CSLB Guide for Contractors

The CSLB (Contractors State License Board) is in charge of regulating the construction industry in California, and protects consumers by ensuring contractors follow all rules pertaining to the health, safety and general welfare of the public. The CSLB was founded in 1929, and now licenses close to 300,000 contractors across the state.   cslb  

How to Become a Licensed Contractor

The CSLB offers a wealth of information online relating to how to become a licensed contractor in California, and other important topics relating to operating as a contractor. However, the CSLB site can be tough to navigate for contractors who want to find the information they need to get their license.

If you're ready to start your journey to becoming a licensed contractor you can check our California contractor license guide, which outlines everything you need to know in a clear and concise format.  


California Contractor License Bonds

In order to obtain your license, you will need to get a contractor license bond. It's important to ensure you work with a contractor license bond expert to ensure you secure the best rate, cut down on turnaround time and have a team of claims specialists to protect your business.  


CSLB Resources for Contractors

As mentioned above, the CSLB offers a lot of information relating to legally operating as a contractor in California. Take a look at the list below that cover some of the most popular topics.

Check Your Application Status

If you've already submitted your license application, you can check the status by using the license status tool.

How to Maintain or Change Your License

If you already have an active contractor license with the CSLB, but want to change information or ensure you remain compliant, you can check our their comprehensive guide here.

Already Have a License in Another State?

According to the CSLB, you can't use a contractor license from another state or country to legally operate in California. However, if you hold a valid contractor license in Arizona, Nevada or Utah, you might be able to obtain a California contractor license without taking the trade portion of the exam.

Contractors can apply for reciprocity to get a contractor license in those states. The following reciprocity requirements are the same for all three states:

  • The contractor must be applying for a license in a classification that appears on that state's Reciprocal Classifications List
  • The contractor must have held an active license in good standing in one of the reciprocal states for the previous five years
  • The contractor must submit to CSLB a Request for Verification of License form that is completed by the licensing entity under which he or she already is licensed

If you want to apply for reciprocity in another state, you must ask the CSLB to complete and forward a Request for Verification of License form to the reciprocal licensing agency.

How to Contact the CSLB

The CSLB offers several ways to get in touch with them, and you can find them here.

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Janet G. Ladner
November 21, 2019

In reply to by admin

I have tried to get information from the NZorwalk CSLB staff to no avail. I live in a HOA and one of our Board members consistantly circumvents the law that if a nob is 500.00 or more, including materials by having residents write checks or pay under 500.00 even when he clearly is doing completeremodeling jobs in excess oil way over 500.00 and circumventing the law. Representative came from Norwalk in response to form I submitted and of course the guy hid his truck at address given. But newest residence be has been working at he parks his truck k out fron. I even thought Norwalk represenatative is said to have spoken to complex s manager , left brochures on display table, which were whisked away and manager stated at meeting that Norwalk representative said that only Complex Management jobs had to have a CSLiense license. And the state contractors laws did not pertain association or residents of complex. My question is do these yahoos not have to follow the Licensing rule for Management jobs and not for the 171 residents that constitute the Association. This unlicensed guy has had $10,000.00 residence additions without drawing any permits whatsoever. AND is not licensed. The Owners are aware of the law and even bragged about circumventing the law by paying in multiples of less than 500.00 at one remodeling/additions. I have a complaint against the Norwalk office for not answering consumer question and also for not sending requested forms/brochures.

Eric Weisbrot
February 20, 2020

In reply to by Janet G. Ladner

Hey Janet,

I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps you can try contacting the Department of Insurance and notify them that the contractor is operating without the required license/bond in place.

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