Building permits

Important changes to Victoria’s building permit and levy laws commenced on 1 July 2019, with additional changes commencing on 1 January 2020.

From 1 July 2019, the VBA must issue a building permit number (BPN) before a relevant building surveyor can issue a building permit.

From 1 January 2020:

  • an additional building permit levy component to fund cladding rectification work will apply to building work in metropolitan areas with a cost of works of at least $800,000 and a classification of 2 to 8 under the National Construction Code
  • the VBA will be responsible for calculating the total building permit levy payable; and
  • owners will no longer be required to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work for staged permits.

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

  • apply to the VBA for a building permit number; and
  • 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:

  • the relevant building surveyor must provide the VBA with all required information relating to the proposed building permit, and
  • 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. 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.

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.

Including the correct BCA class of building under the National Construction Code (NCC) helps us process building permit information efficiently and reduces the need for us 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.).

From 1 January 2020, the BCA class of a building will be one of the factors determining whether cladding levy is payable.

More information

View Building Classification Codes under the National Construction Code.

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.

Building permit levy and cladding rectification levy

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

For more information about the building permit levy, use our building permit levy calculator to estimate the total levy amount payable.

Building permit suspension

There are a number of circumstances in which a building permit may be suspended.

Understand your responsibilities under the legislation, and how to manage suspensions in BAMS.

More information