According to the California State License Board (CSLB), any person who bids on a construction contract worth $500 or more of labor and materials must have a current contractor’s license from the State of California. The CSLB is the first place to check a CA licensed contractor. You’ll learn critical information about a contractor such as when the person acquired their license, how much insurance they carry and if the individual has any current or past legal actions against their company. Further research such as contacting former clients and inspecting work quality can also help determine the quality of a California contractor.
1. Visit the California Contractors State License Board. Look for the menu option on the left that says “Instant License Check.”
2. Search by the contractor’s license number. Locate your vendor’s six-digit license on any printed materials such as advertisements, an estimate worksheet or business card. By law a California contractor must include their license number on all printed materials.
Another way you can search for the contractor in this website option is by typing the
person’s first and last name or company name.
3. Click the contractor’s name to examine the license history. Several people with the same name may appear. If so, search for the city where you believe your contractor resides.
Verify when the contractor obtained a license and what type of construction work they are licensed to perform. Notice if the license is currently active and how much insurance and bonds they carry.
4. Ensure the contractor has workers compensation insurance for employees. If they don’t, you can be liable for any on-the-job injuries incurred by workers. If it is noted that the Contractor is exempt from workers compensation insurance be alert as this means that the contractor has stated to the California Contractors State License Board that he is working alone and that he has no workers or not using subcontractors.
5. Look for judgments against the contractor. Verify there are no public complaints or civil actions against substandard work.
Check by Phone
1. Telephone the CLSB at 800-321-2752. This allows you to check contractor’s licenses using an automated voice system.
2. Press the number 1. This enables you to check the validity and history of a contractor’s license.
3. Press the number 1 again. Next, enter the license number. A license only has numerals, not letters.
4. Review the license information provided. The automated system shares the same contractor license histories available on the CLSB website.
Speak with an agent if you don’t know the license number. Press the numeral 2, then 9 to transfer your call to a live agent who can answer questions Monday through Friday during business hours.
Is proud to maintain an impeccable record with the CLSB at all times. We carry $1million liability insurance and all our workers are insured with proper workers compensation insurance
For information on the registration process and asbestos regulations go to ACRU home page
The asbestos registants database contains a list of asbestos contractors and other employers registered with the Asbestos Contractors’ Registration Unit. The database contains detailed information on each registrants. To learn about what types of information are provided on the asbestos registrant database, view registrant detail information
You can view the entire database, search or sort the database by name of company or organization, dba (doing business as) name; registration #; city; state; telephone area code, and CSLB (Contractor’s State License Board) number.
To search the database, fill in only those fields you wish to search:
NOTE: Updating of the Asbestos Registrants’ Database occurs on a regular basis. Some registrants whose registration has just expired may remain on the Database. However, they cannot work until their renewal application is approved.
Searching by Number: Search for a particular registrant using their number. Contractors who only perform such work as roofing or flooring do not need a CSLB ASB certification and ACRU places an R or F before their number. To get a summary list of all contractors engaged in these types of work just enter R or F. Note: Many specialty contractors also passed the CSLB certification exam and met the DOSH registration requirements to perform all types of asbestos. In the past, ACRU added a new unrestricted asbestos registration number to the original restricted number, separating them by a slash as in F-34/967. For these you can search using both numbers or just one.
Searching by Name: The names on the list reflect the legal name of the registrant as a: (1) Contractor (as listed on the CSLB license, including other names that they may do business as (dba)); (2) Non-contractor private entity (as registered with the Secretary of State); (3) Public Agency (Statutory name). Note: Registrants must work only under these names. If you do not know the exact spelling, the database will provide all likely names. The database uses periods and spaces (e.g., A B C, A.B.C., or A. B. C.) to identify the name. It places these at the beginning of an alphabetic list. Those with continuous letters (e.g., ABC) are treated as a word and placed in alphabetical order.
Searching by City or Area Code: Perform multiple searches in these categories. Do not use this search to determine if a contractor will work in your region. Contractors may have multiple offices or simply travel to other parts of the State. Call the contractor directly or look in the phone or business directories in your local area.
Perform a free Riverside County, CA public contractor license search, including contractor license lookups, checks, and boards.
The Riverside County Contractor License Search (California) links below open in a new window and take you to third party websites that provide access to Riverside County public records. Editors frequently monitor and verify these resources on a routine basis.
Help others by sharing new links and reporting broken links.
City of Hemet Building and Safety Department Website http://www.cityofhemet.org/index.aspx View City of Hemet Building and Safety Department webpage, including contact information and links to forms.
Riverside County Contractor License Search https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx Look up Riverside County, California contractor licenses by name, business name, dba, and view information on complaint filings, applications and renewals.
