How to Easily Check if a Contractor is Licensed and Insured in California

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to hire a contractor or a contractor looking to hire a subcontractor – or just someone who saw a contractor doing something shady – it’s important to know how to verify a contractor’s license.

The CSLB has an easy and painless way to look up a contractor’s license so you can protect your house, your team, your business and yourself from the havoc that unlicensed contractors can wreak. 

Why Hiring a Licensed and Insured Contractor is Important

Before we dive into the steps, let’s first discuss why it’s so important to hire a licensed and insured contractor.

  • Licensing: A contractor’s license ensures that they have the necessary knowledge and training to perform the work you need. That way you can rest easy knowing that they won’t rip you off and do shoddy work. Oh yeah, and that the work they perform won’t seriously endanger you or anyone else.
  • Insurance: Hiring an insured contractor protects you from any damage or accidents that may occur on the job. 

Now that we understand the importance of working with a licensed and insured contractor, let’s get into the steps to check their credentials.

Get The Contractor’s Contractor License Number

In order to do anything with regards to checking someone’s CSLB license, you first need the license number.

You can usually find a contractor’s license number on their website – if they’re reputable, you can expect this. If they don’t have a website, ask them directly for their license or their license number. 

If they can’t or won’t provide a license number, that’s an immediate cancellation on your end. You simply cannot do business with someone who can’t provide a CSLB license number.

Check the Contractor’s License

The first step in verifying a contractor’s credentials is to check their license via the CSLB’s lookup tool.

In California, you can do this through the Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Here’s how:

  1. Go to the CSLB License Check Page (
  2. Enter the contractor’s license number or their name and other identifying information
  3. Verify that their license is active and in good standing

It’s important to note that different types of contractors may require different licenses. It’s important to make sure they’re performing the type of work they’re signed on to do. 

There’s precedent for unscrupulous contractors to take advantage of employers and clients by operating under another license for a separate type of work.

Check the Contractor’s Insurance

In addition to checking the contractor’s license, you should also verify that they have insurance. Ask for proof of insurance and follow up directly with their insurance company to confirm coverage. There have been cases of fraudulent insurance coverage in the construction industry.

If you’re a contractor yourself, you already know this, but there are two main types of insurance that contractors need to have to legally operate in California:

  1. General Liability Insurance: This protects you from any damages or injuries that may occur as a result of the contractor’s work.
  2. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This covers any injuries or illnesses that the contractor’s employees may sustain while on the job.

It’s important to verify that the contractor has both types of insurance and that their coverage is up to date. These are essential things that every contractor must have, regardless of their classification, the business’ size, the type of project or the type of work they’re doing. 

Every contractor must have these two types of insurance. If they don’t, they need to be reported to the CSLB.


By following these simple steps, you can easily check if a contractor is licensed and insured in California. This will give you peace of mind and protect you from potential scams and legal issues. Remember to always verify the contractor’s license and insurance, as well as check for any complaints or disciplinary actions.

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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.