Shapiro Unveils PAyback Permit Refund System

Last Wednesday, Governor Josh Shapiro announced details for a new online money-back guarantee system for state permits, certifications, and licenses. This online portal,, allows applicants to see the standard processing time for each application type and request a refund if their application is not processed within that timeframe.

The initiative follows an executive order the governor signed in January, directing state agencies to review the licenses, certifications, and permits they offer and establish standard timeframes for each.

The PA Chamber has supported codifying the governor’s executive order into law as part of our comprehensive state permitting reform framework, which was also endorsed by labor advocates. This framework was included in S.B. 350, which passed the state Senate with bipartisan support and awaits consideration by the state House.

Now fully operational, gives applicants the ability to verify eligibility for a refund of the application fee for their permit, license, or certification application, and request one if they qualify. Approximately 70 percent of the permits, licenses, and certifications issued by the Commonwealth are eligible for refunds through this system.

Once a refund application is submitted through PAyback, it is directed to the respective Commonwealth agency responsible for issuing the permit, license, or certification. Approved applications receive notifications within three business days, with refunds to be issued via check within 45 days.

We support this new policy and appreciate the sentiment it represents. We hope this is an early step toward a more efficient and accountable application process for state permits and urge the House to pass S.B. 350 and continue the progress.

Businesses and individuals seeking more information on PAyback or to verify their eligibility for a refund should visit


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.