You can apply for many permits through our online permitting center at https://permits.ssf.net for over-the-counter permits such as water heaters, furnaces, electrical upgrades, re-roofing, windows, photovoltaic, garage doors, siding and kitchen or bathroom updates without walls moving.
Permits requiring plans go to “Plan Submittal & Permit Requirements & Applications” for details.
What are the hours of construction?
Development activity and heavy equipment operation is restricted to 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday; 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturdays; and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays or holidays observed by the City.
How long will it take to get my permit?
The process of obtaining a permit is an interactive process. Factors that influence the length of time to obtain a permit are as follows:
• Completeness of the plans
• Submittal of all the requested information
• Availability of contacts (owner, agent, architect, engineer, etc.)
• Workload of City Staff at the time of permit submittal
• The type of permit
Please note, some project permits may be issued over the counter, such as: roof, electrical services, repairs, and (based on the scope of work) some bathroom and kitchen remodels.
How do I obtain a Building Permit?
The Building Division of the Economic and Community Development Department issues building permits for both new and remodeled home and business construction. Permit fees are based on the type of work and the size of the construction job.
Permits are issued at the Permit Center Service Counter in the City Hall Annex from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm with the exception of the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month when the counter closes 3:00-4:00 pm for staff meetings. Plan submittals not accepted after 4:30pm.
Before applying for a permit, make a rough plan of your project. The rough plan should include the dimensions of your lot, the size of your house, and the location of your planned addition. City staff will review this plan before you submit formal plans to be checked by the City’s Building Division.
For permit information, call (650) 829-6670.
I am building a new house. Which City departments do I contact?
You will need to speak to a Planner to find out what the requirements for your construction project will be. After doing so, you will need to speak to the Building Division to find out what the permit requirements will be.
Contact the Building Division at (650) 829-6670 or the Planning Division at (650) 877-8535
How do I buy a Downtown parking permit?
Parking permits can be purchased in the Finance Department, located at City Hall 400 Grand Avenue, Lower Level. The Finance Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Annual Permit Cost
(available for purchase
December - March)
City Lots 2,3,5,6,7,12,14,Miller Garage Spaces #38-244
Miller Garage Spaces #38-244
What licenses do I need to start a business?
Business License information, including procedures and applications forms, can be found here.
For more business license information, call the Business License Office at (650) 877-8505. You may want to check with the Planning Division for Zoning and Land Use regulations on the site in question at (650) 877-8535.
How do I report a stray dog / cat?
You may report this information to the Police Department at (650) 877-8900 or the Peninsula Humane Society at (650) 340-8200.
Where do I go to pay a parking ticket? Where do I go to contest a parking ticket?
Anyone who receives a parking ticket from the South San Francisco Police Department can now pay their citations on-line with a credit card.
The website is www.pticket.com/ssf. The secure parking ticket website is simple. Just enter the citation number and follow the step-by-step instructions. Please note that a $3.00 charge is added for using the on-line method.
You can still pay via check or money order by mail without the extra charge.
Also, a toll-free number is being set-up to allow people to pay by phone with a credit card. More information about the toll-free number to follow soon.
How can I get a parking permit to park near BART?
BART parking permits for residents in the neighborhood near the BART Station are issued at the Police Department during regular business hours Mondays - Fridays 7:30 am to 7:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sundays 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
My car has vanished. What do I do?
If you are not current with your payments, then it is possible your car was repossessed. If your car was illegally parked, it is possible it was towed. Contact the Police Department at (650) 877-8900. Someone will check the status of your license plate number and dispatch an Officer to take a report if it is believed your vehicle was stolen.
My car was vandalized. What do I do?
If the vandalism does not involve a hate crime or graffiti, and the amount of damage is estimated to be under $5,000.00, the report may be filed via the internet at report.ssfpd.net. To speak directly to an officer, please call the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I have a question about a parking citation. Who do I call?
