Hawaii Contractor Licenses
In Hawaii, a contractor’s license is required for any project where the labor and material cost is over $1,000 or when, regardless of the cost, a building permit is required.
Select a license to view its requirements, definition, exams, books, and classes.
Business exam that all construction contractors must pass besides their trade exam to become licensed
Acoustic tile systems, spray systems, and insulation in buildings and structures for the purpose of sound control
Aluminum and Other types of metal shingles
Remove, encapsulate, or otherwise disturb asbestos or asbestos-containing material which might become friable
Patch asphalt driveways and parking areas; sealcoat surfaces; paint parking and highway stripes
Paving and surfacing of roadways, runways, driveways, parking areas, play areas, seal coating, and parking lot striping
Awnings and patio covers
Fire-tube and water-tube power boilers, hot-water heating boilers, and thermal fluid systems
Demolish structures and remove related debris
Cabinet, case, sash, door, trim, nonbearing partitions, and remodeling of existing buildings
Carpentry, framing, siding, wood truss, and roof sheathing
Fabric floor coverings and artificial turf
Place and finish concrete
Excavate cesspools and install septic tanks
Performance of construction work requiring unique or special skill which is not related to or does not completely fall within any of the listed classifications
Shingles and shakes made of wood or any other material
Lay concrete and clay tile
Cut, drill, saw, core, and pressure grout concrete
Belt line conveyor systems, including baggage carousels
Cultured marble or synthetic marble products
Tanks, piping, and sprinkler heads in kitchens and range hoods
Gypsum wallboard systems, including taping and texturing
Transmit, transform, or utilize electrical energy less than 600 volts phase to phase
Electronic equipment, controls, PA systems, intercom, maste antenna, CATV, clock systems, electric door opening, and fire/burglar alarm systems
Electrical, hydraulic, and manually operated elevators, dumb waiters, moving walks or ramps, conveyor systems, stage lifts, escalators, and man lifts
Construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance, mechanical, or electrical work or adjustments of any elevator, dumbwaiter, stage lift, mechanized parking garage elevator, escalator, moving walk or ramp, and manlift
Excavate, cut, fill, grade, or trench (includes incidental use of explosives)
Fire and burglar alarm systems
Fire prevention and protective systems
Floor covering (linoleum, rubber, vinyl, cork, asphalt, plastic aluminates, composition flooring, wood, floor sanding, and refinishing)
Gas tanks, hazardous waste storage tanks, pumps, hoists, and service stations
Overhead, mechanical, and sliding garage doors, including window shutters which require a similar installation method
Build, alter or repair any building
Irrigation, drainage, water power, water supply, flood control, inland waterways, harbors, docks, wharves, shipywards, ports, dams, hydroelectric projects, levees, river control, reclamation works, railroads, highways, streets, roads, tunnels, airports, airways, sewers, sewage disposal plants and systems, waste reduction plants, bridges, overpasses, underpasses, pipelines, transmission of petroleum, parks, playgrounds, recreational works, refineries, chemical plants, industrial plants, powerhouses, power plants, mines, metalurgical plants, land leveling, earth-moving projects, excavating, grading, trenching, paving, surfacing, cement, and concrete
Tinting of existing glass surfaces
Glaze or tint frames, panels, sash, and doors window walls, curtain walls, shower doors, tub enclosures, mirrors, metal windows/screens, metal sliding doors, metal jalousies, store front metal/trim, plastics, tempered glass doors
Pneumatically applied aggregates, cement, and water as gunite
Gutters and downspouts
Transmit, transform, or utilize electrical energy of more than 600 volts phase to phase
Hot tubs, saunas, and vinyl or fabric-lined pools
Place hydro-mulch material as a bed for ground cover and for containment of soil
Install industrial instrumentation, pneumatic instrumentation systems, laboratory equipment, lockers, food services equipment, folding and sliding partitions, folding bleachers, stationary metal partitions, raised floor systems, prefabricated systems using metal chutes, incinerator, stages, rigging of stage curtains and racks, jail and prison equipment, and related locking devices or control
Provide interior design services and enter into contracts for renovation work, as long as the work is subcontracted to licensed contractors
Irrigation, lawn sprinklers, pressure regulators, back flow prevention devices, irrigation control electrical wiring (less than 24 volts), and automatic/manual controls
Plumbing systems, including drains, waste, sanitary vents, water supply systems, fixtures, and gas systems
