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How to Verify a Professional's License in Worcester?

Worcester requires that professionals hold a license while working in certain industries. The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), through boards supervised by its Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL), licenses and regulates individuals, businesses, and institutions that engage in over 150 trades and professions in Worcester. Some of these regulated professionals include architects, psychologists, health professionals, and professionals that operate in the building construction industry. To verify licenses held by these professionals, you can use the DOL's online Check a Commonwealth License portal or contact the DOL by calling (617) 701-8600.

Note that Worcester also issues local licenses to certain professionals, such as drain layers, drillers, pavers, and general contractors. Local licenses are issued by the city's Department of Public Works and Parks and can be verified by checking out the lists of licensed contractors. Likewise, the city's Department of Inspectional Services issues construction permits to residents that intend to embark on construction projects. The permits vary, depending on the type and details of the particular project, and are usually issued on a project-by-project basis. It is recommended that you always contact the department by calling (508) 799-1198 to ascertain the permits required for any construction project you're embarking on before commencing it.

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Do Worcester Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

Worcester is made up of five council districts, which are represented by an elected representative on the city's council. The City Council is charged wIth several responsibilities, including enacting and amending city ordinances, approving the city's budget, and setting the tax rates. City Council members are also responsible for representing the interests and needs of their community. However, the council does not issue construction permits within the city. Nonetheless, it has the power to enact and amend laws relating to construction and it also approves the city's public projects. For example, Worcester, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, is launching a project to redesign Chandler Street between Main Street and Park Avenue. The project is aimed at improving the connectivity of neighborhoods with schools, businesses, and healthcare services, and construction is projected to start in 2025. Similarly, the city is currently replacing the existing steel water main that transfers water between the Quinapoxet Reservoir and the Kendall Reservoir in Holden. The project is presently in its first phase, which began in November 2019. You can use the city's council district map to find the district that your residence falls under.

How Do You File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Worcester?

Worcester frowns on deceptive practices perpetrated by professionals. You can file complaints against individuals and businesses that engage in such practices with the Worcester Consumer Rights Program (WCRP) by submitting a completed consumer complaint form via mail or in person at

  • Office of Human Rights
  • City Hall
  • 455 Main Street
  • Room 101
  • Worcester, MA 01608

The Worcester Consumer Rights Program aims at providing amicable mediation to consumers who have complaints against a business. Note that this program does not enforce a decision on either of the parties. Instead, it assists both parties by guiding them towards a common ground.

If this mediation effort is not successful, you can contact the Consumer Hotline of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office at (617) 727-8400. After reviewing your complaint, this office will decide whether or not to pursue disciplinary action against the professional or business. Note that complaints that include allegations of crime should be reported to the Worcester Police Department by calling (508) 799-8606. Also, disciplinary actions taken by these agencies will usually not lead to monetary compensation for the complainant. Hence, to secure compensation for any losses occasioned by the misbehavior of a professional, it is recommended that you consider hiring a private attorney to institute a civil action for damages before the Worcester District Court. This court adjudicates civil claims when the amount in dispute is $50,000 or less, and small claims not exceeding $7,000.