How long does it take to get a contractors license in California?

How long does it take to get a contractors license in California

As my father used to say… how long is a piece of string?

The processing times at the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) vary greatly.  It depends on the type of application, document, or form you’re submitting.

Different applications are processed by different units within the CSLB, and they each have their own backlogs.

When I joined the CSLB many, many years ago, the backlog was six months for an exam application to be processed.  Today it averages around three weeks, but that’s just for the application to be reviewed by a license application technician.  What are some other factors that could effect your application?

  1. Is the application formatted correctly?
  2. Are you applying for a B-Gen or A-Eng license?
  3. Is your experience that of an employee of a licensed contractor or self-employed?
  4. Are you submitting owner/builder experience?

Let’s say that your application hits all the CSLB marks for excellence and they approve your application and schedule you for the exams. Great! You’ll only have to wait about another three weeks for that test date to arrive.

While you are waiting for that test date, you’ll receive an envelope from the CSLB that contains forms you will take to a Live Scan office to get your fingerprints processed.  Check, one more thing off the list!  But wait… the FBI and DOJ that process those prints have their own backlogs and they can take anywhere between two and six weeks to return their reports to the CSLB.

Backing up a bit, what if your application doesn’t get a passing grade and the exams aren’t scheduled right away?  Well, then you’re looking at additional weeks of back and forth with the technician, waiting on a correction letter to be delivered in the mail, mailing your corrections back and then waiting on the technician to process those corrections.  If those corrections aren’t accepted, rinse and repeat.

There are tricks to speed the process up a bit, depending on your specific situation.  I’d be happy to help you find out.  Send me an email and we can discuss it. So, how long does it take to get a contractors license in California?  How much time do you have?

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