The deadline to file for a Specialty License under the grandfather clause has expired. The license categories will go into effect on October 6, 2008 as scheduled. Applications received by the Department bearing a post mark date of September 3, 2008 or later will be returned to applicant and the applicant will be required to successfully complete exam requirements for the license category desired. (The filing deadline was extended to allow a post mark up to September 2, 2008 in recognition of the Labor Day Holiday on September 1 st.)

A Candidates Bulletin of Information ( click here to view new bulletin pdf format of    appl_csl_exams.pdf  )  (288kb) has been developed identifying the new, Specialty License categories. It is important to note that the bulletin not only establishes requirements for the new, Specialty License examinations, but also defines new procedures for all candidates to more clearly demonstrate their qualifications to be considered eligible to sit for a license exam (see bulletin pages 6, 9, 10, 11 and 13).

The new, Specialty License examinations contain 35 questions (rather than 50 for Unrestricted, Restricted and Masonry categories). Since code requirements are somewhat limited for the Specialty License categories (there are only a few code pages relating to roofing materials, for instance), specialty license exam questions are based more on requirements drawn from reference standards than from 780 CMR (the state building code). Please be sure to read the new candidates bulletin thoroughly to ensure that you are cognizant of all new application requirements. New, Specialty License exams have been available to interested candidates since July 1 st this year. Any person who is not grandfathered into the program will be expected to take and receive a passing score on the new exam(s) in order to be issued a Specialty License .

Although Specialty License exams are administered individually through the examination service, they are grouped together on a single license card that is issued by the Department. The fee for a Specialty License card is $150 whether you file for one, two, three or all four Specialty Categories on a single application . If applications are filed separately, the fee is $150 for each category license. Therefore, if you wish to be licensed in more than one Specialty Category (roofing and windows and siding for instance) you should file examination results on a single application to the Department following successful completion of requisite exams.

Applicants whose grandfathered license applications were returned for failure to meet the filing deadline or for other reasons were provided guidance on what is now required to become licensed. That guidance is repeated below as information. Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions (click here to view FAQ's ) to learn more about Specialty License requirements.

What should I do from here?

You are now required to take an examination in order to receive a license in any of the following categories.

  • Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License (URCSL);
  • Restricted Construction Supervisor License (RCSL);
  • Restricted Masonry Construction Supervisor License (RMCSL)
  • Residential Roof Covering Construction Supervisor License (RCCSL);
  • Residential Window and Siding Construction Supervisor License (WSCSL);
  • Residential Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance Installer Construction Supervisor License (SFCSL);
  • Demolition Only Construction Supervisor License (DCSL).

How should I determine which examination to take?

This is a purely subjective decision. In order to make an informed decision, you should read the license qualification section of the Candidates Bulletin carefully to determine whether you are eligible to sit only for a specialty category license or a higher, restricted or unrestricted category license. Please be aware that, if you apply for and receive a roofing only license, your business activities are limited to that category.

As an example, roofing only licensees may install, repair and/or replace all types of roof coverings, but are limited in the amount of work they may perform to sheathing and/or structural materials. The same is true for licensees in the window and siding category. Therefore, if you intend to work on projects that require the installation, repair and/or replacement of sheathing and/or structural elements in excess of 25% of a given area (25% of a roof area for instance), you may wish to explore licensure in a higher category.

What happens during the period for which I am not licensed; will I still be able to perform specialty work?

The new license categories go into effect on October 6, 2008. On and after this date, municipal building officials will require proof of license (as well as Home Improvement Contractor Registration where applicable) prior to issuing a permit for specialty license category work. If you are not able to attain a license prior to this period, you would need to secure a permit and perform the work under an appropriately licensed contractor.