Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

 

Topics

 

General Licensing

1. Where can I find information about license exams?
2. How do I check if my insurance is up to date?
3. When is my license renewal application due?
4. Does my application have to be typewritten?
5. What are the office hours of the Licensing Unit?
6. What can I do if I failed the background investigation required to obtain a license?
7. What should I do if I have lost my Department of Buildings License, or Department Issued ID?
8. How can I find out if there are any outstanding complaints against a licensee?
9. How can I find out if I was overcharged for the work performed?
10. My license has been expired for over one (1) year, how do I reinstate it?

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1. Where can I find information about license exams?

For information regarding licensing exams, please visit our the Exams & Qualifications section or contact the Department's Licensing & Exams Unit at (212) 393-2259.

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2. How do I check if my insurance is up to date?

You can check the status of your insurance in our Buildings Information System's License Search section and follow the instructions provided.

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3. When is my license renewal application due?

All renewal applications are due between thirty (30) and sixty (60) days prior to the license expiration date.

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4. Does my application have to be typewritten?
Yes. You can fill out an on-line version of the application on our Web site, in the Licensing Forms section. If you do not have access to a computer, there are public terminals available on the 6th Floor in the Licensing Unit of the Buildings Department at 280 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.

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5. What are the office hours of the Licensing Unit?

The Licensing & Exams Unit's customer service counter is open Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 12:45 pm, for new license applicants, submission of background investigation documents and renewal of Electrician, Master Plumber, Hoist Machine Operators, Fire Suppression, Rigger, and Sign Hanger licenses. The counter is also open Monday through Friday 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm, for all General Contractor and tracking number transactions. Filing Representative transactions are processed from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Appointments may be necessary depending on your license type. Please refer to the section regarding your respective trade before visiting the Licensing Unit.

You may contact the Licensing & Exams Unit at (212) 393-2259 or at licensingdob@buildings.nyc.gov from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

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6. What can I do if I failed the background investigation required to obtain a license?

Applicants may file for reconsideration within sixty (60) days of the date of their denial letter. The applicant must provide a letter requesting reconsideration and submit any additional information relative to the background investigation.

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7. What should I do if I have lost my Department of Buildings License, or Department Issued ID?

You must first obtain a Police Report for the lost License/ID. You must then fill out the corresponding LIC application. You will bring the original police report, application, and one (1) passport photo to:

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

You will receive an affidavit to get notarized from the customer service agent, and will be charged a $50.00 reissuance fee for the replacement card.

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8. How can I find out if there are any outstanding complaints against a licensee?

Contact the Buildings Special Investigations Unit (BSIU) in writing at 83 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10038. BSIU can also be reached at (212) 825-3330.

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9. How can I find out if I was overcharged for the work performed?

The Department of Buildings does not have any jurisdiction over the fee charged to consumers. Refer inquiries about pricing to the Department of Consumer Affairs or by calling 311.

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10. My license has been expired for over one (1) year, how do I reinstate it?

Licenses that have expired between one (1) year and five (5) years are subject to Department approval for reinstatement, provided the applicants prove to be competent in their field. For more information please visit the Reinstate an Expired License section.

However, Electricians, General Contractors, Construction Superintendents, and Concrete Safety Managers cannot apply for reinstatement. The Department will not reinstate licenses expired more than five (5) years. Instead, the applicants must reapply for the license by meeting the original requirements for that license, including any examination and investigation requirements.

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Firm Accounts

1. What is an electrical firm account?
2. When are firm account balance payments due?
3. How can I make an electrical firm account payment?
4. How can I check my firm account balance online before the next statement?
5. What if I do not know my firm account PIN number?
6. What should I do if I have a dispute with one (1) or more of the transactions on my account statement?
7. What should I do if completion fees appear on my statement incorrectly?
8. Do I need a firm number and PIN to make an online payment?
9. Who should I call with questions about my firm account balance statement?
10. Who do I contact with questions about electrical permits, applications, inspections, etc.?
11. Under which circumstances must I appear before the Electrical Board?

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1. What is an electrical firm account?

A firm account is a record that is used to post electrical application costs. Each business, corporation, or partnership account is assigned a firm number. A Master Electrician is responsible for all work performed under this account.

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2. When are firm account balance payments due?

