The Quickest Way To Get Your California Contractor’s License

A California contractor license is necessary to do any construction work in California that costs more than $500. In reality, almost every construction job in the state requires you to have a contractor’s license.

Here’s our guide to getting your CSLB contractor license as soon as possible.

California Contractor’s License 3-step Guide
Getting your CSLB license takes 3 steps.

  1. Apply for a license
  2. Pass the CSLB examination
  3. Pay your fees & submit paperwork

It’s that easy. Below you can find everything you need to get your license as soon as possible!

What kind of license do I need?
In California, you need a contractor license to do any work that costs more than $500. 

The easiest kind of contractor’s license is a Class “B” Contractor’s License. This license allows you to do general contracting work. 

There are also licenses for specialty contracting work called a Class “C” Contractor’s License. These are for jobs like plumbing or electrical.

In order to be licensed, you need to have 4 years’ journey-level experience and to pass the CSLB examination. 

Who is responsible for giving out licenses?
The Contractors State Licensing Board, or CSLB, is the agency responsible for giving out contractor licenses.

In order to be a general contractor in California, you have to go through the process the CSLB has created.

The most important thing the CSLB does is the CSLB exam. This 2-part exam verifies a contractor’s skills and ensures safe, quality construction work in California.

Where can I get my license?
In order to pass the CSLB examination and become a licensed contractor, you need to take the examination. This examination is only available in person and cannot be taken online. 

It can also be taken at home or at your place of work, but you need special permission from the CSLB for this, which can add time to getting your license.

In order to submit your application, you need to send your application to the CSLB headquarters at the following address:

CSLB Headquarters
Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826-0026

You can take the CSLB examination in the following cities: Berkeley, Fresno, Norwalk, Oxnard, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Jose.

How long does it take to get my contractor’s license?
You can take the CSLB examination at any time, but you need to schedule your examination in advance.

Once you take your test, it takes roughly 1 month for you to receive your results (as of December 2022).

From start to finish, the whole process from application to receiving your license currently takes about 4-6 weeks.  

How do I start my contracting business in California?
The quickest way to get started is to schedule a time to take the CSLB examination. 

To do so, go to the CSLB website – – and submit an application for your CSLB contractor license.

You’ll receive your examination information, then it’s up to you to pass the test and get your license. 

Passing the CSLB examination the first time is the quickest and cheapest way to get your CSLB license. Every time you fail the exam, it costs $100 to re-take the exam – not to mention the money lost from waiting to take it again.

Let CSLS help you pass the exam the first time with our CSLB examination courses. We can teach you everything you need to get your contractor’s license as quickly as possible – so you can start your contracting business today!

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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.