Most questions about parking citations can be answered by looking at the front of the citation and identifying the violation and related fine. If questions still arise, the South San Francisco Municipal Code is available through the City's website www.ssf.net. Chapter 11 of the Municipal Code refers to all traffic and parking related regulations. As with most agencies, the City of South San Francisco contracts out the processing of all parking citations and any further inquires can be directed to the Office of Parking Violations in Redwood City, CA; the address and phone number is clearly marked on the front of all citations.
I want to fight a parking citation. How do I go about this?
Instructions on how to contest a citation are clearly marked on the front of all parking citations. Parking citations must be paid or contested within 21 days of issuance; failure to do so may result in additional penalties and the loss of your right to contest the citation.
You may contest a citation by requesting an initial review in writing, by telephone or in person to the Office of Parking (800) 352-7567. You must provide your reasons for requesting the initial review and include any documentation related to your appeal. You will be notified by mail of the results of the review. You will also be provided information on how to request an administrative hearing if you are not satisfied with the results of your initial review.
I want to report an abandoned vehicle. Who do I call?
Abandoned Vehicles on Public Roadways - M.C. 11.40.160 - Use of streets for storage of vehicle is prohibited:
It is unlawful for any person who owns or has possession of any motor vehicle to park such vehicle upon any public street, lane, or parking lot for more that a consecutive period of seventy-two hours.
In the event a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a public street, lane, or parking lot in excess of a consecutive period of seventy-two hours, any employee of the police department. Authorized by the chief of police, may remove the vehicle from the street in the manner and subject to the requirements of the Vehicle Code. (Ord. 1109/2(part), 1992).
In summary, vehicles cannot be parked on a public street for more than 72-hours! The Police Department issues courtesy notices to vehicles that are suspected of being "abandoned". Officers also chalk the tires, obtain an odometer reading, and measure the location of the car on the street. The mere pushing or rolling of the vehicle does not constitute "moving." Help fight blight and keep our neighborhoods clean!
Abandoned Vehicle Hotline: Call (650) 829-3939 to report any abandoned vehicles on public property. We will investigate your report promptly.
I want a car towed from my property. How do I go about this?
Removal of "Abandoned Vehicles" from Private Property:
Under most circumstances, the South San Francisco Police Department cannot cite and/or tow abandoned Vehicles from private property or parking lots. The Police Department will help advise you on what to do when someone abandons a car on your private property or parking lot. Suggestions for what a private property owner and/or manager can do to remove an abandoned car from private property:
Ensure that your private property or parking lot is posted with the proper signs. See below for required signage details.
Call a tow company of your choice. There are several reputable tow companies in the Northern San Mateo County area. Unfortunately, the Police Department cannot refer you to a specific tow company.
The property owner/manager negotiates with the tow company regarding the price of tow/vehicle removal. Shop around; the price/bill for towing abandoned/illegally parked vehicles varies from company to company.
Some abandoned vehicles in parking lots may be stolen and just dumped there. You can call the Police Department at (650) 877-8900 with the license plate number or VIN and we will tell you if the car has been reported stolen. The Police Department will recover and tow away all stolen vehicles without any tow charges to you. 8.48.010 M.C.: Nuisance Declared – Vehicle Abatements: The Police Department has the authority to remove some types of "Abandoned Vehicles" from private property when the vehicle is worth less than $500, is a potential health or safety hazard, and is an attractive nuisance. This "Abatement" process is time consuming (approximately 30 days) and is expensive. Tow fees, along with police administrative fees, will be passed along to the property owner for payment. These costs are typically much higher than the private property tow procedure outlined above. In summary, it takes much longer and is more expensive for the Police Department to tow a qualifying "Abandoned Vehicle" from private property.
Private Property Parking Lot Signage per 22658 CVC (in part):
Prepare a sign containing the wording, "PRIVATE PROPERTY PARKING FOR________________ ONLY." Violators will be towed away at the owner's expense per 22658 (a) CVC. South San Francisco Police Department (650) 877-8900.
The size of the sign must not be less that seventeen inches (17") vertically and twenty-two inches (22") horizontally, and the lettering may not be less than one inch (1") in height and must be in contrasting colors.
