Modified Operations:
We Are Ready To Serve You.

Based on the Order by the City of Austin and Travis County to “Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe”, all in-person customer services remain suspended. Most of our services are still available by phone, video conference, email and our online portal, Austin Build + Connect (AB+C). For information on our modified services, please visit our DSD-COVID-19 page.


The Service Center registers electricians, mechanical, plumbing, and irrigation contractors. Trade contractors must be registered with the State of Texas. View State Mechanical and Electrical Licensing requirements. View State Plumbing Licensing requirements.


General Contractors

General Contractors do not have to be licensed, however, they must register with the City of Austin prior to pulling the first permit. 

To authorize an agent or subcontractor(s) to purchase permits on your behalf, please complete the Letter of Authorization. Upon completion, the form may be emailed to

Trade Contractor Registration Services

Plumbing & Mechanical License
A plumbing or mechanical contractor registering with the City of Austin for the first time will need to contact the Service Center.
For plumbers, proof of Insurance is not required, however, the Service Center will verify insurance with the Texas State Board of Plumbing. Examiners. For mechanical contractors, a State of Texas Certificate of Insurance is not required to register with the City.

Renewals can be submitted to

Electrical License
To register an Electrical license for the first time, the license holder must contact the Service Center.

Renewals can be submitted to

View Registration fees for Mechanical and Irrigation contractors. (See "Residential Building Plan Review and Permits" Fee Schedule)


Permit Payment Services


Online by Credit Card or Electronic Check

We accept online payments for permits and inspection fees.  Our online portal, Austin Build + Connect (ABC) allows contractors and/or agents to pay for invoiced building permits using a credit card or electronic check (ACH). Log in to Austin Build + Connect, and sign in with your registered credentials. Once the site displays an invoiced building permit, click on the “pay now” button to continue to Chase Bank, a secure third-party payment site.

Customers who are not registered on AB+C will be required to create an account to use the service.

Once you have completed the initial registration process, you will receive an e-mail with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) number and a link to complete the registration process.

Once registered, you can view permits, schedule inspections, and make payments online.

To conduct business online, you will need to have the new internet registration account linked with your business accounts. Please call 3-1-1 to link your accounts. If you are outside the city limits, call 512-974-2000. Please have identifying information (account ID, etc.) for each account you need to link.

The staff at the Service Center can also help you create and link up to six authorized Agents for your account. You can complete the Letter of Authorization and email to

Registered Users may Live Chat with a staff member between the hours of 7:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday - Friday. For questions, call 3-1-1.

Escrow Account

An Escrow Account can be established by depositing money in an account to pay for future permit and inspection fees.  Additionally, once an account is established, contractors may issue themselves a trade permit, designate up to six (6) agents to conduct business on their behalf and use of their personal escrow account, and pay for permit and inspection fees online.

To set up an Escrow account, please contact the Service Center.

Once the account is established, visit our online portal, Austin Build + Connect (AB+C) to pay for permit and inspection fees. You must be a registered user to use this service. For first time users, please visit Austin Build + Connect and click on Become a Registered User.

Please note the following requirements:

  • Escrow accounts must have sufficient funds in the account
  • The desired permit must be tied to an active building permit
  • If the escrow account balance drops to zero or below, a new account must be activated and a $55 activation fee will be assessed
  • In order to request a refund of an escrow account, submit a letter signed by the master escrow account holder (not the company).
  • In order to request a transfer between accounts, submit a letter signed by both master licensed holders (not the company).
  • Escrow Registration and Maintenance Fees (View DSD Permit Fees.)


E-Mail Services for current Escrow Account Holders

To obtain a trade permit or designate an agent, email the request to with the applicable permit type form:

Please note, a trade permit will not be issued until the building permit is issued. Once the permit is issued, payment will be deducted from your escrow account. Your request form and permit number will be returned to you once the payment process has been completed.

Permit Cancellations, Transfers, and Refunds

View information about Permit Cancellations, Transfers, and Refunds

Other Permit Related Information

To appeal the issuance of a building permit, please contact the Building Official for more information.

View other types of permits issued by the Development Services Department.

How to select a Contractor