Are Contractor Licenses Transferable Between States?

state contractors license1As a licensed contractor, you are lucky to have the freedom to take on the jobs you want. But what if that job is in a different state from the one that issued your state contractors license? The short answer is that contractor licenses are not strictly transferable between states. However, some states have reciprocity agreements that speed up the process of getting a contractors license in another state.


The Contractors State License Board (CSLB), which governs the construction industry in California, has formal reciprocity agreements with the contracting agencies of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The CSLB believes that reciprocity between these states benefits contractors and consumers within California. For this reason, skills in these states with identical or fundamentally indistinguishable licensing requirements are much easier to receive a California state license.

state contractors license2Just because California has reciprocity agreements with some neighboring states doesn’t mean that a licensed contractor in Arizona or Nevada can simply come to California and begin to work. It simply means that the process required to receive a state contractors license is shorter and easier to undertake.


The requirements for a reciprocal license are the same for licensed contractors in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The contractor must apply for a classification of license that is on the state’s reciprocal classification list. The contractor must also have an active license that is in good standing with the state for at least five years.


Next, the contractor will need to submit a request for verification of license form. This is to be filled out by the licensing agency in the state that issued their existing state contractors license. Finally, the contractor must fill and file an application for an original contractors license with the CSLB.

state contractors license3Test

Even if the state that issued your original license has a reciprocity agreement with the CSLB, you will still need to take a portion, if not all, of the state contractors license exam. If the classification of your license is identical or fundamentally indistinguishable from the California requirements, the CSLB may waive the trade portion of your exam. Regardless, you will still be required to take and pass the business law portion of your exam.

Across State Lines

While a state contractors license isn’t strictly transferable between states, some states make it much easier to apply for and earn a contractors license. For example, California has reciprocity agreements with Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. Each state has its own process for earning a contractors license and some allow you to work even without a reciprocity agreement.

We Can Help

At Contractors License Resource Group we’ve been helping people earn their California state contractors license for nearly forty years. We know the fine print and procedure of the CSLB and we can help you navigate the often complicated government agencies that issue contractors licenses. Call today to find out more!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *