As of July 1, 2021, contractors in Florida can work from anywhere across the state without taking the state exam. The grandfather clause allows contractors to upgrade their licenses to state-certified licenses within the same category, provided they meet the set requirements.
Under section 489.514 of the Florida statutes, the law is explicit on what the Construction Industry Licensing Board should look for when qualifying candidates for the grandfathering process.
Requirements for a Registered License to be Grandfathered in Florida
For a contractor to receive a state-certified license to work anywhere in the state, they must meet the state requirements outlined in the Florida statute. It states that all applicants must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Have a valid license in one of these categories: building, mechanical, plumbing, residential AC, pool/spa, roofing, pollutant storage, sheet metal, solar, excavation, and GC.
- Pass a written examination similar to the one required for certification as a contractor in the same category.
- Have five years of experience as a contractor in the category they request for grandfathering. Note that probation doesn't account for the five years.
- Not have disciplinary issues that led to license suspension or fines exceeding $500 within the last five years.
- Submit a credit report showing proof of financial responsibility. The FICO report should show that federal, state, and local records were used to derive a valid credit score.
- Conduct a fingerprint test as part of background checks for the licensing process
- Have public and property damage insurance up to an amount deemed fit by the licensing board and workers' insurance compensation or show exemption from workers' insurance within 30 days of issuance.
- Pay the application fee through credit or electronic check online, or mail a check to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Only veterans are exempted from this fee.
- Complete the application process by clicking the online services link at the bottom of the page. Note that first-time DBPR applicants must create an account and link it to active licenses. Returning applicants must also confirm that their licenses are linked before commencing.
We Can Simplify the Grandfathering Process for You
Wondering where to begin in the grandfathering process? Well, upgrading to a certified contractor license is never easy. The licensing board is so strict when reviewing all applications that a simple mistake could disqualify you from the cut.
We can help you successfully complete the grandfathering process through our Contractor License Application Processing Service. We will compile, complete and submit the required forms to the licensing agency.
Our process includes a brief consultative meeting to confirm that you are filing for the correct license based on category and experience. The processing service also has:
- A safe file-sharing system with all necessary supplementary forms and Contractor Training Center's proprietary Application Check Lists to submit with your application.
- A committed license specialist to help you from the beginning to the end of your licensing process and answer questions, contact licensing boards, perform research, and more.
- Help with wording for experience forms – it's one of the common reasons applications are turned down.
- A mock review of all application documents by a board and re-review until they're ready for submission to the licensing board.
- Help with additional information if the board decides there are missing pieces in your initial application.
- Insurance references and bonding agents if needed (note that the fees for such services are not included in our initial service fees).
In addition to these services, applicants with a credit score below 660 can take our Financial Responsibility course to reduce their bonding requirements and save money.
Contractor Licensing Made Easy
Get your license certified the easy way. Leverage Contractor Training Center's services to obtain a certified license that allows you to operate from anywhere in Florida. Our specialists will take you through the application process through an onboarding call and answer urgent questions you have in the entire process. We also offer Florida Contractor License Exam Prep Courses. Visit our website for more information.