Rhode Island Contractor Licenses

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States, but there’s no shortage of opportunities there for any contractor who wishes to perform their trade within its borders.

Considering RI’s recent economic surge, the notion of earning a contractor license in Rhode Island is definitely an attractive notion. And we’ve served up this comprehensive guide to help you get access to all the information you need to work as a licensed contractor in the state, including information on different local requirements.

If you’re a homeowner, you will also want to make sure that you get quotes from competing contractors before you proceed. We’d be happy to help you get quotes by matching you with the most relevant contractors in your area and letting them bid on your project. If you go ahead and fill out the form below, we’ll reach out to the 4 most relevant ones to give them the opportunity to bid on your project to work with you. There’s no obligation for you, so nothing to lose.

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If you’re a contractor who wishes to perform work for commercial and residential construction projects in the state of Rhode Island, you will be required to register with the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.

There are specialty licenses you need to obtain if your trade falls under certain categories, including asbestos abatement (like working with asbestos siding), mechanical work, electrical work, and plumbing. In such cases, you must obtain your specialty license from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

Please bear in mind that there might be different licensing requirements for contractors at the local level, which will be explored further along in this guide. For further information, you can contact the city or county where you wish to perform work. We’ve provided you the contact details as well.

Why you need to acquire a contractor’s license

There are many benefits to becoming a licensed contractor in Rhode Island, or any state for that matter. Not only does having a license give you more credibility in your trade, but it also presents you with more opportunities to land higher-paying contracting jobs. Holding a contractor’s license also allows you to perform your work on a wide range of projects while remaining compliant to state laws.

There are many other advantages to acquiring a contractor’s license, including:

  • Being able to start your own professional construction company
  • Becoming a respected member in your community
  • Having other contractors and workers work for you.
  • Giving your contracting business more leverage for growth
  • Getting more opportunities to bid on profitable projects

For homeowners: Why you need to hire a contractor with a license

Hiring an unlicensed contractor can be rather tempting in these trying financial times. However, it bears noting that doing so will expose you to financial risks that could’ve otherwise been avoided.

In the final analysis, you’re better off hiring a licensed contractor. Let’s explore some of the reasons why.

Licensed contractors are more qualified for the job

This one’s obvious, but it deserves being emphasized. In any business transaction, it’s in your best interests to ensure that you’re receiving the highest quality of service available. Licensed contractors, after all, have undergone rigorous training, extensive on-the-job experience, and standardized testing.

Protects you from financial risk

Licensed contractors are insured and bonded by the state board, protecting not only them but ALSO you from financial losses should there be any accidents or damages during the course of the construction project.

Protects you from legal liability

As mentioned earlier, hiring an unlicensed contractor makes you liable for the violation of State laws, which would require you to pay hefty fines.

As the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In the end, you can save yourself a load of trouble by choosing to hire a licensed contractor. More importantly, hiring one provides you with the assurance that you’re receiving exemplary service. It might be costly, at least initially, but you do get what you pay for.

Choosing Your Contractor

A wise homeowner knows that entering into a business transaction with a professional contractor is a big decision that requires utmost consideration. Below are questions every homeowner should ask beforehand before choosing a contractor.

  • Is the contractor registered?
  • Does the contractor have any violations or pending cases with the state or city board?
  • Is the contractor’s insurance updated?
  • Do the contractor’s employees or workmen have compensation insurance?

Contractor License Search and Lookup

Did you know you could get arrested for hiring an unlicensed contractor? You might have every intention to hire a licensed one, but intention doesn’t translate into actual evidence in the court of law. If you hired someone with a fake contractor license and you’ve been found out, chances are the odds will be stacked against you.

Thankfully, Rhode Island’s website has a page that allows you to verify the validity of a contractor license. Go to this link, enter any required information, and then click the Submit Query button.

Unregistered Contractors List

CRLB also put up a page on the website listing all contractors whose licenses have been revoked, suspended, or placed in pending status. The board updates the list on a regular basis to protect consumers from entering into a business transaction that could put them and their assets at risk.

You can visit CRLB’s Unregistered Contractors List through this link.

