Record of legal occupancy (before permitting process):
If the building has a record of legal occupancy, and no work has been performed, you will need a copy of the last record of occupancy from the document room to apply for the certificate (steps below).
If there is no record of legal occupancy, the applicant must file a long form permit legalizing occupancy.
More Information about Long Form Permits »
Certificate of Occupancy (C/O)
Examples: You made major renovations (e.g. put on a new addition), change to egress or capacity, fire protection, or changed the occupancy or use of the building.
- Visit the Special Enforcement Division at Counter 3 in the Building Division (5th floor).
- Get building card with sign-off from inspectors.
- Have ISD inspectors and Fire Prevention personnel sign off on the computer-generated request for certificate.
- Submit updated cost breakdown and pay all applicable fees.*
- If there was sprinkler or fire alarm work, department will request test reports for life safety equipment.
- Architect, engineer and builder must submit affidavits for jobs over $1 million.
- Visit Boston Fire Prevention for their requirements to obtain certificate for new and existing conditions. Their sign-off is required.
Learn More About the Fire Prevention Process »
- If you're applying for an establishment with assembly use (restaurant, hotel, school, etc.) follow below requirements.
Place of Assembly Requirement Check List
*If there is a difference between the estimated cost and the actual cost, the builder/owner should amend the application to increase the cost and pay the additional fee. Failure to do so (or if the department determines the actual cost exceeds the estimate on the permit) will result in the applicant paying a double fee prior to issuance of the Certificate, based on the actual cost of construction.