In Texas, any individual or business performing contracting work worth more than $500 must have a contractor license. These apply to renovation, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and other work. That said, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, performing work as an employee of a licensed contractor does not require a separate license. If you’re unsure whether or not you need a permit, the best course of action is to contact your local county clerk’s office.
What is a Texas Contractor License?
In Texas, a contractor license is also referred to as a “Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) number.” Once you have been issued this number, it must be displayed on all advertising materials, including billboards, business cards, flyers, websites, etc. Furthermore, any time you sign a contract related to your contracting business, your TDLR number must be included.
There are two types of contractor licenses in Texas:
1. Registration Certificate – allows the holder to work on projects that are valued at less than $500
2. Standard Occupational License – allows the holder to work on projects of any value
It’s important to note that holding a registration certificate does not exempt an individual from having to obtain the appropriate permits for their project.
Requirements For Getting a Texas Contractor License
To obtain a Texas contractor license, applicants must:
Be at least 18 years old
Have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance (if applicable)
Submit the appropriate application and fees
Pass a criminal background check
Meet all experience and exam requirements (if applicable)
7Have a surety bond in place (if applicable)
Register with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (if applicable)
Texas contractor licenses are valid for two years and must be renewed before expiration. Licensees must complete at least four hours of continuing education during each renewal period.
Obtaining Your License
If you’ve determined that you need a license, the first step is to take and pass an examination administered by PSI Services LLC. The passing score for this exam is 70%. After you’ve passed the exam, you will need to submit an Application for Initial Registration/Licensing along with the appropriate fee ($200 for registration certificates and $300 for standard occupational licenses). If your application is approved, you will be issued your TDLR number and can begin working as a licensed contractor in Texas.
Please note that there is no grandfathering clause in Texas. And this means that even if you have years of experience working as a contractor without being licensed, you will still need to obtain your license before beginning contracting work in Texas.
Depending on the type and value of contracting work you plan on doing in Texas, you may or may not need to obtain a TDLR number. If unsure, the best course of action is always to contact your local county clerk’s office for clarification. And remember—even if you’ve been working as a contractor for years without being licensed, to work in Texas, you will need to obtain your license before beginning any contracting jobs.