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Chicago 304 – Crane Operator | Written Exam and Renewal, Class I & II


Due to a Department of Buildings computer system upgrade, we are not currently processing new applications or renewals for Crane Operator licenses. Existing Crane Operator licenses which expired in April, May or June of 2022 will be honored through July 1, 2022. We expect processing of applications and renewals to resume by June 1, 2022. Please check this webpage for updates.


Applications for the September 14, 2022, crane operator written exam date will be accepted starting July 1, 2022

Important Notice Regarding OSHA Crane Operator Certification Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators.

Please note that pursuant to federal law (29 CFR 1926), effective December 9, 2018, ALL candidates, prior to applying for the City of Chicago Crane Operators Written and Crane Operators Practical Examination(s), must hold a valid, nationally recognized crane operator certification approved by OSHA.

The national crane certifications approved by OSHA are:

The requirement for holding a valid, OSHA nationally recognized crane operator certification pertains to:

  • All first time and retake candidates applying to take the City of Chicago Crane Operators Written and Crane Operators Practical Examination(s), either CLASS I or II.
  • Any additional license endorsements.
  • All City of Chicago Crane Operators license renewals.
  • All reinstatements of expired City of Chicago Crane Operator licenses.

All candidates must provide proof of holding one of the national crane operator certifications approved by OSHA by submitting to Continental Testing Services a clear photographic copy of the front and back image of their valid national crane operator certification card.

Furthermore, all current City of Chicago Crane Operator licensees must have a valid national crane certification card by the federal December 9, 2018 effective date and must present said card to a City of Chicago inspector at a job site upon request.

Please note that the City of Chicago does not have authority to waive or alter the above federal law nor does the City of Chicago have the authority to extend the effective date of the above federal law.

Chicago  304  Crane Operator Written Exam/Renewal Class I & II

The City of Chicago Crane License Operator Ordinance requires that any person operating crane equipment, within the city limits of the City of Chicago, with a rated lifting/hoisting capacity of 2,000 pounds or more must obtain a City of Chicago Crane Operators License. The ordinance clarifies and establishes two classifications of crane licensure for large and small hosting equipment that a crane operator is now certified to operate and provides for an optional 5-year license renewal term.

Class I and II Crane Operators Written License Examination

To qualify to take the City of Chicago Crane Operator’s Class I or Class II Crane Operators Written License Examination, the candidate must provide the following information:

Original signed letter(s), on company letterhead, from their current and/or former employer’s that document the candidate’s dates of employment and establish a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience as a crane operator during the preceding 48-month period.


The candidate must have evidence of the successful completion of a Crane Apprenticeship Program that is recognized by the City of Chicago Board of Crane Operators Examiners.

Other documents required:

  • Acceptable primary proof of identity and age includes, but is not limited to, original or certified documents with full name and date of birth. The applicant must be at least 21 years old.
  • Provided a Valid Photo. The only acceptable photographic identification is a Driver’s License, Secretary of State ID card or a current Passport.
  • Provide proof of a valid Social Security Number


  • The applicant has the present physical ability to safely operate a crane; and
  • The applicant can read, write, speak, and understand English at a level that allows effective communication on the job site.


  • The candidate has not had a crane operator’s or comparable license suspended or revoked by the City of Chicago or any other jurisdiction; provided, however, that upon good cause shown and after a full investigation, the City of Chicago Commissioner of the Department of Buildings may waive this prohibition.
  • The applicant has no history of substance abuse during the preceding three years or that the applicant has successfully completed a certified substance  

All applicants meeting the above qualifications shall be allowed to take the City of Chicago Crane Operator’s Class I or Class II Crane Operator Written License Examination upon payment of the required fee and submittal of the proper documentation.

Instructions on how to apply for the City of Chicago Crane Operator’s Class I and Class II Written License Examination.

First review the Crane Operators Study Guide: Chicago Crane Study Guide Included in the Chicago Crane Study Guide is information about Class I and Class II equipment classes, written and practical examination requirements, and license designation.

  • Choose either the Class I or Class II Written License Examination.
  • The Class I License fulfills the requirements for both the Class I and the Class II Written License Examination.
  • The Class II Written License Examination only fulfills the requirements for Class II Written License Examination.

Go to the Application Fee Table below to determine what fees are applicable to your examination.  Payments of fees are to be made to:  City of Chicago.

Fees, the application form, and supporting documentation must be mailed to the City of Chicago at:

City of Chicago
Trade Licenses
P.O. Box 388249
Chicago, Illinois 60638-8249

 Payment can be made by bank, business, or personal check, or money order. 


Exam Information:

Exam Title Exam Date Deadline City Fees

Applications must be received by the close of business on the deadline date.

Application Fees:

Fee Amount Comments
First Time Exam $150.00
Exam Retake $150.00
Initial License $100.00
License Renewal $100.00  Annually
License Renewal-5 years $300.00
Late Penalty $100.00
ID Card Replacement $25.00
Certificate Replacement $25.00

Exam Contact:

Name: Olivia Porras
 Email Us
Phone: 800-359-1313
Ext:  103