Electrical work on industrial facilities, substations, switchgears, and automatic controls
Electrical specialty work
Gardens, lawns, shrubs, vines, bushes, trees, and other decorative vegetation; construct conservatories, hot and green houses, drainage and sprinkler systems, all types of rockscaping and ornamental pools, fountains, ornamental walls, fences, and walks; and placement of hydro mulching, irrigation control electrical wiring (less than 24 volts)
Wood and metal lath to support plaster coatings, including metal framing needed to support the lath
Brick, baked clay products, rough/cast stone, marble, granite, decorative plaster, veneer, CMU, structural glass brick/block, fire clay products, refractories, grout, rubble work, caulking, tuckpointing, sandblasting, mortar; and drill, cut, and core concrete
Plumbing system, including drains, waste, sanitary vents, water supply systems, fixtures, and gas systems
Insulation materials on mechanical systems for the purpose of temperature control
Contract for the installation of retail products sold, as long as the installation is done by a subcontractor who is properly licensed
Folding gates, guardrails, handrails, stairs, fencing and gates, window shutters and grills, room dividers and shields, accessories, railings, and traffic safety devices
Painting and decorating, including highway and parking striping using emulsions, waxes, epoxies, polyesters, urethane, liquidglass, fibrous cement and ruber base coatings. Includes incidental surface preparation like caulking, sandblasting, waterblasting, power cleaning, steam cleaning, decorative texturing, taping, and fishing of drywall
Drill holes for pilings and caissons, drive the pile and set the caissons. Includes pile cutting and capping, foundation compacting and vibrafloat systems
Apply gypsum plaster, cement, and acoustical plaster to any surface, as part of multipurpose, acoustic, insulation, and fire retardant systems. Includes lath installation
Apply top or seal coating to achieve a level, suitable play, court surface
Plumbing systems, supply water piping systems, waste water piping systems, fuel gas piping systems, other fluid piping systems, equipment, instrumentation, non-electric controls, fixture for these systems, venting for waste water piping systems, venting for fuel gas piping systems, including piping for vacuum, air, and medical gas systems, piping for spas and swimming pools, piping for lawn sprinkler systems, piping for irrigation systems, sewer lines, related sewer disposal work performed within property lines, fire protection sprinkler systems when supervised by licensed mechanical, engineers or licensed fire protection contractors, solar hot water heating systems, and incidental trenching, back filling, patching, and surface restoration
Strengthen poles by injecting into or encasing poles with fiberglass, polyurethane, or epoxy; also covers reinforcement of poles using steel trusses or braces
Dress, ground, anchor, and erect poles that will carry high voltage (600 volts phase to phase or more) electrical wires; connect and string electrical wires, fixtures, and apparatus to and between the poles, installation of pole-mounted transformers, street and highway lighting, and traffic signal systems
Apply compression to concrete structures through the use of steel bars or wires to bring them to proper tension after the structures are built/placed
Prefabricated refrigerator panels
Pumps and related equipment
Repair or recondition water and sewer lines (manually and remotely)
High-temperature fire clay and refractory products or equipment
Refrigeration devices, machinery and units, temperature insulation units, ducts, blowers, registers, humidity, thermostatic controls for the control of air temperature below fifty degrees, Fahrenheit, refrigerators, refrigerated rooms, Insulated refrigerated spaces, and construct walk-in refrigerator boxes
Place and tie steel reinforcing bars (rods) of any profile, perimeter, or cross-section to reinforce concrete buildings and structures
Application of roof coatings for waterproofing and reflective purposes
Watertight coverings to roof surfaces, cedar, cement, asbestos, metal, and composition shingles, wood shakes, cement and clay tile, built-up roofing, single ply, fluid type of roofing systems, spray urethane foam, asphalt, protective/reflective roofs, and deck coatings
Erect or dismantle scaffolds
Sewer lines from houses to city sewer with connections, and septic tank installation
Concrete and masonry sewers, packaged sewer disposal plants, sewage lift stations, septic tanks, and piping for sewers and manholes
Cornices, flashings, gutters, downspouts, kitchen and laboratory equipment, duct work, metal flues, premanufactured sheet metal products, metal chutes, lockers, shelving, louvers, nonbearing metal partitions, plastic skylights, fiberglass ducts and fittings, installation of aluminum awnings, canopies, patio, covers, and seamless aluminum gutters
Aluminum vinyl or other manufactured siding to form a watertight surface
