Rhode Island Contractor FAQ

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Q: Who needs a Rhode Island contractors license?

Rhode Island law requires any person or entity who is in the business of commercial construction, home construction, alterations, remodeling, or repair to residents to be registered with the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.

  • Any person who undertakes, offers to undertake, or submits a bid to do work as a contractor on a structure, or arranges to have work done on a structure.
  • Any partnership, corporation, or joint venture who undertakes, offers to undertake, or submits a bid to do work as a contractor on a structure, or arranges to have work done on a structure.
  • The following subcontractors who are not employees of a registered contractor must obtain a registration certificate prior to conducting any work: (1) Carpenters, including finish carpenters and framers; (2) Siding installers; (3) Roofers; (4) Foundation installers, including concrete installers and form installers; (5) Drywall installers; (6) Plasterers; (7) Insulation installers; (8) Ceramic tile installers; (9) Floor covering installers; (10) Swimming pool installers, both above ground and in ground; (11) Masons, including chimney installers, fireplace installers, and general masonry erectors. This list is not all inclusive and shall not be limited to the above-referenced contractors.

Asbestos Abatement Contractors, Plumbers, Electricians and some other specialty trades must be licensed through another Rhode Island agency.  They do not have to file for a Contractor’s Registration unless they work outside of the purview of their license.

Q: Do I need to take an exam in order to get registered?

Contractors do not need to complete an exam. However, Associate Home Inspectors, Commercial Roofers, Home Inspectors, Pump Installers, Residential Water-Filtration and Treatment-System Contractors/Installers, Underground Utilities, and Well Drillers do need to complete exams. These are currently administered by PSI Services.

Q: Are there education requirements to get registered in Rhode Island?

Yes, effective July 1, 2015, all new registrations issued by the Contractors Registration and Licensing Board will require 5 hours of education from a board approved provider. Asbestos Abatement Contractors, Electricians and Plumbers and some specialty trades do require education and exams.

Q: Is the NASCLA Accredited Commercial Contractor license accepted in Rhode Island?

No

Q: Does Rhode Island require a General Contractor (Commercial Contractor) license?

No, but the registration law applies to all contractors and re-modelers. If a contractor builds commercial structures exclusively or develops land exclusively, they have to be registered.

Q: Does Rhode Island offer reciprocity with other states?

Rhode Island does not offer reciprocity with other states, out of state license holders must register with the CRB

Q: What are the penalties for not registering to do business as contractor in Rhode Island?

Contractors, remodelers, and subcontractors who do not have a valid registration or license are prohibited from performing contracting work or obtaining a building permit in any of Rhode Island’s 39 cities or towns. In addition, unregistered or unlicensed contractors, upon a finding of violation, are subject to civil and criminal penalties and fines.

Q: What does registration involve?

To become licensed, a person must submit an application, sign a statement that they are aware of the requirements for licensure and have knowledge of the general laws/regulations that govern their profession, obtain liability insurance, pay the fee, and if applicable, successfully pass an examination and complete preliminary and/or continuing educations hours.

Q: What are the requirements for a new contractor to register in Rhode Island?

  1. Five (5) hours of Pre-Education Courses are required for new applicants performing work on any Residential Structures. Click here for information regarding pre-education courses.
  2. Apply Online
  3. $500,000 certificate of liability insurance indicating R.I.C.R.L.B. as certificate holder.
  4. The Contractor Registration Fee is $200
  5. If your company is a corporation or Limited Liability Company, you must possess a valid business registration with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. No documentation of corporate registration is required when submitting your registration, as the R.I.C.R.L.B. will validate this information as part of your application review.

Q: Is continuing education required for Rhode Island contractors?

Yes, effective April, 2016, all Registrants are required to obtain and provide proof of 5 hours of continuing education from an approved provider for every 2 year renewal cycle. Asbestos Abatement, electrical and plumbing contractors and some specialty trades require continued education.

Q: When does my Rhode Island contractor license expire?

Registration must be renewed through the Rhode Island Contracting board by paying a $200 fee, completing 5 hours of continuing education, and filling out an affidavit and registration application. If paying by credit card the fee, continuing education certificates, affidavit, and application must be brought to the Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board office.

Q: Are your courses approved by the state of Rhode Island?

Yes! Provider #40982, Provider#5

Q: Can I take my continuing education courses any time?

You may purchase courses at any point in your renewal cycle and retain access to them until your renewal date. For your convenience courses can be taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on any internet capable device. If you have questions before purchase or while taking your course, the Builders License Training Institute student services staff is available 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) Monday – Friday.

Q: Who notifies the state of continuing education completion?

You will be able to download and print your certificates immediately after completing the course. These certificates must be mailed along with your renewal application to the State.

Q: What happens if my Rhode Island contractor registration expires?

If you do not complete your continuing education and re-register with the board you will be required to pay an additional $35 late fee to renew. Until you renew your registration you will be unable to obtain any permits to build.

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.

Rhode Island Contractors Board
560 Jefferson Blvd, Suite 200
Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 921-1590
http://www.crb.ri.gov/

Contact PSI for information regarding the Rhode Island licensing exams
PSI Services
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
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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