There is some minor work, described in the sections below, which can be performed without a work permit, without hiring a Licensed Contractor, and/or without hiring a Registered Design Professional.
The NYC Administrative Code §28-105.4.5 and Local Law 1 RCNY 101-14 clarify signs exempt from permit. Such exemptions shall not grant authorization for work that violates other provisions of the code, the zoning resolution or any other laws or rules, or relieve owners of the obligation to comply with the requirements of other city, state and federal agencies, including filing requirements. A sign permit is not required for the following:
NYC Administrative Code §28-105.4.5 does not require a permit for the erection of temporary construction related signs, as outlined in Building Code Section 3301, or on construction equipment such as sidewalk sheds, scaffolding, and construction fences. However, temporary construction signs are installed under the supervision and direction of the permit holder of such construction equipment.
Permits are tied to scope of work and work type, and are regulated by the nature of the work, licensing, and registration requirements. The hoisting, lowering, installation of the sign and associated electric wiring can only be performed by DOB registered contractors with specialized trade licenses to perform such work.
Licensed Sign Hangers (Special Sign Hangers and Master Sign Hangers) are allowed to submit construction documents and plans for approval by the Department for sign project permit applications (SG). Such permits can only be obtained by a person who possesses a Sign Hanger License, except as listed in AC 28-415.1.
Electrical work including new installation, alteration, or repair of electric wiring, wiring apparatuses, appliances or equipment requires a separately submitted electrical permit and shall be performed by a New York City Licensed Electrical Contractor who shall coordinate with other members of the project team. When such application includes work as listed below, or requires Energy Conservation Code (ECC) compliance, it must reference the general project application number. Electrical construction documents are not required to be submitted by a Registered Design Professional, except as follows:
The Owner must hire a Registered Design Professional to submit permit application plans to the Department prior to work being performed by a General Contractor.
NYC Administrative Code Section 28-415.1 limits work that can be performed without a Licensed Sign Hanger, to the following:
For an application that includes a sign of a size or type in which a Licensed Sign Hanger may not be the Applicant of Record, a Registered Design Professional shall submit construction plans to obtain Department approval of such application prior to the Licensed Sign Hanger obtaining a work permit.
Signs must comply with regulations outlined in the NYC Construction Codes, the NYC Zoning Resolution and the Rules of the City of New York.
Construction Code §28-105.1 requires Department permits for sign displays and installations. A Sign permit (SG) must be filed for the copy (text or image) to be displayed. This is filed through DOB NOW: Build. If the sign is attached to a structure and not directly placed on the wall or façade of a building, then an Alteration permit (ALT) for the structure must be filed with the Department office for the borough in which the sign is located:
Bronx(718) 960-4732Brooklyn(718) 802-4035Manhattan(212) 393-2624Queens(718) 286-8372Staten Island(718) 420-5403
Signs that are painted or smaller than six square feet and not illuminated do not require a permit. A detailed list of exceptions to the permit requirement is contained in Construction Code §28-105.4.5.
A proposed sign requiring an electrical connection must have a separate work permit to install it. This permit is filed by a licensed electrician through DOB NOW: Build.
If the sign is illuminated and extends beyond the building line, an annual illuminated sign permit may also be required. Illuminated sign permits must be renewed annually and owners will be automatically billed. Issues with Illuminated Sign Permits should be directed to:
NYC Department of Buildings
Central Filing and Billing Unit
280 Broadway, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007
Construction Code §28-415.1 requires a licensed Sign Hanger perform or directly supervise sign installations with specific exemptions provided in §28-415.2:
The following is a list of licensed sign hangers:
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