If You Already Have a Contractors License From Another State or Country

You cannot use your contractor license from another state or country to perform services in California. However, if you hold a valid contractor license in Arizona, Louisiana, or Nevada, you may be able to get a California contractor license without taking the trade portion of the exam. Contractors can apply for reciprocity to get a contractor license in those states, as well.

CSLB has formal reciprocity agreements with the contractor licensing agencies of Arizona, Louisiana, and Nevada. Because the Board believes reciprocity among respective licensing programs is a valuable benefit, it offers reciprocity in specified classifications where the scopes of practice and licensing requirements are either identical or fundamentally indistinguishable in each state.

The following reciprocity requirements are the same for all three states:

  • The contractor must be applying for a license in a classification that appears on that state's Reciprocal Classifications List;
  • The contractor must have held an active license in good standing in one of the reciprocal states for the previous five years; and
  • The contractor must submit to CSLB a Request for Verification of License form that is completed by the licensing entity under which he or she already is licensed.

If the applicant is granted reciprocity, CSLB may waive the trade portion of the exam, but retains the right to require the exam. The applicant still will be required to take the business law portion of CSLB's exam.

If a California contractor wants to apply for reciprocity in another state, he or she must ask CSLB to complete and forward a Request for Verification of License form to the reciprocal licensing agency.

For more information on CSLB's Reciprocity Program, please contact the Licensing Information Center at (800) 321-CSLB (2752).