Post the signs at EACH entrance to the parking lot in plain view of anyone entering the property. The signs must be completely legible.
For questions regarding this somewhat confusing private property parking issue, please call the Police Traffic/Motor Unit supervisor at (650) 829-3934.
A traffic signal is out. Who do I call?
When a traffic signal is flashing red and/or non-operative, treat the intersection as a four-way stop and proceed into the intersection when safe. When a traffic signal is not functioning properly, call (650) 877-8900 and report the problem to the South San Francisco Police Department.
I want to lodge a complaint against a Police Officer. Who can I call?
Citizen Report Process:
The South San Francisco Police Department strives to provide the best type of law enforcement service possible. We invite your suggestions for methods of improving Police services through constructive criticism of Department procedures, your comments indicating dissatisfaction with the manner of performance, or information concerning commendable actions by employees of the Police Department. Each report received will be investigated and appropriate action taken. Complaints against department personnel will be handled in a prompt and unbiased manner. Your suggestions about improved procedures will be investigated, evaluated, and implemented when feasible to do so. Any commendation of the actions of our personnel will result in appropriate recognition.
If you wish to make a report in person, please come to the Police Department. You will be received courteously and thorough consideration will be given to your report. If you wish to register your report, a citizen report form will be provided to you for completion; and you may then mail in the form to the department. Please provide as much information as possible. Give your name and address so that we may contact you for further information, if needed. Every report will receive the personal attention of the Chief of Police.
It is important to note that you have a right to make a complaint against a Police Officer for any improper police conduct. California law requires that all police agencies have a procedure to investigate citizens' complaints. You have a right to a written description of this procedure. Citizen complaints and any reports or findings relating to complaints, regardless of the disposition, must be retained by this agency for at least five years. It is against the law to make a complaint that you know to be false. If you make a complaint against an officer knowing that it is false, you can be prosecuted on a misdemeanor charge.
I want to complain about a car blocking my driveway. Who can I call?
If an unauthorized vehicle is blocking your driveway and preventing you from entering or exiting your property, contact the Police Department at (650) 877-8900 and report the violation.
I want to complain about speeding traffic in my neighborhood. Who do I call?
The South San Francisco Police Department Traffic Unit maintains a complaint log of all speeding complaints. If a citizen is concerned about speeding in a specific area, they are encouraged to contact the traffic unit at (650) 829-3934 to report the problem. The traffic unit will document and address the complaint.
I want to notify someone about gang activity. Who can I call?
In-progress gang activity of a violent nature should be reported by dialing 9-1-1. General information regarding gangs and gang activity can be reported by calling the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I want to report drug dealing. Who do I call?
Notify the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I want to report a burglary. Who do I call?
Notify the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I want to report spousal abuse. Who can I call?
In-progress abuse should be reported by dialing 9-1-1. Abuse activity not in progress can be reported by calling the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I want to report elder abuse. Who do I call?
In-progress abuse should be reported by dialing 9-1-1. Abuse activity not in progress can be reported by calling the Police Department at (650) 877-8900.
I want to report drugs in the park. Who do I notify?
Notify the Police Department at (650) 877-8900 and have as much descriptive information available as possible.
When do the new wireless telephone laws take effect?
The new laws take effect July 1, 2008.
What is the difference between the two laws?
The first prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. (Vehicle Code (VC) §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a hands-free device. Drivers under the age of 18 may NOT use a wireless telephone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle(VC §23124).
What if I need to use my telephone during an emergency, and I do not have a hands- free device?
The law allows a driver to use a wireless telephone to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agency.
What are the fines if I'm convicted?
The base fine for the FIRST offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent convictions. According to the Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule, with the addition of penalty assessments, a first offense is $76 and a second offense is $190.
Will I receive a point on my drivers license if I'm convicted for a violation of the wireless telephone law?
NO. The violation is a reportable offense: however, DMV will not assign a violation point.
Will the conviction appear on my driving record?
Yes, but the violation point will not be added.
Will there be a grace period when motorists will only get a warning?
