Florida Contractor FAQ

We are here to help you get licensed! Call us to speak with a licensing expert.

Q: Who needs a contracting license in Florida?

In general the term “contractor” means the person who is qualified for, and shall only be responsible for, the project contracted for and means, except as exempted in this part, the person who, for compensation, undertakes to, submits a bid to, or does himself or herself or by others construct, repair, alter, remodel, add to, demolish, subtract from, or improve any building or structure, including related improvements to real estate, for others or for resale to others; and whose job scope is substantially similar to the job scope described in one of the subsequent paragraphs of this subsection. For the purposes of regulation under this part, “demolish” applies only to demolition of steel tanks over 50 feet in height; towers over 50 feet in height; other structures over 50 feet in height, other than buildings or residences over three stories tall; and buildings or residences over three stories tall.

Q: Do I need a registration or a certification?

If you obtain a local, county or city contracting license, you must apply for initial state registration. You may only practice contracting in that county or city, along with any adjoining locales that will accept your registration. If you complete the Florida contractor’s examination and apply for initial certification, your licensure will allow you to work throughout the state. You may access both licensure applications and the Florida contractor’s examination application online at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/construction-industry/.

Q: What is the difference between a “certified contractor” and a “registered contractor”?

A “certified contractor” means any contractor who possesses a certificate of competency issued by the department and who shall be allowed to contract in any jurisdiction in the state without being required to fulfill the competency requirements of that jurisdiction. Certified contractors are designated by an occupation code which begins with the letter “C“.

A “registered contractor” means any contractor who has registered with the department pursuant to fulfilling the competency requirements in the jurisdiction for which the registration is issued. Registered contractors may contract only in such jurisdictions. Registered contractors are designated by an occupation code which begins with the letter “R“.

Additionally, a “swimming pool specialty contractor” means a sub-contractor whose scope of work is limited to the scope of work of their particular specialty license. Swimming pool specialty contractor licenses may be issued in the areas of layout, structural, excavation, trim, decking, piping, and finishes. Swimming pool specialty contractors may not contract directly with the public, and must work under contract, under the supervision, and within the scope of work of a contractor licensed pursuant to Sections 489.105(3)(j) – (l), Florida Statutes.

Q: If my application is approved, how long will it take to receive my Florida contractor license?

Licenses are typically issued within two weeks after the conclusion of the board meeting in which the application was approved.

Q: What are the requirements to become licensed as a Florida registered contractor?

You must provide a copy of your local contractor’s license. You may access the application for an initial registered contractor’s license online at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/construction-industry/.

Q: What are the fees for initial licensure for Florida Registered Contractors?

$309.00 if you are applying for initial licensure between May 1 of an odd year and August 31 of an even year. The fee is prorated to $209.00 if you are applying for initial licensure between September 1 of an even year and April 30 of an odd year. If you apply to qualify a business, you will pay an additional Business Registration fee of $50.

Q: What are the requirements to become licensed as a Florida certified contractor?

You must complete the Florida contractor’s examination, meet financial stability and responsibility requirements and provide proof of experience for the category in which you wish to become licensed. You may access the application for an initial certified contractor’s license and the Florida contractor’s examination application online at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/construction-industry/.

Q: What are the fees for initial licensure for Florida Certified contractors?

If you passed any part of your examination after January 1, 2009, the following fees apply: $249.00 if you are applying for initial licensure between May 1 of an even year and August 31 of an odd year. The fee is prorated to $149.00 if you are applying for initial licensure between September 1 of an odd year and April 30 of an even year. If you apply to qualify a business, you will pay an additional Business Registration fee of $50.

The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program is designed to help participating states by providing one trades licensing examination that is accepted by all participating jurisdictions.

The NASCLA Accredited Examination Program is NOT a nationally recognized license. Contractors will still have to meet additional state licensure requirements within each participating state to obtain their licenses.

The NASCLA Accredited exam benefits contractors who need licenses in multiple states. If your business will expand into any of the participating states, you will save time and money by passing the NASCLA exam.

By passing the NASCLA exam, you will avoid having to take multiple trades exams in other states. You will still need to pass a Business & Law exam in each of the States (except Arkansas).  Arkansas will accept the NASCLA Accredited exam as both the Trades and Business/Law.

Yes. Effective November 1, 2016, applicants must get pre-approval from the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) to take the NASCLA exam.