Electrical or nonelectrical signs, devices, supports, and accessories
To stabilize the earth through the use of cement and/or chemical pressure grouting
Solar hot water systems for buildings and swimming pools, and solar hearing and cooling for all types of buildings
Solar heating and cooling systems
Collectors, storage vessels, controls, pumps, and related piping
Photovoltaic panels, batteries, controls, and related low voltage and DC wiring
Mechanical, overhead, sliding, and roll-up steel doors
Ornamental and veneer, structural walls, stone-paved surfaces, and retaining walls
Structural steel shapes (bars, rods, plates), structural steel members for buildings and structures, riveting, bolting, welding, and rigging, erection of prefabricated metal buildings, passenger loading bridges, metal roofing, metal siding installed on steel framing, overhead, sliding and roll-up steel doors or mechanical doors
Supervise electrical work
Supervise industrial electrical work (substation, switchgear, automatic controls and industrial facilities)
Direct and supervise the performance of electrical work
To treat surfaces by using, but not limited to, sandblasting, water blasting, power cleaning, or steam cleaning. This also includes the application of sealants in connection with the above
Concrete, gunite, metal, and plastic type pools, whirlpool baths, hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool decks, walkways, pool piping, pumps, heaters, electric pool lights, and interior pool finishing
Service of swimming pools, whirlpool baths, and Jacuzzi pumps, filters, heaters and related circulation piping, acid washing and repainting, repairs to pool tile, coping stones, plaster, and decks
Fill and tape joints and indentations in wallboard to achieve a smooth surface to serve as the base for future finishes
Telephone, computer, and data systems, and related cabling, wiring, and fiber optics
Place and finish terrazzo and liquid membrane with terrazzo chips
Ceramic, mosaic, granite, terrazzo, tile
Equipment and piping systems in connection with wastewater treatment, water distribution, and water pumping facilities
Prune, trim, and remove trees, and stumps
Tuckpointing, caulking, and sealing of concrete block and pre-cast stone; caulk metal to concrete and masonry, and spall repair
Apply urethane foam coatings to roofs
Tubing for air systems, pneumatic conveyor systems, and central vacuum systems for conveying material
Warm-air heating, air cooling systems, heating and cooling solar systems, including thermal and acoustical insulation
Apply wall covering materials like vinyl, wallpapers, wood veneer, cloth fabric, and fibrous type coverings
Chlorinate or sanitize water or water lines
Waterproofing exterior walls and between slabs, both above and below grade, planter boxes, tank linings and application of tank coatings, and application to parking decks, play courts, and walking decks to form a watertight, non- skid surface, but not to include the work of the C-42 roofing contractor
Welding of pipe lines, tanks, pressure vessels, guard rails, and fire escapes
Water wells, injection wells, water well pumps, pump controls, concrete pump base and waterline to adjacent storage tank
Wood and vinyl fencing
Installation of shingles and shakes made of wood or any other material
How to Apply for a Hawaii Contractor's License?
In Hawaii you can get Construction, Plumbing, Electrical, and Elevator contractor licenses. Construction licenses are issued by the Contractor Licensing Board, which is part of the Professional & Vocational Licensing Division (Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs).
Hawaii currently offers the following construction contractor licenses:General Engineering (A), General Building (B), Acoustical and Insulation (C-1), Mechanical Insulation (C-2), Asphalt Paving and Surfacing (C-3), Asphalt Concrete Patching, Sealing, and Striping (C-3a), Play Court Surfacing (C-3b), Boiler, Hot-Water Heating, and Steam Fitting (C-4), Cabinet, Millwork, and Carpentry Remodeling and Repairs (C-5), Garage Door and Window Shutters (C-5a), Siding Application (C-5b), Carpentry Framing (C-6), Carpet Laying (C-7), Cesspool (C-9), Scaffolding (C-10), Drywall (C-12), Electrical (C-13), Sign (C-14), Electronic Systems (C-15), Fire and Burglar Alarm (C-15a), Telecommunications (C-15b), Elevator (C-16), Conveyor Systems (C-16a), Excavating, Grading, and Trenching (C-17), Asbestos (C-19), Fire Protection (C-20), Dry Chemical Fire Repressant Systems (C-20a), Flooring (C-21), Glazing and Tinting (C-22), Glass Tinting (C-22a), Gunite (C-23), Building Moving and Wrecking (C-24), Institutional and Commercial Equipment (C-25), Landscaping (C-27), Hydro Mulching (C-27a), Tree Trimming and Removal (C-27b), Masonry (C-31), Cement Concrete (C-31a), Stone Masonry (C-31b), Refractory (C-31c), Tuckpointing and Caulking (C-31d), Concrete Cutting, Drilling, Sawing, Coring, and Pressure Grouting (C-31e), Ornamental, Guardrail, and Fencing (C-32), Wood