Obtain a: Special Rigger License


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 particular license;
  • Have at least one (1) year of practical experience in the hoisting and rigging business within three (3) years prior to application;
  • 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.

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


You must complete a practical exam in order to become a Special Rigger. First, complete the  practical exam application (LIC42), check the box that indicates you are a Special Rigger candidate and submit the application with the $350.00 fee, payable by money order only, to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing & Exams Unit – Attn. Exams
280 Broadway, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007


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

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator in three (3) to four (4) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several locations in the State.
  • The practical exam assesses your knowledge of the rules and regulations governing hoisting and rigging in New York City, weights of various materials to be hoisted, knowledge of safety measures, accident prevention and related matter and your ability to perform rigging operations. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam.
  • 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.


To become a Special Rigger, you must also pass a background investigation. Submit the following documents, 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:

  • Examination Score Report
  • LIC51 application
    NOTE: Applicants may also fill out the LIC51 Voluntary Authorization for Service of Process by Email even if they would like to receive Notices of Violation (NOV)/Summonses via email.
  • Experience Verification Forms from all supervisors for the years you are claiming as experience; This is NOT the Social Security Statement.
    Experience Verification Forms from company Human Resources will not be accepted.
  • Social Security History of Earnings for the years you are claiming as experience. This is NOT the Social Security Statement.
    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.
  • Photo ID (driver’s license, learner’s permit, State ID, green card, or passport)
  • Original Social Security Card
  • LIC61 Form, must be completed by a physician within 90 days prior to the appointment date
  • Typed and notarized letter from the Licensee listing the name, address and telephone number of the laboratory that performed the substance abuse test and a statement giving consent for the laboratory to the release such information to the Department
  • Substance Abuse Attestation Form (this will be provided at the Department)
  • 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
    NOTE: Cell phone bills will not be accepted.
  • Latest pay stub or W-2
  • $500.00 background investigation fee
    NOTE: For questions pertaining to your background investigation or to find out the status, please send inquiries to lbackgrounds@buildings.nyc.gov.


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

  • If you pass the practical exam and the background investigation, you will be notified in writing by the Department’s Licensing & Exams Unit that you are eligible for a Special Rigger license.
  • If you are approved for the license you are required to be an officer, partner or sole proprietor of a business/company, and the business must have a place of business in New York City that complies with all Zoning Code regulations (i.e. within a commercial zone)
  • All applicants will be required to submit insurance certificates for General Liability, Worker’s Compensation and Disability in order to obtain the 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 exam.
  • Once your application has been deemed qualified, please send an email to LicensingAppointments@buildings.nyc.gov to request an appointment in order to obtain 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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