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.
General Information | For Applicants & Licensees | For Education Providers
Read instructions on opening interactive PDFs.
Applicants must read and understand the Tradesmen Individual License and Certification Regulations (PDF). Application fees are not refundable. 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.
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
Pre-License Education | Continuing Education | Examinations
In order to become licensed/certified as a tradesman, backflow prevention device worker, or water well systems provider, applicants must complete pre-license 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.
Pre-approval from the Board is required to sit for the exam.
Visit the Board Newsletters page and choose the "Contractors Blueprints" tab to view issues.
My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board?
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 email@example.com.
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 ContractorsDepartment of Professional and Occupational Regulation9960 Mayland DriveRichmond, VA 23233
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.
Contact the Regulatory Programs and Compliance Section.
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 ContractorsDepartment of Professional & Occupational Regulation9960 Mayland DriveRichmond, VA 23233
You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license/certificate has expired.
No. The Board's regulations provide a 30-day period after the expiration date in which a license may be renewed without penalty (therefore, your payment is actually 31 days late). Staff cannot waive the fee.
Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve you of the obligation to renew.
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.
Many Boards allow you to update your ADDRESS using Online Services, so login to your personal profile to see if this is an option for your license type. The alternative is to complete, print, sign, and submit an Address Change Form to the Board office by mail. Unless updated online, all Address Change Forms 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.
To report a NAME CHANGE: complete, print, sign, and submit a Name Change Form to the Board office. All name changes must be received by the Board in writing. Individual name change requests must be accompanied by a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, or other official documentation that verifies the name change.
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.
Tradesmen must complete continuing education as follows:
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, if you have more than one designation on your license, you must complete continuing education for each designation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eric L. Olson
Board members are appointed by the Governor. To learn more about the gubernatorial appointment process, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.
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. [Section 54.1-119]
For honorably discharged veterans, “substantially equivalent” military training, education, or experience may be credited toward certain license requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-118).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.
The transactions listed below are only for Individual license types:
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.)
ALL individual license types
Tradesman (2710)Backflow Prevention Device Worker (2717)Certified Elevator Mechanic (2718)Water Well Systems Provider (2719)Residential Building Energy Analyst (2722)
please contact us in writing or via telephone and we will work with you to make the information available.