Rhode Island Contractor License Board

The Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board is responsible for issuing registrations and licenses to contractors who wish to perform their trade within the state limits, as per RI’s General Laws  § 5-65-1 et seq.

CRLB’s mission is to ensure the rights of the consumer as well as create a positive and more transparent environment in the construction industry by ensuring proper licensing.

You can contact CRLB at:

560 Jefferson Blvd

Suite 200

Warwick, RI 02886

Phone: (401) 921-1590

Fax: (401) 889-5533

Fax: (401) 889-5535

How to get a Contractor’s Registration in Rhode Island

Any contractor whose trade belongs to classifications such as commercial construction, new home construction, alterations, remodeling or repair is required to be registered with the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board before performing work within state limits. You must submit the following requirements if you want to register:

Payments made by check or money order must be sent to RICRLB. Credit card or debit card payments must be made at the RICRLB office. Cash payments will not be accepted

Electrical Contractor License

Electricians are responsible for installing, testing, connecting, and maintaining electrical systems. Using blueprints as a guide, they operate and render services in any sort of construction.

Electrical contractors in the State of Ohio are required to comply with the National Electric Code, as mandated by the state and local building codes. As per compliance requirements, electrical contractors must obtain the proper license before performing electrical work anywhere in the state.

There are thirteen types of electrical licenses in the state.

  • Electrical contractor
  • Journeyperson electrician
  • Limited premises
  • Oil burner contractor
  • Oil burner person
  • Fire alarm contractor
  • Fire alarm installer
  • Electrical sign contractor
  • Electrical sign installer
  • Limited maintenance
  • Limited maintenance journeyperson
  • Lightning protection contractor
  • Lightning protection installer

The Department of Labor and Training administers and regulates the licensing process for electrical licenses in Rhode Island. You can lookup the license of an electrician in Rhode Island here.

You can contact the Department through the following information:

Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety Professional Regulation

Unit 1511 Pontiac Avenue

PO Box 20247

Cranston, RI 02920-0943

Phone (401) 462-8580 | Fax (401) 462-8528

http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/profregs/

Electrical License Requirements

You must take and pass the trade exam (passing score of 70%) to obtain an electrical license. To apply for the exam, you must meet the following requirements.

  • Completed application (signed and notarized)
  • Non-refundable application processing fee of $75.
  • Government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport).
  • Company letterhead with a separate, notarized statement signed by your present or past employer, along with a detailed description of all work-related experience
  • Verification of work experience in respective trade (at least six years)
  • Electrical journeyperson license (valid for at least two years prior to applying for an exam)

Application for Electrical Journeyperson exam

Applicants for the electrical journeyperson test must submit the following:

  • Verification of work experience (at least 4 years and 576 hours of instruction approved by the Department of Labor and Training)
  • Company Letterhead with a detailed description of work rendered in the respective trade and date of hire
  • Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship issued by the RI Department of Labor & Training Apprenticeship Office
  • Apprentice Ratio Form (list all Journeyperson and Master tradespersons licensed in Rhode Island and all registered Apprentices employed with the company)

Electrician License Application as an Out-of-state Contractor

Out-of-state electrical contractors are required to submit the following:

  • Valid copy of out-of-state Electrician Trade license
  • Official License Verification from the home state

Recommended Study Materials for the Electrical Exams include:

*To view the status of your application online, please go to this link.

Below are the application forms for different electrical licenses (click the links):

Processing Application Fees (Non-Refundable)

                    Application Fee  2-Year License Fee
Electrical Contractor A $75 $240
Journeyperson Electrician $75 $200
Limited Electrician No Test $240
Oil Burner EC No Test $200
Burner Contractor F No Test $200
Fire Alarm Contractor AF $75 $240
Fire Alarm Installer BF $75 $72
Electrical Sign Contractor SCF $75 $240
Sign Installer CF $72 $72
Sign Contractor Lightning Protection No Test $200
Contractor LPC Lightning Protection $75 $200
Installer LPI $72 $72

Mechanical Contractor License

As stated in the RI Department of Labor and Training website, a mechanical contractor’s scope of responsibility falls under the following work categories:

  • Pipe Fitting
  • Welding
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
  • Fire Protection
  • Sprinkler Installations

As is the case with electrical contractors, the Department of Labor and Training regulates, enforces, and administers the licensing process for mechanical licenses in Rhode Island.

