Virginia Contractor Licenses
Virginia contractors are regulated by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Select any of the licenses below to view its requirements, exams, books, and classes.
An examination that must be completed and passed by applicants who apply for either Class A or Class B
Wheelchair lifts, incline chairlifts, dumbwaiters with a capacity limit of 300 pounds, private residence elevators, and limited use-limited application (LULA) elevators
Installation, repair, or improvement, from the meter, of alternative energy generation systems
Install, remove, or encapsulate asbestos materials
Asphalt paving and or seal coating
Cross-connection control devices
Any billboard or structural sign
Any real property or any structure annexed
Wheelchair lifts, incline chairlifts, dumbwaiters with a capacity limit of 300 pounds, and private residence elevators
Nonresidential farm building or structure or nonresidential farm accessory-use structure
Repair or improvement of structures
Placing of concrete composed materials finishing, coloring, curing, repairing, testing, sawing, grinding, grouting, placing of film barriers, sealing and waterproofing, forms, molds, slipforms, pans, centering, and the use of rebar is also included
Gypsum wallboard systems
Electronic or communications systems at 50 volts or less. Following systems are electronic, sound, and communications systems annexed to real property, including telephone wiring, computer cabling, data links, data and network installation, television and cable TV wiring, antenna wiring, and fiber optics
Elevators or escalators installation, repair, improve, or remove
Elevators and escalators
Construction of a well to monitor hazardous substances in the ground
Pollution control and remediation devices
Install, or repair equipment, or machinery
Nonresidential farm building or structure
Cabinets, sash casing, door casing, wooden flooring baseboards, countertops, millwork
Fire alarm systems 50 volts or less
Incidental work on all sprinkler systems
Fire suppression systems and other gas systems
Improvement in the flooring industry
Framing or rough carpentry
Glass, panels, sashes, and doors management
Bridges, railroads, dams, roads, drainage systems, runways, foundations, streets, parking lots, structural signs and lights, public transit systems, tanks, building demolition, nonwater good drilling, clearing, paving, concrete work, pile driving, excavating, road marking, grading, steel erection, electric power systems, pumping stations, public utilities, and water gas and sewer connections
Improvement of dwellings and townhouses
Services that provide installation or removal of an industrialized building; therefore, allow the licensee to complete internal tie-ins of plumbing, gas, electrical, and HVAC systems
Materials classified as insulating media installation, improvement, or removal
Work under the direct supervision of a master licensee in the installation and repair of alternative onsite sewage systems
Maintain and operate alternative onsite sewage systems under the supervision of a master licensee
Assist in evaluating soil sites as suitable for alternative onsite sewage systems
Install conventional onsite sewage systems under the supervision of a master licensee
Work under a master licensee operating conventional onsite sewage systems
Work under the supervision of a master licensee to assist in evaluating soil sites suitable for conventional onsite sewage systems
Supervise electronic or communications systems at 50 volts or less
Plan and supervise the maintenance and improvement of HVAC systems
Gas meters, regulators, gas lines, and gas appliances
LP gas tanks and appliances
Natural gas piping and fittings
Supervise the installation of plumbing systems
Drilling and maintaining water wells, water well systems, and ground source heat pump exchangers
Irrigation sprinkler systems or outdoor sprinkler systems installation, repair, improvement, or removal
Alteration or improvement of a land area not related to any other classification or service activity
Removal or encapsulation of lead-containing materials
Conduct and lead inspections and clearance testing
Lead inspections, risk assessments, and abatement clearance testing
Supervise lead abatements
Limited-use/limited-application elevator systems
Employ a Manufactured Housing Installer
Impede or alter a body of surface water
Structures made of bricks, sand, stone, cement blocks, etc
Construct, repair, and install conventional and alternative onsite sewage systems
Operate and maintain alternative onsite sewage systems
Evaluate soil properties as the locations for alternative onsite sewage systems
Install, construct, and repair conventional onsite sewage systems
Maintain and operate conventional onsite sewage systems
Evaluate soil properties locations for conventional onsite sewage systems
Supervise electrical wiring equipment following standard rules and regulations
Supervise HVAC systems
Plan and supervise work of LP or Natural Gas piping, tanks, and appliances
Gas lines, gas meters, regulators, and appliances
Repairs, tests, or removes Natural Gas piping or fittings
Plan and supervise plumbing systems
Water wells, water well systems, and ground source heat pump exchangers
Service may fall under another classification or specialty service but is more limited than the functions provided by the other classification or specialty. This specialty may not be used for work that would fall under the ELE, HVA, PLB, GFC, LPG, NGF, EEC, WWP, ASC, LAC, or ASB classification or specialty
Painting and decorating both interior and exterior surfaces
Additions, repairs, or improvements to buildings or structures to prevent the effects of radon gas