NO. The law becomes in effect on July 1, 2008. Whether a citation is issued is always at the discretion of the officer based upon his or her determination of the most appropriate remedy for the situation.
Are passengers affected by this law?
No. This law only applies to the person driving a motor vehicle.
Do these laws apply to out-of-state drivers whose home states do not have such laws?
Can I be pulled over by a law enforcement officer for using my handheld wireless telephone?
YES. A law enforcement officer can pull you over just for this infraction.
What if my phone has a push-to-talk feature, can I use that?
No. The law does provide an exception for those operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle or tow truck, to use a two-way radio operated by a "push-to-talk" feature.
What other exceptions are there?
Operators of an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of employment are exempt as are those motorists operating a vehicle on private property.
Does the new "hands-free" law prohibit you from dialing a wireless telephone while driving or just talking on it?
The new law does not prohibit dialing, but drivers are strongly urged not to dial while driving.
Will it be legal to use a Blue Tooth or other earpiece?
Yes, however you cannot have BOTH ears covered.
Does the new hands-free law allow you to use the speaker phone function of your wireless telephone while driving?
Does the new "hands-free" law allow drivers 18 and over to text page while driving?
The law does not specifically prohibit that, but an officer can pull over and issue a citation to a driver of any age if, in the officer's opinion, the driver was distracted and not operating the vehicle safely. Text paging while driving is unsafe at any speed and is strongly discouraged.
Am I allowed to use my wireless telephone hands free?
NO. Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a wireless telephone, pager, laptop or any other electronic communication or mobile services device to speak or text while driving in any manner, even hands free. EXCEPTION: Permitted in emergency situations to call police, fire or medical authorities. (VC §23124).
Why is the law stricter for provisional drivers?
Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks. Teen drivers are vulnerable to driving distractions such as talking with passengers, eating or drinking, and talking or texting on wireless phones, which increase the chance of getting involved in serious vehicle crashes.
Can my parents give me permission to allow me to use my wireless telephone while driving?
NO. The only exception is an emergency situation that requires you to call a law enforcement agency, a health care provider, the fire department or other emergency agency entity.
Does the law apply to me if I'm an emancipated minor?
Yes. The restriction applies to all licensed drivers who are under the age of 18.
If I have my parent(s) or someone age 25 years or older in the car with me, may I use my wireless telephone while driving?
NO. You may only use your wireless telephone in an emergency situation.
Will the restriction appear on my provisional license?
May I use the hands-free feature while driving if my car has the feature built in?
NO. The law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using any type of wireless device while driving, except in an emergency situation.
Can a law enforcement officer stop me for using my hands-free device while driving?
No. For drivers under the age of 18, this is considered a SECONDARY violation meaning that a law enforcement officer may cite you for using a hands-free wireless phone if you were pulled over for another violation. However, the prohibition against using a handheld wireless telephone while driving is a PRIMARY violation for which a law enforcement officer can pull you over.
How do I obtain a "clearance letter" to show that I have no criminal record?
You must be a current resident or at one time resided in South San Francisco. You must come in person to the Police Department and present a valid form of photo identification (Drivers License, California Identification Card or passport with fairly recent photo) and your SSF address. A check of only SSFPD records will be conducted. The fee is $10.00 and you will be provided with a letter which will state you either have no criminal history or list all your arrests with convictions, if you have any.
When can I come in for Live Scan fingerprinting?
You must call for an appointment. Our days and hours for Live Scan are (Thursdays 1:00 - 3:00 pm & Saturdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm). There is a fee of $70.00 in addition to the fees charged by the California Department of Justice and/or the F.B.I., depending upon the type of background check you require. Call (650) 877-8900 for an appointment.
How can I obtain a copy of a Police report?
You may request a copy by mail by sending the required fee and a self-addressed stamped envelop and a copy will be mailed to you, generally within 2-3 days of receipt of the request. You should phone the Records office at (650) 877-8900 (have the report number handy if possible) to find out how much a copy will cost and whether the report is ready to be released. Or, you may come to the Police Department, provide identification, and purchase a copy of the report. The cost is 10-cents per page. Please allow a minimum of 5 working days for traffic accident reports to be completed.
