Public Works issues permits to construct, improve, work on or occupy the County's sidewalks and roadways. Any activity by a resident or business that encroaches into the right-of-way of San Mateo County's unincorporated districts, whether it be hanging a banner over a street or performing construction on a driveway or sidewalk, requires a permit.

Some of the more common permit types are listed below. For more information on these and other encroachments please contact our permit technicians at DPWpermit@smcgov.org   NOTE: All fees are non-refundable, once the permit is issued.

Fines and Penalties

Fines and Penalties for Work without a permit is $350.00 per day.

  • Drainage Facility Permit
    • Permit to install, replace, or modify a drainage facility in the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Driveway Permit
    • Permit to replace or construct a new driveway within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Fence Permit
    • Permit to to build or replace a fence within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Filming Permit
    • Permit to film within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Monitoring Well Encroachment Permit
    • Permit to construct or deconstruct a monitoring well, or to perform other borings in the County of San Mateo right-of-way.... 
  • Sidewalk Permit
    • Permit to replace or modify a sidewalk within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Special Event Permit
    • If your event will encroach into the County right-of-way apply for a special events permit or temporary road closure.... 
  • Storage Bin Permit
    • Permit to place a storage bin, storage pod, or dumpster within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Transportation Permit
    • Permit for transportation involving the operation of oversize and/or overweight vehicles within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County.... 
  • Tree and Landscaping Permit
    • Beginning October 15, 2021 the Department of Public Works will allow the planting of trees and other softscape within a portion of the county right of way. Property owner must agree to maintain these softscape improvements at no cost to the county through a recorded agreement. Note that hardscape improvements (such as pavers, boulders, or structures) are still not allowed within the right of way.... 
  • Use of County Buildings or Property Permit
    • Individuals and organizations interested in hosting an event at a County facility are invited to submit a permit application...
  • Utility Trench Permit
    • Permit to dig a utility trench within the right-of-way of unincorporated San Mateo County....