Utility Work in the Right of Way

Step 1: Determine what utility permit is right for your work

There are two types of utility permits available: A Minor Utility Permit (SUUTIL) and a Utility Major Permit (SUUMP). These two permits are differentiated by the project's complexity and how the work will impact the ROW.

Minor Utility permits (SUUTIL) cover non-complex work in smaller geographic areas. Work permitted under a Minor Utility  permit includes:   

  • Geographic work limited in scope to a one block radius 
  • Short single service installations, maintenance, or repair of utility lines (Gas, Water, Power, Telecom, etc.)  
  • Exploratory/potholing/monitoring wells etc.  
  • Pole installation, replacement, removal and pole attachments 
  • Side Sewer /Drainage work approved by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) 
    • Note: You may now apply for your SDOT Side Sewer permit at any time  or request it at the time you apply for your SDCI Side Sewer permit. Instructions on how to apply for a SDOT Side Sewer permit can be found here.

Utility Major Permits (SUUMP) covers more complex projects or work that covers a larger than a one-block radius geographic area. If your project meets one or more of the following thresholds, you will need to apply for a Utility Major Permit: 

  • Geographic work larger than a one-block radius 
  • Any project that contains complex technical issues* (e.g. deep excavations) that may have an impact to existing city assets and/or infrastructure 
  • Installation of gas mainlines greater than 2-inches in diameter 
  • Installation of a utility line longer than 100 linear feet on a non-arterial or arterial street including alleys 
    • Exception: Installation of a utility line up to 300 lineal feet on a non-arterial street or alley in a single family or low-rise zone can be permitted under a Minor Utility permit.   
  • Removal of underground storage tank 
  • Environmental remediation work or removal of contaminated soils 
  • Work that triggers ADA curb ramp installation due to utility work (e.g. utility and telecom pole removal/installation at intersections)  
  • Directional or horizontal boring method of installation 

*We may require an UMP beyond the thresholds outlined above in consideration of complexity of the work including proximity to existing infrastructure or assets.  

Public main installations (e.g. water, storm, sewer etc.) are now permitted under a Street Improvement Permit (SIP). Refer to our Street Improvement Permits website for more information on the SIP process.  

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Step 2: Prepare the documents required for your submittal

The following documents will be required to submit the Application:

Minor Utility Permits (SUUTIL) 
Document Type Document Description 
Right-of-Way Impact Plan (ROWIP)  Right-of-way closures with details per CAM 2116 
Site Plan  Utility location details per CAM 2116 
Letter of Authorization  Required if the Applicant or FRP contact is different from the Owner contact 

Utility Major Permits (SUUMP) 
Document Type Document Description 
Utility and Restoration Plans  Utility and restoration detail plan per the Utility and Restoration Plan Checklist   
Letter of Authorization  Required if the Applicant or FRP contact is different from the Owner contact 

ROWIP and Site Plan templates can be found here.

If an application is submitted in error, you can withdraw the application by clicking on the Make Changes button on the record and selecting ROW Withdrawal and clicking the Continue Application button. How to instructions on how to withdraw an application can be found here.   

 You are not able to make any changes to the application once it is submitted. If application and/or document changes need to be made during the review process, email those change requests to the assigned reviewer or SDOTPermits@seattle.gov if the record is unassigned.      

You are not able to make any changes to the application once it is submitted. If application and/or document changes need to be made during the review process, email those change requests to SDOTPermits@seattle.gov.  

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Step 3: Determine if other documents may be required

Documents not required to submit the utility permit application may be required later in the permit process. Below is a list of documents that may be required based on the project scope, location and permit type. 

Utility permits follow the below permit steps. Document requirements are set to one of the below referenced permit steps.

