Building permit levy

In order to fund the Building Control and Domestic Dispute Resolution System in Victoria, the Building Act 1993 (the Act) imposes a building permit levy. The levy amount is based on the cost of the building work and must be paid by the applicant to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) before a building permit can be issued.

Important changes introduced to Victoria's building permit and levy laws on 1 July 2019 affect the Act and the Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations). From 1 July 2019:

  • the VBA must issue a building permit number before a relevant building surveyor can issue a building permit
  • owners have a new duty to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work
  • the VBA will have new powers to re-assess a levy after issuance of a building permit
  • revised mandatory monthly reporting duties will apply under regulation 47 of the Regulations; and
  • relevant building surveyors will no longer be required to provide the VBA with a monthly levy return, due to the repeal of section 205J of the Act and regulation 46 of the Regulations.

More information

Building permit numbers – pre- and post-1 July 2019

Building permit applications accepted by the RBS before 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, the requirement to apply for a building permit number will vary depending on when the relevant building surveyor ‘accepts’ a building permit application. An application can be considered ‘accepted’ if the relevant building surveyor has been appointed by the applicant and the application contains all information required for the relevant building surveyor to

  1. apply to the VBA for a building permit number; and
  2. estimate the costs of work and calculate the levy due.

Building permit applications accepted after 1 July 2019

For building permit applications accepted after 1 July 2019, the relevant building surveyor must apply to the VBA for a building permit number for the proposed building permit. To obtain a building permit number from the VBA:

  1. the relevant building surveyor must provide the VBA with all required information relating to the proposed building permit, and
  2. the levy must be paid.

Applications for a building permit number must be made through the VBA’s Building Activity Management System (BAMS).

Building permit applications accepted before 1 July 2019

For building permit applications accepted before 1 July 2019, building permit numbers should continue to be produced in accordance with requirements in place before 1 July 2019.

The building permit number comprises four parts:

  1. The registration number of the building surveyor who issued the building permit, followed by a forward slash (/)
  2. The year the building permit was issued, using four digits (for example, YYYY)
  3. A four-digit sequential number used to identify the building permit issued, followed by a forward slash (/); and
  4. A stage number that identifies the stage of a building project to which the building permit relates.

Note: For single-stage projects, the stage number is zero. For multi-stage projects, all stages should have the same sequential number (refer to the point above), with the first stage being identified with a stage number of 1, the second stage with 2, etc. For example, 20140011/1, 20140011/2, 20140011/3, etc.

Example 1: If building surveyor BS-U 6789 issued their first building permit for a single stage project in 2014, the permit number should be: 6789/20140001/0.

Example 2: If building surveyor BS-U 6789 issued their one hundredth building permit for stage 1 of a multi-stage project in 2014, the permit number should be: 6789/20140100/1.

Where an application is accepted before 1 July 2019 but the building permit is issued on or after 1 July 2019, it is recommended that the relevant building surveyor apply for a building permit number via BAMS to avoid reporting under two different systems.

Application date

The application date is the date the relevant building surveyor receives the completed Application for a Building Permit Form.

Building surveyors are requested to note or date-stamp on receipt of the application form from the applicant.

Note: The application date may vary from the date the applicant signed the form. It is the date received by the building surveyor that needs to be reported in the building permit levy return.

Building classification codes

Including the correct BCA class of building under the National Construction Code (NCC) helps the VBA process building permit information efficiently, and reduces the need for the VBA to further clarify information. It also provides a consistent building project description.

For example, the BCA classification of Class 1a buildings should include (i) or (ii) to indicate whether the dwellings are attached or not (class 1a(i) for a detached house or class 1a(ii) for one or more attached dwellings, etc.).

More information

View the VBA’s Guide to Building Classifications under the National Construction Code.

Unique Property Identifier – SPI number

The Standard Parcel Identifier (SPI) is a unique numbering and identification system used by Land Victoria to identify parcels of land.

The unique number assigned to land parcels will be based on a ‘lot on plan’ format. This format will also be applied to Crown descriptors using the existing parish number as the plan number.

The SPI number can be obtained from Land Victoria by entering the property address.