Tent Permits Policy

Regulations apply to all companies that provide tent rentals and construction services, and to all companies that provide furnishings and set-up services for tents.

Overview of Changes

Tent permit requirements and process in the City of St. Louis are in effect as of August 1, 2018.  Changes made are in accord with the 2018 International Fire Code, adopted by Ordinance 70796 and the 2018 International Building Code adopted by Ordinance 70794.

Two items are foremost in the changes to previous requirements:

  1. Tents 800 square feet or more now require a permit.  
  2. A Construction Permit and an Operational Permit are now required.
    • The Construction Permit governs the actual construction of the tent. 
    • This permit will not be issued without the required documentation from the customer and their signed "operational" acknowledgement. 
    • The Operational Permit  governs the actual use of the tent.

Ordinance Correction Text

Per the provisions of Section 104.1.2 of Ordinance 70796 and Section 104.1.1 of Ordinance 70794 Rule Making Authority, I hereby rule that effective immediately:

Change Section 3103.2 of Ordinance 70796 to read as follows:

Section 3103.2 Approval Required.  Tents and membrane structures, individual or aggregate area of multiple tents, shall require a permit whenever the area is 800 square feet or more or that cover or obstruct the means of egress of any building shall not be erected, operated, or maintained for any purpose without first obtaining a permit and approval from the fire code official.


1.)        Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes in accordance with the Zoning Code when confined to a rear yard in residential zoning districts on a temporary basis.

2.)        Tents for private family events on the same lot as the residence are exempt from obtaining a permit but shall meet all other requirements.

3.)        Tents open on all sides that comply with all of the following:

3.1       Individual tents having an area of 800 square feet or less

3.2       The aggregate area of multiple tents placed side by side without a fire break clearance of 10 feet, having an area of 800 square feet or less

3.3       A minimum clearance of 10 feet to all structures and other tents

The use of propane tanks or equipment in the tent requires a separate permit and inspection by the fire code official.  Means of egress for all tents shall comply with the Building Code.  Tents shall be supported to withstand a live load of 20 pounds per square foot and wind speed of 115 mph, Exposure B.  Setbacks required by the Zoning Code and fire separation distances required by the Building Code shall be maintained but shall not be less than 10 feet.

Change Section 105.2 of Ordinance 70794 to read as follows:

Section 105.2 Work Exempt From Permit No. 8. Tents smaller than 800 square feet or those used for private family  events on the same lot as the owner’s residence.

This code correction will be incorporated in the next adopted City Building and Fire Codes

Permit Documents

Review and download the Tent Permit Application and Requirements documents.


$35 is the standard permit fee

It covers both the required Construction Permit and the Operational Permit.

There is no charge for the Operational Permit. 

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