Welcome to the DSC online application guide

Before submitting an application, please be advised...

  1. Application submittal and payment is a five-step process, which is all-digital and paper-free, as outlined below. 
  2. Application review will not begin until correct fee payment has been received and application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. A copy of the fee payment confirmation email must be included with application submittal.  
  3. Notice regarding electronic signatures:
    Pursuant to the North Carolina Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, digital application documents are legally binding in the same manner as are hard copy documents executed by hand signature. The applicant hereby consents to the use of electronic or digitized signatures or scanned copies of original signatures, and the applicant intends to be bound by the application and any related documents. By submitting an application with an electronic or digitized signature or a scanned copy of the original application, you acknowledge, agree, and authorize your electronic or digitized signature or your scanned original signature to be valid and binding upon you in the same manner as are hard copy documents executed by hand signature.
  4. Please do not deliver materials via mail as these items will not be processed or returned.
  5. For City-County Inspections, use DPlans to submit commercial and residential plan reviews, and use LDO to schedule an inspection, check permit status, apply for trade permits, and pay building or trade permit fees. 
  6. To request a Planning inspection use this form. For all other application submittals follow the instructions below. 
  7. Need guidance before you apply? See Early Assistance options here, such as zoning letters; pre-application meetings with staff; small business start-up guides; records requests; and other property and zoning research tools.  
  8. For help please email staff at dscticket [at] dsc.mojohelpdesk [dot] com.

Ready to proceed? Follow these steps to submit a complete application online...

  1. Prepare application materials

  2. Pay application fees as required

  3. Review file naming and submittal instructions

  4. Prepare to wait 48 hours for confirmation email

  5. Confirm requirements and submit application materials


1. Prepare application materials

  1. Application forms and submittal checklists can be accessed using the link below. 
  2. Online submittals will not be accepted if content is not consistent with application form and submittal checklist guidance. 
  3. Disregard references to paper documents, compact discs, and thumb drives. These materials will not be accepted in person or by mail, and they will not be returned.  
  4. Also disregard any submittal instructions provided within the application forms or submittal checklists, as those instructions have not yet been updated to reflect this new online application guide.  

Prepare application materials button_250 Opens in new window

2. Pay application fees as required

  1. All development application and permit fees are due at the time of application submittal. A copy of the fee payment confirmation email must be included with application submittal.
  2. Note for large development projects: The maximum one-time payment amount accepted by Paymentus is $25,000. If attempting to pay a higher amount please break the payment into two separate transactions and include both receipts with the submittal.
  3. The link below provides access to the Planning/DSC fee schedule and payment portal. Please follow all instructions.
  4. Applicants will receive a payment confirmation email after payment is completed, and a PDF copy of this email should be included as noted in step 4.1 below.
  5. The company that administers the online payment portal (Paymentus) charges a non-refundable convenience fee. The fee is 3.3% per transaction if paying by credit or debit card, or $0.50 per transaction if paying by electronic check.

Pay application fees_250

3. Review file naming and submittal instructions

  1. At this step the following items should be assembled and ready for submittal. 
    1. Application materials
    2. Cover sheet
    3. Payment confirmation email (required for new applications and resubmittals in some circumstances)
  2. Only PDF file types will be accepted unless other file types (such as image, Excel, or CAD) are specifically called for as part of application submittal checklist.
  3. .ZIP files are not allowed for network security reasons.
  4. The application portal allows multiple files to be included with a submittal.
  5. If needing to submit more than 20 files please contact staff in advance to discuss the best digital transmittal option.  
  6. Only one file should be associated with each discrete document included with the application package. For example, if an application requires 1) an application form, 2) a set of plans, 3) a calculation report, the applicant should transmit these as three separate files, in addition to a PDF of the payment confirmation email.
  7. Use the following naming convention - the example below is for naming PDF files.  
    1. Case number_Project name_document name.PDF
      Example: D1234567_SpringfieldElementarySchool_SitePlan.PDF
    2. For initial submittals, substitute the case number with the six-digit Durham County Parcel ID Number (PID). If the development includes multiple parcels, choose one parcel to represent the project and consistently label all PDFs in the transmittal with this PID.
    3. File names may not exceed 85 characters. Abbreviate the project name if necessary.
  8. Carefully follow any additional file upload and naming conventions provided within the individual application submittal portals which is accessed via the last step in the application guide below.
  9. For processing purposes, amendments to previously-approved applications are treated as new applications.
  10. Individual files can be up to 5 Gigabytes (5GB) in size if using Chrome or Firefox. The limit is 4 Gigabytes (4GB) in size if using Internet Explorer versions 9, 10, or 11.

4. Prepare to wait 48 hours for confirmation email

  1. Only complete submittals that incorporate the above elements will be accepted.
  2. The submittal portal will confirm when a submittal has been executed successfully.
  3. A staff member will then review the submittal and follow up with the applicant within 48 hours to confirm completeness or advise if corrections are needed. The completeness review schedule does vary for some types of applications as noted within the individual application submittal portals. 
  4. Review of the application will not begin until the submittal is deemed complete.
  5. Review and approval status can be checked via the Land Development Office (LDO). Please note, review comments are no longer accessed via LDO. Review comments will be available via Box.com by the end of the scheduled review period. Applicants receive a link to Box with the submittal confirmation email.
  6. Click here for information regarding existing or new LDO accounts, and to learn more about how to access plans, comments, or other records.  

5. Confirm requirements and submit application materials

By clicking the button below I acknowledge that have read and understand the above requirements.

Acknowledgement button_250