Obtain a Special 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 Special 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 particular license
  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Special Sign Hanger
  • Have at least three (3) years of practical experience in sign hanging within five (5) years prior to application under the direct and continuing supervision of a Department-licensed 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; knowledge of the problems and practices of sign construction and hanging; and be familiar with the equipment and tools used in sign hanging.

*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 (LIC42) in order to become a Special Sign Hanger. To do this, you must complete the practical exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Special 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

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 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 practical exam assesses your knowledge of the NYC Administrative Code. 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 three (3) to four (4) weeks after the date the candidate takes the practical exam.

Step 4: Appointments

To become a Special Sign Hanger, you must also successfully 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
  • LIC2 license application
  • Typed LIC34 if applicable
  • LIC51 application
    NOTE: Applicants may fill out the LIC51 Voluntary Authorization for Service of Process by Email if they would like to receive Notices of Violation (NOV)/Summonses via email.

  • Notarized Background Investigation Questionnaire
  • 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 http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7050.html for more information.
  • Photo ID (driver's license ,State ID, permit, 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 with whom you are residing
    Cell phone bills will not be accepted
  • Latest pay stub or W-2
  • 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.

Step 5: Obtaining the License Card

Once you have you have passed the necessary exam and submitted all the necessary paperwork, you need to apply for your Special Sign Hanger 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 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.

How To


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