• Tradesmen Program

    The Board for Contractors regulates individual tradesmen who engage in the trades of electrical; plumbing; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); gas fitting; water well construction; elevator mechanics; backflow prevention; and building energy analysis. (Although the term "certified" is used, state certification of these trades is mandatory, not optional.)

    Individual tradesmen may also be subject to local ordinances, laws, or other requirements imposed by other state agencies, courts, or certain localities. Questions about local ordinances, etc. should be directed to the community in which the individuals plan to engage in their trade.

    Licensing Section  (804) 367-8511
    Education Section  (804) 367-2224
    Board Office  (804) 367-2785
    FAX  (866) 430-1033
    Email  tradesmen@dpor.virginia.gov 
    NEW! Board newsletter, Blueprints, is back and better than ever! Read Summer 2014 issue.
  • Forms & Applications

    General Information | For Applicants & Licensees | For Education Providers 


    General Information

     

    For Applicants and Licensees

    Read instructions on opening interactive PDFs. 

     

    For Education Providers


    Applicants must read and understand the Tradesmen Individual License and Certification Regulations (PDF).
    DPOR Boards only accept the most recent versions of the applications provided here. DPOR Boards are not responsible for processing delays associated with forms that do not conform to this requirement.
    Need help opening, viewing or printing? Troubleshooting resources available here.

    Application fees are not refundable.


     

    Laws & Regulations

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

    Meetings & Minutes

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

    The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

    Visit the Town Hall: http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewboard.cfm?boardid=10&display=boardinfo 

    Education & Exams

    Pre-License Education | Continuing Education | Examinations 

    Pre-License Education

    In order to become licensed/certified as a tradesman, backflow prevention device worker, or water well systems provider, applicants must complete pre-license education.

    Continuing Education

    As a condition of renewal, all individuals holding a journeyman or master tradesman license are required to complete a continuing education course in each discipline in which they hold a license. Continuing education must be completed before the expiration date on your license.

    For example, an individual holding a master electrician license must complete an approved electrical continuing education course. An individual holding a master electrician and master plumbing license must complete an approved continuing education course in electrical and plumbing.

    For the trades of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, the course must be three hours in length. For gas-fitting, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas, the course must be one hour each. Certified Elevator Mechanics must complete eight hours of continuing education, from courses approved by the Board for Contractors (which include NEIEP- and CET-level courses).

    ALL continuing education courses must be approved by the Board for Contractors in order for them to be used as part of the renewal requirements. Be sure to check the list of approved courses before scheduling your training class.

    Examinations

    Pre-approval from the Board is required to sit for the exam. 

      TRADESMEN
    BACKFLOW PREVENTION DEVICE WORKERS
    ELEVATOR MECHANICS 
    WATER WELL SYSTEMS PROVIDERS 
    Exam Administrator   PSI
    (800) 733-9267
    PSI
    (800)733-9267
    Frequency and Dates of Exam  Daily*
    Contact PSI (800) 733-9267
    *"daily" typically means Mon.-Fri.
    Daily*
    Contact PSI (800) 733-9267
    *"daily" typically means Mon.-Fri.
    Deadline for Application and Fee  No application deadline. No application deadline.
    Exam Fees
    (paid directly to PSI)
    NOTE: $15 walk-in registration charge 
    Journeyman Tradesman          $100 
    Master Tradesman                  $125
    Elevator Mechanic                 $100
    Backflow Prevention
    Device Worker                      $100
    $95
    Exam Location  Charlottesville
    Falls Church
    Richmond
    Roanoke
    Tyson's Corner
    Virginia Beach
    Johnson City, TN
    Salisbury, MD
    Charlottesville
    Falls Church
    Richmond
    Roanoke
    Tyson's Corner
    Virginia Beach
    Questions About Exam Scheduling or Registration?   Candidate Information Bulletin (PDF)

    Once you receive approval notification from the Board, contact PSI at (800) 733-9267 or comments@psiexams.com.
    Candidate Information Bulletin (PDF)

    Once you receive approval notification from the Board, contact PSI at (800) 733-9267 or comments@psiexams.com.
    Other Questions?  To check on the status of your application, contact the Board office at (804) 367-8511 or tradesmen@dpor.virginia.gov. To check on the status of your application, contact the Board office at (804) 367-8511 or tradesmen@dpor.virginia.gov.