How do I know to which police department I should report a crime?
Generally speaking, you should make your report with the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the city in which the incident occurred. The South San Francisco Police Department will take reports of incidents which occur in our city.
How can I find out why my vehicle was towed, where it is and how I can get it back?
Please know your vehicle's license plate number before contacting us, as it will speed the process of locating your vehicle. You may phone us at (650) 877-8900 or come in person to our station and present valid photo identification to verify you are the registered owner of the vehicle. If your vehicle was towed because of expired registration or for having five or more unpaid parking tickets, you must first go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and handle those issues. Then bring the receipts from the DMV to our Department. A fee of $170.00 (cash, Visa/MC, money order, cashier's check only) is charged for a vehicle release. If you do not possess a valid driver's license, you need to bring with you someone who does. You will be provided the release and, if needed, a map to the tow company storing your vehicle. You will then be responsible for paying any tow and storage fees directly to the tow company.
Can someone other than the registered owner of the vehicle pick up the vehicle release?
Yes. The registered owner of the vehicle may prepare a letter describing the vehicle in question (year, make, license number) and identify another person whom you are authorizing to pick up the release for the vehicle. This letter must be notarized by a Notary Public.
What can I do if I think my vehicle shouldn't have been towed?
The vehicle owner is entitled to a "Post-Storage Hearing". The owner must come in person to the Police Department and request such a hearing. The hearing officer will make a determination about the validity of the tow.
How can I get a restraining order?
To obtain the required forms or information, phone the Superior Court Clerk's Office at (650) 877-5705 between 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, or go to the Court Clerk's Office at 1050 Mission Road, South San Francisco during those hours. If the court is closed, under certain conditions the Police Department can assist you in obtaining an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). The order is valid for five court days and within that time you may seek a Temporary Restraining Order from the Superior Court Clerk's Office.
Should I file a police a report if I am the victim of domestic violence?
Yes. Acts of domestic violence which occurred in South San Francisco should be reported to the SSF Police Department.
In addition to filing a domestic violence report, I would like to speak with someone about a domestic violence situation and find out what my options are. Who can I call?
You can phone the CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse) 24-hour hotline at (650) 312-8515 or (800) 300-1080. If you decide you need a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, contact the Superior Court Clerk's Office. The D.V. Restraining Order will take approximately 24-hours for a judge's approval and processing. There is no charge for a D.V. Restraining Order.
How do I get my juvenile arrest record sealed?
Pre-requisites for having a juvenile record sealed are that you are at least 18 years of age, off formal probation at least one year or off informal probation for at least six months. You will need to contact Hillcrest Juvenile Facility at (650) 312-8816. They will take down your information and mail an application to you. Or, you can go to 21 Tower Road, Belmont and pick up an application at the front desk.
I got a bill to pay the booking fees for when I was arrested and taken to the Redwood City jail. What's this all about? Do I have to pay it?
When a defendant is convicted, the Judge may order the defendant to pay a "Criminal Justice Administration Fee" in the amount equal to the amount the arresting law enforcement agency is charged by the County for each j ail booking. Failure to pay the bill can result in the debt going to a collection agency.
How do I apply for a permit to drive a taxi cab?
First, check with Peninsula Yellow Cab Co., (650) 588-2131, to make sure they are hiring new drivers. If so, pick up an application from the Police Department. Submit your completed application. and a processing fee of $75. You will be fingerprinted and photographed. If the preliminary background check is clear, you will receive a written letter granting you a temporary permit to drive until a final decision is made about granting you a 2-year permit. If you apply for a permit renewal before the 2-year permit expires, the cost is $65.00.
My car has been repossessed by the lender. Why have they sent me here to pay $15.00?
When your vehicle was repossessed, the Police Department was advised and, in order to avoid you incorrectly reporting your vehicle stolen, we made a computer entry indicating the vehicle was repossessed. The State has set the $15.00 fee as compensation to the Police Department for the computer entry. The legal owner of your vehicle is required to make sure the $15.00 fee is paid before they can release the vehicle to you.
