Illinois Contractor Licenses

In the state of Illinois, most construction contractors are licensed on a local level, rather than a state level, although roofing contractors and plumbers are the exceptions to those rules.

The plumbing permits are handled by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the roofing permits are handled by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.

If you are, or are in need of, the services of another type of contractor, which includes landscapers, remodeling and others, you need to check with the local city to understand their license requirements.

Contractor License Lookup in Illinois

To lookup roofing contractor licenses in Illinois, you need to need to access the IDFPR database here. They can be called at 1-800-560-6420.

To search for plumbers’ licenses, the IDPH has another database you can search in. Their phone number is 217-524-0791.

Contractors License Requirements

Specialty contractors, those not being plumbers and roofers, are set by the municipalities.

Illinois Plumbing License Requirements

The state has two different types of plumbing licenses that they issue, which include that for an apprentice and one for licensed plumbers. Unlike other states, Illinois does not make the distinction between journeyman and Master plumber licenses, while they do in some of the cities.

The requirements contractor license requirements for plumbers include:

  • Successful completion of a high school or equivalent level of education, as well as required courses at a higher than high school level institution in the roofing trade.
  • Proof of general liability insurance of no less than $100,000,property damage insurance of no less than $50,000, insurance against bodily harm and injury of no less than $300,000, and workers’ compensation of at least half a million. You may not be required to have workers’ compensation if you have no plans of having employees.
  • Submit company incorporation documents.
  • Be able to prove the required level of experience depending on the type of plumbing license you are applying for.

A plumber working in the city of Chicago needs either an apprentice or Journeyman Plumber license.

Illinois Roofing License Requirements

Again, local municipalities in Illinois may have their own requirements for obtaining the necessary licenses when it comes to roofing contractors, but here are the ones for the state:

  • Not be in default on a loan guaranteed by any Illinois government agency.
  • Comply with child support orders against your name.
  • Attach proof of necessary workers’ compensation insurance, property damage insurance and personal bodily harm or injury insurance with the minimum amounts demanded by the state.
  • Accurate indication of your criminal history, and possible justification for your convictions.

The non-refundable application fee for any roofing contractor license is $125. The commercial and industrial roofing exam costs $226 to take, the residential also costs $226, and the combination of the two costs $277.

This is the exam content for the residential permit:
Residential exam content

This is the exam content for the commercial and industrial permit:
Commercial & Industrial exam content

This is the exam content for the unlimited license:
unlimited license exam content

For additional questions regarding obtaining a roofing license, contact the Department of Financial and Professional Regulations at:

Department of Financial and Professional Regulations
100 West Randolph, 9th Floor | Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 1 (888) 473-4858

How to Become a General Contractor License in Chicago, Illinois


General contractors need to have a license in the City of Chicago, Illinois which needs to be renewed on an annual basis. You can find a list of all the licensed general contractors in Chicago on the Department of Buildings website.

You can find the application to obtain a general contractor license on the website of City of Chicago. This is the list of things they require along with the application.

The City of Chicago provides contractor licenses for Elevator Mechanic Contractors, Supervising Elevator Mechanics, Boiler Engineers, Mason Contractors, Plumbers, Plumbing Contractors, Plumber’s Apprentices, Electrical Contractors, General Contractors and more – all the information can be found on their website.

City of Aurora


Contractors in the City of Aurora need a license to work. You can find the different requirements for the trade categories here.

Access the city of Aurora’s contractor lookup search tool on their website.

City of Rockford


The City of Rockford has combined all its contractor license information here. Work related to awnings, canopies, marquees, demolition, driveways, parking, electrical, fences, dumpsters, outdoor signs, swimming pools are all areas regulated by the city.

City of Elgin

The city of Elgin requires roofing, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, sewer and fire sprinkler contractors to all have licenses and/or a permit bond. Get more information on their website.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

If your company wants to bid on Illinois Department of Transportation projects a prequalification is first needed in the specialized category related to the type of work. There are 42 different prequalification categories, which you can all see here.

The DOT has published an extensive guide on the rules for prequalification, but if you have more questions, they can be contacted using the information beneath.

Illinois Department of Transportation
Bureau of Construction, Prequalification Section
2300 South Dirksen Parkway, Room 322
Telephone: (217) 782-3413
Springfield, Illinois 62764

The form you will need to submit can be found here. The form includes questions about your experience, equipment, finances, personnel and organization. The current version of the form is 28 pages, and an original signed copy must be sent to the address above too.

To stay prequalified, you will need to renew the prequalification every 16 months, and if you wish to be prequalified for more categories, you need to submit a letter detailing which ones.

Out-of-State Corporations Wishing to Do Work in Illinois

Before out-of-state corporations can do work in Illinois, they need to get a Certificate of Authority to do so from the Secretary of State. The form BCA13.15 is the form you will need to fill out and use. To contact the Business Services department, use the information below:

Illinois Secretary of State
Business Services
501 S. Second St., Rm. 350
Springfield, IL 62756

The relevant fees must be checked with the division to ensure accuracy.