Hawaii Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

Explore Other Related Products

Circle Arrow Circle arrow icon

Overview & Benefits

The right resources and exam prep services

Hawaii has specific laws and requirements that you must meet to obtain a contractor's license. If you want to start a proper construction business or undertake a hefty construction project, you will need to complete these requirements before you begin, just like any state. 

It is possible to have a construction business without a license; however, the jobs will not be as advanced or pay well since most customers will want a licensed contractor. Anyone who works in contracting and performs improvements, public construction work, alterations, or commercial or residential work must acquire a contractor's license.

A license is not required if an aggregate contract cost will not exceed $1,000 and there is no need for a building permit. An aggregate contract cost includes taxes, labor, and materials. This exemption is not applied for plumbing or electrical work that needs a permit.

When in doubt, it is always better to back your business with the correct credentials so that you get the best jobs, are protected by law, and have the opportunity to grow your business. You can obtain a specialty contractor's license through the Contractor Training Center, a general building license, a general engineering license, or all three if you so choose. 

Our goal is to guide you, give advice, and support you through the process. Our experts will help explain Hawaii's rules, laws, and regulations for earning a contractor's license, and with our multiple courses, we will help you study hard and register properly. 

The Benefits of Having a Contractor's License in Hawaii
You Will Do Better Business

People want to hire contractors that are skilled, educated, and have experience. Obtaining a license gives you the creditability you need to build a resume and take on higher-paying projects. Clients will see you have credentials and refer you to friends.

You will work under protection.

The Contractors State License Board is always on the watch for unlicensed contractors, but you have all the freedom to do your job with a license.

You will receive tax breaks

Write off your materials, gas, or tools needed to complete a job so that when tax season comes around, you will have a significant tax cut. Without a license, you cannot do this.

You Will Know How To Work Safely

A contractor's license prepares you to work on a construction site safely. You won't have to worry about inadequate work and safety code violations; you'll learn everything you need to complete projects as smoothly as possible.

What You Can Expect

Get a strong start in building your career

In nearly every state, there are approximately three steps you will take to get your license. These include: 

  • Submitting an application
  • Passing a Business Law exam
  • Passing a Technical exam

You must complete an application to make sure you are registered in the same state as where you want to work. This is mainly for tax purposes. This also proves that you have had training and experience in contracting work. 

You must take the Business Law exam to prove that you understand the laws of operating a business in Hawaii. The Technical exam (also called the Trade exam) will test your knowledge about specific contractor services depending on the job. 

We have services to assist you through the application process in Hawaii.

These exams are open-book in most states, but in Hawaii, they are closed book.

Whats on the Exam

Curious as to what's on the General Contractor's exam? Take a look at the outline: 

  • This is a closed book exam
  • There are 80 Questions
  • You have four hours to complete the exam 
  • You must answer 75% of the questions correctly to pass
Exam Topic %
Carpentry 18
Thermal & Moisture Protection 15
Finishes 12
Concrete 12
Plan Reading & Estimating 8
Doors & Windows 8
Safety 8
Masonry 8
Site work 7
Metals 5

License Requirements

How To Get A Contractor's License In Hawaii

There are three types of contracting licenses you can earn: 

  1. Specialty Contractors
  2. General Building Contractors (construction of a structure that involves 2+ unrelated building trades)
  3. General Engineering Contractors (fixed work, such as water, power, bridges, highways, etc.)

Although there are some drawbacks to Hawaii's rules for receiving your contracting license, it is rather easy to get your license in this state. Here are some specific steps you must take: 

Send In An Application

This will include a fee of $50. Send it to the board before the 20th of the month to be reviewed by the next month. Also, be sure that the below items are sent in with the application.

Submit 3 Or More Certificates 

These certificates must be notarized and sent in. They will be in support of supervisory experience:

  • Current financial statement that is signed and prepared by a certified accountant or licensed public accountant.
  • Credit report (must be current) from a credit reporting agency issued no more than six months ago and covers the prior five years. 
  • Hawaii State Tax Clearance (must be current). It shouldn’t be older than six months and must have the State Department of Taxation's original stamp.
  • If you want to use a specific trade name, you will be required to send in a copy filed-stamped of the current trade name registration, which is approved by the Business Registration Division of the Department of Commerce Consumer Affairs.
 Decide What Type Of License Your Business Needs 

You must obtain a license application form for your state depending on the type of work you plan to do. You can find the different Contractor License Board Application Forms & Publications here. 

Be sure to apply to the state of Hawaii, and once you are approved for licensing, you will be allowed to register for an exam date. 

Contractor's License Board 

If you want to review the rules and regulations of contracting, visit Hawaii's license board website at www.hawaii.gov/dcca/pvl. More in-depth forms and instructions can be found via the site. 

When you send in your application, you can expect the following events:

  1. The board will notify you of deferral/disapproval/approval.
  2. If you are approved, you will need to register with a different testing agency for the exam and pay for the exam fees.
  3. Then you will complete the exam the next month.
  4. After passing the examination, the board will notify you of the requirements for licensure.
  5. Then, you must send in license requirements, which are property damage insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and proof of liability.
  6. The last step is to send in the fees for the licensure. The amount will be given.

After each step is met, the board will issue you licensure. 

Which Exam Should You Take? 
Part 1: Business and Law Exam

As previously discussed, this exam ensures that you understand the laws of operating a business in Hawaii. This is considered part 1 of the exam. 

2. Technical (Trade) Exam 

This exam is part 2, where you will be tested on your knowledge about specific jobs and various classifications of contracting work. 

Take The Exam 

In Hawaii, the contractor examination happens monthly on the island of Oahu and neighboring islands, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island. Walk-in testing is available (on Oahu only) for an extra $50.00. To read more information regarding the exam and see a complete guide for taking the test, visit www.prometric.com or call (808) 261-8182. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the licensing process

Is Hawaii Contractor Continued Education Required?

No, it is not. No matter what your license's issue date is, it will expire on the date of September 20th during an even-numbered year. Around August 15th, you will need to mail a renewal application — and be sure it is in an even-numbered year. Send in the renewal application and all fees and documents by September 30th during an even-numbered year. 

If you don't do this, your license will be terminated, so be sure you keep up with your expiration date! You will have 60 days from the expiration date to reverse your terminated license. To do this, send in all needed documents and fees, including a fee for late renewal. If your late fee is not received, you might be treated as a new licensee. 

Is NASCLA's Accredited Commercial Contractor Exam Accepted In Hawaii?

No, the NASCLA Nationally Accredited Commercial Contractor Exam is not accepted in Hawaii at this time.

Does The State Government Ask For A General Contractor Commercial License?

Yes, they do. 

Does Hawaii Offer Reciprocity With Other States?

Each applicant must meet the same licensure requirements. 

How Do I Register My Construction Company In Hawaii?

Register your Hawaii Business with: 

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
PO Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810
(808) 586-2744

What Forms Do I Need To Register My New Company In Hawaii?

Register your business in Hawaii with forms for registration and taxes.

Need help finding the right course for you?

Are you ready to get your Hawaii Contractor's License? Contractor Training Center is standing by to answer any questions, provide support, and give you the best resources to become a successful contractor. 

Call us today at +888-585-7350 or email us at support@contractortrainingcenter.com to get started in Hawaii today! 

Contact Us