Apply for an owner builder permit | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

How to apply

Be aware that you must follow a different process if you have:

Follow the process below to apply for an owner builder permit.

  1. You need an owner builder permit if you want to undertake or supervise a building project valued at more than $11,000 (including GST) on:

    • your own land
    • company-owned land if you are one of the company directors
    • land that you lease (if you have written permission from the land owner).

    Note — for farm buildings the value of work can be up to $27,500.

    Check that your project can be done by an owner builder

  2. To be eligible to obtain an owner builder permit to build on your property you must be a

    • person listed on the property title
    • company director (if the property is company-owned)
    • lessee (if the property is leased).

    Other restrictions apply — make sure you check whether these apply to you.

  3. You can estimate the value of your work by adding the cost of all materials and labour you need to finish your project.

    Note that you must work out the trade price for these items, including GST, and must calculate the cost of the work based on what a QBCC-licenced contractor would charge, even if you are getting the work done for free.

  4. One of the applicants must complete an owner builder course or obtain a course exemption before they can apply. You may also need to complete an asbestos awareness certificate.

    Your owner builder course cannot be more than 5 years old.

    Check to see which courses are needed for your owner builder project and whether you qualify for an exemption. You need to get course exemptions approved before you submit your application.

  5. You need to obtain and attach these documents to your application:

    • proof of land ownership — an original or certified copy of a current Title Search or Registration Confirmation Statement (no more than 30 days old) from Titles Queensland, or a copy of these documents emailed directly from them
    • a copy of your owner builder course completion certificate (no more than 5 years old) or a QBCC letter granting you exemption approval
    • proof of identity — a copy certified by a Justice of the Peace, a Commissioner of Declarations or a lawyer, of one of the following:
      • driver's licence
      • proof of age card
      • passport
    • or as an existing QBCC licensee:
      • QBCC licence number (this replaces your need for proof of identity and for an Owner Builder Course Completion certificate)
    • or a copy of the QBCC approval letter if you've been granted an exemption to obtain another owner builder permit within 6 years.

    Additional documents for companies

    If you are applying as a company, you must also supply:

    • all company directors' names and signatures on the application form
    • and, either a current or historical company extract.

    Additional documents for lease holders

    If you are applying as a lease holder you must also supply:

    • the land owner's details
    • proof of the land ownership, no older than 30 days (e.g. Title) from Titles Queensland
    • a copy of the lease agreement, licence, or authority from the owner
    • a letter from the owner giving you permission to carry out work at the property under an owner builder permit. The letter must include a full description of the work you intend to do under the permit.

    Additional documents for owners finishing work from a certain building stage

    If you are applying for a permit to complete a new dwelling from a particular stage (e.g. a QBCC-licensed builder was contracted to build the dwelling to the enclosed stage and you want to complete the dwelling) you must also supply:

    • a copy of the contract between you, as the owner, and the QBCC-licensed builder.
  6. You must provide a detailed description of the work being performed under your owner builder permit. This must include any additional features such as carports, swimming pools, pergolas etc.

    If you do not provide enough detail on your application form we will ask you to provide additional information before we can approve your permit. We will do this by email.

    If you have already started the work you need to tell us what work you have already done and what work you plan to do.

    Be aware of the details we require for different work being carried out.

    New dwellings

    • number of bedrooms
    • number of bathrooms
    • number of storeys
    • main construction material (e.g. brick veneer, timber etc.)

    Build brick veneer, 3-bedroom 2-storey house with ensuite and rumpus room. Double carport, pergola and inground fibreglass swimming pool included.


    The details and purpose of your renovation/alteration/extension/addition, including:

    • swimming pools (in-ground, above-ground, concrete etc.)
    • garages or carports (single or double etc.)
    • shed (size and intended use).
    • Complete a new dwelling previously built by a QBCC-licensed builder to a stage defined in the contract.
    • The new work is all internal lining, architraves, cornices, skirting, doors to rooms, wet area fit outs, floor tiling, built-in shelves, cabinets and cupboards, internal and external painting, double carport and pergola.
    • Raise existing house, building in underneath to include a rumpus, additional bedroom and bathroom.
    • Extend existing house, building deck and entertainment area and study.
  7. The owner builder permit application form must be completed and signed by all owners, lessees or company directors.

    Ensure everyone fills out the form

    The person who has completed the owner builder course is known as the Nominated Permit Holder and puts their name first on the form.

    If you own the property in joint names each owner must complete and sign the application form. If you are applying as a lessee, all lessees identified in the lease agreement must provide their details.

    If a company owns the land where the work is to be performed the application must be made in the company's name and include the names and signatures of all company directors.

    If more than four people are applying you must attach a separate list identifying the additional applicants.

    Include a valid email address

    If we have any questions about your application we will email you.

    Please include a valid email address and check it periodically in case we need additional information.

    Owner Builder Permit Application form (PDF 74.91KB)

  8. When complete, lodge your application with us and pay the application fee:

    • in person at a QBCC service centre – you can pay the fees via eftpos
    • by mail  – include your credit card details on the form (Mastercard and Visa only).

What happens next?

It usually takes up to four weeks for us to process your application.

You can't begin any work on your site (including excavation works) until you have the owner builder permit.

Your certifier won't be able to sign off on any plans until they have sighted the owner builder permit.

 If we have any questions about your application we will email you. Make sure you include a valid email address on your application and check it regularly for updates.

Last reviewed: 30 Aug 2021 Last published: 30 Aug 2021
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