Applicants can apply for approval online at ned.nascla.org. Once approved, the individual’s name will be forwarded from NASCLA to PSI. PSI will then send the applicant an email with information about how to schedule their exam.

All of these books can be found in our book store. Click Here to take a look!

  • ICC A117.1 – 2017 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
  • BCSI: Guide to Good Practice for Handling, Installing, Restraining, and Bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses, 2013 or 2018 Edition
  • Carpentry and Building Construction, 2016 Edition
  • Code of Federal Regulations -29 CFR Part 1926 (OSHA), with latest available amendments
  • Construction Jobsite Management, 4th Edition, 2017
  • Construction Project Management, 4th Edition, 2014
  • NASCLA Contractors’ Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Basic, 12th or 13th Edition
  • Erectors’ Manual – Standards and Guidelines for the Erection of Pre-Cast Concrete Products, 2nd Edition, 1999
  • Green Building Fundamentals, 2nd Edition, 2011
  • Gypsum Construction Handbook, 7th Edition, 2014
  • Technical Digest No. 9 –Handling and Erection of Steel Joists and Joist Girders, 3rd Edition, 2008
  • International Building Code, 2015 or 2018 Edition
  • ACI 318-14 (2014): Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary
  • Training and Certification of Field Personnel for Unbonded Post-Tensioning -Level 1 Field Fundamentals, 3rd Edition, 2003
  • Modern Masonry – Brick, Block, Stone, 8th Edition, 2015
  • Pipe and Excavation Contracting, 2011 Edition
  • Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction, 9th Edition, 2014
  • Roofing Construction and Estimating, 1995 Edition
  • Placing Reinforcing Bars, Recommended Practices, 2011
  • SDI (Steel Deck Institute) Manual of Construction with Steel Deck, 3rd Edition, 2016
  • The Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, 4th Edition, 2018

For more information, view the PSI Candidate Bulletin.

References may be highlighted, underlined, and/or indexed (tabbed with permanent stick tabs), however they may NOT otherwise be written in or marked in any way. Temporary tabs, such as Post-It notes, are not allowed and must be removed from the reference before the exam will begin.

There are 115 questions and you must get 81 answers correct. You will have 330 minutes to complete the exam. The subjects covered in the exam are listed below, however, the questions are taken at random from a large pool of questions making sure that all contractors are taking a different exam.

Subject Areas and # of Questions:

  • General Requirements: 25 questions
  • Site Construction: 15 questions
  • Concrete: 6 questions
  • Masonry: 4 questions
  • Metals: 6 questions
  • Wood: 5 questions
  • Thermal and Moisture Protection: 5 questions
  • Doors, Windows, and Glazing: 4 questions
  • Finishes: 5 questions
  • Mechanical and Plumbing Systems: 6 questions
  • Electrical Systems: 3 questions
  • Procurement and Contracting Requirements: 31 questions

The exam is based on information found in the reference materials we have listed above as well as trade knowledge or general industry practices. Except for Code books, you may base your answers on later editions of references as they become available. For Code questions, the examinations will be based only on the edition of the Code book listed on the candidate bulletin.

The NASCLA exam is an open book exam. All of the books listed on the candidate bulletin may be brought into and used during the exam. Books will not be provided to you at the exam center. If you are in need of books, we offer all of the references listed on the Candidate Bulletin for sale in our Bookstore, or in our complete NASCLA Prep Package

Our NASCLA Exam Prep course is designed to help you maximize your study time.

The first set of lessons will walk you through study and test taking tips.

The remainder of the lessons are devoted to each book on the Candidate Bulletin. Each of these lessons help you get to know the layout of the books and key information that can be found within. Each book has a quiz dedicated solely to the material in that book.

Finally, you will find the practice test at the end of the course. This practice test consists of a pool of over 1,000 questions, to help you practice taking an exam as well as determine which areas you need to brush up on further.

That question is almost entirely up to you!

There are 16 hours of videos, which walk you through each reference allowed in the exam. There are also over 1,000 practice questions, to help you gauge your knowledge and practice using your references in an exam-like setting.

We recommend going through the entire course at least once. After that it is up to you. Some may want to go through the whole course multiple times. You might also find yourself taking note of particular topics you would like to devote more time to, and just going back later to study those areas.

We recommend for you to spend as much time with the course as is necessary to really get to know your reference materials, and be comfortable finding answers with the texts–this will ensure your success on the exam!

Q: When do I have to renew my Florida contractor license?

