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DBI Online Services - Frequently Asked Questions

Please check to see if your question is already answered below. If not, you can use one of the links below to contact the proper department for assistance.


General Issues

If your question is not in the list above you can get assistance from one of these sources:

Q: I can't find an address. Do you have any search tips?

A: Your entries must match the address database. Street #: this field should contain only numbers between 0 and 9. Street Names that contain a number: First could be entered as either 1st or 01st, so try both. Street Names with a direction: try searching with and without the direction. Street Suffix: search without the suffix. Block # and Lot # containing letters: these should usually be entered with the letter directly after the number, but you can try leaving off the letter. If you still can't locate the address, please call the following for assistance.

Phone: 415-554-4400 for help with Property Tax addresses
Phone: 628-652-3200 for help with Building Permit addresses

Q: How do I register for online building, plumbing and electrical permits?

A: Please read the information on our Online Permits - Instructions and Registration Requirements page.

Q: I'm having problems completing my online transaction. What should I check before contacting you for assistance?

A: Please close your browser session, disable any privacy software that masks your location as you move about the Internet, verify your browser is enabled to accept cookies, reconnect to the Internet and try your transaction again. If you are accessing our site from a link or shortcut, please try accessing Online Services from the Official San Francisco City and County Web Site and select the online services link from the top of the home page.

Q: Why do I need to pay a convenience fee to make payments online?

A: The convenience fees help to offset the system and maintenance costs of these Internet services. Because not all citizens have Internet access, the city must maintain existing manual systems for many of the online services we provide. In effect, online services truly are additional city services rather than replacements for existing manual services. Our aim is to help City agencies offer online services and reduce operational costs. We hope in time fees will be eliminated.

Q: How do I know that online payments are secure?

A: Online Services uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to safeguard your online transactions. SSL encrypts all of your personal information, including credit card number, so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet. We retain only the last four digits of your credit card number for identification of your transaction if you should have questions.

Q: Where can I find information about other City departments and services?

A: See San Francisco Government.