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How to Verify a Professional's License in Rochester?

Hiring a licensed professional and obtaining appropriate permits in the City of Rochester gives you confidence that your project is being done according to the city's regulatory standards. Both state and city agencies license professionals in Rochester. At the state level, the New York State Office of Professions issues over 30 types of professional licenses to Rochester professionals like architects, land surveyors, engineers, and landscape architects. On the other hand, the licensing of building professionals is handled at the city level. This means that all general, electrical, elevator, plumbing, and stationary engineer and refrigeration operation professionals who wish to operate in Rochester must obtain an appropriate license from the City of Rochester Department of Licensed Trades. To ensure your intended professionals have been duly licensed at the state level, you can use the online verification searches portal provided by the Office of Professions. Likewise, you can verify if a professional has obtained a city-issued license by contacting the Department of Licensed Trades at (585) 428-9339, or you can send an email to this department. Alternatively, you can visit the physical location of the department at:

  • 30 Church Street
  • Room 121B
  • Rochester, NY 14614

After verifying a professional's licensing status, you may be required to obtain certain city-issued permits for your intended projects. The City of Rochester Permits and Licenses Office links you to the appropriate department that will process your permit application for your planned projects. For instance, general contractors in Rochester must obtain a building permit from the City of Rochester Bureau of Planning & Zoning before commencing work on your projects. You can direct your queries regarding the city's permit requirement and procedures to the Permits and Licenses Office at (585) 428-6520.

Do Rochester Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, neighborhood associations in the City of Rochester do not issue permits or licenses to residents. The City of Rochester is divided into four geographic quadrants, each with various neighborhood associations. The City of Rochester Neighborhood Resource Center lends its support to community members who wish to create a neighborhood association. These associations connect the members of the society to city agencies which enables them to collaborate on community development projects. They also give community members a voice to express concerns over issues that may affect the community's growth. In June 2021, several volunteers, including service groups, neighborhood associations, scouts, and faith-based organizations, came together to remove over 152 tons of litter and waste from the community.

Also, in its effort to support the neighborhoods, the City of Rochester provides neighborhood associations access to several grants that they can use to aid community-based projects. In March 2019, nine neighborhood associations were awarded $1000 grants to support projects that would bring the community together and accomplish a better living space for the residents. You can find out what neighborhood association your neighborhood belongs to by using the online map provided by the city's Neighborhood Resource Center.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Rochester?

The Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection Resource Center of the New York State Attorney General's Office handles complaints filed against businesses in Rochester. You can file a complaint with this office by downloading the Rochester Complaint Form and sending the completed form to the Attorney General's Rochester Regional Office located at:

  • 144 Exchange Boulevard,
  • Suite 200
  • Rochester, NY 14614-2176
  • Phone: (585) 546-7430

The completed form can be submitted with copies of relevant documents that you intend to rely on to prove your case. Per PEN § 240.50 of New York State, it is a Class A misdemeanor to file a false complaint against a business, so you must ensure you get your facts right before filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's Office will review your complaint to enable it to take proper actions, and if the complaint is not within this office's jurisdiction, it will be referred to an appropriate government agency. Note that the New York State Attorney General's Office cannot offer you legal advice, so you should contact a private lawyer if you have questions relating to other available legal options. You can get lawyer referral services by filling the online form provided by the Monroe County Bar Association. You can also contact the bar association at (585) 546-2130 for further assistance.

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