General Questions
Have a question? View our most commonly asked questions below or contact

Preferred Browser
Firefox or Google Chrome.

Login and Password
Each user is issued a Login ID and password. Update your password by going to My Settings located on the Welcome Page. If you have questions concerning your login contact us at

Files on my Welcome Page
I do not see the files on my welcome page. What happened to them?
The files will stay on your Welcome Page for 30 days. During that time, you can view or export. After 30 days, they are deleted.

I am not receiving Email Alerts.
If you are not receiving email alerts, check your spam/bulk bin. If you do not find it there, contact Building Permits-VA to verify we have your correct email address. Email us at

Data Search
Specific data can be found by doing a custom search. From the Building Permit Information Search Page, customize your search by using optional keywords.   Like any search, “less is more”.

Ex: To search for Brown Construction Co Inc., put in keyword “brown”. This will pull more data and give you the best results.

Website back button does not hold the search criteria previously entered?
This is an issue we are currently trying to fix. The back button in the upper left corner of our website will not hold previous searches, so for best results use the back button on your browser.

How do I know when the last information was published to the website for a locality?
When you create a readable report, at the top of the screen, there is a list of each locality for that region and a date that references the last published date.

If a published date for a locality is referenced as being the last day of a month and there is no data for that month coming up in the report, what does that mean?
It means there were no permits or liens for that locality meeting the criteria for that month.

When I search criteria does it give totals?
Yes. Scroll to bottom of the screen. The total number and dollar volume is listed for the search criteria at the bottom of the report.

I forgot my password.
Contact Building Permits-VA at

How do I opt out of email alerts
To opt out of email alerts go to “My Settings”. This is located on the welcome page or contact us at

How many users can be on an account?
There can be as many as 5 users on the account. Each will have a specific login and password. Sharing is prohibited.

What happens if I share information?
If you share information from our website with someone that is “not” an employee of the company that holds the subscription, your account will be canceled without a refund.

Difficulty printing reports.
Due to printing issues while using Internet Explorer and Chrome browsers, reports will now print in PDF format to your computer. This should correct any issues and will not change the look of the reports. Please let us know if you have any problems or issues.

Are you closed for holidays during the year?
As a subscribing client, you will have access to online information 24 hours a day throughout the year. Our corporate customer service holiday closing schedule for 2014 is as follows:
Lee Jackson Day
Martin Luther King Jr Day
George Washington Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
The week of Thanksgiving
The week of Christmas and New Years

Questions Pertaining to Building Permits

Permit Dates
Permits are collected based on issue date on an on-going basis. Posted to the website the same day collected.
Variables that could play a role for permits collected and published to the website
Ex: Permits are issued, but can’t be collected until the local inspector has approved them and fees have been paid.

Difference between residential and commercial projects
Building Permits-VA selects the type/classification for each permits as “residential” or “commercial”.
Residential type/classification includes new construction, addition and renovation to single family dwelling, townhouse, condo, modular, or multi-family.
Commercial type/classification includes buildings and struction that are primarily nonresidential new, additions, renovations, remodel, alterations, tenant up-fit, demo rebuild, improvements.

Commercial Construction includes buildings and structures that are primarily nonresidential new, additions, renovations, remodel, alterations, tenant up-fit, demo rebuild, improvements.

Note: Building Permits—VA’s way of project typing may differ from each localities way of classifying a project.

Why can’t I find the building permit I am looking for when doing a custom search?
First thing you want to be aware of is that our search start date is preset to begin search on Jan 1 of current year. If the information you are searching for is in archived data prior to the current year, you need to change your start date in the date range section.
Secondly, make sure you are in the correct locality or at least region of search.
Thirdly, do not be too specific in your custom search. Ex: John F Franklin Construction is what you are searching for, it may be listed in the permits as J F Franklin GC or something of that nature. So if you search for key word Franklin, may be the better search criteria. When you are not certain of how the permit office listed them. You would think they would be required to list a contractor the way his name appears on his license, but that does not seem to be the case.

Questions pertaining to Mechanics Liens
When I am searching a lien, how do I know who has made a claim to lien a property?
The claimant is the party claiming they are owed the money. The owner and/or contractor depending on the circumstance are the party/parties that owe the money to the claimant.

Questions pertaining to Mechanics Lien Agent Notices
How does creating a notice to the Mechanics Lien Agent benefit me?
If you do not send your notice to the lien agent and follow Virginia Construction Law Procedures, you would not be allowed to lien the property, in the event you are not paid. Please view the link to VA State website for more details pertaining to Virginia’s Construction Law and Mechanics Lien Notices.

I am ready to send a Mechanics Lien Agent Notice. I see three choices. Which one do I choose?
1. Create MLA Notice: Contractor
2. Create MLA Notice: Sub Contractor
3. Create MLA Notice: Sub- sub Contractor
Click on the link that relates to the person whom you or your company provided services or delivered materials. It’s not about the classification of your company. For example, let’s say that a licensed General Contractor came to you needing materials to build a house. You created the account with a line of credit for the contractor and now it is time to send the notice for payment. Click on the link that says Create MLA Notice: Contractor. Fill out your company’s information on the notice. If you do not know the dollar amount owed at this time, list TBD (to be determined). ID is optional. This refers to a vendor number or some kind of identification number assigned to your company.
Why is there an affidavit attached to the Mechanics Lien Notice?
Ultimately the owner of the project is the responsible party for payment. Often they have no idea who the contractor, sub-contractor, or sub-sub contractor used to get material or to provide a service. Like a notice sent to a mechanic’s lien agent, this notice provides the owner with information concerning the identity of persons supplying labor or materials to the project and the amount of their contracts. The owner will have the burden of making sure these persons are paid. The owner will only have to pay for the project once, however, as long as a mechanism is set up to make sure payment gets to all persons sending notice. There is an owner affidavit for each permit listed. The permit will indicate No MLA listed on the permit. Protect your company’s interest by sending a notice to the owner. The affidavit is on the last page.

After you have filled out the notice, mail it by certified mail. This will notify both the contractor and the Mechanic Lien Agent that you are the party that delivered material or provided a service for the project being done.
Why do I need to send my notice to the mechanics lien agent listed on a building permit that I have supplied materials for and/or provided services?
If you do work on a job and do not send your notice, you will lose your right to lien the property in the event you are not paid.
Who do I send my mechanics lien agent notice to?
The mechanics lien notice is mailed to the Mechanics Lien Agent listed on the permit.
If there is not mechanics lien agent listed on the permit, what should I do?
Mail an affidavit to the owner.

How to Contact Us
Building Permits-VA Business Office Location
425 Elm Ave # 3
Roanoke VA 24016
(540) 632-1045
Hours of Operation: 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Friday

Please allow 24 hours for a response as we are often in the field collecting data. Our website is available to clients 24 hours a day.

How are we doing?
Building Permits-VA is constantly working to maintain and improve performance. If you have a suggestion, comment or ideas, we would love to hear from you. If you did not find an answer to your question here, please share it with us. Contact us at or fill out the form below.

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