The State of California holds reciprocity agreements with the contractor licensing agencies of Arizona, Utah and Nevada. This means that a General Contractor, who holds a valid license, in good standing, in one of these three states may easily become licensed to work on projects in California.
California’s reciprocal agreements with these states are due to the similarities in the licensing requirements and the scope of work covered by each license classification. Reciprocity between these states makes the process of getting a California General Contractor license easier and more streamlined.
Reciprocal License Classifications in California
A General Contractor license in the State of California is classified as a Class B, General Building Contractor License. Licenses are issued by the Contractor State License Board (CSLB).
As a General Contractor, applying for a reciprocal license in California, you must hold an active license in one of the following states, in one of the following classifications:
- Class B- General Residential Contractor License
- Class B-1- General Commercial Contractor License
- Class B-2- General Small Commercial Contractor License
- Class B- 3- General Remodeling and Repair Contractor License
- Class B- General Building Contractor License
- Class B100- General Building Contractor License
- Class R100- Residential and Small Commercial Contractor License
For more information about reciprocal license classifications for contractors in California, please visit the link below:
Reciprocal Requirements for California
In order to obtain a reciprocal General Contractor license in the State of California, contractors must meet the following requirements:
- Hold an active license, in good standing, with the State of Arizona, Nevada or Utah for the past 5 years in one of the corresponding General Contractor License classifications.
- Obtain, complete and submit the CSLB’s license application, along with all required documents and fees. For a copy of the Application for Original Contractor License, please visit:
Application for Original Contractor License
- Obtain the Request for Verification of License form. This form is composed of two sections. Contractors must complete the top portion of the document. The contractor licensing agency for the state of Arizona, Nevada or Utah must complete the lower section of this form. To obtain a copy of this form, please visit:
Request for Verification of License Reciprocity
- Contractors must take and pass the qualifying examination for the State of California, administered by the CSLB. The CSLB will issue a notice to appear for the examination at the time that they accept the contractor’s license application. The notice will also contain study materials to help the contractor prepare for the exam.
Reciprocity Exam in California
All contractors applying for a reciprocal General Contractor license in the State of California must take and pass the qualifying exam, administered by the CSLB. The exam consists of two portions:
- Business and Law Exam
- Trade Exam
All applicants must pass the Business and Law portion of the exam with a minimum score of 72%. In some cases, the CSLB will waive the Trade portion of the exam, if the applicant meets all the other reciprocal requirements.
*The CSLB reserves the right to require any contractor applying for a reciprocal license in the State of California to take and pass the Trade portion of the examination.
For more information about the exam, contact the CSLB at:
Further Information About Reciprocity in California
For more information about California’s Reciprocity program through the CSLB, please contact the Licensing Information Center at:
Visit the CSLB website at: