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Tent Permit Process


Many times throughout the year, community and entertainment events rely on tents and other temporary structures for short-term shelter. The City of Chicago allows tents to be erected, but there are restrictions and requirements for these structures. Depending on the size of the structure, this may include receiving a permit.

Small Tents
Small tents or temporary structures that measure less than 240 square feet in size do not require a permit. These may be assembled and disassembled relatively easily and quickly and users are responsible for making certain they are built correctly and do not pose any threat to public safety.

Medium Tents
Medium-sized tents or temporary structures measuring between 240 square feet and 600 square feet in size must receive a permit. Permits for medium-sized tents can be applied for on a walk-in basis at the Department of Buildings office at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, 9th Floor, Room 900.

In order to receive a tent permit in one day, all paperwork and documentation must be correct and there cannot be any prior code violations on the property.

Large Tents
Tents and temporary structures measuring over 600 square feet in size require stamped architectural drawings in order to receive approval. Many of these structures contain complex lighting, egress, and seating issues that mandate professional plans and a full-scale review to ensure the safety of structure and those using the facility. The Department of Buildings needs a minimum of three days to conduct the necessary reviews to approve a large tent for use.