Obtain a Master Plumber License
UPDATE: New License Application Requirement
NOTE: The Licensing & Exams Unit will not be accepting any walk-in transactions, or paper applications for this process.
STEP 1: Qualifications
To obtain a Master Plumber 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 license
- Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Master Plumber
In addition, all applicants must meet one (1) of the following levels of experience:
- Have at least seven (7) years of total experience* within the ten (10) years prior to application in the planning or design, and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States; at least two (2) years of this required practical experience must be obtained as a Department of Buildings’ registered Journeyman Plumber
- Have received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or appropriate engineering technology from a college or university registered by the New York State Department of Education and have had at least five (5) years of total experience within the seven (7) years prior to application in the planning or design, and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States. At least two (2) years of this experience must be in New York City
- Be a New York State-licensed professional (Registered Architect or Professional Engineer) and have at least three (3) years of experience within the five (5) years prior to application in the planning or design, and installation of plumbing systems in the United States under the supervision of a licensed Master Plumber. At least one (1) year of this experience must be in New York City.
- Have at least seven (7) years of total experience* within the ten (10) years prior to application with at least two (2) years of experience working in the planning or design, and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States; at least two (2) years of this required practical experience must be obtained as a Department of Buildings’ registered Journeyman Plumber. The balance of experience may be obtained by performing maintenance, replacement and repair plumbing work on existing buildings while working for a New York City agency as long as the work is under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber supervisor employed by the City agency
- Have experience as an employee of a government agency, private inspection agency or other entity accepted by the Buildings Commissioner whose duties primarily involve the inspection of plumbing work for compliance with the New York City Plumbing Code and/or other laws relating to the installation, alteration or repair of plumbing systems and this experience** combined with your work experience equals seven (7) years of work experience required within the ten (10) Years prior to application
**Such applicants can count 50 percent of the years he or she was satisfactorily employed in the above work towards the seven (7) years of total required work experience as long as it was obtained within ten (10) years prior to application. The number of years credited shall not exceed two and a half (2.5) years of the satisfactory experience. The remaining balance must be obtained by working in the planning or design and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed master plumber in the United States.
*As of July 1, 2011, at least two (2) years of the required practical experience must be obtained as a Department-registered Journeyman Plumber. 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 Plumber.
You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Plumber 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).
An updated Examination Plan for the Master Plumber license written exam will be used for all candidates authorized to test on or after May 1, 2023. Access the latest copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin which contains the updated examination plan.
After passing the written exam, you must apply to take the practical exam (LIC42). To do this you must complete the exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Master Plumber 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
*NOTE: Effective March 16, 2017, you have up to twenty-four (24) months from the date of notification of passing the written examination to pass the practical examination.*
STEP 3: Scheduling Your Exam
After submitting your exam application, you must next schedule your exams.
- If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator in two (2) to three (3) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several different locations in the State.
- The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the NYC Constructions Codes, rules and applicable regulations. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam.
- Passing score is seventy (70) percent, if you pass the written exam you will receive your report (printed by the site proctor) at the exam site at the time of testing, and a practical exam will be scheduled.
- If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter via US Mail by CPS approximately 3-4 weeks after the date the candidate takes the practical exam.
Step 4: Background Investigation
To become a Master Plumber, you must also pass a background investigation by submitting the documents listed below 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 Form
- LIC34, if applicable (only needed if you checked yes to anything in Section 9 of the LIC2)
- LIC51 Application
*NOTE: Applicants may fill out the LIC51 Voluntary Authorization for Service of Process by Email even if they reside within the City of New York and would like to to receive Notices of Violation (NOV)/Summonses via email.*
- LIC62 Physical Exam Form must be completed within 90 days prior to application 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.
- Certified 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 http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7050.html 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, 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.
You must also pay all applicable fees within the DOB NOW Portal
- Background Investigation Fee – $500.00
For questions pertaining to your background investigation or to find out the status, please send inquiries to email@example.com.
- License Issuance Fee – $200.00
- Seal Fee – $50.00
STEP 5: Obtaining Your License Card
Once you have passed the exams and background investigation, you need to apply for your Master Plumber license. The Master Plumber and Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor License Board investigates the character and fitness of all applicants for Master Plumber license.
- 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 a picture and receive the Master Plumber license card.
- If you are approved for the license you are required to be an officer/partner/sole proprietor of a business/company, and the business must have an office in New York City that complies with all Zoning Code regulations (i.e. within a commercial zone).
- Original applicants will be required to submit the following business documentation:
Applicants whose business affiliation is a CORPORATION must provide the following
- Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, certified by the State
- Copy of Filing Receipt certified by the State
- Copy of the minutes stating the elected officers, including time, date, and location of meeting (applicant must be an officer)
- Copy of Articles of Agreement/By Laws. If none, an Affidavit on Corporation Stationery stating there are none, must be submitted
- Applicants must own 51% interest in the corporation unless there are other Master Plumbers with interest in the corporation, and the total controlling interest between all Licensees equal 51%
- Stock certificates for all issued shares
- The corporation must have a business address in the City of New York. You must submit a copy of a utility bill or bank statement with company name at business location, and insurance certificates for General Liability, Worker’s Compensation, and Disability
Applicants whose business is a LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LLC) must provide
- Copy of filing receipt or Certificate of Good Standing
- Copy of Article of Organization certified by the State
- Copy of Operating Agreement (if none, an affidavit on corporation stationary stating such)
- Copy of the minutes stating the elected officers, including time, date, and location of meeting (applicant must be an officer).
Original Applicants whose Business is a PARTNERSHIP must supply
- Copy of Partnership Agreement listing all Present Officers.
- Letter on Business Stationery stating names and address of all partners and license number, if any. The letter must contain a paragraph stating the licensed partner will notify the Department of Building of any changes of partners whether they are licensed or unlicensed.
- Business Address of Partnership must be in the City of New York. You must submit a copy of a utility bill or bank statement with company name at business location.
- Insurance Certificate for General Liability, Worker’s Compensation, and Disability.
Original Applicants applying as an INDIVIDUAL with a business name (Sole-Proprietor) must supply
- An affidavit stating you will be operating as a sole proprietorship and acknowledging you are personally liable for all violations and fines issued for the licensed work you perform.
- Additionally, if operating under a trade name, a copy of the Business Certificate certified by the County Clerk.