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Garage Permits in MD: The Comprehensive Guide

A garage with a garage permit in MD

As a resident of Maryland, it’s your responsibility to receive all the needed permits for your future garage before you begin building. But honestly, the whole process is not nearly as daunting as you may have imagined! In fact, we are here to guide you through the process by answering many questions regarding permits. 

As always, building codes and requirements vary on the city and county level. So, we decided to relieve your headache and created a table with links to the most populated cities and counties. Simply jump ahead to our table and find answers to your local permit questions

If you are on the look-out for a new garage, at Shed’s Unlimited we allow you to fully customize your future garage to meet all of your needs. 

Alrighty, let’s move on to permitting answers! 

Do I need a garage permit in MD?

In almost every case, yes! All attached garages in MD must obtain a residential building permit prior to beginning construction. While detached garages almost always require a building permit, there are a few areas of Maryland that have exceptions. For example, Worcester County does not require a building permit for accessory structures that are less than 500 square feet. 

In most areas of Maryland, you will be required to have your garage inspected after you have received your needed permits. 

Of course, you should always contact your local government. We have made this process easy for you by adding a table of links to specific cities and states which provide additional garage permit details and information. Or, you can browse Maryland’s government page

A garage permit in MD

Do I need a zoning permit for a garage in MD? 

Usually, no. Generally, when you receive your garage permits in MD, you also get zoning approval at the same time. However, there are a few areas of Maryland that require zoning permits for detached garages that do not need building permits. For example, Worcester County enforces zoning permits for detached garages less than 500 square feet (since they do not require a building permit). We recommend contacting your local government to understand zoning requirements for your garage. 

Do I need a garage permit in Carroll County, MD? 

Yes, all attached and detached garages in Carroll County, MD require a building permit. If your project involves electrical or plumbing work, separate permits for those aspects are also necessary.

After you have received your building permits, a thorough inspection will be required, covering the following items:

  • Footing
  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Final project 

You can access your permit application here

A garage with a garage permit in MD

Do I need a garage permit in Montgomery County, MD? 

Yes. If you plan to build a detached garage in Montgomery County, then you will need to get a building permit.

Additionally, if you want to add an attached garage, you will need a building permit which would be classified as an “add/alter permit.” If you decide to make your garage space livable, you must follow the guidelines for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Do I need a garage permit in Prince George’s County, MD? 

In short, yes. Whether you are wanting to add an attached or detached garage, a building permit will be needed in Prince George’s County, MD. It’s important to note that your garage will also require inspection as part of the process. 

Do I need a garage permit in Howards County, MD? 

In most cases, yes, you will need a garage permit in Howards County, MD. If your detached garage is smaller than 200 square feet, a permit is not necessary. In reality, most garages are easily larger than 200 square feet. However, if you are considering constructing an attached garage, then you will need to get a building permit. 

Find your garage permit application here

A garage with a garage permit in MD

Do I need a garage permit in Baltimore, MD? 

Yes. In Baltimore, Maryland, every garage (whether attached or detached) needs a building permit. To obtain the permit for your attached garage, you need to submit site plans. And, If your attached garage is larger than 600 square feet, you’ll also need detailed construction plans.

For small detached garages (under 600 square feet), submitting site plans is necessary when applying for the permit. However, if your detached garage is over 1,000 square feet, you’ll need both site plans and detailed construction plans for the permit application.

How long does it take to receive a garage permit in MD?

Typically, it can take anywhere from 6-15 business days to receive your garage permit in MD. While most regions of Maryland provide garage permits after 2-3 weeks, some areas (like Charles County), tend to deliver garage permits in as little as six days. 

A garage with a garage permit in MD

What do I have to submit for a garage permit in MD? 

Overall, the requirements for a garage permit in MD can vary across the county and city level. We have uploaded some items found from different local government websites throughout Maryland. Of course, you will want to contact your local jurisdiction to ensure you have all of the needed details.