Any remaining balance for a permit fee must be paid after the scheduled inspection is completed or thirty (30) days after the completion date that is specified on the permit application. See RCNY Title 1 §35-02. Payments can be made at any time, including crediting a firm account. Please note that no electrical work will be marked as certified if the firm has a balance owed to the Department. Therefore, firms are encouraged to keep their balances up to date to avoid delays in certification.

The Department also mails account statements to electrical firms on a quarterly basis. For example, the November statement will include balances from August 1 through October 31.

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3. How can I make an electrical firm account payment?

Electrical firm account payments can be made in one (1) of the following ways:

  • Online by logging-in to the NYC Electrical Firm Payment Portal. You may pay using eCheck, MasterCard, Discover Card, American Express, or PIN-less debit;
  • In-person using cash, check, or credit card by visiting the Borough Office where your project is located;
  • Mail in by sending a company check or money order payable to the NYC Department of Buildings. The firm number and license number should be included on the check. Checks should be mailed to:

    NYC Department of Buildings
    ATTN: Electrical Division - Cashier
    280 Broadway, 4th Floor
    New York, NY 10007

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4. How can I check my firm account balance online before the next statement?

To verify your firm account balance, access the Buildings Information System (BIS). You will need your licensee PIN number to access your balance.

Instructions to access your balance

  • Click on Buildings Information System (BIS)
  • Click on the blue button labeled Enter Buildings Information System
  • Click on the link labeled 'B' - Skilled Trades Licensees Search
  • Look up your firm, either by business name or license number, and select Electrical Firm as the license type
  • Enter your PIN in the location labeled "Enter PIN for Accounting Overview", and click on the submit button

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5. What if I do not know my firm account PIN number?

For confirmation of a PIN number, the licensee must bring two forms of identification to the Electrical Licensing Unit at:

Department of Buildings - Licensing Unit
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

From: 9:00 am to 12:45 pm, Monday through Friday.

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6. What should I do if I have a dispute with one (1) or more of the transactions on my account statement?

Fill out the Electrical Firm Adjustment Request Form (LIC37) and submit to the Electrical Division at:

NYC Department of Buildings
ATTN: Electrical Division - Cashier
280 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10007

The LIC37 must be submitted with supporting documentation including a brief description of the request, and be signed and sealed by the licensed electrician representing that firm. If your adjustment is approved, it will be reflected in BIS. If it is denied, you will be notified by mail.

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7. What should I do if completion fees appear on my statement incorrectly?

Fill out the Electrical Firm Adjustment Request Form (LIC37) and submit it by mail to:

NYC Department of Buildings
ATTN: Electrical Division - Cashier
280 Broadway, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10007

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8. Do I need a firm number and PIN to make an online payment?

Yes, responsible representatives will need to use their complete firm number, including any leading zeros, and PIN to access the Electrical Firm Online Payment Portal to make payments. Each firm has only one (1) responsible representative, only the responsible representative's PIN may be used to make a payment.

For additional questions about how to use the NYC Electrical Firm Payment Portal, please email the Department of Buildings at CashReceipts@buildings.nyc.gov.

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9. Who should I call with questions about my firm account balance statement?

Contact the Electrical Firm Account Cashier (212) 393-2050.

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10. Who do I contact with questions about electrical permits, applications, inspections, etc.?

Contact the Electrical Division

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11. Under which circumstances must I appear before the Electrical Board?

An appearance before the Electrical Board is required for all original electrical license applicants, late renewals, and persons who desire to changeover or reissue a license

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Registrants

1. Who needs to complete the full General Contractor Registration?
2. What insurance certificates are required for General Contractor Registration?
3. How do I find out if my Contractor has insurance?
4. How do you get a license to be a building superintendent?
5. How can I find out if the individual I have contracted with is licensed and insured?
6. How can I find out if there are any outstanding complaints against a licensee?
7. How do I become a Registered Filing Representative?

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1. Who needs to complete the full General Contractor Registration?

All General Contractors that pull New Building (NB) permits for 1, 2, and 3 family homes must register at the Licensing unit.

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2. What insurance certificates are required for General Contractor Registration?

All contractors completing the full registration process must have proof of Worker's Compensation, Disability, and General Liability insurances. Liability is not required if you are simply updating or obtaining a tracking number unless it is necessary for a particular permit. If liability is required, you must submit it to the Licensing Unit under your tracking number. Please read our Insurance Guidelines for detailed information on insurance requirements.

