staff will be happy to assist you.


California State Health & Safety Code
Inspection of Records
Section No. 19851

"The official copy of the plans maintained by the Building Department of the city or county provided for under Section 19850 shall be open for inspection only on the premises of the Building Department as a public record. Such copy may not be duplicated in whole or in part except with the written permission of the certified, licensed or registered professional or his successor, if any, who signed the original documents and the written permission of the owner of such building, or by order of a proper court."

Should you wish to obtain copies of professional drawings or other documents, it will be necessary to follow the procedures detailed below:

  1. Review the drawings in order to determine the name of the licensed professional. If there is not a licensed professional's signature on the drawings but an architectural or engineering firm's title block exists, then that company's name should be noted.
  2. Contact the licensed professional, engineering or architectural firm, and obtain written permission on company or personal letterhead to receive copies of microfilmed drawings.
  3. The letter should include the property address as well as the types of drawings, specifications, etc. which are to be made available to you.
  4. If you are not the owner of the property in question, it is also required that you obtain written permission from the owner. Letterhead is preferred.
  5. Bring the original letters to the Building Division. The Building Division will then make arrangements for the microfilm to be copied. You or your company will be billed directly.
  6. If you cannot obtain these authorizations, the Building Division will assist you. In order to receive this assistance, we will need you to print, complete, and fax the application below to 650/962--8501. The Building Division will contact you within 30 days with a response.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The Building Inspection Staff