Online Permit Applications

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In March of 2017, the City of Ames implemented a new software system called EnerGov to manage building and trade permits, plans, inspections and code cases internally.  The next and final phase of implementation of EnerGov is opening up the online Citizen Self Service (CSS) portal to our customers.  With a CSS account, customers will be able to do the following from their computer, tablet or smart phone:

  • Create an account
  • Submit building and trade permits
  • Request inspections and view inspection results
  • Make payments
  • Print permits and invoices

Additionally, CSS will increase public access to permitting information, provide a permit fee cost estimator, and allow the public to run basic reports online. 

EnerGov gave our Inspectors the ability to conduct inspections with the use of an iPad.  Thanks to this technology, Inspectors can update inspection information in the field providing customers with real time inspection results!

To help navigate CSS, City staff have created User Guides and short tutorial videos on the basic CSS functions. Please visit our CSS page to get registered and/or tour the portal!

Process Changes

A few process changes have been made as part of our transition to CSS:

The biggest change is the new requirement that payment be made prior to the permit being issued.  Once your permit has been reviewed and can be issued, you will receive an email indicating that your permit fees are due.  After payment has been made, you will be able to print a copy of the permit for your records and schedule inspections.  Permits and invoices will no longer be mailed out to customers.  Some of our most basic permit types (water heaters, furnaces, etc.) can be paid at the time of application so that the inspection process can be expedited.

Payments may be made by cash, check or credit card. CSS will direct those wanting to pay with a credit card to a third-party payment site called MyGovPay. This site functions similarly to PayPal where customers can keep their card numbers on file for easy payments. Our Administrative Services staff will receive notification when a payment has been made so that the permit status can be changed to ‘Issued’. Once the status has changed to ‘Issued’, permits can be printed and inspections can be scheduled.