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3. How do I find out if my contractor has insurance?

You can check the status of a licensee's insurance on the Buildings Information System's License Search page and follow the instructions provided.

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4. How do you get a license to be a building superintendent?

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development offers training courses for people interested in becoming building superintendents. Call 311 for more information.

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5. How can I find out if the individual I have contracted with is licensed and insured?

You can check whether an individual is licensed and the status of a licensee's insurance on the Buildings Information System's License Search and search the licensee by license #, last name, or business name. If the individual is licensed with the Department, name, business information, and insurance information will be displayed.

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6. How can I find out if there are any outstanding complaints against a licensee?

Contact the Buildings Special Investigations Unit (BSIU) in writing at 83 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10038. BSIU can also be reached at (212) 825-3330.

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7. How do I become a Registered Filing Representative?

Please see the Filing Representative Registration Guidelines.

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Skilled Trades

1. Where do I go to make complaints against a licensed Plumbing and/or Fire Suppression company?
2. How do I get a batch report for my Master Plumbers or Master Fire Suppression Contractors license?
3. Is a license required to operate a crane?
4. What license is required for suspension scaffold work?
5. What documents are required for a Designated Rigging Foreman card?
6. What is the difference between the Site Safety Coordinators certification, the Site Safety Manager's certification and the Construction Superintendent Registration?
7. What is the renewal process for Hoist Machine Operators, Master Riggers and Tower Crane Riggers?
8. How do I get my Business Address approved for my Master Plumber, Fire Suppression, Rigger, Electrician, Sign Hanger, Oil Burner or Elevator Agency License?
9. Where can I take a Department of Buildings approved Site Safety course?

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1. Where do I go to make complaints against a licensed Plumbing and/or Fire Suppression company?

Submit complaints to the Buildings Special Investigations Unit (BSIU) in writing at 83 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10038. BSIU can also be reached at (212) 825-3330.

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2. How do I get a batch report for my Master Plumbers or Master Fire Suppression Contractors license?

You must request a batch report through the Buildings' Licensing Unit by mail, fax or e-mail. Please send requests to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Attention: LMP/FS Batch Requests
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Fax: (212) 393-6247
Email: BatchRequest@buildings.nyc.gov

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3. Is a license required to operate a crane?

Yes. A Hoisting Machine Operator License is required for the operation of a crane, derrick, boom truck, or cherry picker. The licensee must be available for inspection at the work site. License classifications vary depending on the machine's capacity, height, and boom length. For more information visit the Hoisting Machine Operator section or contact the Department of Buildings Licensing & Exams Unit.

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4. What license is required for suspension scaffold work?

A Master Rigger or Special Rigger can be contracted for the work. For more information, contact the Licensing & Exams Unit or the Cranes & Derricks Division.

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5. What documents are required for a Designated Rigging Foreman card?

Visit our Rigger's section for information on how to add a Designated Rigging Foreman to your Rigger License.

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6. What is the difference between the Site Safety Coordinators certification, the Site Safety Manager's certification and the Construction Superintendent Registration?

Only Site Safety Managers can work on New Buildings (NB) or Demolitions (DM) Certification of buildings that are 15 stories or more. Site Safety Coordinators may work on sites doing demolition or new construction of 10-14 stories, while Construction Superintendents may supervise sites of 1-9 stories (including 1, 2, and 3 family homes/garages).

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7. What is the renewal process for Hoist Machine Operators, Master Riggers and Tower Crane Riggers?

Please read the renewal guides for Hoisting Machine Operators Class A & B, Hoisting Machine Operator Class C, Master Rigger, and Tower Crane Rigger.

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8. How do I get my Business Address approved for my Master Plumber, Fire Suppression, Rigger, Electrician, Sign Hanger, Oil Burner, or Elevator Agency License?

To have your Business Address verified for office and/or shop use for your license, please fill out the LIC33 form and submit it to the Licensing Unit via fax (212) 393-6247, mail, or in person at:

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

Please allow 2 weeks upon submitting your application to be notified.

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9. Where can I take a Department of Buildings approved Site Safety course?

Please visit the Site Safety Course Provider section of our Website for a list of approved providers.

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