Find Riverside County Contractor Licenses
Riverside County Contractor License Searches allow the public to look up Contractor Licenses in Riverside County, California. Contractor Licenses include information about a professional tradesperson’s skills and areas of expertise, as well as legal protections. Professional Licenses are maintained by California Secretary of State which also sets the requirements to receive a Contractor’s License.
Learn about Contractor Licenses, Including:
- Where to look up Contractor Licenses online
- How to verify a contractor’s license
- How to apply for a Riverside County Contractor License
- What are the Riverside County Contractor License requirements
- How to check if a contractor is licensed and insured
A person in California needs to have a license from the “California State Licensing Board” (CSLB) to work on a project with labor and materials totaling at or above $500 for a contract(s). Projects include altering or construction or offering to do so for one of these:
- Parking structure
- Any other structures
In order to be eligible for a contractor license, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Age of 18+
- Have or obtain an authentic Social Security number
- Have experience and prove such plus the necessary skills for managing the tasks for a construction business or have representation by an individual that qualifies.
An individual outside the state of California can apply if they meet the other necessary qualifications. Many states developed “reciprocity agreements” with the state of California, which makes an out-of-state licensure much more straightforward.
(5) Steps for Getting a California Contractor License
If you’re a potential contractor eager to perform work in California, it’s mandatory to obtain a license from the “California State Licensing Board” to proceed.
There are a few simple qualifications that need to be met, basically proving sufficient age and citizenship. Still, the most important is having adequate experience and skills or falling under the guidance of someone who does.
Anyone planning a move to California but hoping to apply prior for security purposes can as long as you satisfy the qualifications. Steps to follow in applying:
1) Learn the Class You Fall Under For Your License. Classes are:
A) General Engineering
B) General Building
C) Specialty with over 41 varied licenses
Research these before applying to have a complete understanding of each. It’s essential to select a suitable class so that your license is valid.
2) Sign-up For The Contractor’s Exam Using These Steps:
A) Apply for the “Original Contractor’s License”
B) Fill in a “Certification of Work Experience Form.” The number for the document is 13A-11. It will prove your expertise.
C) If it applies, fill in a “Project List” document # 13A-6A, with which you need to attach a (nonrefundable) $330 processing charge addressed to:
Post Office Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826-0026”
All the forms need to be up-to-date, or the CSLB will not accept them. Nothing else should come with the requested information and the charge. You might be able to waive the exam if you satisfy the basic guidelines.
From this point, you will need to wait until you receive your acknowledgment letter from the CSLB, which will give you two vital pieces of information, including a PIN consisting of 4 digits and a number associated with your application fee. These will provide you with access to your licensing application status.
- Denials: If due to missing information, you can complete the data and resubmit.
- Approvals: You will receive a packet for “Live Scan Fingerprinting” plus an examination notice.
3) Take the Exam and Finish the Packet for Fingerprint Scanning
You will find with the exam-specific elements like specific trade, business, and written law. The test takes approximately 4 hours with multiple-choice questions.
4) For those who achieve approved status, there will be a request for submission of final documents including:
A) Workers Comp Confirmation
B) Charge For California Contractor Bond in the amount of $15,000 C) A fee for licensing in the amount of $200
5) Purchase the Bond for Your Contractor License for California
The bond needs securing from a licensed bond provider for $15,000. The amount you pay typically falls at approximately 1 to 15% of that total or between $150 to $2250.
When you complete all the steps in the licensing process successfully, you will be issued a license followed by a certificate to put on the wall of your business and a card to carry with you.
A California contractor’s license is valid for two years, after which you will need to renew, which might prove to be a little less expensive than applying for an original for the bond. Click here for tips on California Contractor License Bonding.
You’re now ready to market yourself as an authentic licensed contractor to perform projects of altering or constructing structures as outlined in the CSLB guidelines.
- California Contractor Bond
- California State Licensing Board
If you have a remark or more information on this post please share with us in the comments section below
How To Check A Roofing Contractor’s License And Why
If you need work done on your roof, whether it’s a minor repair or a complete replacement, you’ll want to make sure that you find a roofing contractor in Sacramento you can trust.
You won’t want to risk overpaying for a poorly done job on your roof, after all. In order to identify a reputable roofing contractor, one of the first steps you should take is to make the roofing contractor is fully licensed.
The Importance of a Roofing Contractor License
It can’t be overstated how important it is to make sure the roofing contractor you’re working for is fully licensed. Roofing contractors in Sacramento must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). In order to receive their license, they have to pass a number of tests. This ensures that when you work with a licensed contractor, you can trust that they are familiar with the best and latest roof installation, repair and maintenance practices.