But for now, you can get a rough idea through this list: 

  • Exact Size of structure 
  • Site Plan
  • Building Location 
  • Estimated Value of Construction 
  • Title
  • Owner/Applicant’s Signature
  • Floor plan
  • Foundation design
  • Materials list
  • Specifications
  • Contractor Information
  • Architect/Engineer information 
  • Lot number 

How much does it cost for a garage permit in MD? 

The overall price for garage permits in MD vary considerably. There are three ways that fees are charged: 

  • Flat rate
  • Square footage
  • Estimated value 

Some areas of Maryland have set fees for permits. For instance, the city of Laurel charges a flat $125 to obtain a garage permit. 

On the flip side, other cities and counties within Maryland charge based on the overall square footage of the garage you are planning to construct. To illustrate, building an attached garage in the city of Rockville will cost you $0.23 per square foot. So, if you plan to build a 20×20 garage, you will be paying $92 for your building permit. 

In yet other scenarios, building permit fees are based on the estimated value of your garage. In Anne Arundel County, you will be charged $140 if your garage will cost more than $25,000 (and $0.007 times the estimated cost above $25,000). 

Check with your local government to understand more about costs of garage permits.

A garage permit in MD

How long is a garage permit valid in MD? 

Generally, your garage permit is valid for 180 days (or six months) in MD. However, many areas of Maryland will allow you to apply for an extension, if needed. Once again, check with your local government to find out the specifics of your permit validity, since it can vary by location. 

Can you get an online garage permit in MD? 

In most cities and counties within MD, you can conveniently obtain and complete garage permits online. Interestingly, electronic permits are the only option in Carroll County. However, some jurisdictions do offer the option to submit building permit applications in person or through email. Of course, it is best to check out your local government’s standard procedures. 

Can a homeowner pull their own building permit in MD?

The answer to this question is nuanced. Here are few tips to consider:

  1. If you as the homeowner are doing the work yourself, then in most cases, you can pull your own building permit. 
  2. If you have a contractor doing the construction, they are required to obtain the necessary permits. However, as the homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your contractors follow through and obtain the necessary permits 
  3. Of course, these standards can vary according to your local governments regulations
A garage with a garage permit in MD

What are the penalties for not receiving a garage permit in MD? 

If you fail to obtain your garage permits before beginning construction, you are at risk of being penalized.

  • A “stop work” order may be issued, blocking you from continuing to work. 
  • If you construct a garage without a building permit, you may receive a code enforcement violation with a penalty fee.
  • If you build a garage without receiving a permit, you put your building at risk for structural compromise, which could ultimately result in an unsafe structure. 

To understand your local government’s penalties, see our table of links

What if I want to live in my garage in MD?

We get it. Garages serve various purposes, such as being converted into living spaces on either the upper or lower levels. However, before you complete the area and start living there, it’s necessary to obtain a certificate of occupancy from your local government.

To ensure you have the correct information about the requirements, we recommend consulting our tables, which provide links to the websites of your local government.

Garage Permits Requirements by MD City 

Take a look at our table to find out more about garage codes in MD, on the county level. 

Ellicott Cityhttps://www.howardcountymd.gov/inspections-licenses-permits
GermantownUnincorporated Area (See Montgomery County in table below)
Glen Burniehttps://www.aacounty.org/inspections-and-permits/permits/do-i-need-permit#:~:text=Garage%20(Attached),10%20working%20days
Greenbelt https://www.greenbeltmd.gov/government/departments/planning-community-development/building-and-construction-permits
La Plata https://www.townoflaplata.org/179/Building-Permits
Laurel https://www.cityoflaurel.org/permits/permits/residential
Mount Airyhttps://www.mountairymd.gov/180/Accessory-Structure-Permits
Silver SpringUnincorporated Area (See Montgomery County in table below)
Takoma Parkhttps://takomaparkmd.gov/services/permits/municipality-letters/

Garage Permit Requirements in Maryland Counties

Browse our table to find out more about garage codes in MD, on the county level. 

