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General Excavation



New Tow-Away Sign Procedure


What is a General Excavation Permit?

A general excavation permit allows a Contractor, possessing an appropriate contractor's license, to excavate and restore sidewalk and/or roadway pavement within the public rights of way in order to install, repair, or replace a utility facility.


Permit Information and Procedure

  • All applicants must complete an Application For General Excavation.

  • The Permittee shall have a certificate of liability insurance on file with BSM.

  • The applicant or authorized agent must also have a current Business Tax Registration Certificate issued by the City and County of San Francisco Tax Collector’s Office pursuant to Section 1003 of Part III of the San Francisco Municipal Code.

  • The Permittee shall file and maintain a Street Excavation Bond with a minimum amount of $25,000.00 with the Department of Public Works, to guarantee the maintenance of the pavement in the trench and roadway area for a period of 3 years following the completion of the backfill and pavement restoration pursuant to Article 2.4 of the Public Works Code. All fees shall be paid prior to the issuance of the permit. See fee schedule.

  • All restoration shall be performed per Article 2.4 of the Public Works Code and DPW Order 178,940. All work including sidewalk and pavement cutting and removal, lagging, excavation, backfill, and sidewalk and pavement restoration shall be done by a licensed paving contractor and in accordance with the requirements of the Standard Specifications of the Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Works, July 1986 Edition, Department of Public Works Order Nos. 135,595, 135,596, 176,707 and Board of Supervisors’ Ordinance #131-07.


Other Requirements

  • The Permittee must provide a letter of authorization from the subject utility company to allow said contractors as the trenching agent.

  • The Permittee shall call Underground Service Alert (U.S.A.), telephone number 8-1-1, 72 hours prior to any excavation.

  • The Permittee shall verify the locations of any City or public service utility company facilities that may be affected by the work authorized by this permit and shall assume all responsibility for any damage to such facilities. The Permittee shall make satisfactory arrangements and payments for any necessary temporary relocation of City or public utility company facilities.

  • The Permittee shall follow all Blue Book requirements.

  • The Permittee shall schedule an inspection at least 10 days prior to begin work by telephoning 554-7149.

  • DPW Order 183621 - Trench Restoration Order - Rules and regulations that would be implemented in the case of a catastrophic emergency within the City and County of San Francisco. 

    For More Information

    For more information or clarification on any of the permit requirements, please contact us at:

    San Francisco Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping 
    1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 • Map
    Telephone : (415) 554-5810   Fax: (415) 554-6161
    Office Hours : 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Monday through Friday, except official holidays

    Note: all cash and check transactions must be submitted before 4:00 p.m.