Virginia Contractor FAQ

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

Q: What are the steps to getting a Virginia Contractor license?

  1. Name and register your business entity
  2. Determine the type of license your company will need (i.e. Class & Specialty)
  3. Identify your Responsible management
  4. Identify your Qualified Individual(s)
  5. Identify your Designated Employee
  6. Designated Employees complete the licensing exams
  7. Complete the Virginia Basic Business course
  8. Complete and submit a licensing application with appropriate fees to the Board

Q: What are the pre-license education requirements?

All classes of license applicants must complete 8 hours of pre-license education, which is referred to as the Virginia Basic Business Course.

Q: Who must complete the Virginia Basic Business Course?

  • Class A or B applicants: Education must be completed by a member of the Responsible Management or a Designated Employee
  • Class C applicants: Education must be completed by a member of the Responsible Management

Q: What are the fees associated with getting a Virginia Contractor license?

Fees vary depending upon certain specialty designations, but in general the fees are based upon the license class as follows:

  • Class A: $385.00
  • Class B: $370.00
  • Class C: $235.00

Q: Who needs a Virginia contractor license?

“Contractor” means any person, that for a fixed price, commission, fee, or percentage undertakes to bid upon, or accepts, or offers to accept, orders or contracts for performing, managing, or superintending in whole or in part, the construction, removal, repair or improvement* of any building or structure permanently annexed to real property owned, controlled, or leased by him or another person or any other improvements to such real property.

*Improvement shall include:

  • Remediation, cleanup or containment of premises to remove contaminants
  • Site work necessary to make certain real property usable for human occupancy

Q: Does the Commonwealth of Virginia grant temporary licenses?

The Board for Contractors issues Temporary licenses to out-of-state contractor entities only. Temporary licenses are for those out-of-state entities that need a license while it waits to get all permanent license requirements in place. Temporary licenses are valid for 45 days and cannot be renewed, reinstated, reissued or reapplied for. The cost of a Temporary license is $50.00.

Q: Is the NASCLA Accredited Commercial license accepted in Virginia?

Yes! When you pass the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, you will be listed in the NASCLA National Examination Database. You will then have this information available for the following states which accept the NASCLA Accredited Examination: AL, AR, GA, LA, MS, NV, NC, OR, SC, TN, UT, US Virgin Islands, VA, and WV. You may also need to take each states’ specific business/law/project management exam in addition to the NASCLA exam.

Q: What are the different contractor license classes in Virginia?

Classes are based on the value of construction projects undertaken:

  • Class A
    • Single contract value: $120,000 or more OR
    • Total value of construction within 12-month period: $750,000 or more
  • Class B
    • Single contract value: $10,000 or more but less than $120,000 OR
    • Total value of construction within 12-month period: $150,000 or more but less than $750,000
  • Class C
    • Single contract value: over $1,000 but less than $10,000 OR
    • Total value of construction within 12-month period: less than $150,000

Q: What is a specialty designation?

Specialty designations describe the type of work a business is allowed to contract for, and the business must select a qualifying individual to qualify for each specialty.

Q: Who are Responsible Management?

All licensed contractors are required, by law, to identify officers, members, partners, owners, etc., of their business entities. These are the individuals responsible for the license and for ensuring that all regulations and statutes are followed.

Who must be identified depends on the type of business entity being formed.

Q: What is a Qualified Individual?

All business entities must have a Qualified Individual for each of the classifications and specialties listed on their application.

The Qualified Individual must meet the all of the following criteria for the classification or specialty designation they will represent:

  • Must be either:
    • A full-time employee (Minimum 30 hrs) OR
    • Be a member of Responsible Management
  • Must meet the minimum years of experience within the relevant classification or specialty:
    • Class A: 5 years
    • Class B: 3 years
    • Class C: 2 years
  • Have successfully completed the appropriate prerequisites (listed on the license application)

Q: What is the Virginia Basic Business Course?

The Virginia Basic Business Course is 8 hours of required pre-license education. It covers regulations, statutes and requirements relevant to all business owners in Virginia. The course is not specific to any particular classification or specialty.

Q: How do I know what test to take?

  • Designated Employees must take the Contractor Business Exam
  • Qualifying Individuals must take the appropriate Contractor Specialty Exam (for whichever specialty designation they wish to qualify)

Q: Is the NASCLA Commercial Contractors exam accepted in Virginia?

Yes, the NASCLA exam is considered comparable to the Contractor Business Exam.

Q: What is on the Virginia Contractor Business Exam?

The Contractor Business Exam consists of different parts depends on the license classification being applied for:

  • Class A:
    • Part 1 – Virginia Portion
    • Part 2 – General Portion
    • Part 3 – Advanced Portion
  • Class B:
    • Part 1 – Virginia Portion
    • Part 2 – General Portion
  • Class C:
    • This exam is not required for Class C license candidates

Q: What topics are covered on the Virginia Portion of the Contractor Business Exam?

