L&I Newsletter

December 2023

Announcement / Engagement

L&I is now an approved ICC preferred provider

The Department of Licenses and Inspections has received Preferred Provider Educator status as a governmental entity. This approval will allow for the department to provide accredited workshop courses both in-person and virtually. Below lists approved courses that are being offered with a certificate providing proof of continuing education credits:


  • Philadelphia Plumbing Code Amendments to the 2018 IPC Training Course – This course will review extensive local modifications to the 2018 International Plumbing Code, including materials, venting, protections, and administrative provisions. This course is designed for plumbing contractors, design professionals, and code administrators. It will provide an understanding of local modifications and the reasons these provisions are necessary. This course will enable participants to correctly interpret plumbing code requirements in project planning and design, performance of plumbing work, and plumbing code enforcement within the City of Philadelphia.  This training will be held on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. Please register if you are interested in attending this training course. A course completion certificate for 3 contact hours will be issued after this training course.

We need your help in improving the business license application

If you have used the online eCLIPSE portal to obtain a business license (rental, food, daycare, vending, high-rise, etc.), we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve the application. You can help us better serve you by completing this short survey.

L&I information sessions

The Department of Licenses and Inspections is offering regular information sessions to assist stakeholders in navigating L&I processes and keeping them informed of code changes. A list of current offerings is provided below. Customers can also sign-up for this and future webinars under the “Events” section of the L&I homepage (www.phila.gov/li).

  • L&I Q&A session - The Department of L&I will be hosting a 90-minute open Q&A session to address specific permit application questions for users with some experience using eCLIPSE. This session will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. Please register if you are interested in attending this training course.

  • Rental License Renewal Process webinar - L&I will be offering a 1-hour webinar on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 from noon - 1:00 p.m. to provide an overview on the rental license renewal process. Please register if you are interested in attending this webinar.

Note: Capacity is limited and to accommodate all stakeholders, we ask that you only register if you plan on attending the session and, if your circumstances change, please cancel your registration.

Building envelope protections workshop

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) is offering a four (4) part virtual training workshop on the science of building envelope protections. The course will cover various aspects of building durability, including condensation control and water management. The course is intended for licensed contractors and design professionals. A course completion certificate will be issued after each session. The certificate provides proof of continuing education credit, including UCC/ICC CEUs and AIA-HSW contact hours.


Part 1: We have a Moisture Problem

(Identify a problem with the housing stock; Why it is a problem; How to fix the problem)

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024 @ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 2: Moisture in Buildings

(Types of moisture; How moisture moves; Steps to controlling moisture in buildings)

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024 @ 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 3: Construction Assemblies

(Below grade construction; Above grade construction; Roofs, Parapets, and Penetrations)

  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. – To register, click here.


Part 4: Water management Strategies

(Grading; WRB; Flashing; Cladding)

  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – To register, click here.

New videos posted to L&I's YouTube Channel

We’ve recently created and posted the following videos to our L&I YouTube Channel:


  • Conducting Zoning Research – This video provides guidance in determining the legal use of a property, including utilizing available tools and interpreting records.


Please check back as we continue to build-out the page and add new content.


New chimney and vent extension requirements

The Chimney and Vent Extension regulation outlining the responsibilities of the builder and the property owner shall apply to all applications filed on or after January 1, 2024.

The Chimney and Vent Extension Information Sheet summarize permit application and construction requirements. The slides from the November public webinar may also be found on the "Resources" page of the L&I website.

The following documents have been created or updated to support the change:

Proposed plumbing code amendments

Bill No. 230653 was passed by City Council on Thursday, December 14, 2023. If signed into law, the changes will apply to all permit applications filed on or after April 1, 2024. Please keep an eye out for a complete summary of changes and register for our webinar to learn more about all local Plumbing Code provisions.