    News & Publications

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

    Board News

     

    Newsletter

    Visit the Board Newsletters page and choose the "Contractors Blueprints" tab to view issues.

    Tradesmen Frequently Asked Questions

    General Questions

    1. How do I contact the Board office? 
    2. When I call the Board office, will I be able to speak directly with a Board member? 
    3. How do I go about filing a complaint against a tradesman? 
    4. I need to renew my license/certificate, but I haven't received my renewal form. What do I need to do? 
    5. My renewal payment was one day late and I have always paid on time. Can you waive the late fee? 
    6. I did not renew on time because I didn't receive my renewal card. Do I still have to pay a late fee or reinstate my license? 
    7. Does the Board office use the date of receipt or the postmark date to determine whether an application or renewal was received on time? 
    8. My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board? 

    Continuing Education Questions

    1. Who must complete continuing education? 
    2. How much continuing education is required? 
    3. How often must these continuing education hours be completed? 
    4. What does the continuing education course have to cover? 
    5. Where can I find a course to take? Who offers the courses? 
    6. I cannot find a course near me, or I am out-of-state. How can I complete the continuing education requirements? 
    7. I have taken courses by a particular provider, but I do not see them on the list. Will the courses offered by that company/provider count toward my required continuing education? 
    8. Do I have to take a test as part of the continuing education requirement? 
    9. Once I have taken the course, do I need to notify the Board office that I have completed the continuing education requirements for my license? 
    10. I took the class last week, but when I called the Board office to make sure you received my continuing education information, I was told there was no information on my record. Why? 
    11. I have been an electrician/plumber/HVAC worker/gas fitter for 20 years. Is there a grandfather provision for me? 
    12. I have been working in this trade for so many years, why do I have to take continuing education now? 
    13. My tradesman license has plumbing and gas fitting. Do I have to complete continuing education for both of them? 
    14. I hold journeyman and master tradesman licenses. Do I have to complete twice the continuing education? 
    15. I contacted several of the providers on the list and, even though only three hours on continuing education for my trade is required, they are offering classes that are 5, 10, or more hours long. Why? 
    16. I contacted one of the providers, and they said that they do not offer classes to the public. Are they allowed to do that? 
    17. I contacted one of the providers and the phone was disconnected or it did not appear they were still offering classes. What should I do? 
    18. What happens if I do not complete the continuing education? 
    19. I have maintained my tradesman license even though I am retired. Is there a special status, such as inactive or retired, so that I can keep my license without completing continuing education? 

    How do I contact the Board office?

    You may reach the Board office by phone at 804-367-8511 (Licensing Section) or 804-367-2224 (Education Section), by FAX at 1-866-430-1033, or by e-mail at tradesmen@dpor.virginia.gov. 

    If you have a question regarding licensing issues, renewal, application status, etc., please contact the Licensing Section at (804) 367-8511. If you have a question regarding continuing education providers, how to become a provider, or other questions relating to education, please contact the Education Section at (804) 367-2224. Additionally, if you have information that you would like to mail to the Board, please send it to:

    Board for Contractors
    Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive
    Richmond, VA 23233

    When I call the Board office, will I be able to speak directly with a Board member?

    No. The Board members do not work in the Board office. They come into the Board offices for Board meetings and hearings, but are not here on a daily basis.

    Board office staff members can answer your questions and are trained to process all information that comes into the Board office. Please do not contact Board members directly.

    How do I go about filing a complaint against a tradesman?

    Contact the Regulatory Programs and Compliance Section.

    I need to renew my license/certificate, but I haven't received my renewal form. What do I need to do?

    Complete required education, send in the renewal fee, make checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia, and include your license/certificate number on your check. Mail this information to:
    Board for Contractors
    Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive
    Richmond, VA 23233

    You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license/certificate has expired.

