Building and Structure Research

Permit records and Certificates of Occupancy exist in a number of formats and locations, depending on when development or maintenance occurred at a particular property. Since some records are located in a physical format at various storage locations throughout the City and other record information is stored in proprietary software on City of Knoxville servers, ready access for public viewing is not feasible in a timely manner. To provide the public with access to any information that may be needed, a records custodian may be tasked with collecting and compiling any requested information available. To initiate a request, please submit a research and records request.


Step 1.Request Records Research

Complete the form below. Complete applications should be submitted to the Plans Review and Inspections general email account,, for processing:


Step 2.Application Review

A member of the administrative staff will review the application and be in contact with the applicant. This may include clarification of the request research, additional information for the application, or payment/invoicing details.

Step 3.Pay Fees

Once the submitted application is approved for processing, an invoice will be generated.  You will pay using the ACA portal.  We can accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover for payments not exceeding $5,000.  Digital checks may be used for payments greater than $5,000 or paper checks may be delivered to the office for processing. The fee schedule for research requests are as follows:

Research for buildings or structures are billed per legal address (not by lot or parcel number) at a rate of $50 per hour of research required. Research fees can be mitigated by limiting the requested information or the timeline of the research request as older records are more difficult to access and search. 

An initial payment of $50 per address is required to begin the requested research.

Step 4.Await Results

Typically, research is completed within 14 business days; however, staffing levels, research request volume, and the complexity of requests may contribute to deviations in estimated turn-around times.  When the research is completed you will receive an email with the research results. 

Results will be returned in the form of a summary letter with copies of any requested supporting documentation, as available. Should additional time be required to collect the requested information, the custodian will contact the applicant for approval to continue. Please note that some details may not be available depending on the age of the project/time of construction.

Research options include:

  • Certificates of Occupancy
  • Permit history
  • Copies of permits
  • Contractor details
  • Inspection results
  • Outstanding violations
  • Construction plans.




Due to current staffing levels, in-person services are currently unavailable.

Please check back soon as we are regularly adding new features and/or services.

For additional help please contact a development services technician at 865-215-4311 or email