Residential Inspection

City of Rio Rancho Building Division Operations during COVID-19 Health Care Emergency

For the purpose of providing the best possible service to our customers and clients, as well as implement the directives of the federal, state and local authorities necessary to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City’s Development Services Department and Building Division will continue to conduct business as outlined below.

The City Building Division contact information: Telephone – 505.891.5006, Fax – 505.896.8994, email:

Permit applications and plan submittals

  • All applications and plans, with the exception of large sets (see process below), will be required to be submitted via email to, or by regular mail. Trade permit applications may also be submitted by fax. Click here for applications for permits
  • Large sets of plans may be submitted by appointment or via a possible digital ‘Dropbox’ account. An application must be submitted and a permit application number assigned prior to setting up a personal or digital appointment for delivery of construction plans.
  • This process will require prior approval by the City, therefore, please do not travel to City Hall to drop off plans without making prior arrangements. 
  • Once a permit is submitted, the applicant will be noticed of any required payment of fees. In accordance with procedures of the City’s Finance Department, the applicant will be responsible for payment of fees associated with plan review process. It is the applicant’s responsibility to notify the Building Division that payment has been made.
  • Following any required payment, the Building Division will process the application and email or fax to the applicant any required corrections or a statement of approval. Any required corrections will be delivered by the same method of plan delivery noted above.
  • If the application is approved, the Building Division will notify the applicant of such approval along with the required payment of fees necessary for the permit to be issued. Payment will be made to the City’s Finance Department in accordance with the procedure outlined above.

Virtual Inspection Program (VIP)

Criteria for VIP

  • The area requiring inspection must be located inside an occupied dwelling and/or access to area is required through an occupied space.
  • VIP will not be available on any vacant dwellings.
  • While every effort will be made to complete the virtual inspection, any issues identified during the process may be subject to a request for additional information and or a scheduled field visit by the inspector. If this occurs, it must be approved in advance by the CBO. A check list will be provided to contractor and it must be filled out by the homeowner and submitted prior to the inspection for approval.
  • Contractor is responsible for providing their own equipment and or devices. The City is not responsible to provide any equipment to any contractors. Acceptable platforms include: Android Duo, iPhone Facetime and Zoom.

Indemnification/Immunity from Civil Liability 

By agreeing to utilize the VIP, the user agrees to defend, and hold harmless the City of Rio Rancho, as well as their officials, officers, agents, volunteers, and employees from any claims, damages, and expenses, including attorney’s fees, arising out of the use or the user’s account for the VIP service, whether by negligence or otherwise.

VIP process

  1. Contractor will secure permits as required and request inspection though normal procedures.
  2. Day of inspection, contractor must call DSD department at 891-5006 between the hours of 8:00 and 9:00 am and inquire who the assigned inspector is, and request contact information as needed.
  3. Contractor is responsible for contacting inspector prior to 9:30 am and make arrangements to conduct the virtual inspection, and verify virtual equipment is working properly by both parties.
  4. Contractor is responsible to insure that any necessary tools are available if needed while conducting the virtual inspection ie;
    • Flashlight, tape measure, level, GFCI tester, ladder, etc.. based on the inspection type.
    • Ensure that all notifications are turned off that may hinder or delay the virtual inspection. 
    • At time of inspection agreed upon by all parties, contractor will contact inspector while on site and request to begin the VIP. All inspections will begin at the street so address can be verified and documented by the inspector.
    • Assigned inspector will document all areas viewed, ie; kitchen, living room etc.
    • Inspector will document and provide results, whether pass or fail, verbally when complete with the VIP. If the inspection did not pass, it will be the responsibility of the contractor to reschedule the inspection when ready.

Results can be viewed via 

Please contact Erik Goldstrom, Building Inspection Supervisor with any questions at 896-8791.

Business license

  • Applicants will be required to submit all paperwork via email for their business. Zoning approval will be required prior to City Clerk approving license and payment to cashier. However, the business will be subject to inspections by Fire Marshal’s office and the Building Department at a later time. This exception will in no way alleviate the business owner with compliance of stated requirements and code provisions identified by the Fire Department or Building Division.

Contact Us

  1. Armando Cepeda

    Chief Building Official


     3200 Civic Center Circle NE
     Rio Rancho, NM 87144
    Ph: 505-891-5005


After the issuance of a permit, construction may begin on the project. During this phase of development, inspections are required not only to ensure compliance with the City's ordinance and codes but also to ensure the project is being performed in a safe manner.

We provide the below information regarding residential projects to explain the various types of inspections that are conducted and for what purpose. In addition, all work must be in compliance with the State of New Mexico Building Code, Uniform Building Code (UBC), National Electrical Code (NEC), Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) and Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and all other state standards.

When Ready for an Inspection

It is the responsibility of the permittee performing the work to notify the Building Inspection Division that such work is ready for inspection. Such requests shall be in person or telephone, at the option of the permittee.

The City of Rio Rancho requires that a complete set of approved drawings for the construction project be present for the appropriate inspectors while the inspection is being conducted. It is further required that the notice sheet be posted at the job site allowing the inspectors to make the required entries thereon regarding inspection of the work. The notice sheet shall be maintained at the job site for the duration of the project. Upon completion of the project and an approved final inspection, the inspector shall bring the notice sheet into the office allowing for the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy within twenty-four hours of the final inspection.