The following permit resources were recently added to the website (www.phila.gov/li): 

  • Use Classification Guide - This guide describes and gives examples of each use identified in the Philadelphia Zoning Code. It also includes the Department's classification of certain uses that are not explicitly identified in the Philadelphia Zoning Code.

  • Property Rights Code Bulletin – Code Bulletin A-1703-R2 has been revised to include updated references and information around temporary encroachments.

  • EZ Alterations Permit Standard - This standard was recently updated to address floor sheathing requirements and clarification on the minimum area requirements for habitable rooms and kitchens.


Promoter registration service

Any person who arranges events for social entertainment purposes at a special assembly occupancy is required to register as an Event Promoter. This includes a person who contracts with event venues, performing artists, advertising services, and similar entities. This does not include motion pictures or stage performance events within a theater.     

The Registered Event Promoter and the Special Assembly Occupancy license holder must complete and sign the Promoted Event Agreement form and submit it to the Philadelphia Police Department at least two (2) weeks prior to the event. A copy of the form must be transmitted to the Department of License and Inspections through the online form. The Promoter and the Special Assembly Occupancy License holder must both keep a copy of the agreement onsite and furnish upon request.

Audits & Investigation

Enforcement priorities

AIU would like to call your attention to the following enforcement priorities:


  • Contractors and Subcontractors Information - In accordance with the Philadelphia Code Title 9-1004, contractors who hire a subcontractor to perform work authorized by their permit, must list the subcontractor on the permit in eCLIPSE within 3 days of the commencement of any work authorized by that permit, unless that permit is for a residential building of two dwelling units or less. If the Department establishes that a contractor has failed to do this, the contractor will be cited with a violation of 9-1004(8). That citation is accompanied by a $2,000 fine.   

  • Subcontracting - Subcontractors must always be licensed. They must carry a valid contractor or trade license (for trade work) whenever they are working. A subcontractor is any person or business hired to perform work authorized by a permit, who is not identified on that permit’s application as the prime (or responsible) contractor. 

  • Worker Certification - Every worker at a Philadelphia construction site must have OSHA-10 training and carry their card with them when they’re on the job. If a building more than 3 stories or 40 feet tall is being constructed or demolished, an OSHA-30 trained site safety supervisor must be on site whenever the site is active.

Violation data report

The Department issued $106,000 in license violation fines in November 2023. Of that total, $36,000 in fines were issued for the use of unlicensed subcontractors or failure to adequately disclose subcontractor usage and $18,000 in fines were issued to contractors for using workers without the required OSHA training. 



Modular (Industrialized) buildings

The new PA DCED regulations governing modular commercial construction are now in effect. Any permit application for commercial modular construction filed on or after January 1, 2024, must comply with the new program requirements established by PA DCED. For more information, refer to the updated Modular (Industrialized) Building information sheet.

Field approved changes

The Amended Building Permit Information Sheet outlines field changes that require the submission of an amended permit application.

The Department is undergoing a pilot to expand the scope that may be approved by the building inspector without formal amendment. The expanded scope is comprised of changes that require update to the permit record but limited code review. If your project involves any of the changes listed below, you must contact your building inspector directly for a determination of eligibility and next steps on submitting required documentation.

The Department will re-evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative to determine if it may continue and potentially expand.

The specific changes identified for the pilot are:

  • Minor structural modifications to existing plan details accompanied by a sealed engineer’s report. Exclusions: changes to the size or location of foundation walls/footings, foundation support, exterior wall bracing, rated assemblies, or height of building.

  • Minor adjustment to location of non-rated, non-structural interior partitions that do not lengthen egress pathways/travel distance.

  • Change in type of window in an existing opening, provided that the size is not altered, there is no impact on energy compliance, it is not part of required means of egress, and it is not a historic property.  

  • Change in DPRC-SI or Special Inspection Agency for future work. Changes submitted AFTER work is completed must be submitted for evaluation through a permit amendment.  

Back issues of the L&I Newsletters are available on the L&I website under Resources.

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