Apply for a Contractors License CSLB Waiver

Apply for a Contractors License CSLB Waiver

Are you required to take the contractors license examination? Or can you apply for a contractors license CSLB waiver?

cslb examination waiverBelow are the guidelines regarding the contractors license examination waiver process.

If you do not currently or have not previously served as a qualifying individual for the same classification being applied for, or within the past five years have not passed the law and/or trade examinations, you will be required to take and pass the Examination for licensure.

If you currently serve, or within the past five years have served, as a qualifying individual for the same classification being applied for on a license in good standing, or within the past five years have passed the law and trade examinations for licensure, as outlined in Business and Professions Code section 7065, No Examination will be required.

Waiver provisions for the examination are outlined in Business and Professions B&P Code section 7065.1 and 7065.2. You must meet all of the conditions of the appropriate section for the Waiver Provision to apply. In some cases, only the trade exam may be waived.

Currently, waiver provisions defined in B&P Code section 7065.1 may be granted under subsections 7065.1b and 7065.1c. While 7065.1a also provides for waiver of the exam, the Registrar exercised his authority to suspend waivers under this section.

There are many intricacies when it comes to a contractors license examination waiver. Let me help you sift through the red tape to find out if you qualify for an examination waiver.


I am a Navy vet and former laborer for a B-Gen Bldg contractor, I built mobile homes for many years, I worked at the Contractors State License Board for 5 yrs, and have been operating a contractors license service company since 2005.

8 thoughts on “Apply for a Contractors License CSLB Waiver”

  1. I have a registered Corporation in Nevada since 2012, have been doing internal gutting and equipment removal in facilities which have been shut down eg Mervyns, Wickes Furniture, Sears, paint facility etc which are in States that do not require demo license. Now we will remove some equipment from a facility in California, do we need a C21 demo license? Can we apply for an examination waiver?

    1. Hello. You could possibly need the C-21. Send an email to and ask them if the work you will be performing will require the license. I’m not sure if removing equipment would be considered demo.

      No, there would be no waiver available to you. If you do need the license you would have to take the law/business and trade exams.

  2. My Fiance is a “General” Electrician certified by the California Department of Industrial Relations. He has been an electrician for over 20 years. The DIR does not issue certifications without work certification to prove many many hours (I can’t recall how many exactly) of work experience in the electrical field. The Electrical Exam by the DIR is said to be harder than the BAR. He is a Master Electrician, Certified and in Good Standing with DIR. Can he get a waiver on the trade portion of the exam by the registrar for his C-10, if so what is the B&P Code & subsection of code that would apply? He doesn’t have a problem taking it, however, he works so many hours that I want him to simply focus on the law portion of the exam. Thank you.

    1. Hello Susan,

      Unfortunately there is no waiver based on experience alone. The only waivers available are 1) if he held the C10 classification within the last 5 years, 2) works as a supervisor of a licensed contractor and will be replacing the C10 qualifier currently listed on that license, or 3) if he has been listed as an officer or partner on a C10 license for at least 5 out of the previous 7 years.

      Assuming none of those apply, he would have to take both the Trade and Law/Business exams.

  3. My husband has been a contractor ( finishing and coatings) for 25 yrs . My son has been working by his side helping him all these years ; this has been a family business (sole proprietor) . My husband is planning on retiring in the next couple of years and my son will be taking over the business will he need to take the exam or can he take over the existing license?

    1. Hello Mary,

      Does the license carry workers comp and has your son been on payroll? If so, you could apply for a “family waiver” that would allow your son to take over the license. If not, your son would have to apply for a new license number.

      To qualify for a family waiver, your son would have to be able to show at least five years of experience (under the license) within the preceding seven years.

  4. I was a general partner in a General Eng. construction co. for 20 years. My wife held our lic. as we claimed woman owned. We divorced in 2012 and that co. was dissolved. Do I qualify for an exam waiver?

    1. Hello Terry,

      The only waiver you could have qualified for is the Listed on License Waiver. To qualify for that waiver you would have to be listed on an “active” license for five out of the last seven years. You may qualify for a license (and take the exams) if you can prove (with documentation) your A experience for 4 yrs out of the last 10 yrs.

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