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General Contractor Licensing in Alabama

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In order to regulate the construction industry, the State of Alabama created the State Licensing Board for General Contractors in 1935.  Before a contractor begins work on any commercial or industrial projects worth $50,000 or more; or any residential project worth more than $10,000, they must hold a license from the state.

The State Licensing Board for General Contractors has licensed more than 10,000 contractors in Alabama.  A team of licensing specialists is always available to assist and answer any questions about the licensing process.  The Board meets once every quarter to review applications and issue licenses to those who meet the requirements.  To be eligible, contractors must complete the application process and pass the qualifying exam.

There are many specialty licensing classifications in the State of Alabama.  However, the two primary license classifications for general contractors include:

  • Prime Contractor’s License
  • Subcontractor’s License
*Those applying for a Subcontractor License are not required to take the qualifying exam.  

Process to Obtain a General Contractor License in Alabama

  1. Applicants must have a minimum working capital or net worth of $10,000 or more.
  2. Applicants must obtain and fill out the application packet in addition to the Confidential Financial Statement, Equipment Questionnaire and Experience Statement booklet, which is separate from the application.
  3. Applicants must obtain and prove that they hold liability insurance at the time they submit their application.
  4. Applicants must make sure that their completed application, along with the appropriate documents and fees, is on file with the Board 30 days before they meet for their quarterly review.
  5. Applicants applying for a Prime Contractor License must register for and take the qualifying exam once their application is on file with the Board.
  6. Prime Contractor applicants must pass the Business and Law exam as well as the Trade examination.
*Corporations have the added task of registering with the Alabama Secretary of State.  They must provide a certificate of registration along with their application.  Any business with employees must also provide the name and resume of all principal members in their organization.    

Preparing to Submit an Application

In order to bid on a construction project in the State of Alabama, contractors are required to have a minimum net worth or working capital of $10,000.  Once the contractor meets this requirement, they may begin the application process.

For a copy of the application, please visit the link below and click the links for either a Prime Contractor or Subcontractor application.

http://genconbd.alabama.gov/Forms-Main.htm

Applications are also available by calling the Board at: (334) 272-5030

The applicant also needs to print or call and request a copy of the Confidential Financial Statement, Equipment Questionnaire and Experience Statement booklet.  Click below and follow the link for “New Applicant Financials.”

http://genconbd.alabama.gov/Forms-Financial.htm

The financial statement must be completed by a certified public accountant (CPA).  The CPA must provide current information, less than one year old, about the applicant’s financial situation.  There is also a bank authorization statement within the application packet that the applicant must sign.  This authorizes the bank to verify the assets that the CPA lists on the financial statement.

*Those applying for a Subcontractor License do not need to hire a CPA for the financial portion of the booklet.  They are allowed to complete the financial section on their own.    

The applicant is responsible for filling out the work experience section of the booklet.  The work experience section gives the Board an idea of the applicant’s qualifications, and lets them review the companies and organizations the applicant has worked for in the past.

Additionally the Board asks for references.  Those applying for a Prime Contractor License need 4 references, while those applying for a Subcontractor License only need 3 references.

Appropriate references include:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • General Contractors
  • Anyone with direct knowledge of the applicant’s previous work experience.

The Prime Contractor License application, asks applicants to include the following for each of their references:

  • Name
  • Mailing Address with city, state and zip code
  • Work Phone Number
  • Fax number

The Subcontractor License application, asks applicants to include the following for each of their references:

  • Name
  • The person or entity for whom the work was performed
  • Location of the job
  • Description of the work
  • Amount the contractor was paid
*Any applicants who employs other workers must also include the name and resume of each principal member of their business or organization.
*Corporations are required to provide a certificate from the Alabama Secretary of State, verifying that they have registered with the State.    

Finally, before the applicant can submit the licensing application, they must obtain liability insurance.

Submitting an Application

Be sure to read and follow all the instructions for filling out the application.  Be sure to provide all the requested documentation.  Do not send any additional attachments other than those requested.  Fill out the application, printing in blue or black ink, or using a computer or typewriter.

There is an application fee for those applying for both Prime and Subcontractor Licenses in the following amounts:

  • Prime Contractors- $300
  • Subcontractors- $150

Acceptable forms of payment include:

  • Cashier’s Check
  • Certified Check
  • Money Order

Make the check out to “Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors.” The Board does not accept payments in the form of cash, company checks or personal checks.

Before mailing the application, be sure to double check that all questions are answered and that the application is signed and notarized in the appropriate places.  This is to prevent delays in the review process.

Mail the completed licensing application, fee and supporting documents to:

Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
2525 Fairlane Drive
Montgomery, AL 36116

For any further questions or inquiries about the application, contact the Board:

  • By Phone at: (334) 272-5030
  • By Fax at: (334) 395-5336.

All licensing applications are due at least 30 days before the scheduled quarterly Board meeting.  The Board meets once each quarter to review applications and determine who is eligible to become licensed.

To view the Board’s meeting schedule, click the link below.  This will also advise applicants of any special meetings or changes to the schedule.

http://genconbd.alabama.gov/Deadlines.aspx

It takes approximately 15 days for the Board to review the application and make a decision.  While Subcontractor applicants wait for their license, they are allowed to bid on projects.  Prime contractors, however, must wait until they pass the exam and receive their license in the mail.

The Examination Process

Anyone applying for a Prime Contractor License must take and pass the qualifying examination.  The exam is administered by a company called PSI.  All applicants are responsible for registering for the exam once the Board receives their license application and fee.

Once the Board receives the license application, they will mail the applicant a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin, which outlines the examination and registration process.  It also contains information on the topics covered on each test, study materials and registration instructions.  The exam registration form is also found within the Bulletin.

To view a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin, click the link below:

https://candidate.psiexams.com/bulletin/display_bulletin.jsp?ro=yes&actionname=83&bulletinid=67&bulletinurl=.pdf

The exam is a 2-part test, covering the topics of:

  1. Business and Project Management
  2. The Skills and Trade of General Contracting

All applicants have one year from the time the Board receives their license application to pass both portions of the exam. There is a minimum passing score of 70%.  Applicants have an unlimited number of times they can attempt to take the exam during the year.  Afterward, if they do not pass, they must submit a new license application and fee to the Board.

Exams are open-book and the Candidate Information Bulletin is full of tips and study suggestions.  There is also the Alabama Contractor Reference Manual, which contains important information for each test.

There is a $106 fee to register for both parts of the exam.  Separately, each test costs $96.

Acceptable forms of payment include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard

OR when registering by mail:

  • Cashier’s Check or Money Order made payable to “PSI”

Choose ONE of the following ways to register for the exam:

  • Online- go to the PSI website and follow the link for new user registration: www.psiexams.com
  • By Phone- call PSI and use their automated system 24 hours a day.  Representative are standing by to assist callers during regular business hours:
    (800) 733-9267
  • Fax- when registering by fax, allow 4 business days for processing.  Fax the registration form and payment information to:
    (702) 932-2666
  • By mail: allow approximately 2 weeks for processing when submitting the exam registration form by mail.  Complete the exam registration form from the Candidate Information Bulletin.  Mail the registration form and payment to:

    PSI Licensure: Certification
    3210 E Tropicana
    Las Vegas, NV 89121

It is the applicant’s responsibility to call PSI to schedule their exam once they have registered. To schedule an exam, call PSI at:  (800) 733-9267

Testing centers are located in:

  • Birmingham
  • Huntsville
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery

Examinees should arrive at least 30 minutes for before their scheduled test on the day of the exam to allow time for check-in. They are also required to bring 2 forms of identification:

  1. A government issued photo id with the examinee’s signature; such as a driver’s license or passport
  2. Another form of identification with the examinee’s name and signature; such as a credit card or debit card.

Examinees will receive their exam scores on the day of the exam before they leave the testing center.  PSI will notify the State of Alabama that the applicant has passed so the Board can issue the general contractor’s license.

How Long is an Alabama General Contractor License Valid?

Alabama general contractor license are good for 1 year.  All licenses expire on December 31st of each year.  It is the responsibility of the general contractor to renew their license within 1 year of their license expiration and pay the renewal fee.

  • Renewal Fee for Prime Contractors- $200
  • Renewal Fee for Subcontractors- $100

General contractor who do not renew their license within 1 year of the expiration date are required to resubmit an application and retake both portions of the exam to be reinstated.

License renewal is broken down by month depending on the name of general contractor’s company.  Use the following chart to determine which month in which to renew the license:

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Company Names that Begin With: Renewal Month
A December
B November
C October
D,E,F September
G,H August
I,J,K,L March
M,N April
O,P,Q,R May
S June
T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z July

*For additional questions concerning renewal, contact the Board to speak with a Renewal Specialist at: (334) 272-5030  

Table of Fees

FEE WHAT IS IT FOR? WHEN IS IT DUE?
$300 Prime Contractor Application Fee Upon submitting the licensing application
$150 Subcontractor Application Fee Upon submitting the licensing application
$96 Business and Law examination fee Upon registering for the examination with PSI
$96 Trade examination fee Upon registering for the examination with PSI
$200 Renewal fee for Prime Contractors When renewing the license each year
$100 Renewal fee for Subcontractors When renewing the license each year