A question answered by Karl Katzke said:

you are allowed to pull an electrical permit on your OWN residence

Can anyone tell me if there is language in the NEC to this effect and if so what is the section number?

  • 1
    Going off one of the answers below, if you provide a location (city is probably enough) they might be able to edit their answer to provide details about your jurisdiction – Hari Ganti Dec 19 '18 at 0:29
  • Do you want your answer to also include the Electrical Service Provider? In my area, the electric company supplying the power requires a tag from the licensed electrician that ran the wire from the meter to the service break box. Without that leg of the wire being tagged, the electric company will not install a meter. – Keeta Dec 19 '18 at 12:30

In general, the NEC (or any other code for that matter) specifies how the work must be done, but does not touch on who the work must be done by. The who is covered by local statutes (whether city, county, or state). Permits and licenses are entirely state, county, or city constructs, and various jurisdictions utilize different versions of the NEC.

  • Fully agree+ If OP lists there location I am sure we can provide the local requirements. – Ed Beal Dec 18 '18 at 20:16

I think you're confusing NEC with licensing, where the government permits someone to sell a specific service to someone else. Many states license electrical contractors (here's California, for example) and you cannot legally do that work for hire without that license. Electrical permits are used by local governments to ensure that the local codes are being followed and that only licensed people are doing the job. Every electrical permit I've seen is aimed squarely at professionals, not homeowners.

As a homeowner working on your own property, you are generally exempt from those requirements, as long as you're working on previously existing structures (or making minor improvements). If you tear your house down and rebuild it from the ground up, the local government may or may not let you act as your own electrical contractor. Many will insist on an inspection, as well as a licensed electrical contractor signing off on it.

Most locales, however, will let you pull your own building permit.

Let me illustrate this with an anecdote. This was rural Florida so YMMV, but there's less regulation there than other places. My father-in-law built his own home, but he still had to face building inspections as well as electrical (small town but they still pay attention to new structures going up). He found a licensed electrician who was willing to let him do the work, and the electrician would simply come inspect and then set up the electrical inspection. I do not believe he could pull his own electrical permit, even as the owner/builder.

  • I agree with you in my neck of the woods the DFW area some municipalities but not all will let the homeowner represent himself as a contractor and allow him to pull all permits and do all of the work. However the homeowner must do all of they work himself, pass all inspections, and not hire outside help (that would be bootlegging). So if he has outside help it must be by a licensed contractor. – Retired Master Electrician Dec 18 '18 at 21:54

The NEC says "how", the local adopting statutes say "who" and "when"

The NEC itself, as a model Code, has no legal force standing alone. It is up to your city, county, or state to adopt the NEC, giving its rules about how electrical work is to be done the force of law. The statute or ordnance that adopts the NEC (or building codes generally) in your jurisdiction must then fill in the remaining blanks:

  • What all work requires a permit and inspections, and how much it costs to pull a permit
  • How pros get and retain their licenses, and how they can be taken away if need be
  • What the penalties are for Code violations and improper work
  • Who can do what work in what circumstances
  • And any local amendments to the NEC a jurisdiction may desire

As a result, the details of homeowners performing work on their own residences varies:

  • Most North American jurisdictions have a concept of "de minimis" permit-exempt maintenance that any property owner or property owner's representative can perform (such as a "like for like" replacement of a receptacle or switch). This is done to keep inspectors from being saturated with trivial tasks (imagine a world where you need an electrical permit to change a lightbulb, and you'll get why nobody does it that way :)
  • Many jurisdictions, albeit not all as very dense cities like NYC and Chicago proper are much stricter about this, have some level of new/remodel work that can be performed by owner-occupants without an electrical license. A permit, though, must be pulled still for this, and the work subject to inspection. Furthermore, this may not include certain work items (such as work on main electrical service panels).
  • Some jurisdictions, instead of or in addition to allowing owner-occupants to perform unlicensed work on their property, provide a simplified licensing procedure for owner-occupants, allowing them to "sit for the test" so to speak for a small fee, then granting them a limited license to work on their own property if they pass.
  • And there are a few jurisdictions that require all work to be performed by a licenseholder, and also do not provide owner-occupant limited licenses either. In this case, you're stuck hiring an electrician for all work, or at a minimum any work for which a permit is required.

Of course, if you rent, none of this is applicable -- most jurisdictions require a landlord to hire licensed electricians for all work on rental properties, in addition to requiring licensed electricians for any work on a commercial or institutional property.


The first part of the first chapter covers all that stuff.

NEC 110.2 equipment in mains wiring must be approved by the local authority. All of them delegate to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or equal. CE is not one.

NEC 110.3 requires you install according to the instructions and labeling, freestyling is a code violation. This also makes it a codevio to install random electronic components out of the Digi-Key catalog.

NEC 110.12 says all work must be done in a neat and workmanlike manner. Don't take that to extremes, e.g. nipping back "excess" length in junction boxes and panels is a serious mistake that will cost you later.

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