All electrical work, with some small exceptions, requires a permit whether done by a contractor or a homeowner. An electrical permit gives permission or authorization in writing to perform work regulated by the BC Safety Authority. Contractors must obtain permits and submit an Electrical Contractor Authorization as the work progresses and upon completion of the installation.
An electrical permit is not required for:
1) The replacement of defective fuses, receptacles, switches or lamps with identical types and ratings.
2) Emergency work
Who Can Take Out an Electrical Permit?
The person or company doing the work takes out the electrical permit. If you hire someone to do the work, they must obtain the permit. If you’re doing the work yourself, you need to obtain the permit and must reside in the fully detached single-family dwelling.
A fully detached single family dwelling means any of the following if occupied or intended by the owner to be occupied as a permanent residence:
1) Any detached building containing only one dwelling unit;
2) A manufactured home as defined in the Manufactured Home Act;
3) A recreational vehicle
Hiring an Electrical Contractor
If you’re re-wiring your home or doing renovations that require new or altered electrical systems, the best way to proceed is to hire a qualified electrical contractor licensed with the BC Safety Authority.
All licensed contractors are, or employ, electricians who are certified Field Safety Representatives (FSR). An FSR is the person who will be responsible for the permit issued to the contractor, with the class of the FSR determining the scope of work the contractor is allowed to perform.
All FSRs have demonstrated to the BC Safety Authority that they have the necessary qualifications – and passed a written exam administered by us – before being issued a Field Safety Representative Certificate of Qualification. This allows them to install, maintain, operate and repair electrical products.
Areas of the Lower Mainland
Depending on the area you live there are different requirements for obtaining a permit.
In Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, West Vancouver, Maple Ridge the municipalities themselves issue permits and do the inspections. They inspect 100% of the work.
In the remaining municipalities, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Hope, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, Mission, Whiterock, New Westminster, Richmond, Delta, Tsawwassen, Ladner the province issues the electrical permit and does the inspection. 25% of the work is inspected.