How to Become a Licensed Master Rigger


Step 1: Exam Guidelines

In order to obtain a Special Rigger License, you 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 at least five (5) years of practical experience in the hoisting and rigging business within seven (7) years prior to application date
  • Have satisfactorily completed a Department-approved thirty (30) hour training course
  • Have knowledge of and be able to explain the risks of such work and necessary safety precautions that must be taken, including safety loads and computations, types of rigging, size and strength of ropes, cables, blocks, poles, derricks, shear legs, and other tools used during such work

Please see the full text of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code for all the qualifications requirements.


Step 2: Applying for the Exam


You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Rigger candidate and submit the application with the $525.00 fee to the Department (see contact information below).


After passing the written exam, you must apply to take the practical exam (LIC42). To do this you must complete the exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Master Rigger candidate and submit the application with the $350.00 fee, payable by money order only, to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing & Exams Unit – Exams
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007


Step 3: Scheduling Your Exam

After submitting your exam application, you must schedule your exams next.

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator in one (1) to two (2) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several locations in the State.
  • The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the rules and regulations governing hoisting and rigging operations in New York City, including weights for various materials to be hoisted, knowledge of safety measures, accident prevention and related matter as well as candidates' ability to perform rigging operations. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exams.
  • Passing score is seventy (70) percent. If you pass the written exam you will receive your report (printed by the site proctor) at the exam site at the time of testing, and a practical exam will be scheduled.
  • If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter via US Mail by CPS approximately three (3) to four (4) weeks after the date of the practical exam.


Step 4: Background Investigation

In order to become a Master Rigger, you must also pass a background investigation by submitting the below documents, in person and by appointment only, to the Department at:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing & Exams Unit
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

  • Examination Score Report
  • Experience Verification Forms from all supervisors for the years you are claiming as experience
    Experience Verification Forms from company Human Resources will not be accepted.
  • Social Security History of Earnings for the years you are claiming as experience
    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 the Social Security Administration for more information
  • Completed Department-approved training course certificate
  • Photo ID (driver’s license, learner’s permit, state ID, green card, or passport)
  • Original Social Security Card
  • Original birth certificate, current passport, or green card
  • Proof of residence (utility bill, bank statement, lease, or deed) or a typed notarized letter and bill from the person with whom you are residing
    Cell phone bills will not be accepted.
  • Latest pay stub or W-2
  • Two (2) passport sized photographs
  • $500.00 background fee

Note: Applicants have ONE year to complete the submission of all documentation.


Step 5: Applying for the License

Once you have passed the practical exam and the background investigation, you need to obtain your Master Rigger License card.

  • If you pass both exams and the background investigation, you will be notified in writing by the Department’s Licensing & Exams Unit that you are eligible for a Master Rigger license.
  • You have one (1) year from the date of that letter to submit the required documents for your license. If you do not complete the process within one (1) year of the date on the letter, you will be required to retake the exams.
  • You must make an appointment by calling the Licensing Unit at (212) 393-2259. Candidates without appointments will not be seen.


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