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Virginia is receiving a lot of positive publicity regarding its beauty and affordability, and most of all the number of people moving into the state continues to increase. Retirees find Virginia to be a very desirable place to relocate. With the number of baby boomers moving into the state, the housing and home improvement markets are expecting record growth. It’s time to get licensed and reap the benefits. The related articles express the realized and anticipated growth in the state of Virginia.

Do I need a VA contractor’s license?

According to Virginia code, a contractor is one who for a fixed price, commission, or fee performs or manages construction, removal, repair, or improvements. Virginia has three classes of contractors.

Class A Contractor - The total value of a single contract or project is $120,000 or more, or the total value of all construction or improvements undertaken by such person within any twelve month period is $750,000 or more. The prerequisite for a Class A license is 5 years experience.

Class B Contractor - The total value of a single contract or project is $10,000 or more, but less than $120,000, or the total value all construction or improvements within any twelve month period is $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000. The prerequisite for a Class B license is 3 years experience.

Class C Contractor - The total value of a single contract or project is over $1,000 but no more than $10,000, or the total value of all construction or improvements within any twelve month period is no more than $150,000. The prerequisite for a Class C license is 2 years experience.

Contractors who perform framing on new construction are required to take the Building Technical Examination and have a BLD specialty classification. Contractors who perform framing on existing structures are not required to take the Building Technical Examination and should apply for the appropriate specialty classification.

Obtaining your Virginia Contractor License will enable you to charge customers and be compensated for your work.

How to acquire your Virginia Contractors License

 According to the Virginia Code, contractors licenses are issued to businesses (regardless of the number of employees) and not individuals. You may conduct business as a Sole Proprietor. The following are the steps to obtain your Virginia Contractors license:

  1. Successfully complete the VA contractor’s license exam that measures your knowledge of the profession.
  2. Obtain a Contractor’s License application. Applications can be obtained from:

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233-1463
(804) 367-8511

  1. Submit the Contractors License application, supporting documents, and application fee to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

The Best Test Prep Online Course for the Virginia Contractor License Exam

The first step in obtaining your Virginia Builders License is preparing to take the contractors test. Our contractors exam preparation Online Course will help you accomplish this task in the most efficient way possible. By practicing all of the possible questions in the Online Course, you will be prepared for any combination of questions that you may be given on your builders exam. In addition, studying our Online Course helps you become familiar with computer generated tests and greatly reduces your anxiety on the day of your contractor exam since you prepared using a computer based testing (CBT) format.

The next step is registering to take the Virginia builders license exam. It is recommended that once you select a date to take the exam, you call at least 2 weeks in advance to schedule the construction test. The State of Virginia uses PSI Examination Services to administer the builders test. There are 4 ways to register for the Virginia General Contractors Exam:

  1. Internet - Log onto and register for the examination. When you register online there is no wait to schedule your examination date.
  2. Standard Mail - Completely fill out the PSI Registration Form and mail to PSI with the appropriate examination fee. Once your registration has been processed, a Registration Confirmation Notice will be mailed to you.
  3. Fax - Completely fill out the PSI Registration Form and fax to PSI at (702) 932-2666. When faxing registration materials, please wait 4 days before calling to schedule your examination.
  4. Telephone - Call PSI at (800) 733-9267, 24 hours a day and schedule using the Automated Registration System or between 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Monday through Friday and between 11:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday to schedule an appointment for the contractors license test with a registrar.

Builders license exams are given at the following locations:

  • Falls Church, VA
  • Mclean, VA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Roanoke, VA
  • Salisbury, MD
  • Charlottesville, VA

Included with the Online Course is the Candidate Information Bulletin which outlines the topics covered on the General Contractors Exam. Complete instructions for taking the Virginia construction license exam and directions to the testing centers are also provided.

Taking the Virginia Contractors License Exam

You have studied diligently and are ready to take the VA contractors license exam. You can arrive with confidence knowing that you are prepared for whatever questions may appear on the builders test. It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled testing time. You must present two (2) valid forms of identification when you arrive at the testing center. One of the ID's must have a photograph and your signature. A driver's license will satisfy this requirement. The name on the application must exactly match the name on the photo ID used to check in for the contractor exam. In addition, you should bring a non-programmable calculator. Our Online Course will prepare you for the following portions of the exams:



Number of Questions

Passing Score

Time Allowed

Part 1

Virginia Portion



48 minutes

Part 2

General Portion



100 minutes

Part 3

Advanced Portion



60 minutes

Part 4

Building Technical



160 minutes

After you have completed the builder test, your score will immediately be displayed on the computer screen and a printed copy of your results will be given to you.

Obtaining Your Contractors License

Once you have successfully passed the contractors license exam, your test results will be sent to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The state will then issue your contractor license to practice as a General Contractor in the state of Virginia.

Traps to avoid

It is a common misconception that since the construction exam is open book, it is not difficult to pass. In actuality the Virginia builders license exam is more difficult to pass than similar closed book exams due to the fact that you have books available as a resource during the contractor test. You are permitted to bring certain reference materials into the builder exam. The reference materials may be highlighted, underlined, or indexed to assist you in finding information quickly. The books may not be written in and may not contain any additional papers. (Do not use sticky notes or Post Its to index your books because they are not permitted and you will be asked to remove them at the test center.) You are required to bring your own reference materials because they are not available at the testing center. We recommend purchasing the following references and using them together with our Online Course to give you the greatest chance of passing the builders license test the first time. The following books and references are allowed into the contractors license exam:

  • Business and Project Management for Contractors, Virginia
  • Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, USBC
  • Virginia Manufactured Home Safety Regulations, MHSR
  • International Residential Code
  • Carpentry & Building Construction
  • Builders Technical Supplement

If you forget the answer to a question during the contractor license test, having these reference books will allow you to quickly find the answer and complete the contractor exam within the time allowed. Going into the Virginia construction exam with your toolbox filled with all of the resources available will give you the greatest chance of success. In construction the saying, “Do it right the first time” is often heard. We believe it also applies to getting your contractor license.