Step 8: Issuing My License

What am I given to inform me of my issuance requirements?

When you pass the examination, you will be given a bond and fee notification form at the testing site. This form will notify you of what you need to submit to meet your issuance requirements. The requirements may include the following.

  • An initial licensing fee of $200 for Sole Owner and $350 for Non-Sole Owner
  • Contractor bond or cashier's check of $25,000
  • Bond of Qualifying Individual (if applicable) of $25,000
  • Completed asbestos open-book examination
  • Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance or Certification of Self-Insurance of Workers' Compensation from the Department of Industrial Relations
  • Exemption from workers' compensation, if no employees (C-8 Concrete contractors, C-20 Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning contractors, C-22 Asbestos Abatement contractors, C-39 Roofing contractors, and/or C-61/D-49 Tree Service contractors may not submit an exemption)
  • Fingerprinting requirements
  • LLC Employee/Worker Bond (if applicable)
  • LLC liability insurance (if applicable)

Alert symbol IMPORTANT—Some applications are sent for formal investigation. Each application must be accepted and approved for the license to be issued, even if the qualifier has passed the exam. Please refer to your acknowledgment letter for instructions on how to check the status of your application if it is being investigated.

What is the $200 Initial Licensing Fee?

The $200 initial licensing fee is required for both active and inactive licenses. The fee covers the license for two years. This is in addition to the application fee paid when you filed your application.

What is the difference between an active and an inactive license?

The holder of an active license is entitled to contract for work in the classifications that appear on the license. While the license is active, the licensee must maintain a current contractor's bond, a Bond of Qualifying Individual (if required), and workers' compensation insurance coverage.

If a license is inactive, that is, currently renewed but on inactive status, the holder may not bid or contract for work. Neither the Contractor Bond nor the Bond of Qualifying Individual is required for an inactive license. Also, a licensee does not need to have either the proof of or exemption from workers' compensation insurance coverage on file with CSLB while the license is inactive.

What are the bond requirements for a contractor license?

You must file a Contractor's Bond or Information on Alternatives in Lieu of Bond Requirements with the Registrar in the amount of $25,000 . In addition, you may need to submit a separate Bond of Qualifying Individual or Information on Alternatives in Lieu of Bond Requirements in the amount of $25,000 for the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO). However, CSLB may grant an exemption from the requirement to file a Bond of Qualifying Individual if the RMO certifies that he or she owns 10 percent or more of the voting stock or equity of the corporation for which he or she is to serve as the qualifying individual.

Where do I obtain bonds?

You may purchase bonds from your insurance agent or from one of the private holding companies licensed by the California Department of Insurance. CSLB does not issue bonds.

How long is a bond valid?

A bond may be issued for whatever length of time you and your insurance agent or bond company representative arrange. Most bonds are issued for one to three years. At the end of that time, the bond may be canceled, or the bond company may request another premium to extend the life of the bond.

What is the asbestos open book examination?

All new applicants for a license must complete the asbestos open book examination. The examination and verification form must be completed and submitted to CSLB prior to licensure. If the form is not submitted, CSLB cannot issue a license, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 7058.5.

The Asbestos Open Book Examination does not certify a contractor to engage in asbestos-related work. The purpose of the guide and the examination is to make contractors aware of the risks of dealing with asbestos and to provide the knowledge base necessary to respond appropriately to construction situations where asbestos is or may be present.

Do I need to be concerned about Workers' Compensation Insurance?

All contractors are required to present proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage as a condition of licensure, to maintain a license, to activate an inactive license, or to renew a license, unless they are exempt from this requirement. Contractors, with the exception of the C-39 Roofing contractor, who do not have employees working for them are exempt from the requirement for workers' compensation insurance, but they will be required to file a Workers' Compensation Insurance Exemption form with the Registrar. If the license is qualified by a Responsible Managing Employee (RME), an exemption certificate cannot be submitted. Neither the proof of coverage nor the exemption is required for an inactive license.

What will I receive to show that I'm licensed?

You will receive a wall certificate showing the name of the person or company the license has been issued to, the license number, the classification(s) held, and the date of issue, and a plastic pocket card showing the license number, business name, classification(s), and the license expiration date. The law requires that you display your wall certificate in your main office or chief place of business. You also should make it a habit to carry your pocket card, especially in situations where you think you might be soliciting business or talking to potential customers. CSLB's publication, What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor, recommends that customers ask to see the contractor's pocket license.

How long before I receive those documents?

You should receive your wall certificate and pocket card approximately one week after your license is issued.

How long is a license valid?

A contractor license initially is issued for a two-year period. It will expire two years from the last day of the month in which it was issued. Licenses may be renewed for two years at a time if renewed on active status, or for four years if renewed on inactive status.

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