The Department of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits administers and enforces laws and regulations pertaining to abandoned buildings, animal control, building and construction, electrical installations, mobile homes, and plumbing. The Department also issues building and maintenance related permits, and licenses for dogs and regulated services, such as electrical, mechanical and plumbing services (County Code, secs. 16-1 through 16-11).

Under the Department are four divisions: Building Services, Electrical Services, Housing Services, and Plumbing Services.

The Building Services Division issues licenses and permits for commercial and residential construction. For construction plans involving other divisions within the Department of Inspections, Licenses, and Permits, the Division coordinates all related licenses and permits. Permits issued through the Division include those for building, altering, or demolishing a structure; changing the use of a structure; or installing any equipment regulated by the County Code. Building permits for manufactured or mobile homes also are issued by the Division.

To obtain building permits for additions, remodeling, renovations, deck construction or replacement, or building a new home, plans must be submitted to the Building Services Division for approval.

Assisting the Building Services Division is the Mechanical Board.

Responsible for the enforcement of the electrical code, and licensing electrical work performed in the County, the Electrical Services Division maintains a staff of certified electrical inspectors. The Division coordinates and conducts inspections with contractors, and maintains a record of all certified electrical work conducted in the County.

The Electrical Services Division is aided by the Board of Electrical Examiners.

The Housing Services Division enforces livability standards established by State and local ordinances. Conducting inspections of standard and commercial residential contstruction, the Division also inspects manufactured and mobile homes. For mobile homes, the Division issues permits for electrical, and plumbing work, and coordinates related inspections. In addition, the Division investigates complaints related to landlord disputes, and abandoned or unsafe structures.

The Plumbing and Mechanical Services Division licenses and inspects all plumbing and gas work performed in the County. In addition, the Division licenses and inspects mechanical work (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, & geothermal systems). Related exams are administered by the Division, which maintains records regarding license holders, and inspectors.

To perform plumbing work in their own home, homeowners must apply for a one-time homeowners permit. An exam is required for the homeowners permit. No gas-related plumbing work may be done under the homeowners permit.

The Plumbing and Mechanical Services Division is assisted by the Plumbing Board.


The Board of License Commissioners regulates the retail sale of alcoholic beverages in Harford County (Code Alcoholic Beverages Article, secs. 22-101 through 22-2802).

The Board's five members are appointed by the County Executive with advice and consent of the Harford County Delegation to the General Assembly, and the County Council. Members serve three-year terms (Code Alcoholic Beverages Article, secs. 22-101 through 22-209).

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