Idaho Contractor License

The state of Idaho doesn’t license general contractors working on private sector residential or commercial projects. That’s done at the local level. However the state does license plumbers, electricians, well drillers, fire protection sprinkler contractors, and public works contractors.

Contractor License Lookup in Idaho

Where do you go when you want to lookup the license of a contractor in Idaho? To find out if an electrician or plumber is licensed, click To find out if a well driller is licensed in Idaho, click call (208) 327-7949. To find out if a fire sprinkler contractor is licensed in Idaho, call (208) 334-4370. To find out if a public works contractor is licensed, click

Electrician’s Licenses

Electrical work in Idaho requires a license. Idaho issues these licenses: contractor, journeyman, master journeyman, and specialty. To apply for a license, contact:

Division of Building Safety
Electrical Bureau, Licensing Section
1090 E. Watertower St.
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 334-2183
Fax: (208) 855-2165

The licenses have different requirements. Let’s look first at the contractor’s license. To qualify for a contractor’s license you need to have two years of work experience (2,000 hours per year) as a licensed journeyman electrician or employ such a person at your company. The Bureau will review your application and if you’re eligible they’ll send you information on the exam they require. Exams are given once a month in Boise, Coeur D’Alene and Pocatello. You will also have to provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $300,000.

Now let’s look at the journeyman’s and master journeyman’s license. To qualify for a journeyman’s license you need to have four years of work experience in the trade and four years of approved electrical apprenticeship class room instruction. For the master license you need four years experience as a journeyman. Then the process is the same as for the contractor’s license.

Electrician’s license fees: It will cost you $15 to file the application for a contractor’s license, $60 for the exam, and $125 to get the license. It’s good until July 1 of the year after you got it. It will cost you $15 to file an application for the journeyman or master journeyman license and $60 for either exam. The master license costs $65. The journeyman license costs $55. Either license is good until July 1 of the year after you got it.

Idaho also licenses these specialty electrical trades:

Elevator, dumbwaiter, escalator, or moving walk Refrigeration, heating and air conditioning
Signs Limited energy
Manufacturing or assembling equipment Irrigation sprinkler
Well driller and water pump installer

You need two years of experience in the trade to qualify for the exam. The exam has 30 to 50 questions and lasts two to two and one-half hours depending on the trade.

Fees and duration for specialty licenses are the same as those for electrical contractor and journeyman respectively.

With all these licenses, if you can prove you have a valid license in a state with qualifications at least equal to Idaho’s, and you have the work experience Idaho requires, you can get an Idaho license without taking an exam. You still need to pay the fees, though.


Plumber’s Licenses

To do most plumbing work in Idaho you need a license. The state licenses plumbing contractors, journeymen, specialty contractors, and specialty journeyman. There are two types of specialty plumbing licenses: mobile home hook-up contractor and mobile home hook-up journeyman. If you hold a contractor or journeyman license, you can do specialty work without getting a specialty license. To apply for a license, contact:

Plumbing Bureau
Division of Building Safety
1090 E. Watertower Street
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 334-3442
Fax: (208) 855-9339

To qualify for a plumbing contractor license you need at least two and one-half years of work experience as a journeyman plumber in Idaho or another state. For a journeyman plumber’s license you need at least four years experience as an apprentice supervised by a qualified journeyman plumber. For a specialty license you need two years of work experience in mobile home hook-ups. You’ll have to pass an exam administered by the Bureau. Exams are given once a month in Couer D’Alene, Boise, and Pocatello.

Plumber’s license fees: It will cost 22.50 to apply. Contact the Bureau for the exam fee. The fee for a contractor’s license is $75 and $15 for a journeyman license. All plumbing licenses expire on December 31 each year.

All plumbing contractors need to post a $2,000 compliance bond. You must do this before you can take the licensing exam. The bond expires on December 31 each year.

Idaho has a reciprocal agreement with Washington, Oregon, and Montana for the journeyman plumber license only.

If you plan to work as an apprentice plumber in Idaho you need to register and pay a $5 fee.

