How to Become a NYC Licensed Master Sign Hanger

Step 1: Exam Guidelines

In order to obtain a Master Sign Hanger License, you must meet the following qualifications:
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old;
  • Be able to read and write the English language;
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Master Sign Hanger;
  • Have at least five (5) years of practical experience in sign hanging within seven (7) years prior to the application date under the direct and continuing supervision of a Department-licensed Master Sign Hanger;
  • Have knowledge of and the ability to read plans and specifications relating to sign construction and erection, including supporting framework and other supports, and a knowledge of the problems and practices of sign construction and hanging and be familiar with the equipment and tools used in sign hanging.

NOTE: 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 pass a written and practical exam in order to become a Master Sign Hanger.

You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Sign Hanger candidate and submit the application with the $525 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 Sign Hanger candidate and submit the application with the $350 fee, payable by money order only, to:

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

Step 3: Scheduling Your Exam

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

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator within three (3) to four (4) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several different locations in the City.
  • The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the NYC Administrative Code. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam.
  • If you pass the written exam, you will then be scheduled to take the practical exam.
  • If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter notifying you of your exam score in approximately five (5) weeks.

Step 4: Background Investigation

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

  • Typewritten LIC2   license application
  • Examination Score Report Form

NOTE: Experience Verification Forms from company Human Resources will not be accepted.

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 Earnings Information   page for more information.
  • Photo ID (driver license)
  • Original Social Security Card
  • Original birth certificate, current passport or Green Card
  • Proof of residence with a utility bill, lease or deed

NOTE: Cell phone bills will not be accepted.

  • Latest pay stub or W-2
  • Two (2) passport sized photographs
  • $500 background fee
  • $91.50 Money Order made payable to DCAS (Fingerprint fee)

Step 5: Applying For Your License

Once you have passed the exams and background investigation, you need to apply for your Master Sign Hanger License.

  • If you pass both exams and the background investigation, you will be notified in writing by the Department’s Licensing Unit that you are eligible to apply for a Master Sign Hanger License.
  • You have one (1) year from the date of that letter to begin submitting 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 to apply for a license by calling the Licensing Unit at (212) 393-2259. All documents submitted must be originals; copies will not be accepted. Candidates without appointments will not be seen.

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