5 Steps to Obtaining Your California General Building Contractor License
Step 1. Sign up for the exam.
You will have to take and pass the California Board's Business and Law Exam to get a
license. The Board will review your application and let you know whether you are required
to take the exam or not.
To apply for a license, contact:
Contractors State License Board (CSLB)
9821 Business Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95826
CSLB has an automated, toll-free number (1-800-321-2752) you can use to order an
application or get other information. Forms and applications are also available online at
To make the examination procedures more convenient for applicants, testing centers have
been set up at numerous locations throughout the state. The CSLB has exam sites in eight
cities: San Diego, San Bernardino, Buena Park, Inglewood, Ventura, Oakland, Sacramento
and Fresno. Through the use of zip codes, applicants are assigned to the testing center
nearest their business address. The exams are given every weekday. Normally it takes the
state about seven to ten weeks from the time you apply until you sit to take the test.
To qualify for a license you must verify that you've had at least four years of experience in
the last ten years as a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-
builder. You may be able to apply from one and one-half to three years of approved
education and/or apprenticeship to this requirement.
Unless you are applying for a joint venture license, you must have more than $2,500 worth
of operating capital to apply for a new contractor's license.
Contractor's license fee: There is a non-refundable fee of $250 to apply for a license and
$50 for each trade you apply for after the first. The initial license costs $150. You may not
add a trade that requires an exam until you obtain your first license. A license is valid for
The Board may acc