Apply for a certificate of existing use

You can apply for a certificate of existing use if you need written confirmation that a use, building or works on your land was lawful.

You may need to establish an existing use right if:

  • the use, building or works would be prohibited under the current planning rules but was
  • permitted without a development permit before a change to the planning scheme.

A planning certificate is considered proof of fact at the time of issue.

Before you apply

Before you apply, you will need:

  • your contact details and other beneficiary details
  • owner's authorisation if you are not the sole property owner
  • evidence that the:
    • current use of the land is an existing use or
    • building or work is an existing building or existing work.

How to apply

To apply, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Submit your application

Submit a certificate of existing use application through the DAO website.

Step 2. Pay the fee

You must pay an application fee.

You can either pay:

All fees are non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful.

After you apply

Read below to find out what happens after you submit your application.

Decision maker

The decision maker is:

  • Development Consent Authority (within DCA areas) or
  • the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (outside of DCA areas).

Administrating branch

The administrating branch is Development Assessment Services.

Contact a planner.


Last updated: 19 April 2021

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