Rhode Island Contractor License Guide
In the state of Rhode Island, only utility contractors must be licensed at the state level. All other (in-state or out-of-state) contractors and subcontractors are required to complete contractor registration. The registration and licensing process is handled by the state of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.
Please note there might be different license and bonding requirements for construction contractors at a local level. Contact the city or county where you wish to operate for further information.
Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need
- Underground Utility Contractor License - allows you to install, repair, alternate or replace sewer lines, water lines or storm drainage lines and related services.
- Contractor Registration - allows you to work on commercial or home construction, alteration and/or repairs.
Out-of-state contractors can obtain an Underground Utility Contractor license or Contractor Registration by assigning an agent of service and fulfilling the same application requirements as in-state contractors.
Access Rhode Island Contractor License Application Forms
The application forms can be accessed via the Board’s website.
- Underground Utility Contractor license application form found here.
- Contractor Registration form found here.
Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents
Underground Utility Contractors:
- Fill out the pre-application: After you have completed the pre-application form you will be assigned a designated license number.
- Provide proof of Rhode Island residency or assign an agent of service: You are required to be a resident of Rhode Island to be issued an Underground Utility license. Out-of-state applicants: appoint a registered agent or an attorney (with an office operating in Rhode Island) and complete section 2 of the application.
- Submit a Limited Liability Insurance Certificate: The insurance must be in the amount of $1,000,000 and the Contractors Board should be listed as the certificate holder.
- Provide proof of workers compensation: If you have employees, you are required to submit workers compensation insurance.
- Submit (passing) test results
- Complete pre-education courses: All new applicants working on residential constructions or residential and commercial constructions are required to have five hours of pre-education courses. For further information please contact the board or check the list of approved education providers and courses.
- Show proof of liability insurance and workers compensation: You must be able to provide a certificate of liability insurance in the amount of $500,000. Make sure RI Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board (R.I.C.R.L.B.) is indicated as the certificate holder. If you have, or plan on having any employees you must provide information about the insurance carrier and the policy number. The liability insurance and workers insurance forms can be found in the application.
- Sign and notarize the affidavit and attach it to your application.
If you are registering as an out-of-state contractor you will also need the following:
- Assign a registered agent: To be issued a contractor registration you need to appoint a registered agent or an attorney (with an office operating in Rhode Island) and complete section 3 of the application.
Pass Your Examination
Applicants for the Underground Utility license must pass a written exam provided by PSI, in order to show understanding of the rules and regulations, as well as be able to read and interpret plans and specifications. For further information about the examination and scheduling an exam date visit PSI’s website or call them at 800-733-9267.
Obtain Your Contractor License Bond
All Underground Utility license applicants must submit a Rhode Island surety bond of $20,000 for two years in the name of the RI Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.
Submit Your Rhode Island Contractor License Application
How to fill out your application:
Please type or print plainly in ink. Applications must be signed and notarized.
Send your Underground Utility application with the bond, license fee and all supporting documents. Send your Contractor Registration application with the license fee, certificate of completed pre-education course and signed affidavit.
Licensing and Application Fees
Payments can be made via check and money orders and must be made payable to R.I.C.R.L.B. Underground Utility license applicants may also pay the fee by credit or debit card in person at the Board’s office. Cash will not be accepted.
Underground Utility License fees:
- $50 pre-license fee
- $200 license fee
- $10 photo ID fee
Contractor Registration fees:
- $200 registration fee (valid for 2 years)
- $20 fee for any additional registration card
Please mail your application, supporting documentation and all applicable fees to:
The Department of Administration
Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board
One Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908
Note: Underground Utility License applicants can also bring their application in person to the same address.