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Applications, Permits, Forms & Fees


BUSINESS REGISTRATION (Fee: $35.00/year) – In the interest of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of its citizens, the City of Carlsbad actively encourages and monitors business activities within the city limits. These activities are governed by Code of Ordinances, Chapter 28. All persons conducting business are required to register each outlet, branch or location within the city annually. Registration renewal is required at the beginning of each calendar year. A Temporary (10-day) Business Registration is available for non-regular businesses participating in special events. The business registration form can be mailed, faxed or delivered in person to the department Secretaries.

In lieu of a business registration, some uses, such as carnivals, pawnbrokers, farmers markets, door-to-door solicitation, dances and parades may require a business license or special permit. The Business Registration, Business License and other special permit forms may be mailed, faxed or delivered in person to the Department Secretaries.  Business License or Special Permit Fee: varies

BUILDING, MECHANICAL, PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL PERMITS (Fee: based on construction cost) – A building, mechanical, plumbing and/or electrical permit is required PRIOR to the start of construction or work. A general building permit is required for residential and commercial construction, demolition, walls and fences, roofing, pools, patios, weight-bearing concrete, accessory structures and the placement of manufactured housing. Contractors must be properly licensed in the State of New Mexico and have a City of Carlsbad Business Registration. *Prior to hiring a contractor please contact us to verify that they are properly licensed. DO NOT HIRE AN UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR!

The following codes, as amended by the State, are adopted by the City: 2009 IBC, 2009 IRC, 2009 Uniform Mechanical Code, 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code, 2012 New Mexico Electrical & Safety Codes and the 2009 International Maintenance Code. Any work regulated by these codes requires the appropriate permit. Contact an inspector for additional information.

FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT (no fee) – Significant portions of the community are located within the Pecos River, Dark Canyon or Hackberry Draw Floodplain as determined by FEMA. The most recent Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) was adopted by the City in June 2010. ANY construction within a floodplain requires a Floodplain Development Permit. To find out if a property is located within a floodplain please contact one of the City’s Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs). The Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance can be found in Code of Ordinances, Chapter 8.

DRAINAGE AND GRADING PERMIT (Fee: $10.00) – For most development, a Drainage and Grading Permit is required PRIOR to grading, paving, excavating, filling or dredging of land within the City. Projects requiring a permit are described in Code of Ordinances, Chapter 56 -150(g).

ZONING AND SUBDIVISION (Fee: see below) – The City’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 56, regulates zoning and land uses. In general, land uses such as offices, retail businesses and restaurants are permitted in commercial zones and houses, apartments and agricultural uses are permitted in residential zones. Chapter 47, regulates the subdivision of land and infrastructure improvements. In general, subdivisions require review by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Zoning Fees

  • Map or Text Amendment $100.00
  • Conditional Use Permit $50.00
  • Appeals $50.00
  • Subdivision Fees: Summary process: $50.00
  • Preliminary Plat: 1-7 lots $150.00 +$2.00/lot
  • 8 or more lots $300.00+$3.00/lot
  • Final Plat: no fee

CODE ENFORCEMENT (no fee) – The City’s Code Enforcement team is responsible for investigating reports of Code violations such as weeds, debris, illegal dumping, non-permitted land uses, business registrations, nuisance properties, inoperable vehicles, among others. To report a possible violation, contact a Code Enforcement Officer or dial 311 from a land line.


  • Sewer Tap: $4.00
  • Curb Cut: $5.00 (contact the Building Official for approval 575-628-1292)
  • Encroachment Permit: $10.00 (contact Public Works for approval 575-234-7970)
  • Signs (not including copy replacement): fee is based on construction cost
  • Fences/walls: fee is based on construction cost
  • Dances: $25.00 if entry fee charged/no fee if entry fee not charged
  • Parades: No fee
  • Temporary Uses (garage sales/parking lot sales): $10.00
  • Home Occupations: requires a business registration and may require a conditional use permit
  • Special License: $25.00 for solicitors, $50.00 for Fighting or Wrestling exhibition or contest, $100 per day for Carnival or Circus, $250 for Pawnbroker, $10.00 for all others

Contact our office for additional information on applications, permits, forms and fees 575-885-1185.

Carlsbad, New Mexico - Official City Website