The California Contractors State License Board issues licenses to several kinds of construction and maintenance contractors. Paving work can be involved in more than one kind of these required licenses. Future California paving contractors need to determine the classifications so they can get the requisite experience and take the proper exam for their future California contracting work.
The California C-8 classification is for concrete contractors. Naturally, this can include paving activities. But the C-32 classification, which is a parking and highway improvement contractor, is closely related to paving work. This improvement contractor classification does not cover paving or repaving in and of itself. Rather, it covers protective coatings, vehicle stops, mechanical devices, guard rails, directional lines, markers, buttons, signs and arrows.
The way California construction law works is that a qualifying person must get experience and pass an exam for himself to get a contractors license. But a company can hire such a qualified person and get and hold a license so long as that qualifying individual is with the company.
There is no formal education requirement for California paving contractors because the state focuses more on experience and knowledge. But any kind of general or specific contracting classes in college or technical school can help a person eventually qualify for a paving license. For example, it can help someone get a job in the concrete and paving industry.
Speaking of jobs, the work experience required is four years out of the last 10 years, and that work must be in one of the following positions: journeyman, supervisor, contractor or foreman. You may not count trainee time in your paving job experience.
The board publishes a blueprint that tells you exactly how to qualify for a contractor license and any exceptions to the license requirements. As an example, you generally do not need a paving license in California if you only do work with a contract price of less than $500.
You will have to pass two exams to get a license: a Law and Business exam and trade exam for either concrete or the "parking and highway improvement" classification.
Look below in the Resources section to get exam study guides for both classifications and the general California contractor license application. Just choose the proper classification on the form for the type of paving license that you seek to obtain. You will have to pay a $250 license application fee plus an additional $150 after you pass your exam to actually get a license.
You are going to have to pass a criminal background check to become a California paving contractor. While there is no way to say ahead of time whether you will be disqualified, you may not lie about a criminal record.
There are also some financial requirements. These include $2500 in working capital, workers comp insurance for California paving contractors who have employees and contractor surety bonds of $12,500 and $7500.