Do I Need A Class “C” Contractor’s License?

If you’re in the construction business and work on residential or commercial properties, then you may need to be licensed as a class “C” contractor. 

This guide will help you understand what kind of work requires a Class C license, the time it takes to get your license, what kind of projects you can work on, and how much it costs to get a Class C contractor license.

Types of Contractor’s Licenses

A contractor license is designed for construction professionals who only perform certain specified tasks within the state of California. The following types of licenses are available:

  • General Building Contractor License (Class “B”)
  • Residential Remodeling Contractor License (Class “B-2”)
  • Specialty Contractor License (Class “C”)

General Contractor License

A general contractor license is required to perform any type of construction work. If you plan on completing any of the following tasks, then you must have a general contractor license:

  • Building new structures from the ground up
  • Renovating or remodeling existing buildings
  • Repairing roofs and other exterior structures
  • Installing pool decks or retaining walls

General contractors are responsible for the entire project and must hire subcontractors to complete specific tasks. For example, if your job involves building a garage addition onto an existing house, you will need to find a skilled carpenter who can build the framing and other components that make up this structure.

Specialty Contractor License

The Speciality Contractor License in California – also known as a Class “C” license – is for specialized contractors working in specific trades in the construction industry.

If you work as, or plan to work as, a professional in one of the following industries, you need a specialty contractor license:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing 
  • Electrical work
  • Boiler, hot-water heating and steam-fitting
  • Insulation and acoustical
  • Concrete
  • Drywall
  • Elevator
  • Demolition
  • Masonry
  • Lathing and plastering
  • Refrigeration
  • Solar
  • Well drilling
  • Welding

This is just a small sample of the types of specialized tradework that requires a Class C license – the CSLB has over 60 classifications of construction work that requires a Class C license! 

In effect, you will need a Class C license if you are doing any work on a home where you are not a general contractor or engineer, or if you are doing any remodeling work. Any specialized construction trade requires you to have a Class C license.

How Do I Get A Class C Contractor’s License?

Getting your Class C Contractor’s License from the CSLB is a straightforward process. 

You must have 4 years experience in your specific line of work, pass the CSLB examinations, post your $25,000 Contractor’s Bond and pay the fees associated with the Class C license.

Once you receive your license, you’re now legally able to perform work in your trade on any job site, so long as you are performing only the type of work you are licensed to perform.

When does my Class C Contractor’s License expire?

Like every other CSLB license, your Class C license will expire 2 years from the date of issuance.

No need to worry about remembering to renew your license – the CSLB will send you a renewal reminder 60 days before your license is set to expire.

Need help getting your Class C license? CSLS has all the resources you need to get your Class C contractor’s license as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sign up for our courses today and get your license as soon as possible!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.