1 (800) 308-4358

Mon-Fri 7am-7pm CST

Contractor working with a New York City home improvement contractor license

How to get a New York City Home Improvement Contractor License

This New York City home improvement contractor license guide is for informational purposes only. SuretyBonds.com does not regulate or manage licensing for home improvement contractors in New York City. Contact the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for the state's latest official home improvement contractor license requirements.

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection requires home improvement contractor licensure for people and businesses that “do construction, repair, remodeling, or other home improvement work to any residential land or building in New York City.” Home improvement contractors might specifically offer construction repair/replacement/improvement services for home or apartment basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, or terraces, all of which require a home improvement contractor license be issued by the city before work can begin.

How to get a New York City Home Improvement Contractor License

How do I get a home improvement contractor license in New York City?

Step 1. Complete your basic license application.

You can apply for your New York City home improvement contractor license online by creating an account with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. Or, you can file a physical basic license application in person.

Step 2. Apply for your Certificate of Authority. 

You must have a Certificate of Authority from the state to collect sales tax, which you can request online from the New York State Business Express. Your sales tax identification number or application confirmation number must be submitted with your application as proof you've registered. 

Step 3. Provide proof of your address. 

If you're applying for a business home improvement contractor license, you must submit a copy of one of the following documents with the name of your business or the name listed on your basic license application. 

  • current lease/deed
  • current rent/mortgage bill
  • insurance document/bill
  • utility bill from the past 90 days
  • correspondence from a government agency
  • current license/permit/certificate issued by a city/state/federal government agency

If you're applying for a personal home improvement contractor license, you'll need to submit proof of your home address by providing a copy of one of the following documents for each person whose name is on the basic license application. If you live at another person's address, you must provide one of the following and a letter stating you live at that address signed by the homeowner/leaseholder of the residence.

  • current rent/mortgage bill
  • driver’s license
  • insurance document/bill
  • municipal ID card
  • utility bill from the past 90 days
  • correspondence from a government agency
  • current license/permit/certificate issued by a city/state/federal government agency
  • college/school correspondence

Step 4. Submit proof of workers’ compensation insurance.

Submit one of the following documents as proof of your workers' compensation insurance.

  • An insurance certificate for workers’ compensation insurance from a private carrier or the New York State Insurance Fund Office. The certificate must name the DCWP as the certificate holder and include the Department’s address.
  • A certificate of attestation of exemption from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Note that ACORD forms don't count as proof of insurance.

Step 5. Provide proof of your EPA certification. 

You'll need to submit one of the following depending on the type of home improvement work you or your business offer. 

  • Copies of your EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RPR) certification and EPA Lead-Based Paint Activities (Lead Abatement) certification that include your name, EPA certificate number, and EPA certificate expiration date.
  • Copies of either your EPA RRP certification or EPA Lead Abatement certification. You must also provide a signed copy of your Home Improvement Contractor Affirmation that indicates the other certification isn't required. 
  • A signed copy of your Home Improvement Contractor Affirmation that indicates both EPA certifications (RRP, Lead Abatement) aren't required.

Step 6. Purchase your New York City home improvement contractor surety bond. 

New York City requires you to file a $20,000 home improvement contractor surety bond with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Your bond requires you to comply with New York City home improvement laws, rules, and regulations. If you fail to do so, your surety company will pay valid claims to provide compensation for damages that result from your noncompliance.

You can buy your New York City home improvement contractor bond online 24/7 for $100 annually. Once you've submitted payment, your official New York City home improvement contractor surety bond will instantly be delivered to your email.

Step 7. Review the required contract documents. 

You must review both the NYC Home Improvement Contractor Contractual Compliance Checklist and Home Improvement Contractor Sample Estimate, Contract, Notice of Cancellation, and Change Order Form to ensure your home improvement contracts meet legal requirements. 

Step 8. Pass the Home Improvement Exam.

You can only schedule a time to take the exam 24 hours after the DCWP has processed and reviewed your application materials. Once your application has been processed, your information will appear in the ExamBuilder where you can schedule your exam and pay your $50 exam fee. You can also schedule your exam by calling 1(646)974-8244.

To pass, you'll need to answer at least 21 of the 30 questions correctly. If you fail the test twice, you'll need to repay the exam fee to take it again. 

Step 9. Get your fingerprints electronically documented. 

All members, partners, sole proprietors, directors, officers, principals, and shareholders that own 10% or more of your business must get their fingerprints documented. Enroll with IdentoGO using your application number and service code 1585BH to make an appointment. Note that you'll also pay a fingerprinting fee.  

Step 10. Pay the home improvement contractor licensing fee.

Your licensing fee will vary depending on when you file your application. 

  • If you file for your license on an odd year from March 1st to August 31st, the fee is $100. Your license will expire on February 28th of the next odd year.
  • If you file for your license from September 1st of an odd year to February 28/29 of an even year, the fee is $75. Your license will expire on February 28th of the next odd year.
  • If you file for your license from March 1st of an even year to August 31st of an even year, the fee is $50. Your license will expire on February 28th of the next odd year.
  • If you file for your license from September 1st of an even year to February 28th of an odd year, the fee is $25. Your license will expire on February 28th of the next odd year. Or, you can pay $125 for a license that will expire on February 28th of the next even year. 

If you're filing in person, you can pay with a check payable to the DCWP. Online filings can be paid by credit card, but there's a nonrefundable credit card fee.

How do I renew my New York City home improvement contractor license?

Your license is valid for up to 30 months and expires on February 28th of odd-numbered years. Before your license expires, the DCWP will mail you a license renewal application with instructions. You must submit your renewal application, required documents, and the $100 renewal fee at least 15 days before your license expires.

You can renew your DCWP license online, by mail, or in person.

How do I contact the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection?

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection offers in-person licensing services by appointment only at their Manhattan and Queens locations. To contact the Department about scheduling a licensing appointment, call 1(212)436-0441 or email [email protected]

New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
42 Broadway
Lobby
New York, NY 10004

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

Call 1 (800) 308-4358 to talk with a Surety Expert