Applying for a License

1. How do I apply for a contractor's license?

You must complete the following steps:

Obtain an Application for Original Contractor's License from any office of the Contractors State License
Board, by telephone from the CSLB's 24-hour automated public information line, (800) 321-CSLB (2752), or
via the CSLB Web site,;

Take the time to read and follow carefully the instructions attached to the application. Note especially that if
you are applying for credit for experience, all experience and certifications in support of experience must be
submitted with the application. No experience verification will be accepted after the application has been

Complete the application and all accompanying forms in ink or with a typewriter. Forms completed in pencil
will be returned to you. Make sure you sign and date the application;

NOTE: Applicants with a disability requiring special testing accommodations must complete Form 13E-77,
Special Accommodation Request For Examination.

Proofread your application for any omissions. If the Board has to return the application to you for any
missing information, your license will be delayed; and

Submit the $250 nonrefundable application processing fee. Note the $50 fee for each additional

You may apply for only one classification which requires passing an examination. After your license is
issued, you may apply for additional classifications that you qualify for.

You may only submit an application for more than one classification at a time if you have already qualified
for each of the classifications you are applying for.

If you are required to take the examination, take the following steps:

Submit the application, the application processing fee ($250), and all required documents to:

Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826

Be certain to include your return address on the envelope.

Do not submit any bonds or the initial license fee with your application. Upon successful completion of your
examination, you will be notified to submit the required documents and initial license fee. You must submit
ALL required documents together to avoid delays.

If you are not required to take an examination for any classification for which you are applying, you must:

Submit an application and $400 ($250 for the application processing fee and $150 for the initial license fee);

Submit a Contractor's Bond or equivalent in the business name of the applicant, and a Bond of Qualifying
Individual or exemption statement for each Responsible Managing Officer or Responsible Managing
Employee as appropriate. The Bond of Qualifying Individual must be in the names of the qualifying
individuals and the business.

Submit proof of Workers' Compensation Insurance, or exemption. If you have no employees, an exemption
certificate (Form 13L-50) must be submitted. If the license is qualified by a Responsible Managing
Employee, an exemption certificate cannot be submitted.

If you are applying for an inactive license, you must:

Submit an application, the appropriate application processing fee, and the initial license fee. The same fees
are required for inactive licenses as for active licenses.

NOTE: Bonds and Workers' Compensation Insurance are NOT required for an inactive license.

2. Will the CSLB acknowledge receipt of my application?

The CSLB will send you a letter of acknowledgment. This letter will contain two important numbers: a
nine-digit Application Fee Number and a four-digit Personal Identification (PIN) Number, together with
instructions on how to use these numbers to check on the progress of your application.

Your Application Fee Number, also known as your "receipt number," will also appear on the front of your
canceled check, on the Notice to Appear for Examination and on a request for you to submit the appropriate
documents and initial license fee. Please retain a record of this number, and use it in all inquiries regarding
your pending application.

3. How long does it take to complete the license application process?

Because there are many factors that affect the time it takes to process an application (type of application,
workload, vacancies, etc.), processing times continually change. By using your PIN (Personal Identification
Number) and your Application Fee Number to do an Application Status Check, you can obtain information
on what date the Board is currently working on in regard to your specific type of application. This
information is updated weekly and will give you a good idea of when your application will be pulled for

If no exam is required and all license requirements are met, a license can be issued shortly after being
pulled for processing. If an exam is required, you will be given an exam date 4-8 weeks after the date the
application is processed and considered acceptable (no corrections or additional information required).
Additional time to complete the processing of your application is required after you pass the exam.

4. How will I know if my application is approved?

After your application is reviewed and deemed acceptable, you will receive either a Notice to Appear for
Examination, or, if the examination is waived, a request for documents and the initial license fee.
Applications which require no examination can be submitted with the Contractors Bond, Bond of Qualifying
Individual (if required), proof of Workers' Compensation Insurance, and applicable fees.

5. How can I check on the status of my application?

CSLB will send you an acknowledgment that they received your application. The acknowledgment letter will

Instructions on how to make inquiries;

Your application fee number; and

Your personal identification number (PIN) that will give you private access to your application status.

To check on the status of your application, visit CSLB's Web site,, or call the toll-free
automated information line, (800) 321-CSLB (2752).

6. What happens if my application is not acceptable as submitted?

Your application may be returned to you if it is insufficient or incomplete. You must provide any missing
information, make corrections, and return your application within 90 days from the date it was returned. If it
is not returned to the CSLB within 90 days, your application becomes void. You cannot reinstate it, and you
must submit a new application and processing fee if you wish to pursue a license.

7. If my application is not approved, can you refund my application fee?

No. The fee is for processing the application, whether or not the application is approved. Since each
application is filed for processing as soon as it arrives at the CSLB, the fee cannot be refunded.

8. How do I apply for a joint venture license?

A joint venture license is one that is issued to two or more licensees together (sole owners, partnerships,
corporations or other joint ventures) whose licenses are current and active. A joint venture license may be
issued in any or all of the classifications in which the members of the joint venture are licensed.

To apply for a joint venture license, you may submit your application to the CSLB headquarters office. The
following requirements must be met:

Each of the licensees participating in the joint venture must show its exact business name and license
number as it appears in the records of the CSLB;

One of the official personnel listed on the CSLB's records for each participating licensee (the owner, a
partner or an officer of the corporation, but not a Responsible Managing Employee) must sign the

Submit the required application filing fee and the initial license fee; and

Submit the appropriate Contractor's Bond or cash deposit in the amount of $7,500 ($10,000 for the C-53
Swimming Pool classification). The bond or cash deposit must bear the same business name as the
pending joint venture. Send the original bond; a copy is not acceptable.

No examination or public posting is required.

9. When does a joint venture license expire?

The joint venture license will expire two years from the last day of the month in which the license was issued.
Each license included in the joint venture must be current and active before the joint venture license can be
renewed in active status.

10. What is cause for suspension of a joint venture license?

If any of the member licenses ceases to be current and active, the joint venture license will be suspended.