Permit Desk FAQs

Typically, anyone can submit a permit application at the Port Permit desk.

Note: Applicants working on projects at the Ferry Building and Pier 39 must obtain special preliminary authorization from their respective Master Tenants before submitting an application to the Port Permit Desk.


Anyone may pay fees to the Port Permit Desk.

Permit desk hours are 8:30-11:30 am. Walk-in customers will be greeted by Port reception but directed to submit their applications electronically.

However, coordination between the Port Permit Desk and an applicant seeking to submit documents in person can be arranged for in-person digital submittal using a portable flash drive.

Please note that the Port Permit Desk no longer accepts paper submittals, nor issues over-the-counter permits.

It may take a minimum of 10 business days for Port staff to address comments and other issues.

The applicant will retain their spot in the queue. Projects are reviewed in the order they are received including permit revisions.

How do I add documentation to plans that have already been submitted electronically to the Port Permit Desk?

If the submittal is still under review by the Port, you can upload additional documents to your assigned SharePoint folder.

Documents cannot be added to permits that have already been issued. Please contact the Port permit desk directly to submit revisions to an approved permit (

Applicants can check the Application Status of their permit by clicking on Check Permit Status link on the Port Permit Services homepage.

After you submit your permit application paperwork, it typically takes the Port Permit Desk staff 24-48 hours to confirm your application paperwork is complete, and email you a link to a SharePoint folder where you can upload your plans.

Port staff will review your plans and may provide comments (the Port uses Bluebeam software to manage comments through the review process).

If your application is found to be incomplete, Permit Desk staff will request you submit necessary revisions before processing your permit.

If no revisions are needed, Permit Desk staff will send you an email with a link to a Microsoft SharePoint directory where you can upload your files. After the files have been uploaded, Permit Desk staff will route your documents for review. It takes a minimum of 30 days before your permit will be issued.

This includes:

  • Preliminary plan review
  • Technical review
  • Backcheck
  • Payment
  • Permit processing

The Port recommends you or your design consultant purchase a license for Bluebeam. However, the Port recognizes that this may be infeasible for some applicants. The City has published a Non-Bluebeam User Guide summarizing free tools available online that mimic much of the functionality in Bluebeam and can be used to prepare your plans for submission to the Port.

If you are unable to purchase a Bluebeam license and need further assistance formatting PDF plans for review by the Port Permit Desk, please contact the City’s Permit Center (, 628-652-4900) for assistance. Be sure to tell them that you are seeking to submit a permit through the Port Permit Desk.

The Port is committed to working with and supporting our Permit Desk clients. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions that arise throughout the permit process.

  • General questions related to the electronic plan review process, formatting PDF plans for review by the Port Permit Desk, or using Bluebeam Software should be directed to the CCSF Permit Center (
  • Questions related to submitting documents to the Port Permit Desk, accessing a Port-issued Bluebeam session, or the status of a specific permit, should be routed to the Permit desk (

Note that email clients frequently treat emails sent from Microsoft SharePoint or Bluebeam as spam. If you did not receive an expected email from the Port Permit Desk, please check your spam folder before contacting the Port Permit Desk.

Port Permit Desk staff will determine if a new permit application will be required for revisions to previously issued Port permits on a case-by-case basis. If the revision requires a significant amount of plan reviewers and time, then the customer will likely be required to submit a separate new permit application.

After your application has been deemed complete and your plans have been uploaded to your assigned SharePoint folder, Port staff will review your plans and may provide comments. The Port uses Bluebeam Software to manage comments through the review process.

First, the Port Permit Desk will create a Bluebeam Session.

Initially, only Port reviewers will be invited to join the Bluebeam Session. After their initial review is complete, the Port Permit Desk will provide the applicant with the Session ID Number, and a link to join the Bluebeam Session. The applicant may forward the Session ID Number to members of her team as needed so they can respond to the Port reviewer's comments.

The Free Bluebeam trial lasts 30 days. Once the trial period ends, Bluebeam will revert to “View Mode”, a simplified version of the software with limited functionality. You will still be able to enter Bluebeam Sessions and respond to Port comments in View Mode. However, after the 30-day trial period ends, you will need to purchase a Bluebeam license to access all features of the software. Appendix 3 of the CCSF Applicant Procedure provides a detailed breakdown of features available between the free and paid versions of the software as they apply to San Francisco’s Electronic Plan Review process. Additional information can also be found on the Bluebeam website.

Once the plan set has been approved and stamped, it is uploaded to SharePoint, and your permit will be issued.

The Port Permit Desk staff will close out your permit after all required inspections have been completed.

After the Permit has been closed out, Port Permit Desk will archive your permit document for retention. At this point, you will no longer be able to view your permit drawings in your previously assigned SharePoint folder.

While you will no longer be able to download the permit drawings, you will still be able to see your permit status via the Port’s Citizen's Access Portal. To access the Portal, click on Check Permit Status link on the Port Permit Services homepage.