ePlans FAQs

How do I get started?

In order to use ePlans, you will need to download our plan check application, fill it out and submit it to eplans@smgov.net by email. As soon as we process your application, you will get instructions via email on how to proceed with your project.

What browsers are supported, and do I need special software to use ePlans?

You will need a compatible Internet browser and the ProjectDox Component installed on your computer to use ePlans. Please see the “Prerequisite” section in the Applicant User Guide for more details. ProjectDox is optimized for use with Internet Explorer, so we recommend using Internet Explorer for the best ProjectDox experience possible.

The following Internet browsers support ePlans:


You will need Internet Explorer version 6 or later. For Internet Explorer 11 to be compatible, please see Project Dox Compatibility Instructions.


You will need Chrome version 42 and older. Newer versions of Chrome will NOT support ProjectDox. In addition, you will need both Flash and Silverlight installed on your computer. 

You will need to reconfigure the NPAPI setting for Chrome version 42.0.2311.90 m. This means that using our Silverlight File Uploader will require the Chrome browser to be manually reconfigured to avoid the following:

  • Silverlight File Uploader: The “starter screen” appears again and allows only single file uploads

The steps below will restore NPAPI functionality to Chrome (version 42.0.2311.90 m) browsers:

  1. In the address bar of the browser, type: chrome://flags
  2. Click the Enable NPAPI link.
  3. Close all instances of Chrome, then re-launch Chrome.
  4. Allow block plugin.


Browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, will require both Flash and Silverlight installed on your computer to work correctly.

How can I install Microsoft Silverlight if I am using Mac OS X 10.4?

You can work around the issue of not being able to install Silverlight on Mac OS X 10.4.10 by doing the following: go to the Silverlight package in the Finder, right-click on the package and "Show Package Contents," navigate down to Contents->Resources, rename InstallationCheck to InstallationCheckA. This will make the installer skip the Installation Check and allow you to install on Mac OS X 10.4.10.

I have installed Silverlight and Flash on my Mac computer and I am still having problems with uploading files into ProjectDox.  What should I do?


  1. You must install Silverlight for Mac
  2. Open Safari and select Preferences
  3. Select Security -> Web Content
  4. Select Allow to initiate the unsecured mode of Silverlight

Then follow the directions on the following post. Users will have to perform the steps listed below the post as well:


The post directs users to do the following:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Security
  4. Select Internet-Plugins: Allow Plugins
  5. Select Organize Website Settings and then select Silverlight on the left side, then on the right side select Hostname, then "Execute in unsecure mode" from the pulldown menu

How long should I wait to receive an email for my project invitation?

All plan check applications should be processed within 1 business day. lf you do not receive an email within this timeline, please check your spam or junk email folder. If the email is not there, please email us to resend you an invitation. Also please include a copy of your originally send plan check application to eplans@smgov.net.

If I have multiple projects do I need multiple log-ins?

No, you will need only one login for all the projects that you manage.

What are the business hours for ePlans?

ePlans is 24/7 and can be accessed at anytime, from anywhere.

What is the cost to use ePlans?

The ePlans service is absolutely FREE; fees for development review services still apply.

Is ePlans 100% paperless?

During the submittal and review process ePlans is entirely paperless. When your plan is approved by all the reviewers, you will receive an e-mail indicating that your plans are approved and ready for download. There will be instructions for how to print and download your files. One set of plans will need to be printed and brought with you to the City of Santa Monica so that your Building Permit can be issued.

Who can view my project?

Only you and our review staff can view your projects.

Who can help me if I am having technical trouble, or need assistance?

If you are running into problems with ePlans, please refer to our Applicant User Guide, Applicant User Video, or this FAQ page. If you still cannot resolve the problem and need to contact us, please submit your issue to eplans@smgov.net.

Why are my AutoCAD files producing an error after being uploaded into ProjectDox?

Please make sure that your AutoCAD files adhere to the following standards:

Drawing Files:

The only Plan Drawing file formats accepted are DWF, vector PDF and print-ready DWG files. Multi-page plans are not accepted, single pages are required. Note also that 3-D objects are not supported.

Three critical actions should be taken in AutoCAD by the engineer/architect before generating output to the above listed file formats:

  • Run an audit and fix all errors
  • Ensure that nothing is outside the extents
  • Ensure that all Xrefs are embedded

These actions are required to help ensure successful uploading and processing of your submitted files. Please refer to your AutoCAD documentation for instructions. It is recommended that drawings created in AutoCAD be converted to Vector PDF by using the Autodesk Vector Graphic Converter “DWG to PDF.pc3 plotter driver.”; If drawings are electrical, mechanical, or plumbing/gas, confirm that only the trade lines are dark by changing the background to grayscale prior to saving as a vector PDF file.


Vector Graphics screen shot


I have installed ProjectDox Components and I am still having problems when viewing files. I am a Windows 7 or Vista user. How can I resolve the problem?

For Windows Vista and Windows7 users, the UAC (User Account Control) must be turned off prior to ProjectDox Component Installation. This in turn disables IE8 protected mode and will allow the installation of components. You will need to do the following to do a clean uninstall and install:

  1. Turn off UAC first.
  2. Remove ALL ProjectDox components from the machine.
  3. Using Control Panel (in classic view) -> Program Features, if there is anything involving ProjectDox listed, remove it.
  4. In Internet Explorer (Internet Options->Browser History->Settings->View Objects remove anything Brava, ProjectDox, or Xupload).
  5. After the above is completed, delete these directories using windows explorer:
    • For Windows Vista
      • \\Documents and Settings\Your User Account\IGC
      • C:\Program Files\Avolve\Components
    • For Windows 7
      • Users\Your User Account\IGC
      • C:\Program Files\Avolve\Components
      • C:\Program Files (x86)\Avolve\Components
  6. Log back into the http://eplans.smgov.net/projectdox website and reinstall the ProjectDox Component.
  7. See allow “ProjectDox Component Installation” section in the Applicant User Guide for more details.