Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

General Licensing

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.

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.

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.

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 1st Floor in the Licensing Unit of the Buildings Department at 280 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.

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.

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.

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, 1st 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.

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.

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.

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.

Registrants

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How do I become a Registered Filing Representative?

Skilled Trades

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007

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

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