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General Contractor Licensing in Georgia

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The Georgia Secretary of State’s office passed a law in 2008, requiring all general contractor’s to hold a license.  A general contractor’s license in the State of Georgia is the highest-level license offered by the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.  A license is needed to pull permits and to work on any project worth $2,500 or more in labor and materials.

The State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors is composed of 15 members.  Members of the Board represent both consumers and the construction industry, with 7 members in the General Contracting Division.  The Board sets the standards and determines if an individual or business is qualified to hold a general contractor’s license.

Requirements to Obtain a Georgia General Contractor License

  1. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age or older.
  2. Applicants must be of good moral character and have the skills and integrity to contract and complete the work.  They must also demonstrate financial responsibility.
  3. Applicants must have 4 years of general contracting education with 1 year of general contracting experience, OR, 4 years of work experience in the construction field with at least 2 years in general contracting.  The Board also accepts a combination of education and work experience.
  4. Fill out an application to take the examination and provide all requested documentation, including transcripts or letters of recommendation
  5. Applicants must sign a permission form, allowing the Board to perform a background check, including criminal history.
  6. Applicants must provide a list of any persons or businesses they plan to work with as a general contractor.
  7. Provide proof of general liability and workers compensation insurance.
  8. Pass a 2-part exam covering business and law and the trade of general contracting.

Types of General Contractor Licenses in the State of Georgia

The State of Georgia offers 4 different types of licenses for general contractors.

  1. General Contractor License Individual – a license for contractors working on their own.  There are no limits on the types of projects or project size that the individual may work on.
  2. General Contractor License for Qualifying Agents– license for those applying as a business.  The person submitting the application is known as the qualifying agent and must meet all the Board requirements.  There are no limits on the type of project or project size that the business may work on.
  3. General Contractor License for Individual: Limited Tier- license for individual contractors who wish to operate on their own, but, the limited tier states that the individual cannot contract work on projects worth $500,000 or more.
  4. General Contractor License for Qualifying Agents: Limited Tier- license for businesses that are represented by a qualifying agent who meets the requirements set forth by the Board.  However, the business is limited to projects of $500,000 or less.

Education and Work Experience

The Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors requires candidates to have education, work experience, or a combination of both before they are eligible to apply for the licensing exam.

Applicants must have:

  • 4 years of education from an accredited college or university with a degree in construction management, building construction, architecture, engineering or a related field.  Additionally, the applicant must have 1 year of work experience in general contracting or a related field.
  • 4 years of work experience in the construction industry, with at least 2 years in general contracting.  Other acceptable work experiences include working in accounting, marketing, administration, estimating, drafting, engineering or project management.
  • A combination of education from an accredited institution and work experience that is equal to 4 years.

The applicant must submit proof of their education and work experience with their examination application.  The Board must approve education credits and work experiences in order for them to be valid. Proper proof of education and work experience includes things like:

  • Transcripts
  • Certificates or Diplomas
  • Letters of Recommendation from a previous employer or person the Board deems acceptable, such as a licensed architect, engineer or construction professional.

Submitting an Application

After completing the education and work experience requirements, it is time to apply to take the licensing exam.

Individuals have a choice of filling out one of the following applications:

  • Application for Examination for General Contractor Individual-Limited Tier
  • Exam General Contractor Examination for Individual Application

Qualifying agents for general contracting businesses have the choice of filling out and submitting either the:

  • Application for Examination for General Contractor Qualifying Agent- Limited Tier
  • Exam General Contract Examination for Qualifying Agent Application   
*Please note that individuals and businesses applying for the Limited Tier are not able to work on projects worth more than $500,000.     

Click the link below to download and print a copy of the appropriate application:

http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/plbforms.asp?board=49

Fill out the application using blue or black ink.  Be sure to read and follow all the directions in the application packet and complete the entire form. Also, be sure to submit all the required documentation, including:

  • Proof of education
  • Letters of recommendation and references
  • The criminal background check consent form.
  • List of all people and businesses that the applicant plans to work with.  This list should include the person’s professional title and contact information.

Applicants must prove that they are financially stable.  Those applying for the limited tier are required to have a net worth of $25,000.  Individuals and businesses applying for the unlimited tier are required to have a net worth of $150,000.  Net worth is proven with a reference letter or report from a Certified Public Accountant.

Applicants are also required to submit proof of insurance.  When a qualifying agent is applying, the insurances must be in the name of the business or organization that the agent is applying for.  Insurances include:

  • General Liability Insurance in the amount of $500,000 per incident
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance, if employing workers

There is a non-refundable application fee of $200, which must be submitted along with the application and supporting documents.

The Board accepts payments in the form of check or money order made payable to “State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.”

