Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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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: 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.

  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:

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)