How To Become A Licensed Special Rigger


Step 1: Exam Guidelines

In order to obtain a Special Rigger 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 at least one (1) year of practical experience in the hoisting and rigging business within three (3) years prior to application;
  • 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.
    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 complete a practical exam in order to become a Special Rigger. To do this you must complete the practical exam application (LIC42), check the box that indicates you are a Special Rigger candidate and submit the application with the $350 fee, payable by money order only, to:

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

Step 3: Scheduling Your Exam

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

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator in three (3) to four (4) 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.
  • If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter via US Mail by CPS approximately 3-4 weeks after the date of the practical exam.

Step 4: Background Investigation

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

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

  • Examination Score Report
  • 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
    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
  • 30-hour Department Approved Course Certificate
  • 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
    Note: 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 year to complete the submission of all documentation.


Step 5: Obtaining the License Card

Once you have passed the practical exam and the background investigation, you need to obtain your Special Rigger 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 Rigger 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;
  • You must make an appointment 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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