Code Administration

The Department of Code Administration works in concert with customers (residents, tenants, business owners, building owners, architects, engineers, builders, tradesmen, contractors, and developers) as part of the safe building team.

Page updated on Dec 31, 2019 at 11:46 AM


APEX Go-Live November 4, 2019

On November 4, the City of Alexandria will go live with the new Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal (APEX). With this change comes new capabilities for you, our customer. APEX is designed to improve the customer experience, and make it easier to apply for and obtain permits and approvals electronically.

APEX will allow customers to apply for permits and development plan reviews, attach supporting documents and submit payment from computers or mobile devices, eliminating the need to make a trip to City Hall. City staff have worked to identify application and review processes that could be improved with the implementation of the new system.

Some features of APEX include:

  • Electronic application, plan submission and review for permits and land use applications.

  • Improved communication between staff and customers.

  • Real-time status tracking for permit and land use applications.

  • Advanced search capabilities.

  • Online inspection scheduling, tracking and updates.

  • Online payments.

Service Updates

Due to the staff resources necessary to transition to the new system and the need to migrate current data, the following schedule will be in effect:

  • Online permit applications will not be accepted from October 28-November 3. Paper applications may be submitted at City Hall during this time.

  • The existing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) inspection scheduling system will be deactivated on October 30.

  • The City’s multi-department Permit Center (City Hall, Room 4200) will be closed on Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1, to prepare for the transition and launch of APEX. The Department of Planning & Zoning (City Hall, Room 2100) will remain open with normal business hours.

  • During launch week, the Permit Center will close at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 4, and at 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, November 5-8.

  • Starting November 11, the Permit Center’s normal hours will be Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on the first Monday of each month, when the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All customers should register on the portal November 4. We are encouraging all customers to utilize the portal, not only to apply for permits, but also as a tool to process permit related payments. When visiting the Permit Center, customers will simply login to their Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal account via kiosk to complete their payment transaction. The payment will post immediately and the receipt will be sent via email to the customer.

  The City of Alexandria will no longer mail elevator invoices and certificates to customers. With the new portal, the invoice for certificates will be available to pay forty-five (45) days before the certificate expires. Payment can then be made immediately through the portal or by mail via check. If mailing a check, a copy of the invoice MUST accompany the check. The portal can be used to verify when the payment posts. Once the invoice is paid, the certificate will be available to print. 

Please note, failure to obtain and post the current certificates in the elevator unit may result in a fine and/or the unit being placed out of service by the City of Alexandria.

  The link below are instructions on getting started with Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal.

Registration instructions for the new Alexandria Permit and Land Use Management Portal

Furthermore, we need your assistance in ensuring all contact information is updated and accurate prior to transferring the information over to the new permitting system. We would greatly appreciate you completing the contact information form.  Please complete and email contact information form to the following email address:    

Multi-Agency Permit Center Contact Information Form

 For more information about the City’s permitting process, using the new APEX system, or Permit Center hours of operation, visit

About the Department

Welcome to the Alexandria Department of Code Administration, where we work in concert with other City agencies and our customers (residents, tenants, business owners, building owners, architects, engineers, builders, tradesmen, contractors, and developers) as part of the safe building team. Our objective is to assist customers with compliance related to Virginia's Uniform Statewide Building and Maintenance Codes (USBC), and the City Code nuisance and development provisions. This is accomplished through permit processing, plan review; timely and consistent inspections, and education regarding the requirements of the referenced codes.  The department contains the five divisions of Permit Center, Property Maintenance Inspections, New Construction Inspections, Plan Review Services, and Administrative Services. 



    Find out how the department is structured, and determine what services are provided by different units. Learn how these units work together to provide services related  to development review, permits, inspections, code violations, and nuisance complaints.


    The Multi-Agency Permit Center processes construction permits, certificates of occupancy, elevator certificates, fire prevention permits, maintenance and nuisance complaints; manages permit, inspection and violation records; and fulfills information and records requests. Learn about the permit process, review policies and procedures, get updates on the daily inspection schedule, and obtain applications, forms, and fee schedules.


    If you’re a contractor who regularly visits the Department of Code Administration to conduct business, please visit our Contractor Information for the latest news, information, training opportunities and updates exclusively for you!


    If you plan to hire a contractor to work on your property, get tips on how to select the right contractor, find out what permits and inspections the contractor is required to obtain for the work that is being done, and determine what policies and procedures must be followed.


    Learn about opportunities for businesses and property-owners planning operations within Alexandria’s Enterprise zone, get assistance from the Small Business Development Center, and find out how to obtain permits and inspections that are necessary to open and operate a small business in Alexandria.


    Receive the latest news from the department’s online newsletter, The Code Connection. Obtain updates on new programs, initiatives, and changes that affect the department, permit processes and inspections. You can also subscribe to the City’s eNews group to receive regular news updates from Code Administration.

    June 1, 2017 Permit Center Fee Schedule Changes

    2017 New Fee Schedule

    Code Administration Summary of Fee Changes Effective June 1, 2017

    Public Notification Memo regarding Fee Changes June 1, 2017

    Alexandria Code Administration Guiding Principles
    Guiding Principles

    2017 Code Connection Newsletter

    The Code Administration's seasonal newsletter provides information and insight about our staff and their day to day activities.

    When checking for daily inspection information, please check the Daily Inspection Viewer Website by 8:00 a.m. the day of the inspection as the information is updated up until this time

    The 2012 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is effective July 14, 2014.  Additional information can be found at:
    2012 Virginia Uniform Statewide Construction Code (VA USBC)  

    Standing Modification - Minimum Thickness of Galvanized Duct Walls for Single Family Dwellings 

    Important Information on the 2012 VRC Girder and Header Span Tables

    Same Day Service Ends at 4:15pm. Please be sure to have all plans and applications submitted prior to 4:15pm Monday through Friday for same day services.

    Scheduling and Obtaining Inspection Results
    The Department of Code Administration offers an automated system known as "ACCESS". "ACCESS" allows permit holders to use a touch tone phone to schedule or cancel inspections, request inspection results, speak to a Permit Technician or other city agencies or listen to recorded customer service messages. "ACCESS" is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. To use the system, call 703.746.4200 or 703.746-4560 (direct)Note - to use ACCESS, you will need a touch-tone phone. If ACCESS is unavailable, please call 703.746.4200 for assistance during business hours.

    Gas Permit Policy for Residential Additions & Alterations
    Code Administration conducted a survey of the surrounding jurisdictions’ plan review requirements for residential fuel gas permits.  The results found that a majority of localities did not require a fuel gas riser diagram prior to permit issuance for residential gas pressures less than 2 psi.  Therefore, to stay consistent across local boundaries, the City of Alexandria will no longer require 1 & 2 family dwelling building (single family, townhomes and duplexes) applicants to submit a residential gas riser diagram for additions and alterations to an existing residential fuel gas system with gas pressure less than 2 psi.    

    • Please note - a residential gas riser diagram is still required for new residential homes and accessory structures.  Furthermore, there is no change in the plan review requirements for commercial fuel gas permits – a fuel gas riser diagram is required.  

    NOTICE:  Code Administration’s fire protection systems (FPS) walk-thru services are now available on a scheduled basis.  Please contact Paul Mitchell - mail to: or 703.746.4194 - to schedule an appointment.  

    Tell us how we are doing! As we make improvements to assist our customers with the permitting process, your feedback is important to us. Please fill out our  Customer Service Survey and let us know what we can do to improve the permitting experience. 

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