Inspections & Enforcement


NYC DOT's Highway Inspection and Quality Assurance (HIQA) division is a citywide operation with offices in each of the five boroughs. HIQA enforces the laws and rules that govern the way utilities, plumbers, contractors, other governmental agencies, and property owners perform work on the City's sidewalks, roadways and highways. HIQA inspectors also review work sites for compliance with permit stipulations, and issue violations when they find non-compliance with the laws and rules.

NYC DOT employs crews day and night to monitor active construction sites to ensure that the safe, smooth flow of pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular traffic is maintained at all times, and that contractors and others performing work properly restore roadways and street hardware. Report a street defect to NYC DOT Request/Cancel a Confirmation Number for a Permit Issued by NYC DOT NYC DOT’s FY 2022 Winter Moratorium (Restoration Policy) Additional Resources for Contractors via Street Works Permits

NYC DOT’s HIQA enforces the laws and rules that relate to the following kinds of street and sidewalk work:

  • Street excavations, to ensure that work conforms to specifications and stipulations cited on the permit, and that material used to close excavations meets NYC DOT's requirements.
  • Placement and use of construction material and equipment at building construction sites so that it does not interfere with pedestrian and vehicular safety.
  • Construction activity on major highways for compliance with permit stipulations.
  • Sidewalks and curbs for defects or defacement, and for encroachments such as metal stanchions, sidewalk furniture, shrubbery, bushes or planters.
  • Inspections at property owner's request to vacate sidewalk defect notices on file at the office of the County Clerk.
  • Unfenced lots and broken fences.
  • Canopies for safety and compliance with NYC DOT's Highway Rules.
  • Roadway restorations to ensure that restorations are flush with surrounding areas and free of defects.
  • Protected streets.
  • Pedestrian ramps installed by private contractors/utilities.


New York City sidewalks, curbs and roadways are owned by the City of New York. However, property owners are responsible for maintaining their sidewalks. No one is allowed to illegally paint the sidewalk, curb or roadway to discourage parking, even if there is an existing driveway, garage, parking pad etc. Learn more about defacements on City property


NYC DOT inspects newsracks to verify that they’re in compliance with placement, installation, and maintenance rules. If a violation is found, the agency notifies the newsrack owner to correct the problem by sending a Notice of Correction with a photograph of the non-complying condition. If the condition is not corrected, NYC DOT can serve a summons on the newsrack owner. Learn more about the maintenance and enforcement of newsracks

NYC DOT Penalty Schedule

The New York City Department of Transportation Penalty Schedule comprises Chapter 3 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York. It lists all penalties associated with NYC DOT violations that are adjudicated at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Environmental Control Board (OATH/ECB). Review NYC DOT’s Penalty Schedule via American Legal Publishing’s Code Library

Partner Agencies

The Department of Buildings enforces for:

  • Awnings
  • Illegal Driveways
  • Cellar Doors
  • Sidewalk Bridges

The Department of Sanitation enforces for:

  • "A" Frame Signs
  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Vacant Lot Cleaning

The Department of Consumer Affairs enforces for:

  • Sidewalk vendors
  • Sidewalk cafés
  • Fruit and vegetable stands (stands that extend beyond the specifications allowed on the permit are enforced by NYC DOT.

The Department of Parks and Recreation enforces for:

  • Tree Pits - A street opening permit must be obtained from NYC DOT to open the sidewalk to install a tree pit.

The Department of Environmental Protection enforces for:

  • Flooded catch basins