I was given a citation for petty theft and have to go to the Police Department to be booked. When can I come in?
Our booking days and times are Wednesdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. You must bring a valid form of identification with you.
Where do I go to get my bicycle licensed?
Bicycles are licensed by Fire Department personnel. Please call them at (650) 829-3950 for information.
I'm going on vacation. Will you check my house while I'm gone?
Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient personnel to conduct vacation checks. If possible, arrange for a trusted neighbor to watch your house. You should arrange for your newspapers to be stopped or have someone stop by daily to pick them up. You should put your lights on timers. Also, you should be aware that there is a City Ordinance regarding the parking of vehicles on the street in excess of 3 days, so you may want to park your vehicle in your garage or driveway so that it does not get towed while you are away.
I have lost my consular ID card. What do I need to do to get it replaced?
You will need to obtain a letter from the Consulate confirming that you have proved your identity and that the ID card was lost. Bring the letter to the police department, where an officer will complete a police report. You will be given a case number to provide to the Consulate.
How can I access public information regarding incidents that have occurred in my neighborhood?
The South San Francisco Police Department publishes a daily media bulletin on the City Website[click here]. Requests for specific incident details are accepted and evaluated on a case by case basis and can be submitted via email, phone, writing, or in person at the Police Department.
The police arrested the person who stole my property and are holding it. When can I get my property back?
Your recovered property is evidence of the crime and will assist in the prosecution of the suspect. When the court case is concluded, the District Attorney's Office will notify us and we will notify you by letter when your property can be returned.
During a domestic disturbance with my spouse, police officers came to our house. They took my two rifles when they left. When can I get my guns back?
Your guns were most likely taken for Safekeeping. If you are the legal owner of the guns, they may be returned to you after you receive clearance from the Department of Justice. Your Rights with regard to this are defined on the "Property Receipt/Notice of Rights" that was given to you at the time the officer took your guns.
When I tried to get my guns back, I was told they could not be released to me. Why?
Assuming that the firearms are legal to possess, there are various reasons why your guns cannot be returned. By law, there are persons who are forbidden from owning or possessing firearms, including persons identified as the "restrained person" in a Restraining Order", those convicted of certain misdemeanors and felonies, as well as victims of certain mental illnesses or disorders Additionally, if the firearm was used in the commission or attempted commission of a felony by the owner, the weapon will be disposed of. If your weapon was seized the Superior Court may issue an order to destroy the weapon. If the owner is forbidden from owning or possessing the firearm, but it is not ordered destroyed, arrangements can be made for the owner to sell the firearm to another person through a licensed gun dealer.
During what hours can I come to the Police Department to reclaim my property?
Appointments are required in order to pick up your property. Phone the Property/ Evidence unit at (650) 877-8924 between 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday to set an appointment.
What type of tax was passed by the voters with Measure W?
The District tax is one-half percent (.5%). That is an additional $0.50 in tax for $100 of items subject to the tax.
When does the tax go into effect?
The District tax went in to effect April 1, 2016.
What items are subject to tax?
Items that are currently subject to sales tax are also subject to the District tax. Exceptions include prescription drugs, groceries from a grocery store or farmers' market, real estate transactions and services (such as barber/hair styling, car repairs and work by plumbers/electricians/carpenters). In addition, existing leases prior to the effective date do not apply to Measure W.
How much revenue will the City receive from the tax?
The City's tax consultant estimates that the District tax will bring in $7 million in revenue on an annual basis. Because of the unique sourcing rules, an exact estimate is difficult to predict.
What kind of oversight will be put in place?
The City Council will appoint a citizens oversight committee to ensure that the revenues received from Measure W are used in alignment with the services and projects stated in the ballot measure language. The City undergoes an annual audit by an independent audit firm to ensure that the City's financial records are kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and adheres to internal control best practices. In addition, the City Council has designated a two member Budget Subcommittee of the Council to review city wide financial information on a more detailed basis prior to the full Council review.