Short answer – yes. Long answer – maybe.
An expeditor is a consultant to who handles the permitting process with the Department of Buildings. In New York City, you are required to have an expeditor to file a drawing. Despite their name, they do not simply make things go faster; they are the only ones qualified and allowed to facilitate and interface with the New York City Department of Buildings.
In many other juristicitions, this is not the case, and the expiditor is an add-service luxury that may or may not be able to speed up the permitting process.
Filing in New York City is complicated. Here is the picture of all the forms that needed to be signed for a recent small demo project:
The expeditor is the one that prepares these documents and makes sure everybody has signed in the proper place. They then gather these materials, and with the drawings submit them to the DOB, and then track the review process. Many exhibitors, the good ones, also provide code review. They are very experienced with seeing what the DOB will approve and what they will not. This changes over time and an expedition is a good evaluator of what you are likely to get passed, and what is liable to get an objection.
In short, if you are filing, this is not an optional service. A good expediter is a valuable addition to the team and may save the project from having to go multiple review rounds at the DOB – saving months off the permitting schedule. KDA has a healthy stable of well-experienced expediters for all project types and scales.
For more information, the New York Times has an interesting article on the subject.