N.Y. (WETM) — Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that civil service exam fees in New York State will be waived through the end of 2025.

According to the governor’s office, the exam fees were a substantial barrier for those interested in entering public service, especially for individuals from marginalized communities. Veterans, unemployed people, and people receiving public assistance were previously able to have their exam fees waived, but most people had to pay a fee.

“Removing exam application fees for all state civil service exams is one of the many proactive steps that New York State is taking to help make a career in public service more accessible for all,” said Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy R. Hogues. “At the Department of Civil Service, we are making improvements to eliminate barriers to entry for civil service jobs and transforming the State’s approach to meeting our workforce needs to help recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce that will serve all New Yorkers.”

Many civil service positions in New York State are experiencing shortages, and waiving exam fees is just one of the ways the state is trying to fill these positions. The state will start offering exams on an ongoing basis at 12 state-run testing centers that will be established across the state. Additionally, the state is expanding its 55b hiring program to add more employment opportunities. This program allows qualified disabled people to fill entry-level civil service jobs without taking the written civil service exam.

The temporary civil service exam fee waiving began on July 1, 2023, and will last through December 2025. This action was included in New York State’s 2024 budget. To learn more about New York State jobs, visit the Department of Civil Service website.