Contractors License Requirements

Before you can apply for California contractors license, you must meet the following experience requirements:

  • 4 years of experience in the trade.*
  • Be at least 18 years old.**
  • Social Security number or ITIN

Don't have 4 years of experience?

A college degree can be substituted for up to three years of that experience.

The State will accept self-employed experience.

*You must have a combined total of 4 years full-time journeyman-level experience in the last 10 years. 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.

**Even though you can apply for a contractors license when you are 18 years old, it is recommended that you be at least 23 years old due to the experience requirement.

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The California Contractors License Exam

The California contractors license exam consists of the law and the trade portions. The exam is a multiple-choice test with the options of A, B, C, or D. The CSLB uses computerized exams to test the knowledge of the applicants. The Law exam consists of 115 questions, and the Trade exams range between 100 and 120 questions. The exams are timed; however, there is plenty of time to answer each question thoroughly.

It normally takes 3-6 weeks from the time you submit your application to the time you will be tested.

The exams are given Monday through Saturday at the following PSI locations:

Northern California: Fresno, Redding, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Union City, Walnut Creek.

Southern California: Agoura Hills, Atascadero, Bakersfield, Carson, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Santa Fe Springs, Irvine, Lawndale, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Visalia.

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Contractors License Fees

Here is the list of fees that you will incur when applying for your initial contractors license.

  • Application Fee - $450
  • Initial License Fee - $200 for Sole Ownerships
  • Initial License Fee - $350 for Corporations/Partners/JV/LLC
  • Live Scan (Fingerprinting) - about $75
  • Contractor's Bond - Approx $233/yr*

*Contractor's Bond rate of $233/yr do not apply to C-39 (Roofing) or C-53 (Swimming Pool) contractors bonds.

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