Introduction: Construction Contractor Licensing in Massachusetts
The building code requires that construction of one and two family dwellings of any size and all other types of buildings with less than 35,000 cubic feet of enclosed space, including manufactured buildings, must, with few exceptions, be done under the supervision of a person with a Construction Supervisor License (CSL). Work on other buildings and structures must be done under the control of an engineer or architect and may require additional local licensing by some municipalities.
Note, for most work on existing one-to-four family owner-occupied dwellings, a contractor must also register with the Office of Consumer Affairs Home Improvement Contracting program.
Renewing a Construction Supervisor License
- Complete the required continuing education credits. See: Continuing Education
Request a renewal application from DPS by email. See: Request for CSL Renewal Form (Check your spam or junk folders for a "Renewal Notice Enclosed" item from "EOPSS MA", after you send this request. Allow up to three days to receive this form.)
- Complete and mail in the renewal application. Attach payment and CEU certificates.
Licenses must be renewed every two years for a fee of $100.00. There is a one year grace period to renew licenses after expiration. For an additional fee of $100.00, licenses can be renewed up to two years after expiration. Beyond that it’s necessary to take an exam and apply for a new license. Contact email@example.com only for extenuating circumstances.
Change Name, Address or Replace Lost License
- Print and complete the following form: Change Name, Address or Replace Lost License
- Mail form to DPS, with payment if required.
Applying for a New Construction Supervisor License
- Determine which type of license. See: CSL Types
- Verify work experience. See WORK EXPERIENCE below.
- Submit exam registration form. See CSL Exam Application (Prometric
- Call for exam date in 10-days. See CSL Exam Application (Prometric .
- Prepare for and take exam.
- Submit Score Report to BBRS for license.
Exams are intended to test knowledge of the building code and general construction practices. Exams are administered by Prometric, a private contractor for the Department of Public Safety (DPS). After receiving a Score Report with a passing grade from Prometric, the applicant shall complete the Score Report form and forward it with the license fee to DPS, which will issue the license in approximately 30 days.
Candidates must demonstrate 3 years of experience in building construction or design to be eligible for the exam. Work experience need not be continuous but must be full-time (40 hours per week) within the past ten years. Exceptions:
- Successful completion of a three- or four-year vocational high school or other vocational school program in the field of building construction shall be deemed as satisfying one year of work experience..
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university shall be deemed as satisfying one year of work experience.
- Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in architecture or science, engineering, or technology in a related field shall be deemed as satisfying two years work experience.
- Active construction related military experience may be considered full time experience.
Note, education can not account for more than two years of experience, and, union affiliation only is not acceptable as work experience.
DOCUMENTATION OF WORK EXPERIENCE
Provide either tax forms or a letter of attestation, but not both, as follows:
- Tax forms. W-2, or IRS Schedule C or 1099 forms are acceptable. Submit forms for the equivalent of three years full time experience. If education is used for experience then submit a copy of the diploma and/or degree that you acquired.
- Letter of Attestation. In lieu of tax records a notarized letter of attestation from an individual (e.g. engineer, architect, employer, military supervisor, licensed contractor, or other) stating that you have at least three years of construction and/or design experience.