Permit Flowchart 

Document Type  Document Description  Permit Step When the Document is Required
Right of Way Impact Plan (ROWIP)  Right-of-way closures with details per CAM 2116  SUUMP  Only - Screening after the first review cycle 
Phase Schedule Manager Construction schedule per street frontage  SUUMP Only - Screening after the first review cycle - can be uploaded at Application  
Traffic Control Plan (TCP)  Temporary Traffic Control Plan per CAM 2111 and the City of Seattle Traffic Control Manual for In-Street Work  Either at Application if the street category is manually set to Arterial or at Screening when the reviewer verifies work is on an arterial or any street in a Hub and pedestrian, bicycle and/or vehicle mobility is impacted 

Temporary No Parking Confirmation 

(Paid Parking Permit) 

If paid parking is impacted by the project, some sort of proof that a parking permit has been submitted  Review Evaluation 
Other Documents  Based on project location and impact; Historic District CoA, Holiday Moratorium Waiver per CAM 2107, Pavement Moratorium, etc.  Review Evaluation 
Corrections Response  Street Use comments Sheet with Responses  Screening - cannot submit Corrections Submitted if this is required 

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Step 4: Apply for your permit   

Utility applications must be submitted through the Seattle Services Portal. One you are logged in, you can apply for your utility permit by following the how to instructions here.   

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Step 5: Check the status of your permit in review

Current timelines can be found on our Street Use Permitting Timelines and Updates website. You can find more information on the following topics in the Understanding the Street Use Permit Process, Record Status, Target Dates, and Permit Timelines help article. 

  • What are the Street Use permit process steps? 
  • What happens at each permit step and how does it get assigned? 
  • How do I check and understand the status of the SDOT Street Use record? 
  • What does Targeted For date mean and how is it determined?
  • How long does the overall permit process take?

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Step 6: Respond to Corrections in review  

When a revised and/or additional document is required before we can proceed with or complete the review process, an automatic email notification will be sent noting the record status has been changed to 'Awaiting Corrections.' 

Required documents will show as a condition of the permit. For details on each condition, click on the View Condition button on the record.   

If a Corrections Response condition is required, you will need to upload the Street Use Comments Sheet with your responses added.  

To download the Street Use Comments Sheet and marked-up documents (if applicable), go to the Attachments tab of your record and click on the blue hyperlink of each document you want to download.  

Once revised and/or additional documents are ready to submit, click on the Upload button in the Attachments tab. 

How to instructions on how to respond to corrections can be found here.     

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Step 7: Receive your permit

Once your review has been approved, you will receive an email indicating that your permit has been issued. If there are fees due, the email will indicate that your permit is ready to issue upon payment. You can learn more about how to pay for your permit in Accela here.   

Log on to the Seattle Services Portal and open the permit record. You will be able to print your permit and all approved documents found in the Attachments tab of the record.   

How to instructions on how to find the permit and other attached documents on the record can be found here.  

Information about permit fees and how to estimate can be found on our How to Estimate and Pay Permit Fees website

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Step 8: Notification, Job Start, and Temporary No-Park Permit Requirements

Prior to starting your project, you will need to provide the following notification: 

  1. Public notification in advance of starting your project per CAM 2117 
  1. Job start notification to let the Street Use inspector when you will begin your project per the how to instructions found here. After the initial inspection is passed, additional inspections may need to be scheduled. For more information on inspection types and how to schedule them, visit our Inspections website
  1. Non-paid or paid parking notification and permits per our Temporary No Parking Permits website.

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Step 9: Apply for an Amendment to modify/extend your permit

Once your permit has been issued, application, scope of work and/or date changes need to be made by submitting an amendment application through the Seattle Services Portal.  

Amendments have different (shorter) process steps than an initial application. Documents are not required for an Amendment but can be optionally uploaded.  

When an Amendment is issued, it updates information on its Parent (initial) permit record.

The below amendment types will be available once your permit has been issued: 

Date Change Amendment - used to request a change to the start date of a use on an issued permit before the start of the use. 

