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Contractors License Requirements

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

  • 4 years of experience performing/supervising construction work in the last 10 years.
  • A college degree can be substituted for up to three years of that experience.
  • The State now accepts self-employed experience.

Eventhough 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 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 every weekday in Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Oxnard, Norwalk, San Bernardino, and San Diego.

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Contractors License Fees

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

  • Contractors Application Fee - $300
  • Initial License Fee - $180
  • Live Scan (Fingerprinting) - $68
  • *Contractor's Bond - $116 /yr

*Contractor's Bond rate of $116 do not apply to C-39 (Roofing) or C-53 (Swimming Pool) contractors bonds.

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