Any recreational facility
Refrigeration equipment, coolers, refrigerated casework, ice-making machines, drinking fountains, cold room equipment, and hermetic refrigeration equipment
Residential properties, concrete contracting, masonry contracting, home improvement contracting, painting and wallcovering contracting, industrialized building contracting, roofing contracting, landscape service contracting, swimming pool contracting
Evaluate, measure, or quantify its energy consumption and efficiency, including lighting, HVAC, electronics, appliances, water heaters, insulation, and water conservation, as well as recommendations to reduce compensation conducted or made by a licensed residential building energy analyst
Watertight, weather-resistant surface for roofs and decks
Steel buildings, bridges, and other structures
In-ground swimming pools
Artificial marble, burned clay tile, ceramic, terrazzo, encaustic, faience, quarry, semi-vitreous, cementitious board, and other tiles
Main sanitary sewer collection systems
Non-residential vessels, tanks, or piping that hold or convey fluids other than sanitary, storm, waste, or potable water supplies
Well pump and tank including pipe and wire
Manage a transfer station, material recovery facility, experimental facility, or a composting facility
Operator of a sanitary, industrial, construction, or a debris landfill
Works with an infectious waste incinerator or autoclave
Operator of municipal waste combustor
Drilling water well systems and pumps, ground source heat exchangers to the point of connection to the ground source heat pump
Water treatment plant serving 50,000 or more persons, or having a water treatment plant capacity of 5.0 MGD or more and employing conventional filtration or chemical coagulation in combination with membrane filtration
Water treatment plant serving 5,000 or more persons but fewer than 50,000 persons, or having a water treatment plant capacity of 5.0 MGD or more, whichever range applies, and employing rapid rate conventional filtration or chemical coagulation in combination with membrane filtration
Disinfection other than with hypochlorination, caustic soda feed, iron and manganese removal, ion exchange, slow sand filtration, aeration, rechlorination other than with hypochlorination, activated carbon contactors, membrane, or other filtration technologies without chemical coagulation, and fluoridation with a saturator or acid feed
Disinfection other than with hypochlorination, caustic soda feed, iron and manganese removal, ion exchange, slow sand filtration, aeration, rechlorination other than with hypochlorination, activated carbon contactors, membrane, or other filtration technologies without chemical coagulation, and fluoridation with a saturator
Waterworks are serving 400 or more persons. Hypochlorination for disinfection, corrosion control with calcite or magnesium oxide contactors or solution feed except with caustic soda; or sequestration by solution feed
Hypochlorination for disinfection; corrosion control with calcite or magnesium oxide contactors or solution feed except with caustic soda; or sequestration by solution feed
Application Process for Virginia Contractors
Businesses engaged in construction, repair, removal, or improvement of facilities on property owned by others are granted contractor licenses by the Board for Contractors. There are three classes by which the contractor licenses are categorized. Class A, B, and C. The classes are determined by the monetary value of projects that can be performed and specialty, which establishes what type of work is allowed. Applicants who selected Class A are required to take and pass the General, Virginia, and Advanced portions. Class B applicants must complete and successfully pass the General and Virginia portions of the examination. As for class C licenses, applicants are only required to pass the trade exam.
How to apply for a Virginia Contractor License
- Create a business entity. Contractor licenses are issued to business entities, not individuals (ex. sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships, and corporations). Name that company and be sure to register that name (the company name must not exceed your licensing scope, for example, you cannot be called ABC Builder if you do not have a builder's license).
- Select a class type. For any business the class determines the monetary restrictions depending on the projects or contracts that a contractor may perform; choose between the following:
- Class A: no monetary restrictions.
- Class B: restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $120,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month period remaining below $750,000.
- Class C: restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $10,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month period remaining below $150,000.
- Select the specialty that identifies the work that will be performed. The definition of each of the classifications can be found in the Board for Contractors Regulations.
- Identify a Qualified Individual(QI) minimum 30 hours per week and not a 1099 employee OR a Designated Employee and complete the examination. Class A and Class B contractors must have a Designated Employee who has completed the required examination portions. The General, Virginia, and Advanced portions must be passed for all Class A licenses. Class B contractor licenses must complete the General and Virginia portions of the examination. As with the Qualified Individual, the Designated Employee must be a member of Responsible Management or a bona fide full-time employee. Please note that there is no Designated Employee for Class C licenses.
