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How to Verify a Professional's License in Springfield?

If you intend to transact with a professional or business in Springfield, it is essential that you confirm that they possess the requisite licenses to offer the goods or services you require. Professionals in 150 trades including podiatry, veterinary medicine, home inspection, and building construction require licenses from the Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). You can verify these licenses by using the online Check a Commonwealth License portal or by calling the DOL at (617) 701-8600.

Note that if you're hiring a professional for a construction-related service, you should also ensure that you obtain relevant permits for such an activity. These permits are usually issued by the city's Department of Inspectional Services, and they can be either a single permit or a combination of building permits, plumbing permits, demolition permits, sign permits, or electrical permits. You can contact the Department of Inspectional Services to inquire about permits that may be relevant to your project by calling (413) 787-6038 or via email.

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Do Springfield Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

There are 20 neighborhood councils and civic associations in Springfield. These councils do not issue any permits. Instead, their decisions impact the neighborhoods that they represent through various ways, such as providing the city council with feedback regarding issues like appropriate zoning, licenses, and the quality of life of residents. Note that the city council, which is the city's legislative body, also does not issue construction permits. However, it issues special permits and zone change permits, and it also approves construction projects and improvements carried out by the city. For example, the city council recently approved the rehabilitation of water pipes on Berkshire Avenue between Bay and Harvey Streets to improve the drinking water distribution system in the City. Construction on this project was scheduled to begin in April 2021. Earlier, in May 2020, construction work began on the city-approved Bay Street with Berkshire Avenue Intersection Improvement project, which included the upgrading of the traffic signals, asphalt pavement, and concrete sidewalks. You can look-up your neighborhood by using the city's Ward and Precinct Map.

How Do You File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Springfield?

You can file an unfair business complaint in Springfield with the Mayor's Office of Consumer Information (MOCI) either by calling (413) 787-6437 or by sending your concerns via email. After receiving your complaint, the office will usually first try to bring both parties together in order to find an amicable solution. However, if this attempt is not successful, the complaint will be forwarded to the relevant agency to institute disciplinary action against the professional or business. In addition to filing a complaint, you should also consider bringing a civil suit for damages against the professional. This is because the disciplinary actions taken by the agencies would usually not result in compensation for the complainant. A competent lawyer can help you institute a compensatory action at the Springfield District Court, which has jurisdiction over small claims not exceeding $7,000 and other civil claims not more than $50,000 in value. Note that complaints that contain allegations of crimes should be directed to the Springfield Police Department by calling (413)787-6300.