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Obtaining a Contractor’s License in the State of Virginia

The state of Virginia offers a lot of opportunities to individuals who want to launch their own contracting business. However, just like every state, there are rules, laws, and requirements that must be met before legally being able to perform work in the state.

Receiving your contractor’s license in VA can be difficult, and the process itself can be a bit overwhelming to start. While you are ready to get out there and start working, you won’t get very far without a Virginia contractors license. It’s for this reason that we help mitigate the hassle and stress by helping you meet all Virginia general contractors license requirements.

At Contractors Institute, you’ll have your license in no time. Our experienced and knowledgeable team understand this process inside out and is equipped with the right tools, resources, and exam prep services to support you through this process.

So, should you get a contractor’s license? This is a question you need to ask yourself before you go out, buy tools, and start building houses! Without a license, this is considered illegal and for several good reasons. If anyone could build homes, the quality of these living spaces would be seriously compromised.


What You Can Expect from Us

On this page, you will find everything you need to know to embark on this journey! We’ll walk you through the steps of obtaining your license, discuss the different types of exams, and offer additional resources to make the process of you getting your license as easy and stress-free as possible. Don’t wait and get in touch with us today!

The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in VA

Construction law varies from state to state. In the state of Virginia (VA), a contractor’s license is usually required for any work that exceeds $1,000. As a contractor, you can work in the construction, plumbing, HVAC, or electrical field. There are many ways individuals benefit from obtaining a license, the two primary ones being:

  • Gives you credibility
  • Gives you a higher earning potential

Having a license increases your credibility, allowing you to build trust with your clients. There are other ways you can gain their trust, but this is a big part of establishing yourself and your business, especially if you’re working with new customers.

Consequently, there are larger projects that you can’t perform without a contractor’s license. With one, you can take on big assignments, get more jobs, and increase your profit. More times than not, clients will pay a higher price to a licensed contractor as opposed to unlicensed handymen.

In addition, a contractor’s license keeps scam artists from deceiving people and endangering homeowners. With this being said, there are some home services that you can conduct without a license, but the question you need to ask yourself is, “Should I invest in a Virginia general contractor license?”


How To Get a Contractors License in VA?

On March 1, 2016, there was a VA DPOR regulation established, stating that all new contractors must be pre-approved before taking PSI technical exams. There are specific steps that need to be followed including applying to the state and filling out a License Application and an Experience Verification Form.

Prior to taking the PSI Technical Exams, you need to fill out these forms and send them to DPOR VA. If you are in a rush and taking the Class A exam, fill out the Expedited Form to speed up the process. The only way to speed up the process is if you’re submitting a Virginia Class A contractor license application. If taking the RBC/CBC and Highway Heavy exam, you need pre-approval.

Due to Virginia’s Code, a contractor’s license may only be given to business entities. They cannot be given to individuals regardless of if the business has only one employee. If you are ready to begin the process of obtaining a VA contractor’s license, follow the 7 steps listed below to ensure successful completion of this project.


1. Create a Business Entity

The first step is to create a business entity. A contractor’s license can only be issued to businesses, not individuals. The Board for Contractors in Virginia recognizes sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC), corporations, and partnerships.

If you’re unsure of what business entity is best for you, you can seek the help of a professional CPA or attorney. They will also help you with other tasks including registering with the State Corporation Commission, which several types of businesses require.

  • 2. Choose and Register a Name for the Company

  • When it comes down to the name, it can be as simple as your name or you can choose a more creative one. Whatever you decide, it must be registered with the appropriate authorities. For corporations, limited partnership, or LLC company, you need to register it with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

    Additionally, if you have a sole proprietorship or partnership, you must register with the court in the jurisdiction in which your company is located. You will need to provide proof or documentation of the name when you apply to the Board for Contractors. 

  • 3. Decide What Type of License Your Business Needs  

  • You want to determine the type of license that your company will need. You first want to choose your license class and then your specialty. There are three classifications for licensure: Class A, B, and C. The Contractors Board will issue a license depending on the nature of the work that you will be performing.

    Consequently, the class determines monetary restriction and the size of projects that can be performed in a 12-month period. For example, a Class C license is restricted to all contracts or projects less than $10,000. In a 12-month period, they cannot exceed $150,000.


    Class A License

    This type of license gives contractors the ability to construct, demolish, or deconstruct any building or structure. Unrestricted in the dollar amount of projects they complete, the entire total cost of a contract/project will total $120,000+.


    Class B License

    Contractors with a VA Class B contractor license can perform projects less than $120,000 with a total amount of contracts less than $750,000 in a 12-month period.  They can manage, perform construction, improvements, or repairs to properties when the value to one project totals $10,000+.

