Is a Building Permit in 60 Days Really Possible?

It sounds too good to be true, right?

Honolulu’s building permit process is notoriously complex and time-consuming, even with recent changes designed to expedite the process, including software upgrades and the use of AI to prescreen applications.

However, one option available to those seeking a residential building permit could actually result in an approved building permit in 60 days or less—so long as the project meets certain requirements. 

One Time Review (OTR-60), is an optional permitting process implemented by Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting, which guarantees a turnaround deadline of 60 days. This a vast improvement over the typical months-to-years long wait time typical for similar projects.

How Does OTR-60 Work?

OTR-60 allows for a reduced review time for applications by limiting agency reviews to a single cycle—instead of following the traditional cycle of initial reviews, reapplications, and final or additional reviews by various agencies. 

Using the OTR-60 program, once an application is reviewed once, the applicant must agree to address any comments made regarding their application, with the understanding that compliance will be monitored during construction by DPP inspectors. 

Here’s the general guidelines to help determine if your project qualifies for this process:

  • OTR-60-is available for the new construction or renovation of single-family and two-family detached dwellings. 
  • Applications must have a designated licensed architect or engineer. 
  • Your project does not qualify for the OTR-60 process if it requires the following approvals:
  • FEMA Flood Certifications
  • Shoreline Setback Certifications
  • Affordable Housing Agreements
  • Land use Discretionary Permits
  • Special Design Districts (Diamond Head, Punchbowl, Thomas Square, “Core” areas or major streets)
  • State Historical Preservation Division, Department of Land & Natural Resources Review 
  • State Department of Education School Impact Fee
  • 201H Housing Program

How to Apply for the OTR-60 Process

  • Applications for OTR-60 must be submitted electronically, via the ePlans portal through the Department of Planning and Permitting. 
  • Applicants must submit a completed OTR-60 checklist, which ensures that all the required plans are included in the application, including floor, foundation, roofing, framing, elevation, land use ordinance,light and ventilation plans, etc. A more complete guide to this checklist can be found via the DPP website. 
  • Applicants must sign an agreement acknowledging that their plans do not violate any existing codes and regulations, as well as an understanding that their permit can be revoked at any point during construction if they do not address the concerns indicated in the review process. 

Additional Routes for Obtaining a Building Permit

If your project does not qualify for an OTR-60 application, there are still ways to expedite the permitting process. 

Utilizing a third-party reviewer involves hiring a certified professional to review your plans and obtain the required permits necessary for your project. Certification forms for this process are also available online and are an excellent option for projects that require special considerations. 

Find your Team 

Whether your project qualifies for the OTR-60 process, a third-party reviewer, or requires specialized services, Home Planning Hawaii is here to help. We specialize in matching homeowners with the right professionals for their project, which helps keep your project on schedule and within your budget. Contact us today to get started. 

Phone Number

(808) 222-4069

Opening Hours

Mon - Sat 8:00 - 5:30,
Sunday - Closed


200 N Vineyard Blvd.
Ste A325 - 5145
Honolulu, HI 96817

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