Difference Between Submittal and Transmittal

Technical jargon is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many different terms with microscopic differences in theory but contain important distinctions when applied practically.


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Submittal and transmittal are two such words that are interchanged often but hold completely different and distinct definitions of their own. They both relate to documents being submitted and transferred between people.

Submittal vs Transmittal

The difference between submittal and transmittal is that submittal is a term used to refer to documents that contain information and samples to be reviewed by people in charge. On the other hand, transmittal is a term used to describe documents transferred over with other files to a different party.

Submittal vs Transmittal

Submittal refers to the submission of certain files and documents whose information needs to be reviewed and perused by higher authorities.

Submittal documents are typically used in organizations that need construction management due to the nature of the work being done. This is generally considered to be the first step in the approval of a project.

Transmittal documents stand true to their name, serving the purpose of transmitting messages across a wide span of people. These documents are used in communication between the people in the organization.

Transmittals can also be sent outside the official organization, allowing information to be passed and people to be kept inside the loop.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSubmittalTransmittal
DefinitionDocuments that are sent for review and approval are termed submittal documents.Documents consisting of information that is transferred along with other files are called transmittals.
StageSubmittal documents are usually the starting point of any project or idea.Transmittal documents can be sent at any stage of the project.
ContentsSubmittals consist of the details and specifics of the proposal.Transmittals consist of details of the name, the sender, the receiver, and other documents in the file. 
Used inSubmittal documents are mainly featured in construction management and related fields.Transmittal documents are issued when information needs to be passed to a wide range of people.
ExamplesShop drawings, product data, and samples.Records, changes, etc.

What is Submittal?

Submittal is a construction field word that includes documents, samples, and other related information that is, as the term suggested, to be submitted to the respective personnel.

These people comprise consultants, architects, engineers, field managers, etc., who are involved in implementing the project.

The detailed review of the project is sketched over to get approval from the required staff and other members before the beginning of the project. Only when the seal of acceptance is granted will the project take form.

This is the first and typically the foremost step in any project due to the field’s dynamics. Construction predominantly relies on specs and plans, which need to be precisely on point for it to take off.

Submittals also involve external evaluators and consultants whose inputs and suggestions can make or break the project.

Despite the early stage in which submittals are featured, their contents are thorough and consist of the proposal’s complete information.

They help verify the right technique, products, and procedures to be undertaken in the upcoming project. Submittals also help fine-tune the project and tie all loose ends that may be present.

Submittals can consist of shop drawings, product and material data, and other samples.

What is Transmittal?

Transmittal can be compared to the ribbon tied on a present, just that it is a lot more essential and descriptive rather than mere adornment.

Transmittal documents refer to a document attached with other important files and documents. These files and documents are then passed over along with the transmittal.

Transmittal documents play a major role in ensuring that the information is passed along to the required people. This could include both the internal and external environment of the organization.

Furthermore, transmittal documents help keep track of every communication initiated and passed while undertaking any given project.

They are used as evidence to vouch that the files, samples, and documents have been passed to the mentioned personnel.

This reduces the possibility of overlooking details in the middle of the communication process, making it less complex.

They are also presented in legal disputes.

Therefore, transmittal documents can be called the packing slip that consists of certain mandatory information such as the date, name, number, and address of the project, senders, and recipients.

It also contains the list of documents and files attached and the reason for transferring files.

Transmittals can either be a one-page attachment or a separate document by itself, depending on the situation.

Main Differences Between Submittal and Transmittal

  1. While submittal refers to documents that are sent to be approved, transmittal consists of the list of files and other information of transferred files.
  2. Submittal documents need to be accepted as the first stage of a project. Transmittal documents can be found at all and any level of the project.
  3. Submittals ensure that the viability of the project and its products are checked and approved. Transmittals help in the communication of project details, modifications, and ideas. They are also featured as legal evidence.
  4. The documents in a submittal are passed onto the architects, engineers, and other staff containing information about the project and its proposal. On the other hand, the project, sender, and receiver details such as names and addresses are found in a transmittal.
  5. Submittals include the shop’s designs and details regarding the products and shop. Transmittal can be an individual or an attached document listing the contents.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926580511000574
  2. https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1091&context=sdfrancisco_documents
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