    My renewal payment was one day late and I have always paid on time. Can you waive the late fee?

    No. The Board's regulations allow a 30-day grace period in which a license may be renewed without penalty (therefore, your payment is actually 31 days late). Staff cannot waive the fee.

    I did not renew on time because I didn't receive my renewal card. Do I still have to pay a late fee or reinstate my license?

    Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve you of the obligation to renew.

    Does the Board office use the date of receipt or the postmark date to determine whether an application or renewal was received on time?

    The date the application or renewal was received in the agency determines whether it is on time, not the postmark date. If the renewal fee is received after the due date, you will be required to pay the reinstatement fee. If the reinstatement fee is received after the due date, you will be required to reapply, meeting all current requirements.

    My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board?

    Complete, print, sign, and submit a Name/Address Change Form to the Board office. All address changes must be received by the Board in writing. When providing a post office box as the mailing address, it must be accompanied by the physical address.

    Who must complete continuing education?

    Beginning January 1, 2008, all tradesmen must complete continuing education in order to renew their licenses. Tradesmen with the trade designation of plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and/or gas fitting must complete continuing education. The only exception is certified backflow prevention device workers, who are not currently required to complete continuing education for renewal.

    How much continuing education is required?

    Tradesmen must complete continuing education as follows:

    • Plumbers--3 hours
    • Electricians--3 hours
    • HVAC workers--3 hours
    • Gas Fitters--1 hour (1 hour total for NGF, LPG, or GFC licenses)
    • Certified Elevator Mechanics--8 hours *
    • Certified Water Well Systems Providers--8 hours *

    *Certified elevator mechanics and certified water well systems providers should contact the Licensing Staff at 804-367-8511 if they need information on continuing education requirements for their certificates/licenses. 

    How often must these continuing education hours be completed?

    All continuing education requirements must be fulfilled during the two-year term of the license. If your license expires December 31, 2012, you must complete the required continuing education hours for your license before December 31, 2012. The next cycle for your license will be January 1, 2013, through

    December 31, 2014 (the next expiration date of your license), during which the continuing education requirements for your license must be fulfilled.

    What does the continuing education course have to cover?

    The continuing education course must be a code update course for the code that is specific to your trade. For example, electricians must complete a course covering updates to the National Electrical Code; plumbers must complete a course covering updates to the International Plumbing Code; HVAC workers must complete a course covering updates to the International Mechanical Code; and gas fitters must complete a course covering updates to the International Fuel Gas Code.

    Where can I find a course to take? Who offers the courses?

    The course must be completed through a Board-approved provider. A list of the Board-approved providers is available on the Board web page Education & Exams tab. The list is continuously updated as new providers are approved, so check back often to see if new providers in your area have been added to the list.

    I cannot find a course near me, or I am out-of-state. How can I complete the continuing education requirements?

    While the Board-Approved Provider List shows the location of each of the providers, that is not necessarily the location of the course. Some of the providers travel to various locations, while others offer their courses online or through correspondence courses. You would need to contact the individual providers to find out the locations of their courses. Online providers are denoted on the list as providing online courses.

    Also, if you have several months or more before your license expired, you may wish to wait to take the course because the list is continuously being updated as new providers are approved by the Board. By waiting a few months, you may find a provider has been approved that is closer to your area. The important thing is to complete the continuing education before your license expires.

    I have taken courses by a particular provider, but I do not see them on the list. Will the courses offered by that company/provider count toward my required continuing education?

    Only approved courses offered by approved providers count toward the continuing education requirement. If you have a provider that you have taken courses through that you would like to see on the list, you should contact that provider and encourage them to apply for approval. The course must cover code updates, and the provider must meet the Board's requirements. The provider can contact the Board's education staff at 804-367-2224.

    Do I have to take a test as part of the continuing education requirement?

    Only correspondence and online providers must offer a test at the end of their courses. Providers who teach their courses in traditional classroom environments are not required to administer a test, but they may choose to do so as an assessment of understanding of course topics.