- Complete a pre-license education course that has been approved by theDPOR-approved provider. The number of hours that are needed depends on the license type.
- Fill out and submit the completed application. Note there are separate applications for Individual Tradesmen, Well Systems Contractors, and Backflow Prevention Device Worker Certification.
- Send an application to the DPOR with the corresponding fee. Keep in mind that the state may take up to 30 days to process the application.
Requirements for Class A, B and C
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a full-time employee or a manager of the business.
- Complete a board-approved basic business course.
- Receive approval for examination or have been exempt from the exam required by § 54.1-1106 of the Code of Virginia.
- Class A requires a minimum of five years of experience, Class B requires a minimum of three years, and Class C requires two years in the classification or specialty selected.
- Disclose the following information about the firm, all members of the responsible management, the designated employee and the qualified individual for the firm:
- Submit its financial information. Excluding any property owned as tenants by the entirety, the firm shall state a net worth or equity of $45,000 for Class A, and for Class B, any property with a net worth or equity of $15,000 or more.
- Provide information on past debt, outstanding tax obligations, defaults on bonds pending, or past bankruptcies for the past five years.
- Disclose any monetary penalties, fines, suspensions, revocations, or surrender of a license in connection with disciplinary action.
- All non-marijuana misdemeanor convictions within three years of the date of application.
- All felony convictions during their lifetimes.
- Pass the contractor exam(s), hold an existing certification or be licensed by the DPOR
Hold a certification for the following classification and/or specialty license:
- Blast/Explosive (BEC)
- Manufactured home Contracting (MHC)
- Radon mitigation (RMC)
- Fire Spinkler (SPR)
Hold a valid license issued from Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) for the following designation:
- Alternative Disposal System (ADS)
- Asbestos (ASB)
- Accessibility Services (ASC)
- Accessibility Services with LULA (ASL)
- Conventional Disposal System (CDS)
- Electrical (ELE)
- Elevator/Escalator (EEC)
- Lead Abatement (LAC)
- Gas Fitting (GFC)
- HVAC (HVA)
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
- Natural Gas Fitting Provider (NGF)
- Plumbing (PLB)
- Water Well/Pump (WWP)
Be pre-approved and pass a mandatory examination for the following classification and/or specialty:
- Alternative Energy Systems (AES)
- Asphalt Paving & Seal Coating (PAV)
- Commercial Building (CBC)
- Commercial improvement CIC)
- Concrete (CEM)
- Drug, Lab, Remediation (DLR)
- Drywall Company (DRY)
- Electronic/Communication Service (ESC)
- Environmental Monitoring Well (EMW)
- Environmental Specialties (ENV)
- Equipment/Machinery (EMC)
- Farm Improvement (FIC)
- Finish Carpentry (FIN)
- Fire Alarm Systems (FAS)
- Fire Suppression (FSP)
- Flooring & Floor Covering (FLR)
- Framing Sub (FRM)
- Glass & Glazing (GLZ)
- Highway/Heavy (H/H)
- Home Improvement (HIC)
- Industrial Building (IBC)
- Insulation & Weather Stripping (INS)
- Landscape Irrigation(ISC)
- Landscape Services (LSC)
- Marine Facility (MCC)
- Masonry (BRK)
- Painting & Wall Covering (PTC)
- Recreational Facility (RFC)
- Refrigeration (REF)
- Residential Building (RBC)
- Roofing (ROC)
- Steel Erection (STL)
- Swimming Pool Construction (POL)
- Tile, Marble, Ceramic & Terrazzo (TMC)
- Underground Utility & Excavating (UUC)
- Vessel construction (VCC)
- Contractor licenses will be issued by the DPOR and sent via mail to the address provided on the application.
Contact Information for Virginia Contractors
Useful Links for Virginia Contractor License
- Virginia Board of Contractors
- Step by step guide to obtaining your Virginia Contractor License
- Virginia Tradesmen Program
- Class A, B and C License Application
- Class A and B Financial Statement
- PSI© Examination Bulletin for Virginia
- Class A and Class B Contractor Examination Bulletin
- Water Well Systems Provider Candidate Bulletin
- Individual License and Certification Candidate Bulletin
- Qualified Individual and Designated Employee Application
- Firm Residential Building Energy Analyst License Application
- Virginia Forms & Applications
- Virginia Contractor Licensing Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Virginia contractors ask common questions regarding the process, application, and requirements. The questions listed were created by the Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation.
