Message from SDCI’s Director

The recent launch of our new permitting, complaint, and inspection software did not meet our expectations for effectiveness and service. Customers were initially unable to access or use the system and had trouble contacting us for help.  We took immediate steps to correct these issues, working with our partners in Seattle Information Technology (Seattle IT) to stabilize the system and add resources to the response teams. We continue to identify and correct other issues. Still, we know that this rocky roll-out had a negative impact on our customers and the public and I am very sorry about that. We’re working hard to make this right.

Many of you have asked why we changed systems in the first place, noting that our new system doesn’t do many of the things the old system did. This was a difficult choice to make, but I believe it was the correct call. Our old system was extremely out of date, no longer supported by the vendor, and failing. Our collection of custom applications that made the system more efficient were difficult to update and maintain. We also wanted to be part of a City-wide platform with more integrated services and a single interface for customers. We wanted better automation and greater process efficiencies, and better tracking. For those and other reasons, we chose a flexible, off-the-shelf system that had most of our desired functions and that could be improved over time. Right now, we’re prioritizing system enhancements that we’ll implement over the next several months.

The new system is a big change for our customers and for staff. There are several ways for customers to get help using the new system. The Seattle Services Portal has a robust Help Center that we update with new articles based on the questions you ask and the feedback you provide. We’ll be adding short videos on selected topics and we’ve just recently posted a robust FAQ. If you still need help, see our list of contacts.

Our staff continue to work hard to meet your expectations for timely and effective service. In addition to the new software, we continue to experience record high demand for permits. Our production timelines have extended beyond normal since the system launch, but we’re making progress.

I appreciate your patience as we make the transition to our new system. While the initial launch was rocky, I’m committed to finding solutions to improve the system to better serve our customers and the public.

Nathan Torgelson
SDCI Director

New Permit System Launched on April 30

SDCI launched new permitting software on April 30, 2018! All permitting, licensing, inspections, and complaint functions are now available in the new system.

If you are a regular applicant with an account in our old Project Portal, your account has been converted to the new Seattle Services Portal. You should have received an email with your new account information and instructions on how to reset your password. If you haven’t seen that email, be sure to check your spam and junk mail filters. Your projects will appear in your portal view using the same the numbers as in the previous system, with a couple of important differences. A two-letter suffix will be appended to the project number to identify the type of application the number refers to, e.g. EL for an electrical permit, LU for a Master Use permit, and CN for a construction permit. Phased permit applications will now be tracked under a single number for all phases. Contact your phased permit coordinator for more information.

If you are a regular or occasional applicant, an interested member of the public, a city employee who interacts with the system regularly or someone who uses the data SDCI produces, the articles in the Seattle Services Portal Help Center will provide you with useful information about applying for permits, scheduling inspections, searching for information and more. SDCI will offer public orientation sessions sometime in the coming weeks. We’ll announce dates and times in future posts.

Saved links to frequently used services will automatically redirect to the new system. Our new system is 100 percent electronic, which means that customers can submit ALL applications and plans via the Seattle Services Portal. This includes Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) construction, Sign, and Conveyance permits. Our goal is to continue the same level of service for applications submitted online before noon on any day, with the added convenience of eliminating a trip downtown.

For the next few weeks, staff will be available in our lobby to assist walk-in customers in setting up accounts and completing applications electronically.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the system.

New Permit System Launches on April 30

SDCI will launch new permitting software on April 30, 2018. All permitting, licensing, inspections, and complaints functions will be available in the new system as of that date. Some preliminary application activities will be affected prior to that date as we prepare to move data to the new system. We will temporarily stop accepting inspection request services on Friday, April 27 at 12:00 p.m. We expect to begin accepting inspection requests in the new system at 10:00 a.m. on Monday April 30.  The deadline to request inspections to be conducted on Monday, April 30 is Friday, April 27 at 12:00 p.m.  Pre-application submittals, exemption requests (ECA or Shoreline), grading season extensions, permit renewals and permit revisions must be submitted prior to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

If you are a regular or occasional applicant, an interested member of the public, a city employee who interacts with the system regularly or someone who uses the data SDCI produces, the articles in the Seattle Services Portal Help Center will provide you with useful information about applying for permits, scheduling inspections, searching for information and more. SDCI will offer public orientation sessions sometime after we launch the new system.

If you are currently a regular applicant who uses our Project Portal, SDCI will convert your account for use in the new Seattle Services Portal (SSP). You’ll receive an email as soon as we launch with your new account information and instructions on how to reset your password. Your projects will appear in your portal view using same the number as in the previous system, with a couple of important differences. A two-letter suffix will be appended to the project number to identify the type of application the number refers to, e.g. EL for an electrical permit, LU for a Master Use permit, CN for a construction permit. Phased permit applications will now be tracked under a single number for all phases. Contact your phased permit coordinator for more information about your phased project.

If you have saved links to applications you use regularly, don’t worry. When you click on them, a new link to that function will be provided with additional links to pertinent Help Center documents.

Our new system is 100 percent electronic, which means that customers will submit applications and plans via the Seattle Services Portal. This includes Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) Construction, Sign, and Conveyance permits. Currently STFI permits are available over the counter in our office with same day service. Our goal is to continue this same level of service for applications submitted online by noon on any day, with the added convenience of eliminating a trip downtown. For those requiring additional assistance, we will continue to accept STFI applications on a walk-in basis after launch, with more coaches available to help in completing applications electronically in our office.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the system.

Reminder: Get Ready for a New Permit System

SDCI will launch new permitting software in early 2018. All permitting, licensing, inspections, and complaints functions will be available in the new system. Our new system will affect applicants, interested members of the public, city employees who interacts with our system, and anybody who uses SDCI data. We have several articles in our Help Center that will help you navigate the new system to apply for permits, schedule inspections, search for information, and more.

If you are a current applicant who uses our Project Portal, SDCI will convert your account to the new Seattle Services Portal. You’ll receive an email closer to the launch date with your new account information and instructions on how to reset your password.

Our new system is 100 percent electronic, which means that customers will submit all applications and plans via the Seattle Services Portal. This includes Subject-to-Field-Inspection (STFI) permits, which are currently available over the counter in our office with same day service. Our goal is to continue this same level of service for applications submitted online, with the added convenience of eliminating a trip downtown. We will continue to accept STFI applications on a walk-in basis for a short period of time after we launch the new system. More coaches will be available to help you complete applications electronically in our office.

Stay tuned for a follow-up announcement with launch dates and other important information. You may also check our website for more information.

New Permitting System Update

SDCI started a soft-launch of the new permitting system over Memorial Day weekend. The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) has now been converted to the new system. SDCI staff is working through end-to-end simulations of the permitting functions of the new system. The simulations give the team information to determine what type of projects will be chosen to do a limited pilot. We anticipate inviting a group of customers to use the system for new projects later this summer.

We are also looking at options to transfer existing permit data into the new system. That work will be done at the same time as we are testing out the system. Until then, all existing systems will stay in place during the transition.

We will continue to provide updates in Building Connections.