    Class C License

    This license grants contractors the ability to conduct work, manage or perform repairs on a project that is greater in value than $1,000, but no more than $10,000 (no more than $150,000 within a 12-month period).

    Important Note: If you are in the Water Well and Landscape irrigation industry, as a contractor you must hold either a Class A, B, or C license. This is required regardless of the amount of money that a project or contract costs.

    Which Exam Should You Take?

    Understanding the type of contracting work that you’ll be completing will help you decide on the test that you should take. To take the exam, contact PSI Exams. They are the administrators for Virginia exams.

    PSI Examination Services

    3210 E Tropicana Las Vegas, NV 89121

    (800) 733-9267

    Fax: (702) 932-2666

    You can click here to download the PSI Candidate information bulletins:

    RBC Exam / CBC ExamClass A ExamHighway Heavy


    PSI testing centers for Virginia contractors are in the following cities: Richmond, Charlottesville, Falls Church, Mclean, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Salisbury, MD.


  • 4. Identify a Qualified Individual

  • Every business is required to have Qualified Individual (QI) regarding both the specialty and classification mentioned in your application. This person must either be a full-time employee OR one of the members of the Responsible Management within the business.

    Qualified individuals for Class A should have at least 5 years of experience, Class B need at least 3 years of experience, and Class C requires 2 years of experience minimum. To complete the application, you need to provide some personal information regarding these individuals including their birthday, Social Security Number or their Virginia DMV Control Number, address, and a copy of a government issued photo ID.


  • 5. Register for the Pre-License Education Course

  • No matter the type of contractor, all applicants are required to complete a mandatory 8-hour course for “Virginia Contractor Basic Business”. You can register and review this course for FREE along with the purchase of one of our classes.


  • 6. Take the Exam

  • After you pass the mandatory sections of the exam for contractors, you will receive an application for the license. You can do this by contacting the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation at

    Exam Times and Dates

    DPOR of Virginia requires individuals to get pre-approved to take the RBC and CBC exam, but not the NASCLA test. If you plan on taking any of the first two, you must apply for your Class A or B license first. You’ll need to add your specialty and wait 30 days.

    As mentioned before, if needed, you can get an expedited application request only if you apply for Class A.  The normal application process takes anywhere from 30-45 days unless you fill out the expedited application, which will only take 72 hours. Here are quick links to the application and forms on the Virginia DPOR license web site:


    Again, you don’t need approval to take the NASCLA exam. You can view a complete list of exam times and dates by clicking here: PSI – Test Center Date and Availability Checker.


  • 7. Deliver the Application

  • After you complete the application in its entirety, send it along with any other necessary documents back to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. You want to be sure to include a money order or a check made out to “Treasurer of Virginia” in the following amounts:

    • $385 for Class A
    • $370 for Class B
    • $235 for Class C

    Important note: If you plan on paying by credit card, be sure to fill out the form for the credit card.

    Once these steps have been taken, you just need to wait for the licensing staff to process your application and get back to you. You can visit Virginia DPOR’s website for a complete step-by-step guide on the process of receiving a Virginias Contractors License.  


    Here is a recap of the steps that you will need to complete in order to get your license in Virginia:

    1. Take the pre-license course
    2. Upgrade to A/B (optional) if you are doing projects over $10k. To upgrade to an A/B, take the course with CTC, then take the exams at PSI
    3. Apply to DPOR to take a specialty exam such as RBC, HIC, CIC, CBC, etc… (Standard application or Expedited Application) with all of the accompanying forms and documents.
    4. Once approved to take the specialty exam, you can take the specialty class with CTC
    5. Take the Speciality exam at PSI
    6. Submit your passing score to DPOR at
    7. Once your license number appears on DPOR's license lookup - you are fully licensed and can use it to pull permits!


    Preparing for the Contractors Exam

    At Contractor Training Center, we offer several classes among them being: A/B, RBC, CBC, Virginia Highway Heavy, Virginia Pre-License Courses, and Continuing Education. You can obtain necessary books and study tools from our site to ensure a successful completion of your exam.

    We’ve made it our priority to equip you with the materials you need to study—including practice tests and tabs for your exam books. Listed below is the information on the classes that we offer, their costs, and the books needed to prepare for this exam. You need to purchase the books, manuals, and additional resources from the links provided below.

