3.1 General Provisions For Construction-Related Permits

NYC DOT's mission is to provide for the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible movement of pedestrians, goods, bicycles and vehicular traffic on the streets of the city of New York. In addition, the streets serve as the access point for the subsurface infrastructure that provides water, sewer, power, and telecommunications services for the city. NYC DOT registers permittees, and coordinates and issues permits for construction-related activity on streets.

Permit windows at the central Permit Office

Registered Permittees may apply, pay for and print their permits anytime anywhere using the NYCStreets Permit Management online system.

Public can search for location and status of active construction permits using a friendly map based NYCStreets interface.

An online permit processing application significantly enhanced the efficiency of NYC DOT permitting operations. By eliminating manual steps, most permit requests now may be approved and issued within 1-2 business days.

Please note that although permits can be submitted, paid for and printed out 24/7, the permit review process occurs only during normal weekday Permit Office hours.

In calendar year 2018 NYC DOT processed more than 700,000 construction permits.


Who Issues Construction-Related Permits for Work on a Street?

The NYC DOT Bureau of Permit Management and Construction Control (the Bureau) is responsible for overseeing all construction-related permitting. The Bureau is comprised of two offices:

  1. The Office of Permit Management (Permit Office) provides extensive customer support for all applicants, registers permittees, receives and reviews for accuracy and completeness permit application submitted in person, and also reviews appropriate fees for both online and in-person applications. There is a central Permit Office in Manhattan and borough Permit Offices in each of the other boroughs.
  2. The Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination (OCMC) reviews all construction permit applications and develops construction activity stipulations* to allow for work to occur with minimal disruption to businesses, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and avoid conflicts with other construction projects and special events. OCMC also interacts with project engineers, city agencies, community boards, elected officials and the general public to resolve construction issues related to mobility.

All work within the street requires a NYC DOT permit to minimize construction impacts.

Types of Permits

The Permit Bureau issues a number of different categories of construction-related permits for work on a street. Street Opening, Building Operations/Construction Activity, Sidewalk Construction, and Canopy Permits are reviewed and stipulated by OCMC staff. Manhole Embargo, Commercial Refuse Container, Temporary Plates and Shunts, Steam Tanks and Nitrogen Tanks permits are processed and stipulated directly by NYCSTREET. An overview of major permit categories, is provided below. More specific information on each permit type, including application procedures and fee structures are described in greater detail in Section 3.3 The Permit Application Process of this chapter. Procedures to follow in the event of an emergency or the need to apply for a permit during an embargo period are explained in Section 3.6 Emergency Work and Special Circumstances later in the chapter.

Street Opening Permits

This category of permits applies to openings/excavations or other work in a street that may cause damage to the street surface or to any work that the Permit Office believes would compromise the street surface. Street Opening Permits are generally taken out by entities that need access to subsurface infrastructure, including utility companies and contractors, such as licensed master plumbers.

Building Operations/ Construction Activity Permits

This category of permits applies to construction-related activities that take place within the street and are generally associated with construction work adjacent to the street. Typically, a valid permit issued by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is required prior to application for permits in this category. Some of the construction-related activities covered under this category include placement of materials, equipment and temporary structures on the street or sidewalk (e.g., building materials, cranes, boom trucks, a shanty or trailer, construction container, security structure, tool cart, or construction parking regulation signs) or movement of construction equipment across roadways and sidewalks. This category also covers installations above the street such as banners and decorative lights and permanent installations on the street such as bike racks. Building Operations/Construction Activity Permits are generally taken out by entities that perform construction activities, including developers and contractors.

Crane placed on the street for construction activity. Cranes may require permits from DOB in addition to NYC DOT.

Sidewalk Construction Permits

This category of permits applies to any repairs, replacements or new sidewalk installations. Sidewalk Construction Permits are generally taken out by entities that need to perform work on sidewalks, including developers, contractors, and private homeowners (for sidewalk repairs and only if performing the work themselves).

Canopy Authorizations and Permits

This category of permits applies to authorizations and permits required to place a canopy* over the sidewalk. A one-time Street Opening Permit must also be obtained to install the poles that support the canopy. Canopy permits are generally taken out by building owners, business owners, and canopy installers.