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Main Engineering Office
1685 Main Street, Mail Stop 15
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Engineering Permit Center
1685 Main Street, City Hall East 1st Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Street Services
2500 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Mon – Thurs, 8 AM to 5 PM
Alternating Fridays, 8 AM to 5 PM
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Excavation Permit

An Excavation Permit is required for trenching, digging, boring, tunneling, drilling, potholing, jacking of conduit or pipes, or placement of a facility or structure in the public right-of-way. A permit is also required for Aerial Fiber or Utility run placements on utility poles. 


Excavation Permits are valid for 180 days from the date issued. Upon approval by the Public Works Department, the permit may be renewed. Each renewal extends the permit for an additional 180 days.

Contractor License Requirements

Contractors must possess a valid license issued by the Contractor State License Board (CSLB). Contractors shall possess one of the license classifications below based on the work being performed:

Type of Work CSLB Classification
Underground Utilities: Electrical A (preferred), C8, C10, C12
Underground Utilities: Water, Gas, Oil A (preferred), C8, C12, C34

How to Apply

Electronic Submittals Only

Beginning January 1, 2020, Excavation Permit applications will only be accepted via email.

Submit all Excavation Permit applications and supporting documents to: pwexcavationpermits@smgov.netThis inbox is monitored Monday through Thursday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. Due to recent City restructuring, our response times are currently delayed. Please do not send multiple emails regarding your inquiry; staff process all emails in the order received and will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. 

**Important Note: An initial non-refundable fee deposit of $637.16 must be paid online. This fee would be subtracted from the final price of the permit at the time of permit approval. 

Required Documents at Time of Application

The following documents must be submitted with an application. Applications must be submitted via email to

Construction documents that fail to comply with the requirements set above will be returned to the applicant for correction.

Required Documents Before Permit Issuance

The following documents do not need to be submitted as part of an application but must be provided to the City prior to pulling an Excavation Permit.

  • Contractor proof of insurance. Click here for the City's insurance requirements. Click here for a sample certificate of insurance.
  • Contractor information, if not provided as part of initial application (include valid CSLB license number, Contractor Business Name, Name of Contractor, Contact Information)
  • A valid City business license

Traffic Control Requirements

If any of the conditions below apply, you must provide the additional required documentation prior to starting work.

Condition Rate
The project will encroach into a travel lane (bike/vehicle) on a road classified by the City as a "Street of Significance" Temporary Traffic Control Plans reviewed/stamped by the Traffic Management Division
The project will encroach into a travel lane (bike/vehicle) on a road not classified by the City as a "Street of Significance" Traffic Control Plan Supplement approved by the Transportation Planning Division
This project will not be able to maintain 11 ft clearance in an alley at all times. Roadway Closure Permit approved by the Mobility Division

Forms and Documents

Click the links below to access forms and documents related to Excavation Permits.

Updated October 05, 2021




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1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401