Generally, applying for anything at the Department of Buildings is a big waiting game, and your project is often ready to move forward long before the DOB has given you the green light. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to deal with the DOB if you’re revising your CO, thanks to a shadily-named, but handy, go-around called Directive 14.
Under Directive 14, projects that need a revision of their CoO but don’t involve a change of use or occupancy, you don’t need the Department of Buildings inspector to come in to make sure the work has been done to code. Instead, a licensed architect or registered engineer assumes responsibility for the inspection and certifies that all work has been done properly. This cuts down the approval process time significantly.
What’s to stop architects from approving illegal structures under Directive 14 if it’s all on the honor system? The Department of Buildings audits about 20% of professionally certified plans, and plans that fail the audit are subject to heavy fines and other penalties. Additionally, even if your illegal work has already begun, you’ll have to undo all of it at your own expense.