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New York Contractor License: Step-by-Step Guide

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In the State of New York, contractor licensing is done at the local level. If you wish to perform any type of commercial or residential work, please consult with the city or county for construction license and surety bond requirements. Here’s a summary of the license process for the City of New York and Putnam County:

1

Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

The City of New York requires a Home Improvement Contractor License for work valued at $200 or more.

  • Home Improvement License – allows you to do any type of repair, remodeling improvement or addition to private residences or apartment buildings including basements, garages, and swimming pools.

The Putnam County requires all electricians to obtain a license, and all home improvement contractors to be registered with the county.

Putnam County has reciprocity agreements with Westchester County for Master Electrical Licenses.


2

Access New York License Application Forms

The New York City Home Improvement application form as well as additional information and requirements can be accessed via the NYC Consumer Affairs website.

Putnam County forms and applications can be accessed via the Consumer Affairs page.


3

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

New York City Contractor License Requirements:

You will need to do the following:

  • Provide sales tax identification number (STIN) or a certificate of authority application confirmation number (Your STIN number is the 9, 10 or 11 digit number on your NYS Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority).
  • Submit proof of a current home address: This can be done by providing either: a utility bill (from the last 90 days), rent or mortgage bill, lease, deed, driver’s license or a municipal ID card.
  • Provide proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Applicants can obtain the insurance certificate from either a private insurance carrier or the State Insurance Fund Office. The certificate must be in the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Enroll in the NYC Trust Fund or furnish a bond: License applicants can choose between enrolling their business in the trust fund or submitting a $20,000 surety bond.
  • Background check: All corporate officers, general partners, members, sole proprietors and shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must have their fingerprints taken at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Putnam County Electrician License and Home Improvement Requirements:

Note: the Electrician License application process consists of three parts:

  1. pre-approval (master electrician application - step one)
  2. examination
  3. filing an application for licensure (master electrician application - step two)
  • Pre-approval (Electrician License)
    • Show proof of experience: All general license applicants are required to have and provide proof of at least 7 ½ years of electrical construction experience that includes commercial, residential and/or industrial work. More information is provided within the Master Electrician Application Packet - Step One.
    • Sign and notarize the affidavit
  • Provide proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you have – or plan on hiring – any employees, you are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance that covers all operations and locations mentioned in the contract. If eligible, you can file an exemption form.
  • Provide proof of General Liability Insurance: All applicants are required attach a certificate of liability insurance to the application.
    • Electrician License: Putnam County Electrical Board must be described as the certificate holder and additional insured
    • Home Improvement License: Putnam County Consumer Affairs must be described as the certificate holder and additional insured
  • Complete and notarize the Affidavit of Compliance for E-Verify form attached in your application.
  • Complete the child support form: You are required to state whether you are under an order to pay child support. The form is included in the application packet and must be signed and notarized.
  • Include copies of vehicle registrations: If you are making use of any vehicles in your work as an electrician or home improvement contractor you must attach current copies of their registrations.
  • Provide copy of your driver’s license: Note that if your current home address is different than the one on your driver’s license you will need to provide proof of your new address.
  • Include a photo:
    • Electrician License: email a .jpeg format headshot to [email protected]
    • Home Improvement License: email a .jpeg format headshot to [email protected] or by delivering it in person at the Putnam County Consumer Affairs office.
  • Complete the Master Electrician Application - Step Two (Electrician License)
  • Complete the Home Improvement Application (Home Improvement Contractor)
  • Include additional documents: Depending on whether you’re applying as an individual, partnership or corporation you may need to provide additional documents. More information can be found in registration forms.

4

Pass Your Examination

In the County of Putnam, all electrician license applicants are required to pass a written exam. Once the application has been approved, applicants will receive a mail with further information on how to take the exam. The exam administrator is Prometric. Applicants must provide certificate of passing the exam along with the Master Electrician Application - Step Two.

New York City requires all applicants who are sole proprietors, general partners, corporate officers, members, or shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock to take a Home Improvement exam. The exam is hosted by the NY Department of Consumer Affairs. More information can be found in the examination guide.

Note: You have 30 days to pass your Home Improvement exam. If you fail to do so, your application will be denied.


5

Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

In the County of Putnam, all Electrical and Home Improvement applicants must furnish a $25,000 surety bond. The Obligee should be listed as the County of Putnam and the bond should be an original. Copies are not accepted.

In New York City, Home Improvement applicants may submit a copy of a surety bond instead of enrolling in the Trust Fund. The bond must be in the amount of $200,000 and the City of New York must be listed as the Certificate Holder.


6

Submit Your New York Contractor License Application

How to fill out your application:

Please type plainly in ink.

Additional instructions

New York City Home Improvement applicants can submit their application either online via the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs website or bring in person to the address mentioned below.

If you decide to bring you application in person make sure you bring an acceptable form of identification (i.e. driver’s license or ID card).

Licensing and Application Fees

New York City Home Improvement License fees:

  • $100 March 1st of an odd year - August 31st in an odd year
  • $75 September 1st in an odd year – February 28th/29th in an even year
  • $50 March 1st in an even year – August 31st in an even year
  • $25 or $125 if applying within 6 months of the license expiration date. Expiration dates: September 1st in an even year – February 28th in an odd year
  • $50 exam fee
  • $200 Trust Fund fee (if applicable)

Payments must be made payable when submitting your application either online with a major credit card or in person with a credit card, check or money order made payable to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. There is a nonrefundable 2.49% convenience fee for all credit card payments.

Putnam County fees:

Electrician license applicants:

  • $150 application fee (part 1)
  • $500 license fee per year (send along with the final (part 3) application)
  • $100 examination fee

Home Improvement applicants:

  • $250 fee for two-year registration

Payments can be made payable by either check or money order to Putnam County Commissioner of Finance. Cash is not accepted.

Mailing Address:

You can bring your New York City Application to the NYC Department of Consumer affairs at 42 Broadway, Manhattan. The hours are from 9am till 5pm from Monday through Friday; on Wednesdays when you can visit from 8:30am till 5pm.

Please mail your County of Putnam Electrician Application along with all fees and supporting documents to:


Board of Electrical Examiners
110 Old Route 6 Bldg. 3
Carmel, NY 10512


You can mail your Home Improvement registration, fees and additional documentation to:


Office of Consumer Affairs
110 Old Route 6 Bldg. 3
Carmel, NY 10512




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