Obtain a: Special Sign Hanger License


To obtain a Special 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
  • Be fit to perform the work authorized by the particular license
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Special Sign Hanger
  • Have at least three (3) years of practical experience in sign hanging within five (5) years prior to application under the direct and continuing supervision of a Department-licensed 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; 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.


You must complete a practical exam (LIC42) in order to become a Special Sign Hanger. To do this, you must complete the practical exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Special Sign Hanger 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


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 in one (1) to two (2) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several different locations in the State.
  • The practical exam assesses your knowledge of the NYC Administrative Code. 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 the candidate takes the practical exam.


To become a Master Sign Hanger, 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:

  • Examination Score Report Form
  • LIC2  license application
  • Typed LIC34 if applicable
  • 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.
  • 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;
    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 http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7050.html for more information.
  • Photo ID (driver's license ,State ID, permit, 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 (1) year to complete the submission of all documentation.  For questions regarding your background investigation status you may email all inquiries to licensingbackgrounds@buildings.nyc.gov.


Once you have you have passed the necessary exam and submitted all the necessary paperwork, you need to apply for your Special Sign Hanger license.

  • 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 Sign Hanger 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.
  • 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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