Welcome to the Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits


The Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits is the clearinghouse for processing licenses and permits, reviewing construction documents, and inspecting buildings and structures for code compliance. 

Robert J. Frances, P. E. , Director

George Howard Building

3430 Court House Drive

Ellicott City, MD 21043

What's New
OUTDOOR RESTAURANT SEATING: To access guideline information on opening outdoor restaurant seating, click here. Once you have read the guideline information and understand what is required, apply for an outdoor seating certificate by clicking here.


 Howard County will continue to deliver essential County services to residents throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however starting March 18th, some services will be curtailed to protect employee and resident health. Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on March 18th, non-emergency County offices and facilities will be closed to the public until further notice, though operations will continue through teleworking by eligible employees. 

Department of Inspections, Licenses & Permits  will function remotely, delivering services online Customers who are unable to use online services or who have service requests that cannot be conducted via mail, will be by appointment only. Call (410) 313-2455, option #4 for more information and direction. The Department will continue to inspect construction projects and properties with modified processes to limit person to person contact.  

We Apologize For Any Inconveniences.

Thank You.

 When dropping off information in the drop box located in the front lobby, please fill out a transmittal form found under Forms and Fees and attach to your submittal.


Please click here to read important memo concerning new roof design load requirements

Please click here to read important memo concerning Walk Through Process

Instructions On How To Apply For A Citizen's Access Account In Order To Apply For A Residential Permit.

To check the status of a permit or verify if a permit or license has been obtained by entering the street address, please go to our citizens access webpage at myhoward.info.


An addition has been made to our website which include lists of General Electrical and Master Electrical Licenses, Residential Additions for Single Family Dwellings, Duplexes and Townhouses are available online in the Inspection & Permits Online Permitting Services section.




Howard County Building Code Adoption

July 14, 2019

Howard County Department of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits will be adopting the following codes effective July 14, 2019:

2018 International Building Code

2018 International Residential Code

2018 International Energy Conservation Code

2018 International Mechanical Code

2018 International Plumbing Code

2018 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code

Rental Housing Code 2018 International Property Maintenance Code


The following links go to the current Howard County amendments for the above mentioned codes:


                        CB13-2019 Howard County Building Code Amendments

                        CB14-2019 Requirements for Diaper Changing Stations

                        CB15-2019 Rental Housing Code Amendments

                        CB16-2019 Howard County Plumbing and Gasfitting Code Amendments


Included within the above code changes that go into effect  July 14, 2019 are requirements for diaper changing stations in all commercial buildings open to public that allow adults with young children to enter their building. Also The county has updated the plumbing and rental housing codes for the first time in a long time bringing all the county codes up to the current published standards.


Licensed contractor for residential construction

Section 105.8 Contractor Licensing requirements in residential one and two-family dwellings:

Homeowners of one and two-family dwellings, as defined by the Howard County Building Code, may act as their own general contractor for alterations and additions if they own the property in questions and the property is their primary residence. If the property is a rental property, or not their primary residence, they must have a Maryland Home Improvement Contractors License or a Maryland Home Builders License in accordance with the State of Maryland licensing laws.


Required sprinklers in one and two family dwelling additions

Section: R313.2 One- and two-family dwellings automatic fire sprinkler systems:

An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall be installed in one- and two-family dwellings.

Exception: An automatic residential fire sprinkler for additions or alterations less than fifty percent of the existing gross area of the building or structure are exempt from fire sprinkler systems.

Roof Design Loads for IRC 2018

Council Bill No. 13 – 2019 Roof Design Live Load was amended to 40 lbs. per square foot, with allowances for reductions due to roof slope.  This is an increase from the previous code which required 30 lbs. per square foot, with no allowances for roof slope reduction.

All truss designs are to reflect the new design requirements Effective July 14, 2019. In addition, any conventional framed roof will be required to meet the same design values of 40 lbs. per square foot, with allowed reductions for slope.  



  All properties served by private well and septic require prior Health Dept. approval. Please contact the Health Dept. at 410-313-2640 for information on obtaining their approval.