Obtain a: Master Sign Hanger 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

To obtain a Master Sign Hanger 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 Master Sign Hanger license
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Master Sign Hanger
  • Have at least five (5) years of practical experience in sign hanging within seven (7) years prior to the application date under the direct and continuing supervision of a Department-licensed Master Sign Hanger
  • Have knowledge of and the ability to read plans and specifications relating to sign construction and erection, including supporting framework and other supports, and a knowledge of the problems and practices of sign construction and hanging and be familiar with the equipment and tools used in sign hanging.

    : 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 to become a Master Sign Hanger.


You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Sign Hanger candidate and submit the application with the $525.00 fee to the Department. Please see contact information below. After passing the written exam, you must apply to take the practical exam (LIC42).


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 Sign Hanger 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: As of 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, next you must schedule your exam.

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator within one (1) to two (2) 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 Administrative Code. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam.
  • A 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 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 Form
  • LIC2 application
  • Typed LIC34, if applicable
  • LIC50 or LIC51 application

    *NOTE: Applicants with a home address outside of New York City’s five (5) boroughs must complete the LIC50 Authorization for Service of Process by Agent. Applicants may also fill out the LIC51 Voluntary Authorization for Service of Process by Email even if they reside within the City of New York.*
  • 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 your Earnings History by mail or in-person (ordinarily you can receive the information instantly by in-person request). Visit the Social Security Administration site 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 with a 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.*
  • Latest pay stub or W-2
  • Child Support Certification Form
  • 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 Your License Card

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

  • If you pass both exams and the background investigation, you will be able to schedule an appointment within the DOB NOW Portal to take picture and receive the Master Sign Hanger license card.
  • If you are approved for the license, you are required to be an officer, partner or sole proprietor of a business/company, and the place of business must be located in New York City and comply with all Zoning Code regulations (i.e. within a commercial zone).
  • All applicants will be required to submit insurance certificates for General Liability, Worker’s Compensation and Disability in order to obtain the license.
  • 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.

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