Building Occupancy

The final step of the building process is getting occupancy. No building or structure requiring a Certificate of Occupancy can be used or occupied until the Building Official issues a Certificate of Occupancy. Use includes training staff, installing furniture and storing products.

You can request a certificate of temporary occupancy when you want to begin using all or a portion of a building under construction before the entire project is completed.


Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) means that City of Salem’s Building and Safety Division will allow the building or a portion of it to be occupied temporarily for a period of 30 days before completion of the entire work covered by the permit. A TCO may be allowed on the parts of the work area deemed safe to occupy as evidenced by inspection reports stating “approved for TCO” or evidenced by “final approval” on building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire permits.

Certificate of Occupancy (CO) means that the building or work area as defined in the permit's scope of work has been found to meet all the requirements applicable to the permit and is allowed to be occupied for its intended use.

Certificate of Completion is a document issued for structures not intended for occupancy and indicates that the building work has been completed according to the relevant building code.

How to Request a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO)

  1. Submit a completed application for temporary occupancy to the Permit Application Center at least two business days prior to scheduling inspections for TCO status.
  2. Upon approval of the request for TCO, staff will schedule the appropriate inspections.
  3. Once all required inspections are approved, you can pay the $155 TCO fee.
  4. Upon payment of the TCO fee, you will be issued a TCO which is valid for 30 days.

Change from TCO to CO

To transition from temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) status to certificate of occupancy (CO) status without owing additional fees:

  1. You must schedule all open inspections before the expiration of the TCO.
  2. If you cannot complete the final inspection process before the TCO expiration, you must submit a written request for extension to the Building Official.

Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy is issued for structures designed for occupancy after the approval of all permitted work and when all fee associated with the permit have been paid.