Searching for Permit Records

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Tacoma has used multiple systems over the years to save and process permit data.  Due to this fact you must search multiple websites to find all of the permit records associated with a particular address or parcel number.  This How to Guide will show you various ways to search for permit history.

Getting Started
To get the most out of your permit record search you will need to start by having the address and parcel number available.

If you have one but not the other, the most direct way to search for these is through our DART map. You can find the DART map and additional resources by going to then selecting the map icon in the lower right side of the screen.  This will take to our Interactive Maps section.

Dart Map
There are many features in the DART map which you may want to explore including our base maps and layers list.  The map also has measuring and drawing tools which can be useful when researching a property or defining a project.  However in this How to Guide we will be focusing on address, parcel and permit searches.

Once you have access to the map you will be able to use the search bar in the upper left hand corner to search for either address or parcel number.  Once the address has appeared in the Site Address section you may select it in order for the map to focus on that property.  This is the same process for the Parcel search.



Identify Results
Once the screen has centered on your property you will need to click on the parcel in order to activate the Identify Results window on the left side of the screen.  This window will provide you with the parcel details supplied by Pierce County immediately.  This shows the parcel number and the primary address.

If the parcel details do not show an address then you will need to click on the Permit/Site History to reveal the address provided by the City of Tacoma and/or any additional addresses as seen below.


Permit/Site History
The permit history found on the DART map include the following record types:

  1. Inspection Cards (BLD, PLM, MEC records to 2001 and Side Sewer records to the mid-2000’s)
  2. Certificate of Occupancy Documents (up to 2013)
  3. Facility Plans (by request via Public Disclosure Request)
  4. Variance Documents (to the mid-2000’s)
  5. Site Approvals
  6. Rezones (to the mid-2000’s)
  7. Special Use Permits
  8. Shoreline
  9. Plat

These files are saved as .TIF image files and are readily available to be reviewed and/or downloaded.


Accela – Historical Permit Records – GovMe
Through our main permitting website you will be able to search this same database using the address rather than the map.  The direct link to this search page is:

This can also be found by accessing our permitting website at: then selecting the Historical Permit Records link.

This type of search is helpful for properties that may be on a street that had a name change or buildings that may have changed or retired addresses.  (Best viewed in Internet Explorer)

Street Name Changes
Martin Luther King Jr Way = South M Street

Stewart St = Stewart Ave

Earnest S Brazill St = South 12th St

(These are just a few examples and not an exhaustive list)

You will want to search for records under both street names in order to confirm you have all the historical records for each address you provide.

Retired Addresses
When a property has multiple addresses associated with it, such as with some commercial buildings, the likelihood that an address has been retired overtime increases.  If an address has been retired then it will not show up on our maps.

As storefronts may be combined or separated the addresses must be updated as well.  When searching for permit records it can sometimes be beneficial to search by the Street Name only and scroll down the list to the address block in question to make sure nothing is overlooked.

As you can see from the example, the addresses of 1102 and 1104 Martin Luther King Jr Way have been retired, most likely due to the combination of storefronts or a similar change.

Accela – Search Permit Records
Permit records from 2001 to present include Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, Side Sewer, Water Connection, Land Use, Work Orders and more. This search can be found by accessing our permitting website at: then selecting the “Search Permit Records” link. 

General Search
The are various options to help you filter your searches including:

  1. Record Number
  2. Record Type
  3. Project Name
  4. Start/End Date
  5. License Type/Number
  6. Address No. (which can be a range)
  7. Parcel number

For a permit search into include all permits for a specific location you will want to use the address AND the parcel number searches (separately).

Doing mulitple searches will confirm that you have all of the permit records related to a specific location.  Some records have been saved with both the address and parcel number cross referenced, while others have been saved with only the address or only the parcel number.


Address Search
When searching via address please only fill out the “Address No.” and “Street Name:” sections of the form.  Due to the many variations of address formats that have been used over the years this will allow the search engine to retrieve the largest amount of responsive records to your search.

The Address No. field does allow you to search a range of addresses however you only need to fill out one of the boxes if you are looking for a specific address.

The street name requires a “wildcard character” to get the best results. The % symbol is used before and after the street name or partial street name, which will allow for all variables to be included.

An example of how this works:

If you search %alder% you will received every variation of possible address formats that may be saved in our system.

  • Alder
  • N Alder
  • S Alder
  • Alder St
  • N Alder St
  • S Alder St

Occasionally you will find that an address has the same address number in both North and South, but it is best that you filter these visually to make sure that no records are overlooked due to a more restrictive search.

Parcel Number
Serching via parcel number on the other hand much more straightforward.  Please only use the “Parcel No.:” search field so that the search is not limited by any other criteria.

Unless of course that is your intent.  Using either the address or parcel searchs you may also include any of the other filters such as Record Type if you only wanted to search for Plumbing permits for example or Start/End Date if you only wanted permits after a certain date or within a range.

Record Details
Once you have accessed the record information you will be able to see the Record Number, Record Type and Status towards the top of the screen.

Below this you will see the “Record Info” drop down menu which includes:

  1. Record Details (main page of the record)
  2. Processing Status (status of review, reviewer comments)
  3. Related Records
  4. Inspections (date, type, inspector, result, comments)

Towards the bottom of the screen you will see the Record Details which include the Applicant Information and Permit Description with additional details from the application found in the expandable folders under More Details.


Processing Status
This section will show the current status of the review process, including: review type, status, , reviewer, date and comments. 

Related Records
This will include a list of any records that have been associated with each other.  Examples of this would be a Building permit related to  Plumbing and Mechanical permits.
This section will include the inspections that are either scheduled or completed.  This list will show the date, type, inspector, result, comments.  Once you click on the “View Details” hyperlink shown in blue you will be able to access the “Status History” and “Result Comments” by clicking on the associated links.

Other Permit Records
Electrical permits would need to be retrieved through TPU at or: 

Legal Documents
Documents related to easements, vacations, deeds, Street or Right-of-Way Occupancy permits can be found through the DART map Identify Results window as shown.

E-Vault Documents
Additional documents can be found in the DART map under the Region tab in the Identify Results window.  You will need to click on the middle of the street in order to reveal the records associated with that area.  Records may include:

  1. Construction (ROW and Work Order)
  2. Utilities
  3. Signal
  4. Landscape
  5. Plat

(best viewed in Internet Explorer)

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