Obtain a: Master Rigger License

UPDATE: New License Application Requirement 
New License Application Service Notice - Starting September 7, 2021, all new license applications are required to be submitted online at www.nyc.gov/dobnow. See the New License Application User Guide for step-by-step directions.

NOTE: The Licensing & Exams Unit will not be accepting any walk-in transactions, or paper applications for this process.

Step 1: Exam Guidelines

In order to obtain a Master Rigger license, you must meet the following qualifications prior to applying for the license:

  • 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 license
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Master Rigger
  • Have at least five (5) years of practical experience in the hoisting and rigging business within seven (7) years prior to application date
  • 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, including safety loads and computations, types of rigging, size and strength of ropes, cables, blocks, poles, derricks, shear legs and other tools used during such work

* As of July 1, 2015 during the three (3) years immediately prior to renewal, the Licensee must have successfully completed a Department-approved eight (8) hour recertification course including the instruction on inspection, maintenance, repair, use, installation, hazards associated with, and the relevant sections of the Building Code and industry practice with regards to: 1) Rigging methods, hardware and equipment; 2) Hoisting machines including Cranes and Derricks; 3) Climber/Tower crane assembly, jumping, and disassembly; 4) Suspended Scaffolds; 5)Critical picks, and; 6) Fall hazards and fall protection*

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 License

You must pass a written and practical exam in order to become a Master Rigger.


You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Rigger candidate and submit the application with the $525.00 fee to the Department (see contact information below).


After passing the written exam, you must apply to take the practical exam (LIC42). First, complete the exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Master Rigger 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, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007

Step 3: Scheduling Your Exam

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 one (1) to two (2) 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.
  • Passing score is seventy (70) percent. If you pass the written exam, the site proctor will print your report on-site and a practical exam will be scheduled.
  • 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.

Step 4: Background Investigation

To become a Master Sign Hanger, you must also successfully pass a background investigation by submitting the below documents, as scanned PDFs via the DOB NOW Portal. Applicants that do not currently have an eFiling account will need to create an account by completing the registration form.

Please see the New License Application User Guide for step-by-step directions.

You must upload PDF scans. Pictures of documents will not be accepted. Applicants have one (1) year to complete the submission of all documentation. The following documentation is required:

  • Examination Score Report
  • LIC2 license application
  • Typed LIC34 if applicable
  • 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.*
  • LIC61 Form, must be completed by a physician within 90 days prior to the appointment date
  • Experience Verification Forms from all supervisors for the years you are claiming as experience
    *NOTE: 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.
    *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 Administration for more information*
  • Photo ID (driver’s license, learner’s permit, State ID, 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 you are residing with
    *NOTE: Cell phone bills will not be accepted.*
  • Background Investigation Fee – $500.00 payable within the DOB NOW Portal
    For questions pertaining to your background investigation or to find out the status, please send inquiries to lbackgrounds@buildings.nyc.gov.
  • License Issuance Fee – $100.00 payable within the DOB NOW Portal

Step 5: Obtaining the License Card

Once you have passed the exams and the background investigation, you need to obtain your Master Rigger license card.

  • If you pass the practical exam and the background investigation, you will be able to schedule an appointment within the DOB NOW Portal to take picture and receive the Special Sign Hanger license card.
  • You have one (1) year from the date of notification to submit the required documents for your license. If you do not complete the process within one (1) year of notification, you will be required to retake the exam.
For more information, visit the Department’s website at www.nyc.gov/buildings.

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