What is the process of becoming a Contractor in Virginia?
If you are interested in becoming a Contractor, you should follow the instructions carefully, making sure you fulfill the requirements and pay the corresponding fee. You can find more information about it here.
Is there a pre-license requirement in Virginia?
Yes, there is. In order to become licensed as a Contractor (Class A, Class B, or Class C), applicants must complete eight hours of pre-license education. For Class A and Class B applicants, the pre-license education must be completed by a member of responsible management or the designated employee. For Class C applicants, a member of responsible management must complete the pre-license education. Pre-license education is required for all new contractor licenses and is a separate requirement from the Class A and Class B examinations. The pre-license education course is a basic business course that covers relevant regulations, statutes, and requirements that are necessary for every business owner. The course is not specific to any particular classification or specialty. A Board-approved advanced contractor class will also meet the requirements for the pre-license education course.
How do I contact the board?
If you have a question regarding licensing issues, renewal, application status, etc., please contact the Licensing Section at 804-367-8511. If you have a question regarding continuing education providers, how to become a provider, or other questions relating to education, please contact the Education Section at 804-367-2224. The Board members do not work in the Board office. They come into the Board offices for Board meetings and hearings, but are not here on a daily basis. Board office staff members can answer your questions and are trained to process all information that comes into the Board office. Please do not contact Board members directly.
I am licensed in Virginia, and applying for licensure in another state. The other state is requesting verification of my Virginia license. What do I need to do?
I need to renew my license, but I haven't received my renewal form. What do I need to do?
No earlier than 60 days prior to your license expiration, send in the renewal fee, make checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia, and include your license number on your check. Mail this information to: Board for Contractors Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400Richmond, VA 23233 You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license has expired.
My renewal payment was one day late and I have always paid on time. Can you waive the late fee?
No. The Board's regulations provide 30 days after the expiration date in which a license may be renewed without penalty (therefore, your payment is 31 days late). Staff cannot waive the fee. Board regulations state that if the requirements for renewal of a license, including receipt of the fee by the Board, are not complete within 30 days of the expiration date, a reinstatement fee is required.
Once your license expires, you no longer have a license to engage in contracting. The 30-day period is not a license extension but only an additional 30 days to complete your renewal and submit payment without having to pay the reinstatement fee.
I did not renew on time because I didn't receive my renewal card. Do I still have to pay a late fee or reinstate my license?
Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew.
Does the Board office use the date of receipt or the postmark date to determine whether an application or renewal was received on time?
The date the application or renewal was received in the agency determines whether it is on time, not the postmark date. If the renewal fee is received after the due date, you will be required to pay the reinstatement fee. If the reinstatement fee is received after the due date, you will be required to reapply for licensure, meeting all current requirements.
My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board?
Many Boards allow you to update your ADDRESS using Online Services, so login to your personal profile to see if this is an option for your license type. The alternative is to complete, print, sign, and submit an Address Change Form to the Board office by mail. Unless updated online, all Address Change Forms must be received by the Board in writing. When providing a post office box as the mailing address, it must be accompanied by the physical address. To report a NAME CHANGE: complete, print, sign, and submit a Name Change Form to the Board office. All name changes must be received by the Board in writing. Individual name change requests must be accompanied by a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, or other official documentation that verifies the name change.
How do I go about filing a complaint against a contractor?
Contact the Regulatory Programs and Compliance Section.
What if I have a criminal conviction?
It doesn’t necessarily prevent you from obtaining a license. There are no “barrier crimes” that are an absolute prohibition to licensure. State law requires DPOR regulatory boards to evaluate applicants with past convictions on a case-by-case basis to determine whether their criminal history is related to the profession. Boards must take into account the nine factors outlined in § 54.1-204.B of the Code of Virginia. Only a full Board, voting in public session at a regular meeting, can make the decision to deny an application for licensure. If you have a criminal conviction, you must submit the Criminal Conviction Reporting Form, along with a state police criminal history for every state where you have convictions, or a national criminal history, or a certified copy of the Final Order, decree, or case decision by a court with lawful authority to issue such Order, decree, or decision. Once DPOR receives this information, the Board may request additional documents from you pertaining to the conviction, and you may be required to attend an Informal Fact-Finding conference.
How do I sign up for remedial education?
If you have been ordered to complete remedial education, you must attend a full-day eight-hour class in person at DPOR. These classes are free and you can sign up using the Registration Form.
- Written by Rojas L.