When you hire a roofing contractor that’s not licensed, you’re risking working with someone who may not be insured (which means that you could end up being financially liable for any injuries or damage that occurs during roof work), who could overcharge you, who could cut corners to make more money resulting in a shoddy job, who may not have the expertise or experience to do a good job, and who may not be familiar with the local building codes and regulations.
Checking a Roofing Contractor’s License
Having a license basically proves that a contractor is insured and that they have the expertise necessary to do a good job. Because of this, reputable roofing contractors will be sure to advertise the fact that they are licensed. However, don’t just take them at their word. Anyone can say that they are licensed, after all.
A reputable roofing contractor should provide their license number to you. You can then check their contractor license at the website of the Contractors State License Board to make sure that it’s legitimate and up to date. Here at Straight Line Construction, we make it easy for you to do this by providing our contractor license number at the bottom of every page on our website.
Never work with a roofing contractor that isn’t fully licensed. We invite you to check our license and to contact us at Straight Line Construction in Sacramento for all your roofing needs.
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Why this is important
Think you are licensed? Have you checked recently? If not, email us at Contractors Licensing Center and we will provide you with a current status check of ALL of your contractor license information! What do you have to lose except your business if you do NOT check? We urge you to carefully read below about Business and Professions Code 7031.
Why trust Contractors Licensing Center?
We have actively been serving the needs of contractors for over 33 years with the Contractors License Board, the California Legislature and virtually every other state and local governmental entity affecting your business. We can tell you that many a contractor has had a false sense of security thinking they were properly licensed when, in fact, that was not the case! We represent over 35,000 licensed contractors in California. Have a problem or issue with the CSLB? Call us! Have a need for a new license or a change? Call us!
BEWARE of 7031 of the B&P Code
Business and Professions Code (B&P) Section 7031 (a) in part states that as a licensed contractor you MUST be DULY licensed at all times. Even an unknown suspension of one hour could result in you losing ALL of the money owed to you on (an) ongoing job(s) OR, having to pay back money already paid to you! (This is NOT a scare tactic! See online resources below)
Stories off the web on B&P 7031
- Business & Professions Code § 7031, the Most Powerful Construction Statute in California: How to Remodel Your Home Absolutely Free! (PDF)
- Contractor Lacking License at Any Time During Construction Project Can be Compelled to Refund All Payments Received During Entire Project; A Prejudgment Writ of Attachment May Secure Refund
Some of the things to be concerned about:
- If you have moved, did you file a change of address? The CSLB does NOT forward renewal information or any other updates if your address is wrong!
- Did you know that your bonding company files your bonding status electronically with the CSLB? MANY times we have resolved errors that have resulted in contractor licenses being suspended due to ERRORS by the bonding company!
- Are you working in your proper license classification? Call us to inquire. If necessary, we can also request a formal ruling from the Contractors License Board.
- Have you wanted another license classification, wanted to form a new company or wanted to change the officers or add a new one? Do you have a family succession plan in place?
- Have complaints filed against your license or other problems??
For a free status check of your contractor’s license, please fill out the short form below and we will email directly back to you a current update containing not only your current address and phone number shown by the CSLB, but also when your license is due to expire. Or, call us and we can answer any questions or offer our best advice (we can also obtain a quick answer officially from the CSLB for a reasonable fee, depending upon the nature/extent of the problem or question).
25 September 2020
Ready to become a licensed general contractor in California, but not exactly sure where to start?
I get it. When I was researching this article, I came across hundreds of Google search results for becoming a contractor in California. A lot of them had conflicting advice – and one website had a 1,000+ page guide on how to get a contractor’s license.
It’s enough to make you wonder: Do you really need to get a general contractor license in CA to start working on construction or home improvement projects?
Why You Need a Contractor’s License in California
If you’re already doing contracting work without a license, it might seem like you don’t really need one right away. And according to California state law, you don’t need a contractor’s license if you’re working on a project that doesn’t cost more than $500 in labor + materials.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
But if you don’t have a contractor’s license, you’re missing out on a lot of work. We’re talking about high-end residential projects, commercial properties, and anything else where a customer might prefer to work with someone who has a contractor’s license.
If you’re wondering why it makes such a difference, think about it from your client’s perspective: they’re asking you to work on their home or their business property. That’s why they have a really strong interest in making sure they’re hiring the best contractor for the job. A contractor’s license:
It’s pretty similar to how you hire subcontractors or anyone else who works with your business or in your home. You don’t want to hire just anyone who walks in off the street. You want someone you can trust with your business since that’s ultimately your name on the line.
Applying for a CA Contractor’s License?
You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.
That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $25.95/month.*
Hopefully, that convinces you why you need a general contractor’s license in California. But that still leaves us with one question:
How do you get that license in the first place?
