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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: "A" General Engineering, "B" General Building, C-1 Acoustical and insulation, C-2 Mechanical insulation, C-3 Asphalt paving and surfacing, C-3a Asphalt concrete patching, sealing, and striping, C-3b Play court surfacing, C-4 Boiler, hot-water heating, and steam fitting, C-5 Cabinet, millwork, and carpentry remodeling and repairs, C-5a Garage door and window shutters, C-5b Siding application, C-6 Carpentry framing, C-7 Carpet laying, C-9 Cesspool, C-10 Scaffolding, C-12 Drywall, C-13 Electrical, C-14 Sign, C-15 Electronic systems, C-15a Fire and burglar alarm, C-15b Telecommunications, C-16 Elevator, C-16a Conveyor systems, C-17 Excavating, grading, and trenching, C-19 Asbestos, C-20 Fire protection, C-20a Fire repressant systems, C-21 Flooring, C-22 Glazing and tinting, C-22a Glass tinting, C-23 Gunite, C-24 Building moving and wrecking, C-25 Institutional and commercial equipment, C-27 Landscaping, C-27a Hydro mulching, C-27b Tree trimming and removal, C-31 Masonry, C-31a Cement concrete, C-31b Stone masonry, C-31c Refractory, C-31d Tuckpointing and caulking, C-31e Concrete cutting, drilling, sawing, coring, and pressure grouting, C-32 Ornamental, guardrail, and fencing, C-32a Wood and vinyl fencing, C-33 Painting and decorating, C-33a Wall coverings, C-33b Taping, C-33c Surface treatment, C-34 Soil stabilization, C-35 Pile driving, pile and caisson drilling, and foundation, C-36 Plastering, C-36a Lathing, C-37 Plumbing, C-37a Sewer and drain line, C-37b Irrigation and lawn sprinkler systems, C-37c Vacuum and air systems, C-37d Water chlorination and sanitation, C-37e Treatment and pumping facilities, C-37f Fuel dispensing, C-38 Post tensioning, C-40 Refrigeration, C-40a Prefabricated refrigerator panels, C-41 Reinforcing steel, C-42 Roofing, C-42a Aluminum and other metal shingles, C-42b Wood shingles and wood shakes, C-42c Concrete and clay tile, C-42e Urethane foam, C-42g Roof coatings, C-43 Sewer, sewage disposal, drain, and pipe laying, C-43a Reconditioning and repairing pipeline, C-44 Sheet metal, C-44a Gutters, C-44b Awnings and patio cover, C-48 Structural steel, C-48a Steel door, C-49 Swimming pool, C-49a Swimming pool service, C-49b Hot tub and pool, C-51 Tile, C-51a Cultured marble, C-51b Terrazo, C-52 Ventilating and air conditioning, C-53 Miscellaneous retail products, C-54 Interior design, C-55 Waterproofing, C-56 Welding, C-57 Well, C-57a Pumps installation, C-57b Injection well, C-60 Solar power systems, C-61 Solar energy systems, C-61a Solar hot water systems, C-61b Solar heating and cooling systems, C-62 Pole and line, C-62a Pole, C-63 High voltage electrical, and C-68 Classified specialist.

Below is are the typical licensing steps a contractor needs to undergo in order to become licensed in Hawaii.

  1. Register with the Business Registration Division.
  2. Have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity and fair dealing.
  3. Obtain liability and workers' compensation insurance.
  4. Have in your employ a licensed individual who is designated Responsible Managing Employee (RME).
  5. 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).
    1. Attach the application fee (non-refundable) to your application.
    2. Submit a current (not more than a year old) financial statement accompanied by an independent accountant's report.
    3. 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.
    4. Submit a current Hawaii State Tax Clearance (issued not more than 6 months old) with an original State Department of Taxation stamp.
    5. 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.
    6. 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."
    7. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. The RME takes the exam. Upon receipt of passing score, the board notifies the applicant of licensing requirements.
  9. The RME must satisfy the following Experience Requirements:
    1. Must have a minimum of 4 years of supervisory experience within the past 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  10. 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

Business and Law Candidate Bulletin
Contractor License Candidate Bulletins

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)