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Licenses & Permits

The City of Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of licensespermits and additional resources. Review this page to find the one you want.


  • Business License
    The City of Santa Barbara requires that every person, firm, corporation, partnership or other business organization conducting business within the City obtain a business license.
  • Outdoor Dining License
    Santa Barbara's beautiful weather and thriving downtown area create the perfect atmosphere for outdoor dining. The Outdoor Dining Program allows restaurateurs the opportunity to use a portion of the public right of way for outdoor dining purposes.
  • Vendor’s License
    Application for Special Event or One Day Vendor’s License

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  • Building Permits
    Building & Safety Handouts include 2013 Building Code Information, Construction Details, Owner-Builder Requirements, Calgreen Forms, Plan Check Submittal Requirements and more.
  • Dance Permits
    An application for any type of dance permit shall be filed with the Police Department.
  • Harbor Business Activities Permits
    Harbor Business Activities Permits are issued by the Waterfront Department and are required before conducting or engaging in any business or commercial activity of any kind within the Harbor.
  • Massage Permits
    The city wishes to facilitate the ethical practice of massage in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. Massage Technicians and Establishment owners in the City of Santa Barbara are required to obtain special permits as well as a business license tax certificate.
  • Medical Marijuana Storefront Collective Dispensary Permit
    Since April 2008, the City has regulated the storefront distribution of medical marijuana in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Santa Barbara.
  • Parking Permit
    A monthly permit may be purchased to park in a specific lot. Applicants are required to complete an application, provide a copy of your California vehicle registration and pay for the first month and a deposit equal to the first month’s payment.
  • Photo & Film Permits
    Parks and Recreation handles all permits for any shoot occurring within City limits. This includes any street, sidewalk, park, beach, Stearns Wharf, the Harbor, and city waters up to one mile from shore.
  • Public Works Permits
    A Public Works Construction Permit assures that proper and adequate notice is given to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists that an obstruction is ahead. It also assures that any work being performed is inspected and meets the minimum City standards.
  • Residential Parking Permits
    A Resident Permit is only obtainable by an applicant whose principal residence is in a Permit Parking Area. This permit allows a resident vehicle to park up to 72 hours in 75 & 90-minute zones that are postedwith Parking Permit Exemptions.
  • SB Airport Permits & Applications
    Find applications for special events, mobile services, and film and photography permits for the Santa Barbara Airport.
  • Sign Permits
    Installing, repairing, altering or relocating a sign in the City requires design review approval and a building permit. Application submittal information can be found under “Sign Committee Handouts”
  • Taxicab/Pedicab Permits
    To ensure the public’s safety, the City has permit and licensing requirements for taxicab and pedicab operators and drivers.
  • Tree and Landscape Removal Permits
    A permit is required to remove a front setback or street tree. Also find information on landscape compliance requirements and related design guidelines.
  • Waterfront Parking Permits
    Permits are available at the Harbormaster’s Office and all parking kiosks, except Stearns Wharf.

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Additional Permit and License Resources

  • Case Status Lookup
    Locate information about a past or current building permit or development application by accessing the City's e-Permitting system. This application provides direct and real-time access into the Community Development Department’s permit database.
  • Forms, Handouts & Applications
    Additional resources including forms, handouts, applications and maps to assist in understanding and navigating the permitting process.
  • Neighborhood Construction & Design Activity
    This application, formerly known as the "Neighborhood Lookup," allows visitors to graphically drill down though a series of City neighborhood maps to find 1) building permit activity, 2) zoning information report applications, and 3) pending and approved projects for that neighborhood. This is a “live” lookup into the City permits database.
  • Planning Central
    Numerous links are provided to assist in going through the planning process. For a general overview of our planning process, please refer to the Residents Guide to Navigating the Planning Process brochure. 

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Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
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