Apply for a Warrant Permit

Are you trying to open a business (or a residence that functions as a business such as a group home), and the Miami 21 code states that you need a Warrant for your usage and zone? The City of Miami issues Warrant permits for proposed uses in transect zones where the function is not allowed by right.

NOTE: Warrants have strict lifespans. If approved, you will have a specific time-frame (two years) in which to obtain and get approved for all other permits, permissions & certificates before the warrant expires.


Find out What Type of Permit you Need

You want to be sure you're applying for the correct special permit.  Find out if you need a warrant or an exception (or if you need a special permit at all) by going through this process.  

If you have determined that a warrant is necessary for your location + function/usage, follow the below steps.  

Collect the Necessary Documents

NOTE: Before applying for your warrant or exception, you may also need waivers.  Click here to find out and/or view the waiver process. If you are applying for a warrant or exception, your waivers will travel with that application. This must be specified in your letter of intent.

You will need the following documents in order to complete your Warrant application. View a checklist of these documents(PDF, 210KB)

  • A detailed Letter of Intent [statement describing the intent of the proposed work, including specific details as to the nature and/or proposed use]. Statement should specify if you're planning new construction on vacant land or if demolition is required, size of proposed structure, all proposed uses, location and type of improvements or repairs to existing property. Please provide as much detail as possible. 
  • Detailed architectural plans of your proposed project signed and sealed by the design professional (architect/engineer, etc.), including photographs of intended property.
  • Boundary Survey from surveyor, which must be no more than one-year old. (NOTE: The Base Building Line will eventually need to be marked by Public Works on your survey.  We suggest you do this now, prior to submission, to avoid delays). 
  • Property deed.
  • Folio Number. Do a Folio Search. You can find lot square footage and acreage here too. 
  • Latest microfilm records of the property (other than in the case of new construction). TIP: select full permit history when you do this search. 
  • Landscape & irrigation plans (signed by landscape architect with their seal on each page).  
  • Vegetation survey signed & sealed within one year of the application date.
  • Hold Harmless Agreement/Authorization to act (if you are not the property owner). This will not be required at time of application, but at a later step. We suggest you have this ready. 
  • Your signed application. NOTE: After your finish the online application process, below, you will still have to sign the application that will be emailed to you and upload it as a document (see below).  

Prepare your Documents for Upload

You must follow a standard naming convention (i.e. each part of the plans must be titled a specific way) in order to upload documents or your application will be delayed. You should name your document properly now. 

These names can not change once they've been given. View our standard naming convention.

NOTE: Any documentation prepared by a professional, that is required to be “signed and sealed” (see above checklist) will need a digital signature. Learn how to obtain a digital signature.

Apply for Warrant Online

  • You will have to create an Eplan account or login to an existing account. 
  • Select "standard application". You can name your application whatever you want (the first step), this does not refer to the standard naming convention. You will receive instructions from here.  
  • You will be asked if you'd like to submit your documents online. If you hit "yes" follow the instructions below for submitting/uploading documents online.
    • If you select "no" you can present your documents to The Planning Department in person at: 444 SW 2nd Ave, 4th Floor.  Miami, FL.


Upload Documents

  • After you have completed your initial submission, you will receive an email from prompting you to upload your documents. To do this, log back into the portal, and this time select "manage my existing projects". 
  • Select your project number, and go to the "applicant upload task" tab.  Be sure you have named your documents correctly (see above) and obtained a digital signature, if necessary. 
  • Upload documents and submit.
  • This is also where you can manage your project as the below process progresses. 

NOTE: Once you hit "upload complete - send to City of Miami", your ability to upload any more documents will be restricted until the completion of the City's application acceptance process. 

Modify Plans and Documents, if Necessary

You will likely receive an email with comments from the City, as plans/documents often require modifications. Address the comments/issues to the best of your ability. Once you have addressed the comments from reviewers, you will need to re-submit your revised documents (go to "manage my existing project").  

Revise your Documents

NOTE: You may modify the content of your file(s), but do not change the file names when you re-submit.

NOTE: If there is no activity on the project in Eplan within six months, the application will be considered abandoned and you will have to start over. 

NOTE: Multiple cycles of comments may occur back and forth.  You may be contacted to begin your pre-application meeting (below)  as you are addressing these issues. Nevertheless, all issues must be finalized before official project approval can take place. 

