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Minnesota Builders and Remodelers Prelicense Exam Details

What is on the Exam?

Our course is designed around everything you will be tested on with engaging HD Videos, interactive practice quizzes and interesting visuals. You will pass that exam after completing our course!

The exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions; 60 questions on construction and 50 questions on business/law.  You must get at least 77 answers correct. Applicants are given four hours in which to complete the exam, which is divided into two sections; the first deals primarily with construction-related matters and the second covers issues relating to running a construction business. A copy of the State Building Code will be provided for reference during the exam.

Once you pass the exam, you will receive a notice from DLI informing you of your results and instructing you on how to apply for a license. If an individual fails to pass the exam, they must wait 30 days before they can apply to retake the exam. To do so, the individual must submit a new exam application and pay the $51 exam fee.

Subject Area
for the
Residential Building Contractor
(60 questions)

I.  Plans and Specifications

II.  Energy Code (Envelope Criteria)

  • Interior Air Barrier
  • Wind Wash Barrier (Exterior)
  • Vapor Retarder
  • Insulation
  • Fenestration (Doors and Windows) Openings
  • Mechanical/Passive Ventilation

III.  Building Planning/Life Safety

  • Means of Egress
  • Stairways
  • Smoke Alarms
  • Required Exit Door
  • Wall Between House and Garage
  • Safety Glazing
  • Natural Light and Ventilation
  • Minimum Ceiling Heights
  • Replacement Windows

IV.  Sitework

  • Soils
  • Surveys
  • Excavation (Gopher One Call)
  • Filling/Soil Correction
  • Erosion Control
  • Backfill
  • Frost Protection

V.  Concrete and Masonry-Footings and Foundations

  • Strength of Concrete
  • Curing
  • Foundation Wall Design
  • Vertical Reinforcement and Anchors
  • Minimum Size Footings
  • Dampproofing and Waterproofing
  • Slab-On-Grade

VI.  Carpentry

  • Protection Against Decay
  • Flooring Systems
  • Wall Framing
  • Roof Framing and Trusses
  • Stairs
  • Decks and Balconies
  • Chimneys and Chases
  • Structural
  • Wood Foundations

VII.  Roofing

  • Underlayment/Ice Protection
  • Rolled Roofing
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Wood Shingles and SHakes
  • Flashing
  • Ventilation

VIII.  Exterior Finishes

  • House Wraps
  • Flashing
  • Siding
  • Wood Shakes and Shingles
  • Stucco
  • Brick

IX. Foam Plastic Insulation

  • Flame Spread
  • Thermal Protection

X.  Interior Finishes

  • Drywall

XI.  Associated Issues

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Energy

XII.  Job Site Safety

  • Lead

Subject Area
for the
Business and Law
(50 questions)

I.  Enforcement Licensing

  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Assumed Name Filing Information
  • Disciplinary Actions
  • Definitions
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Building Contractors Recovery Fund
  • Continuing Education
  • Eligibility and License Renewal

II.  Mechanic’s Liens

III. Warranty

IV. Administration

  • Permits
  • Inspections
  • Building Codes
  • Duties and Powers of the Building Official
  • Construction Documents
  • Violations and Penalty
  • Fees
  • Stop Work Order
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Board of Appeals

V.  Management

  • Project management/Supervision


More Exam Information

The residential building contractor/remodeler licensing program requires the business entity, not individual owners of a contracting business, to obtain a license (though an individual operating as a sole proprietor would be required to become licensed as an individual). Each company must designate one individual who will serve as the “qualifying person” regardless of whether the licensee is an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. Guidelines for who may act as a company’s qualifying person are provided below.

IMPORTANT CHANGE:  Minnesota Department of Licensing and Insurance now administers licensing exam.

Effective January 2, 2013, the prelicensing exam will be administered by DLI. There are no prerequisite experience or educational requirements to take the residential building contractor or remodeler exam. You can apply online or submit an application to CCLD (PDF) along with the required $51 exam application fee.  The exam is offered at DLI’s offices in St. Paul as well as sites in Duluth, St. Cloud, Detroit Lakes, Granite Falls and Owatonna.

Exam locations

The department maintains a regular examination schedule at its offices in St. Paul and at other sites in greater Minnesota. You determine the location, date, and time of your exam when scheduling your exam.


Who can act as a company’s “qualifying person”?


The licensing law (Minn. Stat. § 326B.805, subd. 4) provides guidelines for who may act as the qualifying person for each business structure type:

• Individual proprietorship: Must be the proprietor or managing employee

• Partnership: Must be a partner or managing employee

• Limited liability company (LLC): Must be a chief manager or managing employee

• Corporation: Must be a chief executive officer or managing employee


A “managing employee” must be a bona fide W-2 employee of the company “who is regularly employed by the licensee and is actively engaged in the business of residential contracting or residential remodeling on behalf of the licensee.” Under no circumstances can a company’s qualifying person be an independent contractor of the company.


Unlike other business license types regulated by CCLD, a company’s qualifying person may act as the qualifying person for more than one company, but only if there is 25 percent common ownership among the companies and the individual meets the requirements described above with respect to their position within each company. The qualifying person is not required to be the individual holding the 25 percent common ownership.


The qualifying person’s original exam results must be submitted with the company’s license application. Be sure to keep copies of the exam results in your records.

• Contact the Licensing Unit at

Phone: (651) 284-5031



The qualifying person is also responsible for taking 14 hours of CCLD-approved continuing education in order to renew the company’s license every two years.


Books and Book Packages

COMPLETE Residential Builders and Remodelers Course plus Code Book Package ($251.00 Value)

This package includes both the Business/Law and the Trades preparation, Minnesota State Residential Code Book 2015, and a copy of the Minnesota Energy Code.

Price: $220.00


MN-Residential-Code-2015-coverMinnesota State Residential Code 2015by the International Code Council (ICC)

Learn More


Add Preprinted Tabs for this book

Price: $95.00


Price: $7.00



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