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Texas Contractor License: Step-by-Step Guide

  • Learn how to get licensed in a few easy steps
  • Understand the licensing requirements for your state
  • Learn how to stay compliant
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In Texas, the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration is responsible for the licensing of electricians and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is in charge of licensing of plumbers. Specialty contractor licenses such as roofing, building, landscape, etc. are issued at the municipal level and are subject to regulations, requirements and fees, passed by individual cities.

1

Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

  • Electrical contractor: install, maintain or extend electrical wiring systems in, on, outside or attached to a building, residence, structure, property, or premises. There are several types of business and individual electrical licenses, among them:
  • Plumbing contractor: install, maintain and repair pipes, fittings and other apparatuses of water supply, sanitation and heating systems. Several licensing levels are available for plumbing, including:
    • Master
    • Journeyman
    • Tradesman
    • For a full list of plumbing license types, visit the TSBPE plumbing licensing website.

      Note: Reciprocity is considered on a case by case basis.

  • Specialty contractor (Municipality level): duties include roofing, landscape, home improvement, and more. Please visit your municipality’s website for more information on specialty contractor licenses.

2

Access Texas Application Forms

  • Electrical Contractor License applications can be found here.
  • Plumbing Contractor License applications can be found here.

Note: Specialty contractor licenses will need to be obtained directly through the municipality you will be working in. To find applications and information, please visit the city’s website or call your city hall.


3

Complete All Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Please note that municipalities will have their own general contractor document and ID needs, but many of the requirements below are part of the process.

Electrical Contractor License:

  • Depending on the electrical license you are applying for you must meet a certain work experience criteria in the form of working hours on-the-job or years of experience. For more information regarding the experience criteria you are required for a specific website please visit the TDLR website.
  • Criminal history must be indicated when applying for an electrical license. Complete and attach a Criminal History Questionnaire for each offense, if any. If you are concerned that your criminal history could prevent you from receiving your license, apply for a Criminal History Evaluation Letter for an evaluation.
  • If you have ever had an occupational license, registration or certification suspended, revoked or denied, you must fill in the Disciplinary Action Questionnaire for each disciplinary action.
  • Depending on the electrical contractor license for which you are applying, you must meet a certain criteria for hours on the job, or show proof of holding another type of electrical license for a minimum of 2 years. Include your employment history in the application.
  • Licensing options may be available to military service members, military veterans, or military spouses. Complete the Military Service Member, Military Veteran or Military Spouse Supplemental Application.

Note: Requirements and documents may vary slightly, depending on the electrical contractor license you are applying for.

Plumbing Contractor License:

Note: Requirements and documents may vary slightly, depending on the plumbing contractor license you are applying for.


4

Pass Your Examination

Electrical Contractors:

For an Electrical Contractor’s license, you must first file an application form through TDLR. Once your application is approved, you are qualified to take the examination. Several types of exams are available, depending on the electrical license you are applying for. You can find more information regarding examination and fees here.

Plumbing Contractor:

A Plumbing Contractor’s license requires you to fill in an application through TSBPE. Several types of exams are available, depending on the plumbing license you are applying for. There, you can also find all requirements and fees necessary prior to your examination. Application processing takes approximately 30 days, depending on application volume. Examination in regards to Specialty Contractor’s licenses will differ in each municipality. Please visit your municipality's website or call for more information.


5

Submit Your Contractor License Application

Use the following websites to obtain and submit your applications for your electrical license and plumbing license. Municipality application processes differ from this process. Visit your city’s website or call should you need further information.

How to fill out your application:

Electrical contractor license:

The application must be completed, typed or printed in black ink, and signed by the applicant. All attached documents must be submitted on separate pieces of single-sided, A4 paper. Pages must be paper clipped together, along with the payment at the top. Do not staple together.

Licensing/Application Fees:

Fees vary per industry and may not include municipal fees.

  • Electrical contractor license:
    • Journeyman - $30 non-refundable application fee, $74 examination fee
    • Master - $45 non-refundable application fee, $74 examination fee
    • Criminal History Evaluation Letter (Optional) $25

    Note: Payments can be made through check or money order payable to TDLR.

  • Plumber contractor license:
    • Journeyman - $40 non-refundable examination fee
    • Master - $175 non-refundable examination fee

    Note: Payments can be made through cashier’s check, money order, or personal or company check made out to TSBPE.

  • Specialty contractor license: varies by municipality.

Mailing Address:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711


Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
P.O. Box 4200
Austin, Texas 78765-4200


Renewal Information

Electrical and plumbing licenses are typically valid for 2 years. You can submit an electrical license renewal application through the TDLR website and a plumbing license renewal application through the TSBPE website.

State law prohibits the renewal of licenses more than once after a licensee has defaulted on a student loan guarantee by the TGSLC, unless the licensee has entered into a payment agreement with TGSLC. Contact TGSLC prior to renewing your application and find out whether or not you are eligible.

Note: Municipal license renewal processes will vary. Contact your local municipality to obtain information regarding specialty licenses.


6

Pass Your Examination

Electrical Contractors:

For an Electrical Contractor’s license, you you must first file an application form through TDLR. Once your application is approved, you are qualified to take the examination. You can find more information regarding examination and fees here.

Plumbing Contractor:

A Plumbing Contractor’s license requires you to fill in an application through TSBPE. There, you can also find all requirements and fees necessary prior to your examination. Application processing takes approximately 30 days, depending on application volume.

Examination in regards to Specialty Contractor’s licenses will differ in each municipality. Please visit your municipality's website or call for more information.


7

Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

Contractor licenses are awarded at the municipal level and other requirements such as surety bonds can be made at this level. Check with your local development authority for more information.



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