The Virginia Portion consists of 24 items on the following topics:

  • Regulation of Contractors
  • Board Rules & Regulations
  • Building Codes
  • Transaction Recovery Fund
  • Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations

Q: What topics are covered on the General Portion of the Virginia Contractor Business Exam?

The General Portion consists of 50 items on the following topics:

  • Business Organization
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Contract Management
  • Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Safety
  • Labor Laws
  • Financial Management
  • Federal and State Taxes
  • Lien Laws

Q: What topics are covered on the Advanced Portion of the Contractor Business Exam?

The Advanced Portion consists of 24 items on the following topics:

  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Contract Management
  • Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Safety
  • Labor Laws
  • Financial Management
  • Federal and State Taxes
  • Lien Laws

Q: What are the fees for the exam?

  • One portion: $40.00
  • Two portions: $72.00
  • Three portions: $85.00

Q: What are the Virginia Contractor Specialty exams?

The Contractor Specialty exams are taken by each Qualifying Individual, and cover topics relevant to the specialty designations the Qualifying Individual is seeking.

Q: What are the different specialty exams?

Each of the following specialties has their own designated exam:

  • Alternative Energy Systems
  • Asphalt Paving and Sealcoating
  • Billboard/Sign Contracting
  • Commercial Building Technical Contractor
  • Commercial Improvement Contracting
  • Concrete Contracting▪Drywall Contracting
  • Electronic/Communication Service Contracting
  • Environment Monitoring Well Contracting
  • Environmental Specialties Contracting
  • Equipment/Machinery Contracting
  • Farm Improvement Contracting
  • Finish Carpentry
  • Fire Alarm Systems Contracting
  • Fire Suppression Contracting
  • Floor and Floor Covering
  • Framing Subcontractor
  • Glass and Glazing
  • Highway Heavy Contracting
  • Home Improvement Contracting
  • Industrial Building Contracting
  • Insulation and Weather Stripping
  • Landscape Irrigation Contracting
  • Landscape Service Contracting Endorsement
  • Marine Facility Contracting
  • Masonry Contracting
  • Painting and Wallcovering Contracting
  • Recreational Facility Contracting
  • Refrigeration Contracting
  • Residential Building Contractor
  • Roofing Contracting
  • Steel Erection
  • Swimming Pool Construction Contracting
  • Tile, Marble, Ceramic and Terrazzo
  • Underground Utility and Excavating
  • Vessel Construction Contracting

Q: What are the fees for the Virginia contractor exam?

$85.00 each

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: Is contractor continued education required in Virginia?

No

Q: How long is my license good for?

Original contractor’s licenses expire two years from the month in which is was issued.

Q: My Virginia contractor license is expired, what should I do?

If your license has been expired for more than 30 days you must contact the Board.

Q: How do I earn a Virginia Code Official certification?

  1. Meet the requirements for certification
  2. Complete and submit an application

Q: What are the requirements for Virginia DHCD certification?

Q: When does my Virginia DHCD certification expire?

  • Last names A-M: May 1st of Even-Numbered Years
  • Last names N-Z: May 1st of Odd-Numbered Years

Q: Which Virginia Code Officials need continuing education?

Those employed by a jurisdiction to enforce the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC):

  • Virginia Certified Officials
  • Building Inspector
  • Fire Inspector
  • Plans Examiner
  • Elevator Inspector
  • Amusement Device Inspector

Q: What continuing education is required?

Virginia Code Officials must complete 16 hours of continuing education each licensing cycle. This is in addition to the mandatory and/or periodic training required for certificate issuance and maintenance).

In the case of an individual receiving their initial certification during the continuing education cycle, the following exception shall apply toward the credit hour requirement. Based on the date of initial certification and the months remaining in the continuing education period, and in accordance with the above schedules, the following credit hours shall be obtained in the initial continuing education period.

  • Individuals having 12 months or less remaining in the continuing education period -up to 8 credit hours;
  • Individuals having 13 months or more remaining in the continuing education period -up to 16 credit hours

Q: How does the VBCA know I have completed my continuing education?

You will be required to complete the form provided by the DHCD and submit your continuing education hours along with supporting documentation (certificates).

Q: Are there any document retention requirements?

Yes, a periodic audit of documentation and programs shall be conducted by the VBCA based upon a random selection and schedule.

A certificate holder may be required to substantiate their declared continuing education with additional training documentation that affirms and supports the program, course, or activity as requested by the Department, including education provider information, course syllabus, attendance history, and participation certificates.

Therefore, it shall be the responsibility of the certificate holder to retain and maintain all necessary documentation relative to the continuing education program or course for which approval and credit is sought shall be prompted at the issuance of the first certificate and shall be applicable regardless of the number of DHCD certificates held by the individual.

We will also retain your course information if you should have need of it.

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.

Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Contractors
9960 Maryland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233
Licensing: (804) 367-8511
Education: (804) 364-2224
contractors@dpor.virginia.gov
http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/Boards/Contractors/

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
600 East Main Street, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 371-7000
https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/codes

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/

Contact PSI for information regarding the Virginia Contractors exam
PSI Services
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(855) 340-3910
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.

Live Chat