How to Get a Contractor’s License: General Requirements in California
Check off the basics.
There are a few general requirements for getting your contractor’s license in California, including:
Your age. You have to be 18 or older in order to become a contractor.
Your SNN. You’ll need a valid Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification (ITIN).
4+ years of experience. Here’s the catch – in California, you need to show that you’ve had at least four years of experience in the industry, and that experience has had to have happened in the past ten years. Industry experience can include working as a:
If you’ve taken accredited classes at a technical or vocational school, you may be able to use these credits towards your years of experience. For example, if you went to school to become an electrician and took two years’ worth of classes, that counts towards this requirement.
Keep in mind that you’ll be asked to provide the names of people who can verify your work experience, so don’t be tempted to make it up.
Important note: Military experience also counts towards this requirement, so be sure to mention that you’re a veteran when applying for your CA contractor’s license. Based on your experience, your application may be expedited.
You’ll need to submit any of the following with your contractor’s application:
Look out for exemptions.
California’s pretty good about giving people plenty of exemptions for applying for a contractor’s license. The most common exemption is for people who are looking to renovate their own homes or properties that they have personally purchased.
Apply for your specific license class.
There are three types of contractor’s licenses you can apply for:
Submit your application and fees.
Once you’re ready to submit your application (you can download it here and mail it out, or just fill it out online), you should mail it to CSLB’s Sacramento headquarters at:
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826
Keep in mind you don’t have to mail the application if you choose to fill it out online. Just give yourself plenty of time to do it, as you can’t save and return to a partially completed application.
Make sure your application contains the following:
For more information on what to submit with your application or to download any additional forms, you can access them here.
Take your exams.
Bad news: There are some exams involved in getting your contractor’s license. As soon as you submit your license application and fees, you’ll be sent a “Notice to Appear for Examination” in the mail. This letter is usually sent out about three weeks before you need to take the test; it’ll have all the information you need on where to go and how long the test you’ll take.
Here’s some insider info about the exams: The first one you’ll need to pass is the California Business and Law exam, which contains pretty straightforward questions pertaining to on-the-job safety, business finances (like how to set up a budget), and contract requirements.
If you already have experience in the contracting industry, it should be a pretty simple exam to pass. If, however, you want to prep before walking into the exam room, check out the official California Business and Law Exam study guide.
Some contractors may need to take exams specific to their trades, like landscaping, plumbing, or roofing. Check out the CSLB site for free study guides for your trade-specific exam, so you can walk into that exam room with confidence.
Submit your license fees and other required documents.
After you get a notification that you’ve passed your exam, you’ll need to submit the following to the Sacramento address listed in a previous step:
Got more questions about getting your California contractor’s license? Find answers at the official California Contractors Licensing Board website.
Once licensed, don’t forget to run a contractors insurance quote to ensure you’re covered. Don’t forget to read our guide on getting a California business license as well!
* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January – December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
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Hiring a general contractor can be a daunting experience. The contractor is most responsible for turning your project idea into reality and requires a great deal of your trust. Hiring the wrong individual can cost you more than money; incompetence can also lead to a delay or abandonment of your project. A thorough background check on the contractor can help you determine whether the contractor’s experience and reputation make him worthy of your trust.
Contact the builders’ association in your area and ask for information regarding required licensing the contractor must attain. Meet with the contractor and ask him whether he’s in compliance with the licensing requirements. If so, request that the contractor show you the license and then check that it’s up to date.
Make sure the contractor has liability, property and workers’ compensation insurance. Ask for proof of insurance and make sure the insurance is up to date and covers the period of time that you’re considering having the work completed.
Check with the consumer protection office in your state and the building inspector’s office for your area for any complaints filed against the contractor. Contact the Better Business Bureau as well for information regarding complaints. Keep in mind that a complaint is not necessarily proof of a bad act on the part of the contractor, but a slew of complaints can signal potential difficulties with the contractor’s services.
Ask the contractor for customer references. Contact the references and ask about the contractor’s work. Find out whether the contractor completed the work on time in a professional manner. Ask about unnecessary cost overruns on the previous customer’s project. Find out whether the previous customer would recommend the contractor to others and, more importantly, use the contractor again. Approach good references with caution, as the contractor is unlikely to use an unsatisfied customer as a reference.
Ask the contractor for a list of subcontractors normally used during projects. Contact the subcontractors and ask for their experiences in working with the general contractor. Ask them for any safety or ethical concerns and whether they’re comfortable working with the contractor.
Research the business itself. Determine how long the contractor has been in business, how long in the current office and how easily the contractor is to contact. Ask around the area about the contractor to get a general idea of the contractor’s reputation.