  • Uses cannot be added or extended and the duration cannot be changed 
  • Scope of work and/or application changes cannot be requested  
  • In Hub areas, you will need to coordinate dates outside the initial issued dates and extension periods before proceeding with work (email SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov)  
  • How to instructions on how to apply for a Date Change Amendment can be found here.  

Extension Amendment - used to request the extension of a duration within the current 6-month expiration date or to extend an existing use(s) after the 6-month expiration date 

  • Uses cannot be added  
  • Scope of work and/or application changes cannot be requested 
  • In Hub areas, you will need to coordinate dates outside the initial issued dates and extension periods before proceeding with work (email SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov)  
  • How to instructions on how to apply for an Extension Amendment can be found here.

Revision Amendment - used to request application information changes (contact, address and/or related information), scope of work changes (change of work zone, add or remove uses) and/or extending an existing use(s)  

  • Application and scope of work changes can be requested in the Amendment Description 
  • Uses can be added and extended 
  • Scope of work changes will require revised documents to be uploaded (e.g. ROWIP, Site Plan, TCP, Project Schedule etc.) and a full review will need to be performed 
  • How to instructions on how to apply for a Revision Amendment can be found here.    

Emergency Work Notice and Permit Requirements 

Emergency work is when the public health, safety and/or welfare is at risk. Emergency work should be responded to immediately to ensure public health and safety. The SDOT Street Use inspector should be contacted as soon as the response team is starting to mobilize. The permit application for emergency work must be submitted within 24-48 hours after the response work has begun. 

To indicate the work is to respond to an emergency, explain the emergency work in the Project and Location Description and select the 'Emergency' Permit Priority during the application process. To submit the permit application, a simple Right-of-Way Impact Plan (ROWIP) must be uploaded that at a minimum shows the work location. 

If the emergency work exceeds 5 calendar days in duration, a Revision Amendment must be applied for in the Seattle Services Portal and the required documents must be uploaded per Step 3 above. 

If additional work is required after the emergency work, a Revision amendment must be applied for per Step 9 above.  

Permit Expiration vs. Use Expiration (Six-Month Expiration Period) 

Utility permits now have a 6-month expiration period to allow phases of construction to be completed within a 6-month long period.  

Extending a use(s) during the 6-month expiration period is only required if the duration of the work exceeds the initial issued duration or if work extends past the permit expiration date.  

The 6-month permit expiration date will populate as described below:   

Initial issuance: 

  • The Use Expiration = Use Start Date + Duration 
  • The Permit Expiration = Latest Use Expiration Date + 6-months 

Amendment issuance after the Latest Use Expiration Date: 

  • The Use Expiration = Use Start Date + Duration 
  • The Permit Expiration = Latest Use Expiration Date + 6-months 

Amendment issuance before the Latest Use Expiration Date: 

  • The Use Expiration = Use Start Date + Duration 
  • The Permit Expiration = Date of Issuance + 6-months 

Project and Construction Coordination Requirements 

All agencies performing work in the ROW planned at least six months in advance must by law (SMC 15.32.050) enter their project information into dotMaps (unless exempt per criteria defined in SMC 15.32.050).   When a project is entered into dotMaps, a Street and Utility Improvement Plan (SUIP) number is generated, which needs to be included in the SUUTIL and SUUMP applications. More information can be found on the Project & Construction Coordination Office webpage

If your work is in a Hub area: After initial or amendment issuance and prior to the permit expiration date, any changes to the permitted use dates must be coordinated with the Hub Coordinator by emailing  SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov

If your work is outside a Hub area: After initial or amendment issuance and prior to the permit expiration date, any changes to the permitted use dates must be checked against other scheduled work in dotMaps prior to beginning work. 


Client Assistance Memos (CAMs)
Seattle ROW Improvements Manual (ROWIM)
Seattle Standard Plans and Specifications
SPU Design Guidelines for Public Storm Drain Facilities 
Right of Way Opening and Restoration Rules ROWORR
Street Use website

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Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.