Attend a Pre-Application Meeting(s)

When the project has been deemed by staff as minimally sufficient to progress (dependent on addressing all aforementioned issues), you will be contacted to attend a pre-application meeting. 

The City staff will use this meeting to further clarify any questions about your application. You can also use this time to obtain information and guidance relating to your project. You will be instructed to address any outstanding issues. More than one meeting may be necessary to address all of the issues. 

NOTE: You should address the comments from staff immediately. If there is no activity on the project in Eplan within six months, the application will be considered abandoned, and you will have to start over from the beginning. 

Attend Final Review

When your project is deemed ready for the next step, you will attend a final pre-application meeting, and will be notified that final staff review has taken place. At this time, you will be given a letter to notify your neighbors of your project (see below). 

Go Before a Board, if Necessary

If, at some point in the process, you were told that your project requires advisory/recommending board review (i.e. UDRB, CRC, etc.),  that board meeting will not be scheduled until the above staff review has been completed and the minimum requirements have been met (you will be notified of this completion). 

Notify Neighbors

NOTE: You may not begin this process until the above staff review has been completed, and the minimum requirements have been met (you will be notified of this completion and given a signed letter to send to neighbors). 

You must notify abutting neighbors, nearby registered HOAs (which includes the Planning Department and appropriate commissioners) and the applicable NET office of your project.  

Steps for Sending Notification Letters

Once you have the addresses, you must: 

  • Make copies of the signed letter that was given to you from the City. 
  • Send a copy of this letter via U.S. Certified Mail to each addressee, and make copies of all addressed letters as well as all mail receipts (one per letter). 

NOTE: A copy of these letters must be submitted in your final application (see below) within five days of the date on your certified mail receipts. 

NOTE: Notices that are mailed prior to being signed by staff, will result in you having to start the notification process over. 

NOTE: In no event shall a Final Warrant Decision be issued prior to thirty (30) calendar days from the date the notifications are mailed.  

Review Fees & Pay for your Application

Fees for a warrant are calculated based on the below list. You will be emailed a transaction statement (invoice) with your total amount due. 

You will need you transaction ID number in order to complete this task. 

  • Signs: 150.00
  • Per square foot of floor area as defined in Section 1.2: $0.05
  • Minimum: $475.00
  • Extension of Time for Warrant or Class II Special Permits (ZO 11000): $225.00

Modification to a previously approved Warrant shall equal the original fee paid. Modifications to previously approved Warrants found to be substantially in compliance shall equal half of the original fee paid. 

Pay Now

Re-submit Revised Documents

In your final pre-application meeting (before you mail the letters, above), the reviewers will notify you of any final outstanding comments that must be addressed. 

Once you have addressed these comments, re-submit all revised documents (select "manage my project") and include copies of the notification letters + receipts as proof of certified mail.

NOTE: You must submit these documents within five days of the certified mail date. 

Await Response

Once the application has been paid for an final documents have been uploaded, you will hear back from the city within 30-45 days.  You will either receive an approval, an approval with conditions, or a denial. 

Address Response

  • If approved, a Warrant shall be valid for a period of two (2) years during which time a Building Permit or Certificate of Use must be obtained.  A one-year (1) time extension may be approved by the Planning Director if requested prior to the expiration of the original term of the Warrant.
  • If you receive an approval with conditions, you must comply with all conditions (within the lifespan of the warrant) before a building permit can be issued. 
  • If denied and you'd like to appeal, see below.

NOTE: Even when approved/approved with conditions, there is a 15-day appeal waiting period before you may obtain building permit(s).

NOTE: If approved or approved with conditions, and you'd like to begin your building permit process within the 15-day appeal period from the date of warrant issuance, you will need to submit an “"Indemnification/Hold Harmless Affidavit”(PDF, 263KB). (With notarized signature on application).

Appeal, if Desired

Please note that anyone can appeal a warrant approval or denial within 15 days of issuance. Begin this process

The Planning & Zoning Appeals Board (PZAB) will determine whether the Warrant is upheld or rescinded. Please note that in the event that a Warrant is appealed, the Warrant will be placed on hold pending determination. 

You will be notified if your Warrant is appealed by someone else, and how to proceed accordingly. 

Important Tips:

  • Make sure to confirm that all required documents are accounted for and approved by staff prior to sending Notification Letters, as you will only have five days from that time to upload your final documentation. 
  • You must follow a standard naming convention for all of your documents (i.e. each part of the plans must be titled a specific way and can not be changed as you modify these plans).

Naming instructions