In the state of California, you must carry a contractor’s license before you complete any project valued at more than $500. If you don’t have your contractor’s license but continue to do engineering or construction work, you may be forced to pay an expensive fine or even defend yourself against criminal charges.
At DJM Insurance Services, we know just how important it is for contractors to make sure they have the right licensure to do their work. So, we’ve created a quick guide to help you understand how to start on the road to getting your contractor’s license.
First, you’ll need to determine which type of contractor’s license you need. The three most common types of licenses are Class A (General Engineering License) Class B (General Building Contractor) and Class C (Specialty Contractor). You may need to carry multiple types of licenses depending on the type of projects you work on. In California, contractor specialty licenses are available in over 40 classifications, each of which requires a special exam and certification. If you aren’t sure whether you need a specialty license or a general license, you can read more about classifications through California’s official state website.
After you’ve decided which license you need, download and fill out the Application for Original Contractor License, the Certification of Work Experience Form 13A-11, and the Project List Form 13A-6A, if applicable. All of these forms can be downloaded through California’s state licensure website here. Complete your forms and package them with a nonrefundable cashier’s check, money order, or certified bank check for $330 to cover your processing fee. Then, mail your package to the following address:
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826-0026
Do not include anything else with your packet beside the necessary forms and processing fee.
After you’ve mailed your packet, wait for the CSLB to send you a letter of acknowledgment. You’ll receive either a denial (in which case you may re-submit your packet with corrected information) or a notice to appear for a contractor’s examination. The examination consists of two parts: one section on specifics of your trade and another on business practices. The exam takes about 3.5 hours to complete. You’ll also receive a fingerprint packet with your notice to appear. You can learn more about how to complete your fingerprint scan here.
After you’ve passed your exam, you’ll need to purchase insurance and a California contractor’s bond valued at a minimum of $15,000. Submit proof of your workers’ compensation insurance, contractor’s bond, and a licensing fee of $200 to the CSLB. You should receive your CA Contractor’s License in the mail in about one week.
The easiest way to get your workers’ compensation insurance and contractor’s bond is to contact a team of experts like DJM Insurance Services. For more information and to get started, give our team a call today at 800-763-0698!