Building Division

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.


The Building Inspection Division is charged with ensuring that all building construction over which the City has jurisdiction conforms to the standards set forth by the Governing Body and the State of New Mexico. This includes the issuance of building permits, the monitoring of construction, the inspection of all appropriate building structures, follow-up on all citizen and Construction Industry Division (C.I.D.) complaints and providing all customers with general construction information.

Contractors performing work within the City's limits are required to have a license with the State of New Mexico and an active business license with the City of Rio Rancho.

Notice to Permittees and Contractors 

Permits are required whenever a building or structure is “erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished, and no electrical wiring, plumbing or mechanical work as defined and described in the applicable New Mexico construction codes for those trades, may be installed, repaired or maintained in or on such building or structure, unless the applicable permit has first been obtained from the division (City)”. --NMAC Section, PERMITS REQUIRED, Subsection A

Additionally all re-roofs require a building permit prior to starting the re-roofing (a faxed application is not a permit) and inspections.


ur Goal is Quality Customer Service

Request Inspections Via Email .

Residential Inspections

If you are in needing an inspection of your residential construction, please view our Residential Inspection Process section.

Notice of Additional Fees:
Fees associated with application and issuance of a building permit may not include other applications and fees that are required as part of new construction. 
Such fees include utility application, deposit, and connection fees.

If you have questions, please ask Building Division Permit Technicians for additional in
formation regarding possible additional fees that may be related to your permit application.

Codes Utilized by the City
  • 2015 International Building Code
    • Version of the ASCE used as reference: 2010
    • Wind Speed: 115 Ultimate/93 Nominal
    • Seismic Design Category: D, per USGS website
    • Rain Load: 2” per hour
    • Ground Snow Load: 20 lb or provide Case Study
    • Minimum Flat Roof Snow load: 20 lb or provide Case Study
  • 2015 International Residential Code
    • Wind Speed: 115 Ultimate
    • Seismic Design Category: C
    • Ground Snow Load: 20 lb
    • Frost Line Depth: 18 inches
    • Winter Design Temp: 16 degrees
  • 2009 International Energy Conservation Code
  • 2017 National Electric Code 
  • 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code
  • 2015 Uniform Mechanical Code

Notice To All Solar Contractors

Effective March 20, 2017 before a solar permit is applied for a copy of the PNM Notice of Complete and Notice of Technical Screening Review will be required as part of the submittal showing the type and size of the system to be installed. 

New Summertime Hours for Inspectors

Effective from June 1st through September 1st all Building Division Inspectors will now be available from the hours of 7 AM until 4 PM Monday through Friday. The Permit Counter hours will remain from 8 AM until 5 PM for filing permits, etc. Inspectors are available for consultations at the 7 AM to 8 AM hours, simply call the desktop phone numbers provided to reach the respective inspector and they will meet you at the counter.

Plumbing/Mechanical Inspectors: 505-891-5058
Building Inspectors: 505-891-5218 or 505-896-8794.
Electrical Inspectors: 505-896-8792