Demolition Permitting

Service Information

Demolition Permitting

To complete a Cook County Demolition Application or Revision, please use the Department of Environment and Sustainability's (DES) Electronic Permit Processing Portal. Processing time may take longer than 48 hours and if approved, applicants will typically receive their permit within 3-7 business days. Questions can be directed to or 312-603-8200, option 1. You may also apply online for Asbestos Abatement Contractor Registration.

Please note all demolition permits must comply with our Demolition Debris Diversion (3D) Ordinance. Visit our Reuse webpage for more information on how to meet the requirements of our 3D Ordinance.

Do I need a demolition permit?

A demolition permit is needed if wrecking or removing/disturbing any load-supporting or load-bearing structural member of the building.

Residential Demolition Permits

A residential demolition permit is required for the demolition of a residential building with four or less dwelling units (includes garages and sheds).

Commercial Demolition Permits

commercial demolition permit is required for the demolition of a commercial, industrial, healthcare, school or residential (5 or more dwelling units) structure. One permit application per structure is required.


What do I need to apply for a permit?

A demolition permit application must include the following items:

  1. A completed Demolition Debris Diversion Plan on Green Halo (Garages, sheds, and fire damaged structures are exempt from Diversion Plan requirements)
  2. Green Halo identification number (excludes garages, sheds, and fire damaged structures) to be inputted in the Special Notes to Consider section of online portal
  3. A copy of the Cook County Property Tax Summary. Taxes must be up to date to receive a demolition permit;
  4. Asbestos Inspection Report OR Asbestos Permit number (if abated). If the structure was built after 1982, the asbestos inspection report could be waived. Applicant must provide documentation showing proof of construction date such as building permit, deed, appraisal date, etc.;
  5. Plat Survey/Photographs of structure(s) to be demolished;
  6. Variance/emergency Documentation (if applicable).

Why do I need a Demolition Debris Diversion Plan?

  • Following Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Ordinance, all demolition permits must divert 70% of their debris. In addition, all residential demolition projects must show that 5% of this debris is being diverted for reuse.
  • Green Halo ( assists in this process by generating diversion plans and tracking compliance to the ordinance as you enter your waste tickets onto the website.
  • *Garages, sheds, and fire damaged structures are exempt from Demolition Debris Diversion Plan requirements*
  • For permit approval, ONLY the Debris Diversion Plan must be completed.
  • Throughout deconstruction or demolition, collect authorized waste tickets from each reuse/recycling/waste facility utilized. These tickets must be retained for at least three years after the demolition or deconstruction is complete.
  • You must report waste tickets on Green Halo within forty-five (45) days of permit expiration.
  • See our Green Halo Reference Guide or the tutorial videos (located below) for further
  • guidance.


A guide to developing a recycling plan in Green Halo Step 1


A guide to reporting your recycling activities in Green Halo Step 2


How much does a permit cost?

  • Residential structures - $300.00 for the first structure and $150.00 for each additional structure.
  • Commercial and residential (5 or more units) structures - $750.00 per structure

All fees are non-refundable.

Effective March 1, 2024, no fee shall be charged for demolition work on a residential structure performed by or for any municipality. To apply for a demolition permit under this fee exemption, complete the permit application and click on “Save & Return Later” to obtain a temporary application number. Email the department at and include: 1) Temporary application number, 2) Signed letter from the municipality on letterhead stating that the work will be performed by or for the municipality, and 3) supporting permit application documents (asbestos inspection report, plat of survey, Cook County Property Tax Summary).

How long is a permit valid for?

A permit can be valid up to 30 calendar days.

Can a homeowner demolish their own structure?

Yes, on the application, under the Demolition Contractor Information, list the homeowner’s information.

Can I revise my permit?

Yes, if any changes to the permit are needed applicants must revise the permit on the portal. Failure to do so will automatically VOID the permit.

What can I revise on a permit?

You can revise any information on a permit besides the address. For example, the permit start/end dates, contractors information, disposal site information, and transporter information can all be revised. Please note that we must receive your revision request at least 48 hours before the permit expires.

How many times can I revise one permit?

You may revise one permit up to 6 times; after the 6th revision the permit will expire, and a new permit is required.

Can I place my permit on hold?

Yes, a hold may be applied to a permit to eliminate the possibility of the permit expiring. Placing a permit on hold allows you to keep the permit valid for one calendar year without expiring, however work can’t be done while the permit is on hold. It's typically used when a third party is holding up the project and you believe that your permit will expire before the project begins.

What is the cost to cancel or place a permit on hold?

No payment is necessary if you are canceling a permit or placing a permit on hold. However, removing permits from hold status (i.e. date change) does require a $55.00 fee per permit.  Also the Department will not refund any canceled permits.

What if my property is in unincorporated Cook County?

If the subject property is in unincorporated Cook County a demolition building permit is required from the Cook County Department of Building and Zoning.

How long does it take to get my permit application approved?

Once received, in most cases permit applications will be reviewed and approved within 48 hours after receiving it. Please note, applications must be submitted 10 business days before the work start date.

Can I waive the required 10 business day waiting period?

Yes, but only in extreme circumstances and through an emergency variance.   For example, a structure that has become a health and safety risk could qualify for a waiver. A variance request letter is required to waive the waiting period. The letter will be reviewed during your application process.

Where can I find a list of approved, licensed, and registered asbestos contractors?

For a complete list, please contact

Can I substitute photos for plat of surveys?

Yes, the photos must display the structure(s) that you intend to demolish. 

Other questions?

Please contact or call at (312) 603-8200, option 1.

Location Title
Main Office
Location Phone
Location Fax
Location Hours
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Saturday: Closed