Mayor Announces Changes to Laundry License Application Requirements

November 22, 2017

Responding to industry concerns, the City streamlines licensing requirements to comply with new law

New York––Mayor de Blasio announced changes to the City’s laundry licensing requirements today in response to industry concerns. DCA is changing its application requirements so businesses can apply for new laundry licenses without providing a physical copy of a Certificate of Occupancy. As required by the Administrative Code, businesses must certify compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and rules, including those from other City agencies, as part of the application process. DCA will also be issuing six-month temporary licenses to businesses with circumstances that prevent them from certifying compliance; if at the end of the six months these businesses are not able to certify compliance, DCA will revisit the situation and, if warranted, issue an extension.

“Small businesses are the backbone of New York’s economy,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We want our laundries to know that we heard their concerns about this new law and are taking action. Now, by streamlining the license application requirements, it will be easier for laundries to comply with the new law so they can keep their doors open.”

“Last week, we announced a short-term solution of issuing temporary operating letters to laundries as we explored a more permanent solution,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “We hope that these changes will make it easier for these hardworking business owners to comply with all licensing laws so they can continue to serve their communities.” 

“While it’s ultimately the responsibility of the City of New York to be diligent in enforcing the rules and regulations governing our small businesses, it is even more important that the City be able to recognize when those rules cause more harm than good. This rule change is a great example of the city doing everything in its power to help neighborhood businesses stay on their feet, not penalizing them for getting caught up in red tape. Thanks to DCA and the Mayor’s office for working with our community in good faith toward a solution that works best for everyone,” said Council Member Peter Koo.

"We must make sure that laws passed and rules implemented do not have unintended negative consequences," said Council Member Rafael Espinal. "Extending the deadline will give laundromat owners across the city ample time to do what is needed to be in compliance with the law. We must continue to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our society and I applaud DCA and Commissioner Salas on taking this step to do so."

“The new laundry license law updates the previous law to ensure better standards for both businesses and customers. This fix will ensure that laundries are able to properly continuing serving their communities without disruption, and we’ll continue to explore ways to ensure a smooth transition for businesses applying for new licenses,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

The City’s new Laundry Licensing Law, which went into effect on January 30, 2017, created three new license categories – Industrial Laundry, Industrial Laundry Delivery, and Retail Laundry.  Industrial Laundry, Industrial Laundry Delivery, and new Retail Laundry businesses were required to be licensed by January 30, 2017. Retail laundries that currently hold a laundry license must apply for the new license before their current licenses expire on December 31, 2017. All businesses must be licensed—or have a temporary operating letter—by January 1, 2018. Businesses that exclusively perform dry cleaning services do not need a DCA license. Last summer, DCA mailed and phoned existing laundry/laundry jobber licensees with FAQs and information about a series of open houses and, in August, conducted a series of five open houses across the city to educate business owners about the law. DCA also has FAQs available and an inspection checklist so businesses know what they need to do to comply with the law.

About the new license categories

  • An Industrial Laundry License is required if a business:
    • Provides laundry services to commercial clients, including but not limited to hotels, hospitals, restaurants, gyms, and retail laundries. 
    • Maintains or operates a laundry services facility in connection with any commercial institution, including a hotel, restaurant, or gym. 

The following do not need an Industrial Laundry License:

  • Laundry facilities of any hospital 
  • Laundry facilities of any residence for use exclusively by the owners, tenants, or occupants of the residence
  • An Industrial Laundry Delivery License is required if a business transports laundry from: 
    • A commercial client within NYC to an industrial laundry within or outside NYC for laundry services. OR
    • A commercial client outside NYC to an industrial laundry within NYC for laundry services. OR
    • An industrial laundry within NYC to a commercial client within or outside NYC after laundry services have been performed. OR
    • An industrial laundry outside NYC to a commercial client within NYC after laundry services have been performed. 
  • A Retail Laundry License is required if a business:
    • Provides laundry services to the general public.
    • Stores or collects laundry for laundry services for the general public.
    • Stores or collects laundry for delivery for the general public.
    • Offers self-service laundry machinery for direct use by the general public. 

You do not need a Retail Laundry License for:

  • Laundry facilities of any hospital
  • Laundry facilities of any residence for use exclusively by the owners, tenants, or occupants of the residence
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