DOB News | Streamlining To Enhance The Customer Experience

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October 2023 Edition

A Message From The Acting Director

Brian Hanlon

Dear Customers,

As we continue to navigate the dynamic world of urban development and construction in our great city, there are exciting things happening in our agency.

First and foremost, I am excited to unveil Certifi, our brand-new digital platform designed to revolutionize the process of applying for, tracking, and receiving Certificates of Occupancy. Certifi represents a significant step towards modernizing our services, making them more efficient, transparent, and accessible. My team has worked tirelessly to ensure that this platform will streamline your interactions with us, enhancing the overall user experience. 

In addition to this technological advancement, I am pleased to share my recent appearance before the Council of the District of Columbia for my confirmation hearing to become the permanent Director of DOB. I had the pleasure of appearing with Acting Chief Building Official Nicole Rogers, Acting Zoning Administrator Kathleen Beeton, and Acting Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons, as they were also up for confirmation.

This opportunity allowed me to discuss my vision for the future, our ongoing commitment to safety, and our dedication to serving the residents, businesses, and visitors of the District of Columbia. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Council and our broader community to strengthen our city's building standards and create a safer, more vibrant built environment.

These developments underscore DOB's dedication to progress and transparency. We are committed to working with you, our valued stakeholders, to improve and streamline our services.

Thank you for your continued support; together, we are shaping a better future for the District.


Director Hanlon Signature

Brian J. Hanlon, AIA LEED AP®
Acting Director

DOB Launches Certifi For Online Management Of Certificates Of Occupancy

Certifi Page

Last week, DOB proudly introduced a new digital platform for the processing and tracking of online applications, Certifi. Debuting October 23, 2023, the new platform delivers a valuable improvement in our processes, enhancing our service delivery and improving the customer experience by centralizing and demystifying the process of obtaining Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os). Using their Access DC login, users can see the status of their application at a moment’s notice, and will be prompted by system-generated notifications to upload documentation or submit payment.

New C of O applications are now only processed in Certifi. In-progress applications that were active prior to the introduction of Certifi must be completed and C of Os issued no later than December 4, 2023. Otherwise, customers will be required to submit a new application using Certifi.


DOB’s new online platform allows for the centralized submission, tracking, and issuance of C of O applications.

  • Our new platform allows users to see at a glance how different DOB reviews require certain documents, clarifies and simplifies the application process by allowing users to move through a step-by-step path based on their project’s needs, and increases transparency and efficiency of the review process for applicants and DOB reviewers.
  • In the District of Columbia, we want to encourage responsible growth and development, but we also want to ensure that construction happens safely. This platform allows us to continue prioritizing safety while enhancing the customer experience. Certifi is a clear program that allows customers to hold DOB accountable and enables us to boost our processing capacity.

The new system offers a completely digitized application process, increased collaboration between internal teams and customers, and ultimately faster issuance times due to built-in system notifications and triggers to help drive the process to completion.

How To Access Certifi

Navigate to Certifi and use your single sign-on, Access DC, to log in efficiently and securely. Customers may learn more about Certifi and access it on our website at

  1. Once you have logged in, you will be brought to a central dashboard, where you can view in-progress applications, check payment, and begin new applications. When you proceed through a new application, you will receive prompts to upload necessary documentation as you advance.
  2. Once you submit an application, keep an eye on your email inbox for further instructions, review updates, and payment details.

Obtaining C of Os has become so much easier using CertifiDOB is working hard to make the platform even stronger, and will add further functionality and enhancements in the future as we continue to engage stakeholders on ways we can make our platform work even more seamlessly.

Check Out Certifi

As always, we value your feedback, and welcome you to email us at with any questions or suggestions for our new platform. Thank you for entrusting us to help make the District a better place to live, work, and play.

Acting Director Brian Hanlon, Members Of DOB's Senior Management Team Appear Before Council For Confirmation Hearing

Hanlon Hearing

DOB Acting Director Brian addresses a question from Council

On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, Acting Director Brian Hanlon, Acting Chief Building Official Nicole Rogers, Acting Zoning Administrator Kathleen Beeton, and Acting Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons appeared before the Council of the District of Columbia's Committee of the Whole for their confirmation hearing following nomination by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

At the hearing, Acting Director Hanlon was able to further outline his vision for DOB, discuss some of the work we have been doing, and provide insight into where the agency is headed. If you would like to read a copy of Acting Director Hanlon's written testimony, a copy is enclosed here.

Additionally, if you did not get a chance to watch the hearing and would like to see it, a recording is available on the Council's website.

Veterans Day Hours for Friday, November 10, 2023

Vets Day

The upcoming Veterans Day holiday will be observed on Friday, November 10, 2023. As with other federal and District government holidays, construction is not permitted in the District on these days without an After Hours Permit. For these holidays, all construction work, for which a permit is required, is illegal and could result in a Stop Work Order and may be subject to fines. For more information, visit DOB's illegal construction webpage. Illegal construction may be reported by submitting an Illegal Construction Inspection Request Form or by calling 311. 

DOB will be closed to observe Veterans Day. DOB offers many online services, tools, and resources, enabling customers to conduct business 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Please note that construction will also be prohibited on the following dates in the forthcoming months:

  • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 23, 2023
  • Christmas Day: Monday, December 25, 2023
  • New Year's Day: Monday, January 1, 2024

Contacting Our Agency

Contact DOB via email at, through our online inquiry form or during normal business hours using the live chat available on or by phone at 202.671.3500, and we will get back to you in three business days or less.