Notice Regarding Electrical Contractor Registration

July 15, 2019

The Chicago Department of Buildings is committed to maintaining Chicago’s high standards for construction quality and job site safety. On September 20, 2018, the City Council passed an ordinance that amended Sections of 4-290-035 of the Municipal Code regarding electrical contractor registration. The purpose of the ordinance is to ensure contractors use experienced electricians on the below categories of building projects in Chicago.

Under the ordinance, Class 1 registration of all electrical contractors is required for the following project classifications effective July 1, 2019:

  • New construction of a building that exceeds 55 feet in height.
  • An addition that increases the floor area of a building that exceeds 55 feet in height, or will exceed 55 feet in height after the addition is complete.
  • The first buildout of a tenant space which has not previously received a certificate of occupancy in a building that exceeds 55 feet in height.
  • New construction of a building containing one or more assembly occupancy* (other than a school or university) with capacity for 300 or more people.
  • An addition that increases the floor area of a building containing one or more assembly occupancy* (other than a school or university) with capacity for 300 or more people.
  • The first buildout of a tenant space which has not previously received a certificate of occupancy in a building containing one or more assembly occupancy* (other than a school or university) with capacity for 300 or more people.
  • Work involving the change of occupancy of existing space to an assembly occupancy* (other than a school or university) with capacity for 300 or more people (such as converting a grocery store to a health club)

*Assembly occupancies include uses such as museums, theaters, conference centers, ballrooms, courthouses, gymnasiums, health clubs, and larger bars and restaurants. For a complete list of assembly-type occupancies, see Section 13-56-070 of the Municipal Code.

Class 1 Electricians must complete an apprenticeship program recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, which requires a minimum of 8,000 hours of relevant on the job training and classroom instruction.

Department of Buildings inspectors will enforce these requirements and projects that do not conform will be subject to violations and/or stop work orders.

All contractors and their employees should familiarize themselves with the requirements of the ordinance and its provisions. The full ordinance is available on the Department of Buildings website: view/download

The Department has created a print version of this notice: view/download

If you have questions related to electrical contractor registration or the electrical code please contact Mike Reynolds, Chief Electrical Inspector, by email: michael.reynolds@cityofchicago.org or phone: 312-743-3547.

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