Certified contractors renew their license by August 31 each even-numbered year.
Registered contractors renew their license by August 31 each odd-numbered year.

Q: How do I renew my Florida contractor license?

  1. Complete 14-hours of state-approved continuing education.
  2. Visit the DBPR licensing portal
  3. Pay the appropriate fee (listed below)

Q: Does Florida charge a fee to renew my contractor license?

Yes, here is the fee schedule:

  • Current, Active Individual – $209.00
  • Current, Active Qualifying Business – $259.00
  • Delinquent, Active Individual – $443.00
  • Delinquent, Active Qualifying Business – $493.00
  • Current, Inactive – $59.00
  • Delinquent, Inactive – $143.00
  • Delinquent, Inactive and wish to reactivate: $393.00

The remaining hours may include any of the above topics or general topics to the industry.

  • NOTE: Pool/Spa Contractor – Commercial, Residential and Servicing, Residential Pool/Spa Servicing Specialty are required to have 1 hour of Pool electrical (New requirement as of June 2019)

Q: Is continuing education required for an Florida contractor license?

Yes, all Registered Contractors and Certified Contractors are required to complete fourteen (14) hours of continuing education each renewal cycle.  Of the fourteen hours, one hour is required in each of the following topics:

  • Specialized or Advanced Module that is approved by the Florida Building Commission
  • Workplace Safety
  • Business Practices
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Laws and Rules Regulating the Construction Industry
  • Wind Mitigation Methodologies (if license is held in the following category:  General, Building, Residential, Roofing, Specialty Structure, or Glass & Glazing.

Q: How can I check on the number of Florida contractor continuing education hours I’ve already completed?

Visit the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Online Services to log on or activate your account and verify your completed CE hours.

Q: Can Florida contractor continuing education be completed online?

Yes. Providers with the “C / I” or “I” designation are approved to offer online courses.

Our courses are all approved for Florida online continuing education, Provider #0005830.

Q: I am changing my Florida contractor license status to inactive. Do I have to complete continuing education?

No. However, when you reactivate your license, you must show proof of completing 14 hours of continuing education for the renewal cycle immediately preceding reactivation of your license. Included in the 14 hours, you must show that you have complied with all requirements for your license type.

You may begin immediately! Simply click the Login button in the upper right-hand corner on your desktop or in the upper-right menu on mobile. Once you’ve entered your login and password, you will be taken to your courses. Follow the instructions and enjoy!

Our courses are available online 24/7 and you are able to log in and log out at any time during the course. If you are going to be away from your computer for more than 10-15 minutes, simply log out. When you log back in, you will be able to re-enter the lesson you were last in.

Continuing education requirements vary by state. Each course lists a minimum number of credit hours required to complete the course.

Each course lists the total amount of hours for the course. However, we cover materials quickly and many contractors like to re-watch materials. In other words, this question really depends on your learning style. We recommend that you go through the course as many times as you need to be comfortable with the material and any applicable reference books. The more familiar you are with the materials, the better you will do on your exam!

We allow up to 6 months for you to complete the courses. During the six months you have unlimited, 24/7 access. If you need additional time, please contact our offices to arrange an extension (please note: a fee may apply).

This varies depending on whether the course is continuing education or exam prep.

There are no quizzes for continuing education courses in Michigan. All other states with continuing education require quizzes to check completion progress.

In exam prep courses there will be a short quiz at the end of each lesson and there is also a longer practice test at the end of each course. These quizzes and tests will help you practice taking an exam and identify areas you may wish to study more.

Practice tests are just that: for practice. You will have the opportunity to retake the practice tests until you do pass. The practice tests are there to help you get used to the process of using your reference materials and finding the correct answers during an exam. If you don’t pass on the first try, take the time to note what sections of the material you need to review.

You are able to review the lessons and quizzes at any time during the six months you’ll have access to the courses.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399
(850) 487-1395
http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/

State of Florida Construction Program
424 E. Central Blvd. #402
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 264-0562
http://www.floridaexam.com

National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
23309 North 17th Drive, Building 1, Suite 110,
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
(623) 587-9354
info@nascla.org
https://www.nascla.org/

We have a tutoring program designed to help you get one-on-one time with a licensed instructor. With this program you will get answers to questions you are still struggling with and advice on how to study for and pass your exams. Visit our Career Plus Services page to get more information.

We have a licensing application consultant who can help you navigate the ins and outs of state licensing regulations. Visit our Career Plus Services page to get more information.

Live Chat