Mail the application, fee and documentation to:

State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217-3858

Be sure to provide a valid email address on the application.  The Board will send the candidate an email letting them know when they have received their application.  Email addresses are not shared with third parties.

*Make copies of all documents, as the Board keeps all original documents for their files.      

**It is important to note that the Board returns applications that are incomplete or missing information.  Be sure to double check the information and documentation before mailing in the application.

Exam Registration

The Georgia general contractor licensing exam is administered by PSI Services Inc.  Once the Board reviews the exam application, they send a letter to all eligible applicants, letting them know that they can register for the exam with PSI.  Before a test is scheduled, applicants must first register with PSI and submit the examination fee.

The examination fee is $106.  Acceptable forms of payment include Visa or Mastercard.

For online registration, click on the link below and follow the links for new user registration.

http://candidate.psiexams.com/

Additional ways to register for the exam include:

  1. By Phone- candidates my register by phone 24-hours a day using PSI’s automated system. Call (800) 733-9267.  Representatives are available to assist callers during normal business hours.
  2. Fax the application along with Visa or Mastercard information to (702) 932-2666.  Allow at least 4 business days for processing.
  3. By mail- Print a copy of the registration form and submit it by mail.  When submitting the application by mail applicants may pay with a money order or cashier’s check.  Personal and business checks are not acceptable.  For a copy of the registration form, please visit:

https://candidate.psiexams.com/bulletin/display_bulletin.jsp?ro=yes&actionname=83&bulletinid=221&bulletinurl=.pdf

Mail registration form to:

PSI Licensure Certification
Attn: Examination Registration GA
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Once PSI processes the registration application and exam fee, the candidate may call PSI 24-hours a day and use their automated system to schedule their exam.  Call 800-733-9267

The Examination

The general contractor licensing exam is a 2-part exam.  Candidates must pass both portions of the exam to receive their license.

EXAM NUMBER OF QUESTIONS TIME ALOTTED
Business and Law Exam 50 120 minutes
General Contractor Trade Exam 115 330 minutes

There is a minimum passing score of 70% for each section of the exam.  Examinees receive their scores on the day of the exam before leaving the testing center.

For a breakdown of the topics covered on each test as well as a list of study materials and resources to help prepare for the exam, click on the link below and read the Candidate Information Bulletin:

http://candidate.psiexams.com/bulletin/display_bulletin.jsp?ro=yes&actionname=83&bulletinid=221&bulletinurl=.pdf

Applicants are eligible to take the examination 1 year from the time the Board receives their exam application.  After that time, the application is thrown out and candidates must reapply and pay the application fee again.

Applicants may attempt to take the exam 2 times within the year.  If the examinee fails either portion of the exam twice, they must reapply, pay the fee and take both portions of the exam again, regardless if they have passed one of the tests previously.

The exam is held in 3 locations in the State of Georgia:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Macon
  3. Tifton

*The Board also allows candidates to take the exam at locations within neighboring states through PSI.  Contact PSI for more information. 1-800-733-9267

On the day of the exam, arrive 30 minutes early to allow time for sign-in. Bring 2 forms of identification:

  1. Government issued photo id: such as a driver’s license or passport
  2. A form of identification with the examinee’s legal name and signature: such as a bank card or credit card.

Once the candidate passes both portions of the exam, PSI notifies the Board.  The Board then issues the general contractor’s license, permitting the licensee to contract work in the State of Georgia.

Georgia General Contractor License Renewal

As of June 2010, all general contractors in the State of Georgia are required to renew their licenses every other year.  The license renewal period occurs before June 30th on even numbered years (i.e. 2012, 2014, 2016).

The licensee must submit a renewal application along with a fee of $100.

Licensees can renew their general contractor’s license online at:

https://secure.sos.state.ga.us/mylicense/Login.aspx?process=ren

Licensees can also call the Board to request a paper renewal application be sent by mail: (478) 207-2440

The Board will remind the licensee that it is time to renew their license 90 days before the application and fees are due.  Reminders are sent by email, or by mail if the licensee does not have an email address.

Licensees must renew their general contractor’s license before June 30th; otherwise the licensee falls under penalty, which lasts from June 30th to December 31st.  Licensees who fall under penalty are required to pay a renewal fee of $200.

Licensees who fail to renew their general contractor’s license, before the penalty period expires on December 31st of the renewal year, will lose their license.  It is then up to the Board to reinstate the general contractor.  Reinstatement may involve reapplying, paying the initial licensing fees or retaking the examination.

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$200 Examination Application Fee Upon submitting the examination application
$106 Examination Fee Upon registering to take the general contractor’s licensing exam
$100 Biennial License Renewal Fee Every other year before June 30th
$200 Late Fee for License Renewal When renewing a general contractor’s license between June 30th and December 31st