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Revisiting Reinstatement Fees: DOB Announces Major Update

A recent service notice issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB) introduced a new schedule for reinstatement fees—and it could affect your upcoming projects.

According to the previous fee schedule, which had been in place since 2015, the DOB allowed most jobs to be reinstated after delays with a $100 fee or no fee at all. Exceptions were made for significant delays (i.e. over 2 years), which required jobs to be refiled. If any code or zoning changes were made following the issuance of a permit, the process would incur a full filing fee once again.

As of 1/17/24, fees will now be imposed sooner, and the process of calculating fees has been updated. Keep reading for a more in-depth breakdown of the changes.

Abandoned Applications

“Abandoned applications” are a new type of project to be considered in the updated fee schedule.

The DOB defines abandoned applications as those where no permit has been issued. After 12 months of inactivity, any application for approval of construction documents or a permit is deemed abandoned. However, the Department may also deem an application for approval of construction documents incomplete 90 days after the applicant has been notified of the change.

Reinstating these applications requires paying the full filing fee, at the effective rate on the date it’s reinstated. They also must be refiled if any code or zoning changes have occurred since the application was abandoned.

Expired Permits

The most significant change made by the new filing schedule applies to expired permits. In the past, the DOB allowed a 1 year grace period for expired permits, meaning that jobs could be re-filed and reinstated without fees if the necessary permits expired less than a year ago. However, with the new schedule in effect, all projects with expired permits will incur a fee upon reinstatement. This could have significant implications for the timeline of your project.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • If the permit has expired, the job will require the full filing fee at the effective rate on the date it’s reinstated.
  • If work has been suspended or abandoned for a year, but the project is partially complete, the DOB inspector will calculate the cost of refiling, added to the $130 renewal fee.
  • If the permit expired more than 2 years ago, and code and zoning changes have occurred in the meantime, the job will require the full filing fee to re-file.
  • If all work has been completed but signoffs have not, and the permit expired more than 2 years ago, reinstatement will incur a $130 fee.

According to the DOB, a project that has yet to commence work within 12 months of being issued a permit will result in that permit expiring.

Additional Changes

The DOB also identified some important conditions to consider as they calculate reinstatement fees. Notably, if changes to a project’s scope of work “substantially changes the scope of the application,” the DOB may require a new application and filing fees.

Additionally, the Commissioner may now grant extensions for “additional 12-month periods” for construction documents and permit approvals.

These conditions appear to be interpretable, so it’s best to remain aware of the DOB’s wording to avoid unnecessary fees.


Navigating permits and applications can quickly become an overwhelming process. If you’re looking for guidance on the new reinstatement fee changes, or if you have any building code and zoning concerns, reach out to the experts at Outsource Consultants, Inc. to get your building up to code.