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When is a Use & Occupancy Certificate Required?

A Use & Occupancy Certificate is required for the space to be used prior to opening any business in Montgomery County.

The purpose of this certificate is to document that the use is permitted, and that all applicable safety code and health code requirements have been met.

What is the Application Process?

  • Submit a completed Use and Occupancy application accompanied by one copy of a site plan showing parking analysis. If the property is located within the parking lot district of Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, or Montgomery Hills, no site plan is needed because these areas are provided with public parking.
  • For food service establishments, submit a completed Statement of Operations form.
  • If the use is permitted by special exception, submit a copy of the current special exception opinion.

Approvals and Inspections Required.

  • The zoning official must approve your site for the use intended.
  • The property must be inspected and approved by the Fire Marshal, and by the building, mechanical and electrical inspectors.
  • To schedule your Use and Occupancy inspections, please call 311. Use and Occupancy inspection requests are not accepted through the DPS web site or the DPS Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
  • If the use is permitted by special exception, a zoning inspection is also required

What if the Space was Previously Occupied?

  • If the use of the space has not changed (e. g., a business office moves out and another business office moves in), there may be a Use & Occupancy Certificate on file in our office, and a new use an occupancy certificate is not required.
  • If the use or dimensions of the space have changed, a new Use & Occupancy Certificate is required.

If the Previous Owner/Tenant did not Leave the Certificate, How can I get a Copy?

Copies of certificates can be obtained from this office by completing a Request for Information form.

How Long is the Certificate Valid?

The certificate is valid until the use of the space changes or there is an increase or decrease in the floor area used.


Application Package
Application Application for Use & Occupancy Certificate
Information Request (for existing Use and Occupancy) Information Request Application
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