Amendment to Rules relating to License Enforcement

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

The Department of Consumer Affairs is amending chapter 1 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to improve the Department’s ability to carry out its mission designated in the New York City Charter. These rule changes include a mix of deregulation, additional and stricter enforcement, and clarifications. Specifically, these amendments:

  • Remove the list of specific license categories that must be fingerprinted.  The Administrative Code dictates whether an applicant must be fingerprinted.  Applicants are also provided notice of when fingerprints are required by Department license application materials and this list is often out of date and provides little benefit to applicants. (§ 1-01)
  • Specify that applicants may be fingerprinted at locations designated by the Department to make the rule consistent with current practices, which allow applicants more options to comply with the fingerprint requirements. (§ 1-01)
  • Allow the Department to deny applications and renewals, and suspend or revoke licenses, where the Department discovers that applicants made a false statement on a license application or falsified any documents submitted to the Department.  It is already a violation to make such false statements under section 1-01.1.  This amendment would provide licensees notice and an opportunity to be heard.  (§ 1-01.1)
  • Delete the reference to a “two-year term” for license terms in section 1-02, which is unnecessary, update the name of laundry licenses based on recent changes to the Code, delete certain license categories that have been repealed, and add one license category (Towing Vehicles).  (§ 1-02)
  • Clarify that licensees only need to display the license sign given to them by the Department rather than the license and a separate complaint sign to make the rule consistent with current Department practices.  (§ 1-03)
  • Prohibit licensees from making any false representations to the Department or altering or falsifying Department documents or using a falsified document.  This amendment also allows the Department to deny applications and renewals, and suspend or revoke licenses, if applicants or licensees violated this subdivision.  This amendment would provide licensees notice and an opportunity to be heard.  (§ 1-04)
  • Require that a licensee post its license number on electronic advertisements and solicitations, in addition to printed ones, as well as in email signature blocks.  (§ 1-05)
  • Clarify that the fee for lost licenses is waived if the Department receives within 30 days of the license or license plate being issued a certification from the licensee that such license or license plate was not received.  This amendment is to make the rule consistent with current Department practices.  (§ 1-10(c))
  • Repeal the rule requiring compliance with the Consumer Protection Law.  This rule is unnecessary because licensees must comply with the terms of the Consumer Protection Law absent this rule.  (repealed § 1-12)
  • Clarify that the Department may rely on any formal complaint, regardless of whether it has been resolved, or any response to such complaint in any subsequent Department action, including, but not limited to, decisions to deny, suspend, or revoke an application or license.  This rule already requires applicants to respond to formal complaints made.  This amendment assists public understanding that the information in such complaints and responses may be used by the Department.  (§ 1-13)
  • Amend and create the procedures governing the Department’s issuance of interrogatories, requests for documents, and notices of deposition. These amendments clarify the Department’s authority to serve requests for documents, interrogatories, and notices of deposition upon licensees and applicants, clarify what is proper service of requests for documents, interrogatories and notices of deposition, and clarify the consequences of failing to respond to such notices and requests.  (§ 1-14). 
  • Create a new section 1-14.1 to cover procedures for notices of hearing, which previously were listed in section 1-14.  The new section 1-14.1 also allows for service of notices of hearing by email if one has been provided to the department.  (§ 1-14.1).
  • Clarify that a licensee must destroy a license rather than surrender it when such license has not been renewed. (§ 1-18)
  • Amend the rule relating to the presumption of unlicensed activity to make clear that the presumption applies from the date when a license previously held for use at the premises had expired, was suspended or revoked, or became void by operation of law, where applicable. (§ 1-19)
  • Clarify that nothing in chapter 1 alters the Department’s authority to act on an application or a license pursuant to any other legal authority of the Department.  (§ 1-22)
  • Update the curability list and penalty schedule for chapter 1 violations in chapter 6 to:
    • Provide a cure mechanism for the failure to contain license number in advertisements and other printed and electronic matter;
    • Provide penalties for altering or falsifying Department documents or providing or using falsified documents in violation of proposed Section 1-04;
    • Update entries to the penalty schedule based on edits made elsewhere in this proposed rule.