Well Drilling License

Any company or individual drilling a well in Idaho must be licensed. To get an application for a license, contact:

Department of Water Resources
1301 North Orchard Street
Statehouse Mall
Boise, ID 83720-9000
(208) 327-7900
Fax: (208) 327-7866

The Idaho Water Resource Board is the agency handling well driller’s licenses. Their application will ask you about your well drilling experience, what kind of well drilling rigs you use, what type of wells you intend to work on, and what references you can give. You’ll also need to:

  • employ at least one qualified well drilling supervisor who will be responsible for drilling work
  • provide a list of all the operators you employ
  • post a surety or cash bond for $5,000 to $20,000 (amount is set by the Director of the Idaho Water Resource Board)
  • pay a $200 license fee for a driller’s license (good for two years, $100 renewal)

To be a qualified well drilling supervisor you must have been employed full time for at least 30 months under the supervision of someone who has a valid Idaho well driller’s license (or its equivalent). You can substitute appropriate classroom work for 12 of the 30 months . You must also pass an exam given by the Director of the Idaho Water Resources Board. The exam is on:

  • Idaho water law on the appropriation of ground water
  • land description by section, township, etc.
  • geology
  • Idaho law on well drilling
  • ground-water geology
  • how to use well drilling equipment
  • well construction standards adopted by the Board

All your operators must also be qualified by the Board before you can get a license. Operators are broken down into two classes. The operator I is not required to have drilling experience or take a test, but must submit the application and $25 fee and be under full time supervision while running the drill rig and related equipment. The operator II must have documentation of their drilling experience, take the exam and submit the application and $25 fee.

The board will give each one a written exam on Idaho laws on water and well drilling, land description, and well construction standards. Operators must pay a $25 application fee for the exam.

All well drilling licenses expire on March 31 every other year.

Fire Protection Sprinkler Contractor’s License

To do fire sprinkler system work in Idaho you need a Fire Protection Sprinkler Contractor’s License. To qualify for the license you need to:

  • be an owner, officer, or manager of your company
  • have installed four fire sprinkler systems of more than 200 heads each
  • have achieved Level III Certification in fire protection (Automatic Sprinkler System Design) from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies or its equivalent
  • pass an exam given by the State Fire Marshal
  • post a bond for at least $2,000
  • have liability insurance for at least $250,000

To apply for a license, contact:

State of Idaho
Department of Insurance
700 West State Street, Third Floor
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0043
(208) 334-4370
Fax: (208) 334-4375

Fire protection sprinkler contractor’s license fees: The license expires December 31 each year. Your first license will cost $400, and renewal is $100. The exam costs $25.

Idaho also licenses fitters who install and maintain fire sprinkler systems under the supervision of a licensed fire protection sprinkler contractor. To get this license you need to work 1,000 hours per year for three consecutive years as a fitter. Then you need to pass an exam given by the State Fire Marshal. The original license costs $50; renewal is $25. The exam costs $25.

Public Works Contractor’s License

Basically, to bid or work on a public works project costing more than $10,000 in Idaho, you need a Public Works Contractor’s License. To apply for a license, contact:

Public Works Contractors State License Bureau
1090 E. Watertower St.
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 334-4057
Fax: (208) 855-9666

Idaho has six classes of licenses. Here are the classes and their fees:

Class Estimated cost not more than Fee
D $50,000 $50
C $200,000 $100
B $600,000 $150
A $1,250,000 $250
AA $3,000,000 $350
AAA $5,000,000 $450
Unlimited over $5,000,000 $550

The Board will ask you for three references, information on your company structure, experience, equipment, and financial condition. You also need to specify what types of construction you want to be licensed in:

Heavy construction
Highway construction
Building construction
Specialty construction – to view specialty categories, click on “Contractor Application Form” at

If you’re a plumber or electrician you must be licensed by the Plumbing or Electrical Board in Idaho before you can get a public works license for these trades.

You’ll also need to take an exam which the Board sends with the application. The exam has questions on license law, finance, bonds funding and general information.

The license is good for one year.

Out-of-State Corporations

Out-of-state corporations must register with the Idaho Secretary of State. For information, contact:

Idaho Secretary of State
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080
(208) 334-2300
Fax: (208) 334-2847

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