and Vinyl Fencing (C-32a), Painting and Decorating (C-33), Wall Coverings (C-33a), Taping (C-33b), Surface Treatment (C-33c), Soil Stabilization (C-34), Pile Driving, Pile and Caisson Drilling, and Foundation (C-35), Plastering (C-36), Lathing (C-36a), Plumbing (C-37), Sewer and Drain Line (C-37a), Irrigation and Lawn Sprinkler Systems (C-37b), Vacuum and Air Systems (C-37c), Water Chlorination and Sanitation (C-37d), Treatment and Pumping Facilities (C-37e), Fuel Dispensing (C-37f), Post-Tensioning (C-38), Refrigeration (C-40), Prefabricated Refrigerator Panels (C-40a), Reinforcing Steel (C-41), Roofing (C-42), Aluminum and other Metal Shingles (C-42a), Wood Shingles and Shakes (C-42b), Concrete and Clay Tile (C-42c), Composition Shingle (C-42d), Urethane Foam (C-42e), Roof Coatings (C-42g), Sewer, Sewage Disposal, Drain, and Pipe Laying (C-43), Reconditioning and Repairing Pipelines (C-43a), Sheet Metal (C-44), Gutters (C-44a), Awnings and Patio Cover (C-44b), Structural Steel (C-48), Steel Door (C-48a), Swimming Pool (C-49), Swimming Pool Service (C-49a), Hot Tub and Pool (C-49b), Tile (C-51), Cultured Marble (C-51a), Terrazzo (C-51b), Ventilating and Air Conditioning (C-52), Miscellaneous Retail Products (C-53), Interior Design (C-54), Waterproofing (C-55), Welding (C-56), Well (C-57), Pumps Installation (C-57a), Injection Well (C-57b), Solar Power Systems (C-60), Solar Energy Systems (C-61), Solar hot water systems (C-61a), Solar heating and cooling systems (C-61b), Pole and Line (C-62), Pole (C-62a), High Voltage Electrical (C-63), and Classified Specialist (C-68).
Below is are the typical licensing steps a contractor needs to undergo in order to become licensed in Hawaii.
- Register with the Business Registration Division.
- Have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity and fair dealing.
- Obtain liability and workers' compensation insurance.
- Have in your employ a licensed individual who is designated Responsible Managing Employee (RME).
- Fill & Submit your Entity Application (Corporation, Partnership, Joint Venture, LLP or LLC) to the Honolulu office on or before the first Tuesday of the month two months prior to the scheduled meeting date. An entity (Corporation, partneship, joint venture, LLC, or LLP) cannot be issued a license without having in its employ a principle responsible managing employee (MRE).
- Attach the application fee (non-refundable) to your application.
- Submit a current (not more than a year old) financial statement accompanied by an independent accountant's report.
- Submit a current and complete credit report for each officer, partner, manager, or member, (from a credit reporting agency issued not more than 6 months ago) covering at least the previous 5 years.
- Submit a current Hawaii State Tax Clearance (issued not more than 6 months old) with an original State Department of Taxation stamp.
- If you are planning to use a trade name, submit a filed-stamped copy of current trade name registration approved by the Business Registration Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
- All entities must be registered with the Business Registration Division (BREG). If registered for less than one year, attach a "filed-Stamp." If registered for more than one year, attach a "Certificate of Good Standing."
- Appoint an MRE. If MRE is not licensed in Hawaii, the Responsible Managing Employee Application must be submitted. If MRE is licensed in Hawaii, a letter confirming employment with applicant and confirming termination of employment with former employer must be submitted. If the MRE has several active licensing classes, the ones not activated with the current applicant will be placed on inactive status.
- The board will take about a month reviewing your application and after doing so, it will notify you of whether you application has been approved, disapproved, or deferred.
- Once approved by the board, the RME registers, if applicable, with the testing provider to schedule the exams (Part I: Business and Law and Part II: Trade).
- The RME takes the exam. Upon receipt of passing score, the board notifies the applicant of licensing requirements.
- The RME must satisfy the following Experience Requirements:
- Must have a minimum of 4 years of supervisory experience within the past 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
- Must submit at least three notarized certificates of supervisory experience with the application. If applying for multiple classifications, at least one experience certificate must be submitted for each.
- Must submit a Project List as documentation of the applicant's previous supervisory work experience. As many pages as needed can be submitted to account for the for years of supervisory experience required.
- Upon receipt of licensing requirements by the board, the board will issue the contractor's license to the applicant.
Hawaii contractors can obtain a copy of the Laws and Rules regulating contracting activity in Hawaii on the PVL website.