    Once I have taken the course, do I need to notify the Board office that I have completed the continuing education requirements for my license?

    All Board-approved providers are required to transmit rosters electronically from each course to the Board office. This information is then transferred to your license record to document that the continuing education requirements have been completed. We do highly recommended that you keep some type of documentation from the course (i.e., a certificate of completion, if provided, or other type of proof) in case there are any questions regarding whether or not you completed the course requirements.

    I took the class last week, but when I called the Board office to make sure you received my continuing education information, I was told there was no information on my record. Why?

    Providers have seven days after course completion to transmit course rosters to the Board office. Once received, it takes several days for Board staff to process the rosters. Therefore, it may be two to three weeks before we have record of your course. We recommend you do not contact the Board office to check on your continuing education. Instead, keep the documentation referenced above and be prepared to submit it when you renew your license if you receive a letter from the Board office requesting proof of completion of continuing education coursework.

    I have been an electrician/plumber/HVAC worker/gas fitter for 20 years. Is there a grandfather provision for me?

    There is no grandfather provision for continuing education. All tradesmen who wish to maintain their licenses must complete the continuing education requirements for their licenses.

    I have been working in this trade for so many years, why do I have to take continuing education now?

    The Board instituted mandatory continuing education in order to ensure that all tradesmen are up-to-date on code changes. By requiring continuing education of all tradesmen, the Board can continue to fulfill its mission of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public by making sure that tradesmen are aware of code changes, and can also help tradesmen by helping them to avoid inadvertently violating new code requirements that they may not have been aware of otherwise.

    My tradesman license has plumbing and gas fitting. Do I have to complete continuing education for both of them?

    Yes, if you have more than one designation on your license, you must complete continuing education for each designation.

    I hold journeyman and master tradesman licenses. Do I have to complete twice the continuing education?

    No. If you have, for example, a journeyman electrical and master electrical license, you only have to complete three (3) hours of continuing education on the National Electrical Code. The same would apply to the other trades, with just one update course on the applicable code.

    I contacted several of the providers on the list and, even though only three hours on continuing education for my trade is required, they are offering classes that are 5, 10, or more hours long. Why?

    It is up to the provider how long to make the class. Some providers choose to do a more extensive overview, or choose to include additional topics in their curriculum. The Board requires a minimum of 3 contact hours (or 1 hour for gas fitters), and only grants 3 credit hours (or 1 credit hour for gas fitters), regardless of how long the course is. It is completely your decision which class you choose to take.

    I contacted one of the providers, and they said that they do not offer classes to the public. Are they allowed to do that?

    Yes. Some providers choose to offer classes only to their employees or to members of a specific organization. Regardless of who they choose to offer the class to, they must meet the Board's requirements for the class.

    I contacted one of the providers and the phone was disconnected or it did not appear they were still offering classes. What should I do?

    Please contact another provider on the list to find a provider who offers a course that you can take, but also please notify the Board office so that staff can attempt to contact the provider to determine whether or not they should be removed from the list. The Education Staff can be reached at 804-367-2224.

    What happens if I do not complete the continuing education?

    Your license will not be renewed if you do not complete the continuing education. The regular renewal and reinstatement regulations apply to fulfillment of the continuing education requirements. You have a 30-day grace period after the expiration date on your license to submit payment and proof of continuing education. Please note that this grace period is to allow extra time for completing the renewal requirements only; your license is still considered expired and you cannot engage in the trade work. If you do not complete both requirements within 30 days of the expiration date on your license, you must pay an additional fee to reinstate your license and complete the continuing education. If the fee and/or continuing education information are not submitted within one year, you must apply for a new license and meet then-current eligibility requirements.

    I have maintained my tradesman license even though I am retired. Is there a special status, such as inactive or retired, so that I can keep my license without completing continuing education?

    No. The Board does not have an "inactive" or "retired" status for its licenses. If you do not complete the requirements, you will be unable to renew your license.