    Class A/B Course

    This training course is very concise and covers material on the Virginia General and Advanced exams. This course will give you practice on sample accounting and math problems that will help you with the exam. There is also be a review of test-taking strategies. Along with the book, you’ll receive the following:

    • A/B Study Guide
    • USBC Uniform Statewide Building Code
    • Tabs

    Virginia RBC Exam Prep Class Free $89 Pre-Licensing Class

    This is an instructor-led class that will prepare you for the RBC exam. Along with this, you’ll need to buy the RBC package that includes all the study guides and tabs. You also need to use the VA safety manual on our site as a reference. You can find all necessary books and materials with us.

    Virginia Class CBC Free $89 Pre-Licensing Class

    An instructor-led Exam Prep class, you can take this in a classroom setting in Richmond, VA or online by joining a webinar. The bundle includes the course itself, study material, tabs, and the VA Safety Manual for the CBC. Books can also be purchased on our site.

    Virginia Highway Heavy License Exam Prep Class Includes Free $89 Pre-Licensing Class

    This Highway Heavy Contractors (H/H) is aimed at those individuals whose contracts will include construction, improvement, repair, or demolition of any of the following:

    • Bridges
    • Railroads
    • Dam Roads
    • Drainage Systems Runways
    • Foundation Streets
    • Parking Lots
    • Signs & Lights
    • Public Transit Systems and Tanks

    You’ll receive the H/H Workbook and pre-printed tabs with this purchase.


    DPOR of Virginia Contractor Pre-License Course

    This is a mandatory course for any new contractor in the state of Virginia. It covers the practices and regulations that govern the contracting industry. Within this course, we’ll review the required elements of preparing a contract to meet all regulations and explore methods in selecting customers and jobs based on license classification and experience.

    Additionally, we will explore the various business structures to meet the client’s needs and give you tips that will help you avoid business problems. In this course, we will guide contractors in making smart choices that will enhance their business while complying with all rules and regulations.

    This course will teach the individual how to operate their contracting business; create estimates/bids; and acts as a reference for topics like insurance, banking, project management, employment law, environmental issues, among others. After you register and review the material, we will send the results to DPOR.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long is my license valid?

    An original contractor’s license will expire within two years from the month that the license is received and issued.


    Is a VA contractor license reciprocal with other states?

    Contracting licenses vary from state to state, however, you can obtain more information regarding this by emailing the Board for Contracts at or by calling them at (804) 367-8511.


    Will the Commonwealth of the State of Virginia disburse temporary licenses?

    Temporary licenses are given out to those who are out of state contractors, but they must have the entities, and these licenses have set requirements, including they can only be used for out of state entities who need a license during the waiting period for their permanent one. Temporary licenses are valid for 45 days, can’t be reinstated, reapplied, renewed, or reissued.

    On average, the price for a temporary license is $50. To receive this license, you need to send a letter of good standing from another state. They need to give you positive feedback. You will need to pay both application fees (temporary and permanent).


    Is contractor continued education required in the state of Virginia?

    It is not required in the state of Virginia.

    Is a NASCLA Accredited Commercial Contractor license accepted in Virginia?

    Yes, it’s accepted but you need to send in credentials with your license applications.

    Does the state of Virginia require a general contractor (commercial contractor) license?

    Yes, the state of Virginia requires it. It’s called the CBC – Commercial Building Contractor or the NASCLA. The NASCLA exam is accepted in 12 states.

    Contact Contractor Training Today

    If you’re ready to get started on obtaining your Virginia Contractor’s License, get in touch with us today! At Contractor Training Center, we’ve compiled all the materials and resources you need to pass your licensing exam with flying colors. Call now!


    Virginia DPOR Contractor Pre-license Course

    This is the course that is mandatory for any new contractor in the state of Virginia.  It presents the regulations and practices that govern the contracting industry. We will review the required elements of preparing a contract in accordance with regulation, explore methods in selecting customers and jobs based on license classification and experience, explore the  various business structures to meet their particular need, and tips that will help you to avoid regulatory and business problems.  The course is designed to guide contractors in making choices that will ensure compliance with regulation and maintain the license through business success.

    The course provides guidance for operating a contracting business and can be used as a continued reference for topics such as estimating and bidding, insurance, banking and credit cards, project management, employment law, tax information, contracts, environmental issues and other subjects.  Once you register and review the material (PDF) and we transmit the results to DPOR.  It’s that simple.
    To register, please click here:


    Virginia Tradesmen DPOR Continuing Education

    The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) requires continuing education training on the various codes in order to renew a trades certificate.
    > Contractors Institute, Inc. offers internet delivered training, recognized by DPOR, that focuses on major changes to the Trades portion of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) that will become effective in early 2008.
    >  The courses were developed by experts who helped write the codes.
    To register, please click here:


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