Sending the Application to the Board
The completed contractor application form and supporting documents can be delivered in-person to the Merchant Street address, or by mail to the P.O. Box address listed below:
Contractor Licensing Board
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96813
Testing Center Contact Information
For more information please see the Frequently asked questions page.
Important Forms and Resources for Hawaii Contractors
Scope of work of the different contractors licenses offered in Hawaii
What's on the Hawaii Contractor's Exam?
Scopes of work for Hawaii Contractor Licenses
Designating a Responsible Managing Employee (MRE)
Applying for a Hawaii Contractor's License as a Sole Proprietor
Adding an Additional Contracting Classification
Official Schedule of Hawaii Contractor Exams
Hawaii Contractor License Boand Form
Form to be Excluded from Workers' Comp Requirements (Ch. 386-HRS)
How to get an Electrical or Plumbing License in Hawaii
Hawaii offers the following Electrical and Plumbing Licenses: Journey Worker Electrician EJ, Supervising Electrician (ES), Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (EJI), Supervising Industrial Electrician (ESI), Journey Worker Specialty Electrician (EJS), Supervising Specialty Electrician (ESS), Maintenance Electrician (EM), Journeyman Plumbing (PJ), and Master Plumbing (PM).
Below are the detailed steps on how to get a contractor's license for the electrical or plumbing trades in the state of Hawaii. Please note that Hawaii DOES NOT reciprocate with any other jurisdiction (Hawaii does not take licenses from any other State).
- Submit the Application for Plumbing and Electrical Contractors in Hawaii along with non-refundable application fee.
- Be qualified by the Board of Electricians and Plumbers:
- Applicant must submit completed and notarized "Experience Verification(s) - Electrician Only" or "Experience Verification(s) - Plumber Only" forms.
- Journeyman and Maintenance Electricians must provide verification of completion of electrical academic coursework conducted at or accepted by a University of Hawaii Community College:
- Satisfy Trade Experience Requirements:
- Journey Worker Electricians need 5 years but not less than 10,000 hours in residential or commercial wiring.
- Supervising Electricians need 4 years experience as a licensed journey worker electrician or equivalent.
- Journey Worker Industrial Electricians need 4 years but not less than 8,000 hours in industrial electrical work.
- Supervising Industrial Electricians need 3 years experience as a licensed journey worker industrial electrician or equivalent.
- Journey Worker Specialty Electricians need 3 years but not less than 6,000 hours in the trade.
- Supervising Specialty Electricians need 2 years experience as a licensed journey worker specialty electrician or equivalent.
- Maintenance Electricians need 1 year of electrical maintenance work.
- Journey Worker Plumbers need 5 years but not less than 10,000 hours of plumbing work in compliance with the UPC.
- Master Plumbers need to be registered as a licensed journey worker plumber in this or another state for at least 2 years.
- Upon approval by the board, an "Examination Registration Form" will be mailed to the applicant.
- The applicant must register with PSI© to take the exam.
- Obtain passing scores on the Hawaii contractor licensing exams.
- Pay the appropriate licensing fee (not the same as the application fee) to obtain your license upon final approval by the board.
The electrician exams are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), and the Plumbing exams is based on the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC).
Contact Information for the Electrician and Plumbers Board
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
DCCA-PVL Att: EP
P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801
Electrician and Plumbers Board Website
To obtain the required academic coursework for an electrical license, you may contact the HCC or participating community colleges directly for their course schedules:
Office of Continuing Education
Honolulu Community College
874 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817
Office of Continuing Education & Workforce Development
96-045 Ala 'Ike, Room CE-101
Pearl City, HI 96782
How to get an Elevator Mechanic's License in Hawaii
Below are detailed steps on how to become a licensed elevator mechanic in Hawaii:
- Be 18 years of age.
- Submit the Application for Elevator Mechanic Contractor's License in Hawaii, along with the application fee.
- Satisfy the Experience Requirements:
- Attach a completed and signed Experience Verification Form.
- An elevator mechanic must certify that the applicant satisfactorily completed at least four years of training under his supervision.
- The board will review the application. If the application is approved by the Board, the applicant will receive a Notice of Approval and an Examination Registration Form.
- Sign up for the exam (subject to availability based on testing schedule).
- Once the exam is passed (notification will be sent via mail two weeks after testing), the applicant will receive a License Fee Notice with payment instructions.
- Pay the necessary licensing fees (different than the application fee).
Contact Information for the Elevator Board
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
DCCA-PVL Att: EM
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Elevator Board Website