Obtain a: Class A Hoisting Machine Operator License

Step 1: License Criteria

To become a New York City-licensed Class A Hoist Machine Operator, you must:

  • Meet the License Qualifications (see STEP 2)
  • Apply for and pass the appropriate National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or the Crane Institute Certification (CIC) written and practical examinations (see STEP 3)
  • Apply for and pass the Background Investigation (see STEP 4)
  • Apply for your license (see STEP 5)


Step 2: License Qualifications

All applicants applying for a Class A Hoist Machine Operator license must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old
  • Be able to read and write the English language
  • Be fit to perform the work authorized by the license
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Hoisting Machine Operator
  • Have at least three (3) years of experience (minimum), within five (5) years prior to applying for a Hoisting Machine Operator license, operating hoisting machines in New York City under the direct supervision of a Class A or B Hoisting Machine Operator licensed by the Department.  The experience must have been obtained on hoisting machines of a type, size, and capacity authorized to be operated by a Class A licensed hoisting machine operator.

    For applications submitted on or after July 1, 2019, at least two (2) years of the required three (3) years of experience must have been in the operation of mobile cranes with a manufacturer’s rated capacity in excess of 50 tons (45.36 t) or in the operation of tower cranes.  Additionally, the three (3) years of experience must include but not be limited to outrigger placements incorporating at least one hundred (100) crane set ups*, 25 of which must have occurred on machinery for which a NYC Class A license is required.  All set-ups must have occurred at a jobsite, crane yard, training center, or other location acceptable to the commissioner.  

    *Where an applicant for a Class A Hoisting Machine Operator license already possesses a Class C Hoisting Machine Operator license, the requirement for the remaining 75 set-ups on non Class A machinery is waived.

Step 3: Exam Requirements

To become a licensed Class A Hoist Machine Operator the applicant must pass the appropriate National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or the Crane Institute Certification (CIC) written and practical examinations. Candidate handbooks and application information can be found on the NCCCO website and the CIC website.

National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)

To obtain a Class A Hoist Machine Operator license, you must show a valid NCCCO certification card with at least the following four (4) endorsements:
  • Telescopic boom cranes (swing cab) (TLL)
  • Telescopic boom cranes (fixed cab) (TSS)
  • Lattice boom truck crane (LBT)
  • Lattice boom crawler crane (LBC)

- OR -

Crane Institute Certification (CIC)

To obtain a Class A Hoist Machine Operator license, you must show a valid CIC certification card with at least the following four (4) endorsements:
  • Telescoping boom crane – 21 to 75 tons (fixed cab)
  • Telescoping boom crane – over 75 tons (rotating cab)
  • Lattice boom carrier
  • Lattice boom crawler

Additional exam for Tower Cranes

In addition to showing a valid NCCCO or CIC certification card containing the four above certifications, to operate a tower crane, the applicant must additionally show a valid NCCCO certification card containing the following certification:

  • Tower Crane (TWR)

Step 4: Background Investigation

Once you have obtained a NCCCO or CIC certification, you must pass a background investigation. Submit the documents listed below, either by mail (priority mail, FedEx, UPS or another trusted delivery service) or drop-off to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing & Exams Unit
ATTN: Exams
280 Broadway, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007

*Note: Drop-off your application package between 9:00 am and 1:30 pm.*

You must include all the following for your application to be processed:

  • Current NCCCO or CIC Certification Card as cited above
  • LIC50 or LIC51 application
    NOTE: Applicants with a home address outside of New York City’s five (5) boroughs must complete the LIC50 Authorization for Service of Process by Agent. Applicants may also fill out the LIC51 Voluntary Authorization for Service of Process by Email even if they reside within the City of New York.
  • LIC61 Physical Exam Form must be completed within 90 days
  • Proof of Certification of Compliance with substance abuse provisions. The Department will provide a substance abuse policy compliance document for you to complete during your appointment
  • Typed and notarized letter from the applicant listing the name, address and telephone number of the laboratory that performed the substance abuse test and consent for the laboratory to the release such information to the Department
  • NYC Buildings Employment Verification Forms from all licensed Hoisting Machine Operators that supervised the Applicant’s work during the years he or she is claiming as experience
    NOTE: The Experience Verification Forms must come from the licensed Hoisting Machine Operator who supervised your work during that time, not from Human Resources. The supervising Licensee must hold at minimum, the class of license for which the Applicant is applying. NYC Buildings Experience Verification forms, posted on the Department website must be submitted with the Background Investigation Questionnaire.
  • Social Security History of Earnings for the years you are claiming as experience - this is NOT the Social Security Statement.
    NOTE: There is a fee charged by the Social Security Administration for this service. You must request the report to be run by ‘company name’. You may request the information by mail or in-person (ordinarily you can receive this instantly in person).Visit Social Security Earnings Information page for more information.
  • Current Driver’s License – if driver’s license is from outside of NY, applicant must submit a driving abstract from the Department of Motor Vehicles in State of license issuance. Any licenses with driving conditions or restrictions will not be acceptable.
  • Social Security Card
  • Latest paystub or W-2
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, lease or deed) or a typed notarized letter and bill from the person you are residing with
    NOTE: Cell phone bills will not be accepted.
  • National Certification Practical Exam Results showing type of equipment on which you were tested (Friction or Non-Friction)
  • $500.00 Background Investigation Fee – for questions pertaining to your background investigation or to find out the status, please send inquiries to lbackgrounds@buildings.nyc.gov.


If the Department determines you meet all the qualifications and you pass the background investigation, you will receive an approval letter from the Licensing & Exams Unit. Once deemed qualified, you must send an email to LicensingAppointments@buildings.nyc.gov to obtain an appointment to receive your license card. Your email must include a PDF scan of your approval letter. You should receive a reply within 15 business days.

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