Ohio Contractor Licenses

You must hold a state license do Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, or Hydronics work in Ohio. General construction contractors may need to be licensed at the local level. Check with the city or county for licensing information and requirements.

Contractor License Lookup in Ohio

Where do you go when you want to lookup the license of a contractor in Ohio? To find out if a tradesman holds a license, click on http://elicense1-lookup.com.ohio.gov/SearchCriteria.asp.

To apply for a plumbing, electrical, HVAC, hydronics, or refrigeration license, you need at least five years of experience in the field. You also have to be a U.S. citizen and have never been convicted of a felony. For information, contact:

Ohio Department of Commerce
Ohio Construction Industry Examining Board
6606 Tussing Road
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9009
(614) 644-3493
Fax: (614) 728-1200

Ohio has a reciprocal agreement with Kentucky and West Virginia for electrical only.

The Board will review your application and if you’re eligible they’ll send you information on the exam they require. You must have 5 years experience to qualify to take the exam. The exam has two parts — one on business and law and the other on HVAC, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, or hydronics. Everyone must take the business and law part.

For more information on the exams or practice exams, contact:

International Code Council
900 Montclair Road
Birmingham, AL 35213
(877) STD-EXAM

Exam details:

Business and Law Exam, 1-1/2 hours, open book
Subject Questions
Business structure, practices and licensing 3
Estimating and bidding 4
Contracts and acceptance 2
Project management and planning 4
Financing and record keeping 4
Insurance and bonding 3
Labor laws and personnel policies 3
Tax, lien laws and dispute resolution 4
Safety and OSHA compliance 3
Electrical Contractor, 5 hours, open book
Service, transformers and equipment 20
Wiring methods and installation 18
Cabinets, panelboards, switchboards, boxes, conduit bodies 5
Conductors 15
Control devices 6
Motors and generators 11
Utilization equipment and devices 8
Special occupancies and uses 11
Miscellaneous 6
Plumbing Contractor, 4 hours, open book
Fixtures 7
Materials and fundamentals 10
Traps, cleanouts and interceptors 10
Special requirements 3
Drainage requirements 19
Vents 17
Water distribution 11
Plan analysis 23
HVAC, 4 hours, open book
Theory, terminology and general requirements 15
Heating systems 20
Vents and connectors 10
Refrigeration 15
Piping systems 5
Air ducts systems 10
Ventilation systems 10
Operation procedures, maintenance and repairs 10
Special equipment and appliances 5
Refrigeration Contractor, 3 hours, open book
Theory, terminology and general requirements 9
Compressors and types of systems 6
Evaporators, condensers and cooling towers 6
Piping inspection and field testing 6
Air duct and insulation 6
Electrical and controls 12
Refrigerants 6
Operation procedures 6
Maintenance and repairs 6
Hydronics Contractor, 2-1/2 hours, open book
Water supply treatment and feed 5
Fuels and firing methods 4
General code applications and venting 4
Piping, pumps and valves 11
Controls and control systems 9
Maintenance and repairs 3
Tests and inspections 4

License Renewal

Licenses are renewed each year.

It will cost $60 to renew and you must show proof of insurance ($500,000 liability minimum) and have completed continued education requirements. Continued education requirements:

Plumbing, Hydronics, HVAC, Refridgeration – 10 hours total per year

Electrical – 10 hours total. 5 of the 10 must be in code.

If you are a multiple license holder, you are still only required to complete 10 hours for CE total.

Contractor’s qualification certification exam fees: It’ll cost you $25 nonrefundable to file an application to take an exam. The exams cost $70 for paper/pencil exam or $120 for electronic each. Once you pass both parts of the exam, you send a copy of your scores, proof of liability insurance and $25 to the Board and they’ll issue your certificate. It’s good for at least 12 months.


Asbestos Abatement License and Certificates

If you work with asbestos in Ohio, you must be certified and/or licensed by the Ohio Department of Health. Ohio licenses asbestos hazard abatement contractors and certifies these types of asbestos trades:

Asbestos hazard abatement worker
Asbestos hazard abatement specialist
Asbestos hazard evaluation specialist
Asbestos hazard project designer
Hazard abatement air-monitoring technician

To get an application for a certificate/license, contact:

Ohio Department of Health
Asbestos Program
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43226-0118
(614) 466-0061
Fax: (614) 752-4157
E-mail: [email protected]

To qualify for an asbestos contractor’s license you must:

1. have access to at least one state-approved asbestos disposal site
2. have a worker protection program consistent with OSHA
3. be familiar and capable of complying with all applicable state and federal standard for asbestos hazard abatement projects
4. have at least one asbestos hazard abatement specialist employed
5. register with the Ohio Secretary of State

The contractor’s license will cost you $750 and it’s good for a year.

Here are the qualifications and fees you need to get a certificate in each of the other asbestos work trades:

Trade Approved training course required? Exam required? Fee
Abatement specialist yes yes $200
Evaluation specialist yes yes $200
Abatement project designer yes yes $200
Abatement worker yes yes $50
Abatement air-monitoring technician yes yes $75


Department of Transportation (DOT)

To get an application to prequalify to bid on Department of Transportation work, contact:

Ohio Department of Transportation
Contractor Qualifications
25 South Front Street, Room 402
P.O. Box 899
Columbus, OH 43216-0899
(614) 466-2823
Fax: (614) 728-2078

The prequalification application is available online at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/CONTRACT/pq_contractor.htm.

The application will ask you which types of work you want to bid on. The types are:

General highway Fabricated structures
Paving Painting
Grading Special
Drainage structures Roadside improvement

The Department will send you a Confidential Financial Statement and Experience Questionnaire to fill in. When you return this information to them, they’ll evaluate your company using these percentages:

Factor Maximum percent
Organization 20
Plant and equipment 20
Construction experience 20
Credit record 15
Performance 25

Your prequalification will be good for one year. However the end date can’t be more than four months beyond the last day of your fiscal year.

Out-of-State Corporations

If your business isn’t incorporated in Ohio, you must be authorized by the Ohio Secretary of State to do business in the state. You can contact them at:

Ohio Secretary of the State
30 East Broad Street, 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0418
(614) 466-3910
Fax: (614) 466-2892

You can call the Secretary of State’s Fax-On-Demand system toll free at 1-877-767-3453. To receive a Foreign Corporation Application for License form by fax, ask for form number 151.

Forms are also available online. Click on http://www.ohio.gov/sos/. Choose “Corporate Filing Forms” from the “Searchable Databases” section.

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