    Board for Contractors

    Board Executive Director

    Eric L. Olson

    Board Administrator

    Adrienne Mayo

    Board Member Roster

    H Bailey Dowdy
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2013
    Elevator Contractor
    Highland Springs
    Herbert "Jack" Dyer Jr.
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2013
    Commercial Contractor
    Ashland
    Michael Gelardi
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Plumbing Contractor Class A
    Virginia Beach
    David Giesen
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Sub-Contractor Class A
    Virginia Beach
    Erby G. "Rudy" Middleton
    Board Vice Chair
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Electrical Contractor
    Newport News
    Doug Murrow
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Building Code Official
    Newport News
    James Oliver
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2015
    Class A Contractor
    Christiansburg
    E.C. "Chick" Pace, III
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Utilities Contractor Class A
    Roanoke
    Troy Smith, Jr.
    Board Chair
    Unexpired term expiring June 30, 2012
    Home Improvements Contractor Class B
    Newport News
    Homer C "Pete" Sumpter
    First full four -year term ends June 30, 2012
    Ewing
    Deborah Lynn Tomlin
    Second full four-year term ends June 30, 2013
    Materials Supplier
    Richmond
    D. Todd Vander Pol
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    Certified Water Well System Provider
    Glen Allen
    Chancey Walker
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2014
    HVAC Contractor
    Virginia Beach
    Wyatt H. Walton, III
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2012
    Citizen Member
    Roanoke
    A. Bruce Williams
    First full four-year term ends June 30, 2012
    Norfolk
     

    Board members are appointed by the Governor. To learn more about the gubernatorial appointment process, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website. 

    Military and Veterans Services

    DPOR stands ready to assist veterans and active-duty military personnel as they maintain or transition to civilian careers requiring professional credentials.

    Active-duty military personnel and their spouses having served outside the U.S., as well as certain diplomatic service members and veterans, may be eligible to receive up to a five-year extension for meeting license renewal requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-117 of the Code of Virginia).

    Spouses of active-duty military personnel assigned to a duty station in Virginia are eligible for expedited processing using the Military Spouse Expedited License Application (PDF). A temporary, non-renewable six-month license for certain military spouses licensed in another state who need more time to meet Virginia-specific requirements may also be an option. 

    In addition, the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs may reimburse veterans for the cost of license or certification exams. See the VA Pamphlet 22-02-1 for more information.

    Available Online Services

    The transactions listed below are only for Individual license types:

    • Tradesmen (electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas-fitting)
    • Backflow Prevention Device Workers
    • Elevator and Accessibility Mechanics
    • Water Well System Providers
    • Residential Building Energy Analysts

     

    The Board for Contractors page lists online services offered for Contractor Businesses license types.

    (Please check back periodically as we add transactions in the future.) 


    Apply for a new license/designation

    Tradesman (2710)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By reciprocity (licensed in another state or jurisdiction)
    • By exam waiver (apprenticeship)
    • By "swap" (licensed by DHCD or local governing body)
    Backflow Prevention Device Worker (2717)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By reciprocity (licensed in another state or jurisdiction)
    • By "swap" (licensed by DHCD or local governing body)
    Certified Elevator Mechanic (2718)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By Board equivalency
    Water Well Systems Provider (2719)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By reciprocity (licensed in another state or jurisdiction)
    • By “grandfathering”
    Residential Building Energy Analyst (2722)


    Add a specialty

    Tradesman (2710)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By reciprocity (licensed in another state or jurisdiction)
    • By exam waiver (apprenticeship)


    Address change

    ALL individual license types


    Renew a license

    ALL individual license types  


    Upgrade an existing license to:

    Master Tradesman (2710)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    Journeyman or Master Water Well Systems Provider (2719)
    • Request for exam eligibility
    • By reciprocity (licensed in another state or jurisdiction)


    Reinstate an expired license

    Tradesman (2710)
    Backflow Prevention Device Worker (2717)
    Certified Elevator Mechanic (2718)
    Water Well Systems Provider (2719)
    Residential Building Energy Analyst (2722)
     


    Enter Online Services using your unique, secure User ID and password.

    Don't have them yet? Don't worry. You will be able to create your profile and complete registration from the login page.