Allegany County
Anne Arundel Countyhttps://www.aacounty.org/inspections-and-permits/permits/do-i-need-permit#:~:text=Garage%20(Attached),10%20working%20days.
Baltimore Countyhttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/departments/pai/application/accessory-structure#:~:text=Accessory%20Structure%20Permit-,Residential%20Accessory%20Structure%20Permit,designated%20Baltimore%20County%20Historic%20District
Calvert Countyhttps://www.calvertcountymd.gov/2991/Garage
Caroline Countyhttps://www.carolinemd.org/288/Building-Permits-Zoning-Certificates
Carroll Countyhttps://www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/directory/public-works/permits-inspections/residential-projects/building-an-attached-garage/
Cecil Countyhttps://www.ccgov.org/government/land-use-development-services/permits-and-inspections-division/building-permit-applications
Charles Countyhttps://www.charlescountymd.gov/government/planning-and-growth-management/online-permitting
Dorchester Countyhttps://dorchestercountymd.com/planning-zoning/frequently-asked-questions/
Frederick Countyhttps://www.frederickcountymd.gov/faq.aspx?TID=79
Garrett Countyhttps://www.garrettcounty.org/permits-inspections/permitting-process-1#:~:text=Building%20Permits%20are,for%20agricultural%20structures
Harford Countyhttps://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1012/ShedDetached-Garage
Howard Countyhttps://www.howardcountymd.gov/inspections-licenses-permits#:~:text=Building%20permits%20are%20required%20for%20sheds%20when%20the%20total%20square%20footage%20is%20greater%20than%20200%20square%20feet%20and%20for%20sheds%20larger%20than%20400%20square%20feet%20that%20will%20require%20a%20frost%20footing%20that%20will%20be%20at%20least%2030%20inches%20below%20grade
Kent Countyhttps://www.kentcounty.com/planning/faq
Montgomery Countyhttps://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DPS/Process/rci/residential-access-structure.html
Prince George’s Countyhttps://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/departments-offices/permits/when-permit-required
Queen Anne’s Countyhttps://www.qac.org/294/PermittingZoning
Saint Mary’s Countyhttps://www.stmaryscountymd.gov/lugm/Permits/
Somerset Countyhttps://www.somersetmd.us/departments/departments_-_n_-_z/planning_and_zoning/index.php
Talbot Countyhttps://talbotcountymd.gov/index.php?page=Permits_and_Inspections
Washington County https://www.washco-md.net/wp-content/uploads/Residential-Building-Fee-Schedule-2023.pdf
Wicomico Countyhttps://www.wicomicocounty.org/274/Permits-Inspections-Licenses-and-Fire-Pr
Worcester Countyhttps://www.co.worcester.md.us/departments/drp

Looking for a prefab garage to call your own? 

Don’t let the permitting process hinder you from obtaining your dream building! We would love to show you two prefab garage options that could potentially meet the needs of your property. 

Standard Workshop Double Wide Garage

A garage with garage permits in MD

At Shed’s Unlimited we know that sometimes functionality is the key factor in your decision making. That’s why we craft a Standard Workshop Double Wide Garage that can accommodate your needs, yet not break the budget. 

Legacy Two-Story Workshop Garage 

A garage with a garage permit in MD

We understand the need for living space when it comes to finding a garage. Our Legacy Two-Story Workshop garages give you the opportunity to create an apartment space, kids corner, gym space, or a private office…while still having space to store vehicles and other nicknacks. 


Wow, that was a lot of information! And our hope is that now you feel confident on your next steps to obtaining a garage permit in MD. If you would like to further understand building codes, read our article on shed permits in MD. Wanting some additional inspiration on garages? Check out our article here or our story about Renee’s party garage. Additionally, we would love to offer a free quote, to get you on the path to a new garage.  

Well, that’s all for now. Happy garage building! 

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