Michigan Builder FAQ

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Q: What types of construction licenses are issued in Michigan?

Licenses administered by the Bureau of Construction Codes:

  • Code Official
  • Electrical
  • Elevator
  • Mechanical
  • Mobile Homes
  • Boiler
  • Plumbing
  • Residential Builder
  • Maintenance & Alteration Contractor
  • Salesperson

Q: When is a license required for a Residential Builder or M&A Contractor?

In general, a person who contracts with a property owner to do residential construction or remodeling on a project whose total value is $600 or more, including material and labor, is required to be licensed as either a Residential Builder or a Maintenance & Alteration Contractor.

Activities requiring a licensed individual:

New Construction/Remodeling of homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouses, etc.
Carpentry
Concrete
Excavation
Insulation Work
Masonry
Siding
Roofing
Screen & Storm Sash
Gutters
Tile & Marble
House Wrecking
Swimming Pools
Replacement windows/doors /garage doors
Laying wood floors
Basement Waterproofing

Activities not requiring a licensed individual:

Drywall
Fences
Awnings
Sewer and septic, water lines, sprinklers
Pavers without mortar
Asphalt Paving
House moving
Carpeting and vinyl floors (not wood)
Plaster and Lath

The Occupational Code lists several exemptions from the licensing law. Some of the more common exemptions are:

  • An owner of a property with reference to a structure on the property for the owner’s own use and occupancy.
  • An owner of rental property with reference to the maintenance and alteration of that rental property.
  • A subcontractor to a licensed builder, that is, a person other than a salesperson who engages solely in the business of performing work and services under contract with a Residential Builder or a Residential Maintenance & Alteration Contractor licensed under this article.
  • A person working on 1 undertaking or project by 1 or more contracts, the aggregate contract price for which labor, material, and any other item is less than $600.00. A license is required if the construction work is only a part of a larger or major operation (whether undertaken by the same or a different Residential Builder or Residential Maintenance & Alteration Contractor), or in which a division of the operation is made in contracts of amounts less than $600.00 to evade this act.

For the full text of the exemptions, you may wish to review Article 24 of the Occupational Code.

Q: As a licensed Residential Builder or M&A Contractor, can I complete electrical or plumbing work?

By the letter of the law, a Residential Builder or M&A Contractor license does not allow you to do any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work. Please contact the state of Michigan for further information.

Q: Who needs a Michigan Salesperson license?

Anyone working for a licensed builder or in any capacity where you are signing building or renovation contracts with customers or exchanging money, is required to hold a Salesperson license under that licensed builder or the qualifying office for that company.

Q: What are the steps to getting licensed for construction work in Michigan?

  1. Complete an approved 60 hour prelicense course for builders*
  2. Complete and submit an application for licensure to the Bureau of Construction Codes
  3. Register for and take the required licensing exam

*An approved prelicense course must be completed whether applying for a Residential Builder license or an M&A Contractor license.

Q: What are the steps to getting licensed as a Salesperson?

  1. Register for and take the Salesperson exam*
  2. Complete and submit an application for licensure to the Bureau of Construction Codes at https://aca3.accela.com/lara/

*The exam requirement may be waived for those who have been actively licensed as a Residential Builder or M&A Contractor for the past 3 years.

Q: What are the exam fees for the Michigan licensing exams?

M & A Contractors

  • One trade: $99.00
  • Two trades: $114.00

Residential Builders

  • Trades & Business/Law Combo: $117.00

Salesperson

  • Salesperson exam: $85.00

Q: How do I register for my exam?

You must first submit your licensing application to the MI BCC. PSI will receive your candidate information and forward you registration instructions.

Note: If registering for a Salesperson license, you may register for and take your exam prior to completing your license application.

Q: Where are the testing centers located in Michigan?

PSI currently has testing centers located in the following cities:

  • Dearborn
  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

Q: What can I expect from the state exam?

The State exam covers 50 Business and Law questions and 110 Residential Trades questions. You will have 240 minutes to complete and you must get 116 questions correct.

Maintenance & Alteration Trades Exam – A separate trade exam is required for each trade you wish to be licensed in. Each trade exam ranges from 25 to 50 questions.

The exams are closed book and no reference materials will be allowed into the examination center.

Q: When do I need to renew my license?

Residential Builders and M&A Contractors renew every 3 years by May 31st.

Code Officials renew every 3 years by September 16th.

Q: Can I take my continuing education online?

Yes! You can complete your education online as long as the courses fulfill the requirements outlined by the State of Michigan. All of our continuing competency courses fulfill the requirements outlined by the State.

Q: Do I need to notify the state I have completed my education?

No. However, LARA does require that you state that you have completed your education prior to renewing your license, and they ask you to keep your course documentation for at least 5 years. When you complete your course we provide you with a certificate of completion for you to keep as documentation or in the event of a state audit. In the past, the state has typically audited 17% of the builders in Michigan. If you are audited, you will then need to send a copy of the certificate to the state.

Q: What are the steps for renewing my license?

To renew you must:

  1. Have a current copy of the Michigan Residential Code Book
  2. Have completed your required competency courses
  3. Set up your account on the MI renewal portal: https://aca3.accela.com/lara/
  4. Follow the steps to renew within the portal, including pay your fees

Q: What continuing education is required to renew my Michigan Residential Builder or M&A Contractor license?

If you have been licensed:

  • Less than 6 years: 21 hours
  • More than 6 years: 3 hours

Q: What courses am I required to take for my continuing competency?

Michigan requires that builders and contractors take at least one hour each in the following topics:

  • Building Codes
  • Construction Business & Law
  • Construction Safety

Those who must complete 21 hours may take courses in elective topics for the remaining 18 hours.

Q: I am a Building Official. What continuing education do I need?

Building Officials are required to complete 50 hours on the following topics:

  • 24 hrs of Technical
  • 16 hrs of Administration
  • 8 hrs of Specialty
  • 2 hrs of Communication

Q: I am a Building Inspector. What continuing education do I need?

Building Inspectors (of any kind) are required to complete 47 hours on the following topics:

  • 24 hrs of Technical
  • 18 hrs of Specialty
  • 4 hrs of Administration
  • 1 hr of Communication

Q: I am a Plan Reviewer. What continuing education do I need?

Plan Reviewers are required to complete 47 hours on the following topics:

  • 24 hrs of Technical
  • 12 hrs of Plan Review
  • 6 hrs of Specialty
  • 4 hrs of Administration
  • 1 hr of Communication

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.

Bureau of Construction Codes
7150 Harris Drive
Lansing, MI 48906

Mailing (with payments enclosed)
LARA/BCC
PO Box 30255
Lansing, MI 48909

Mailing (without payments enclosed)
LARA/BCC
PO Box 30254
Lansing, MI 48909

MI LARA BCC Website

Licensing Division:
(517) 241-9316
lara-bcc-licensing@michigan.gov

Building Division:
(517) 241-9317
bccbldg2@michigan.gov

Contact PSI for information regarding the Michigan licensing exams
PSI Services
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(855) 579-4635
https://psiexams.com/

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.

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