Yes and no. The Massachusetts State Building Code allows a homeowner to apply for and be issued Building Permits associated with their own property. The homeowner can perform the work themselves or hire a licensed individual to perform the work under the permit issued to the homeowner. Note that in this scenario, the homeowner would be still be responsible for insuring that all work would be compliant with any applicable codes, bylaws, and regulations, but the contractor would still be required to hold the appropriate licenses.
Items covered under trade permits, such as gas, plumbing, electrical, need to be performed (and permits obtained) by contractors licensed in that specific trade. Also, a homeowner, cannot perform work associated with manufactured buildings.
If a contractor applies for a Building Permit, and performs the work covered by it, they must be appropriately licensed by the State of Massachusetts, with either a Construction Supervisor License (CSL) or Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) registration. Section 110.R188.8.131.52 of the Massachusetts Building Code states:
"Individuals supervising persons engaged in construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, removal or demolition involving any activity regulated by any provision of 780 CMR, shall be licensed in accordance with 780 CMR 110.R5. Individuals engaged in the supervision of the field erection of manufactured buildings in accordance with 780 CMR 110.R3, shall be licensed as construction supervisors.
Exception. Any homeowner performing work for which a building permit is required shall be exempt from the licensing provisions of 780 CMR 110.R5, provided that if a homeowner engages a person(s) for hire to do such work, then such homeowner shall act as supervisor. This exception shall not apply to the field erection of a manufactured building constructed pursuant to 780 CMR 110.R3."
A list of work requiring either a CSL or HIC can be found here
The Town of Westwood recommends that licensed professionals be hired to perform the work covered by a Building Permit. There are protections in place for individuals who hire contractors with a CSL or HIC, which will not be available if unlicensed individuals are contracted, or the homeowner performs/supervises the work themselves. More information on the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor program can be found here
. Information about the Construction Supervisor License program can be found here