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California State Requirements


Who Must Apply

By California State Law all businesses or individuals intending to construct, alter, build, or excavate: highways, roads, parking facilities, railroads, or any other structure in California must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) if the total cost (labor & materials) of their contract(s) on the project exceed $500.

Contracting without a valid license has always put you at risk; fines, possible prison sentences and non-payment for perfectly good work.

Be Aware: New California State Law mandates that all businesses, or individuals caught contracting without a valid contractors license are subject to the return ALL MONIES RECEIVED, INCLUDING MONIES SPENT ON MATERIALS, that went into the job.

Who Can Apply

The qualifying individual must document at least four (4) full years of journeyman-level or higher experience in the classification for which he or she is applying. The experience must have been obtained within the last ten (10) years.

Who Can Submit Bids

Only Licensed California Contractors can legally submit Bids.

Journeyman-Level Experience

Journey-level experience applies to a person who has completed an apprenticeship program or is an experienced worker, not a trainee, and is fully qualified and able to perform a specific trade without supervision. However, that person does not have a license and is not able to contract for jobs that are more than $500 in labor and materials.

State Application, Licensing & Renewal Fees

The applicable fees are linked to the postmark date or the date hand-delivered to CSLB headquarters in Sacramento for application, licensing, and miscellaneous fees.
Application and Licensing Fees
Original Application (exam or waiver for one classification) $300
Initial License Fee $180
Additional Classification $75
Re-Examination $60
Replacing the Qualifier $75
License Reactivation Application $360
Joint Venture Application total fee for one classification (Application fee plus initial license fee) $480
Home Improvement Salesperson Registration Application $75
Asbestos Certification Application $75
Hazardous Substance Removal Certification Application $75
Fingerprinting Fees—Paid to Live Scan Operator Dept. of Justice Processing Fee $32
Federal Bureau of Investigation Processing Fee $17

Live Scan "Rolling Fees"
Each Live Scan site sets its own fee—CSLB does not set the price. Rolling fees are available on DOJ listing of Live Scan sites Varies

License Renewal

Active Timely Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] on or before the expiration date) $360

Active Delinquent Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] after the expiration date)
(Renewal fee plus penalty) $540

Inactive Timely Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] on or before the expiration date) $180

Inactive Delinquent Renewal
(Postmarked or received at CSLB [for hand deliveries] after the expiration date)
(Renewal fee plus penalty) $270

Home Improvement Salesperson Timely Renewal $75

Home Improvement Salesperson Delinquent Renewal
(Renewal fee plus penalty) $112.50

Classifications (License Types)

Business & Professions Code Division 3, Chapter 9. Contractors, Article 4. Classifications For the purpose of classification, the contracting business includes any or all of the following branches:Print a complete list of the "Description of Classifications" or click the specific classification below for the individual description.
(A) General Engineering Contractor
(B) General Building Contractor
(C) Specialty Contractor
C-2 - Insulation and Acoustical Contractor
C-4 - Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting Contractor
C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor
C-7 - Low Voltage Systems Contractor
C-8 - Concrete Contactor
C-5 - Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor
C-9 - Drywall Contractor
C10 - Electrical Contractor
C11 - Elevator Contractor
C12 - Earthwork and Paving Contractors
C13 - Fencing Contractor
C14 - Metal Roofing Contractor [repealed]
C15 - Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors
C16 - Fire Protection Contractor
C16 - Fire Protection Contractor
C17 - Glazing Contractor
C20 - Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor
C21 - Building Moving/Demolition Contractor
C23 - Ornamental Metal Contractor
C26 - Lathing Contractor [repealed]
C27 - Landscaping Contractor
C28 - Lock and Security Equipment Contractor
C29 - Masonry Contractor
C31 - Construction Zone Traffic Control Contractor
C32 - Parking and Highway Improvement Contractor
C33 - Painting and Decorating Contractor
C34 - Pipeline Contractor
C35 - Lathing and Plastering Contractor
C36 - Plumbing Contractor
C38 - Refrigeration Contractor
C39 - Roofing Contractor
C42 - Sanitation System Contractor
C43 - Sheet Metal Contractor
C45 - Sign Contractor
C46 - Solar Contractor
C47 - General Manufactured Housing Contractor
C50 - Reinforcing Steel Contractor
C51 - Structural Steel Contractor
C53 - Swimming Pool Contractor
C54 - Ceramic and Mosaic Tile Contractor
C55 - Water Conditioning Contractor
C57 - Water Well Drilling Contractor
C60 - Welding Contractor
C61 - Limited Specialty
ASB - Asbestos Certification
HAZ - Hazardous Substance Removal Certification
HIC - Home Improvement Certification [repealed]