You can contact the Department through the following information:

Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety Professional Regulation

Unit 1511 Pontiac Avenue

PO Box 20247

Cranston, RI 02920-0943

Phone (401) 462-8580 | Fax (401) 462-8528

http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/profregs/

Mechanical Contractor License Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements to become eligible for the trade exam. The passing score for the exam is 70%.

  • One 2”x2” photo (passport type)/copy of driver’s license/government ID
  • Completed application (signed and notarized)
  • Application processing fee of $75 paid in the form of a check or money order to the R.I. Department of Labor & Training (credit cards are accepted but must be presented in person)
  • Company Letterhead that describes in detail all work-related experience along with a separate and notarized statement signed by the present or previous employer.

Mechanical License Application as Out-of-state Contractor

Out-of-state contractors who wish to apply their trade in the state of Rhode Island must submit the following requirements:

  • Valid copy of their out-of-state Mechanical Trade License
  • Official License Verification from the home state.

Application for Mechanical Journeyperson Exam

Indentured apprentices applying for Pipefitter, Refrigeration, Sheet Metal, or Fire Protection Sprinkler fitter Journeyperson exams must submit a completed Certificate of Apprenticeship Completion form issued by the R.I. Department of Labor & Training Apprenticeship Office.

Study Materials for the Mechanical Exam include, Although Not Necessarily Being an Exhaustive List:

  • International Mechanical Code Book, Year 2003-Latest State approved Edition. Available at 1 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI Phone: (401) 222-3032
  • Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technology, 4th Ed. (ISBN#0-7668-0667-7 Delmar Book)
  • PUBLICATIONS AND ADDRESSES: SMACNA – 4201 Lafayette Center Dr., Chantilly, VA 02151

HVAC Duct Construction Standards, Metal & Flexible, 2nd Ed.

Author: Sheet Metal & A/C Contractors National Association Inc. Publisher: SMACNA ISBN: 1481

OSHA – 4025 WEST PETERSON AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60646

Welding Principals and Applications – 3 Columbus Circle, Box 15-015 Albany, NY 12212 State Building Codes – 1 Capitol Hill, Providence RI 02908

  • General Trade Knowledge

*You can view the status of your application through this link.

Processing Application Fees for different Mechanical licenses

                    Application Fee  2-Year License Fee
Master Mechanical Contractor MMA NO TEST $480
Contractor Master CM $75 $240
Contractor Master Pipefitter CMP $75 $240
Contractor Master Refrigeration CMR $75 $240
Contractor Master Sheet Metal CMS $75 $240
Refrigeration Master 1 RM1 $75 $240
Refrigeration MASTER 2 RM2 $75 $96
Pipefitter Master 1 PM1 $75 $240
Pipefitter Master 2 PM2 $75 $96
Sheet Metal Master I SMM 1 $75 $240
Sheet Metal Master II SMM 2 $75 $240
PJF/ Natural Gas Service Master II LTD $75 $240
PJF/ Gas Serviceman (Propane Gas) Master II LTD $75 $240
Refrigeration Journeyperson I RJ1 $75 $72
Refrigeration Journeyperson II RJ2 $75 $60
Pipefitter Journeyperson I PJ1 $75 $72
Pipefitter Journeyperson II PJ2 $75 $60
Sheet Metal Journeyperson I SMJ 1 $75 $72
Sheet Metal Journeyperson II SMJ 2 $75 $30
Fire Suppression LTD LIMITED $75 $60
Decorative Heating Appliances LTD LIMITED $75 $60
Welding LTD LIMITED $75 $60
Gas Serviceman (Natural Gas) PJF LIMITED $75 $144
Gas Serviceman (Propane Gas)
Journeyperson II PJF LIMITED $75 $144
O/B Serviceman Journeyperson II PJF LIMITED $75 $144
Gas Station LTD LIMITED $75 $60
Synthetic Exhaust Ducting LTD LIMITED $75 $60
Contractor Master Sprinkler CMFP $75 $240
Fire Protection Master FPM $75 $240
Fire Protection Journeyperson FPJ $75 $72

The table was taken from the RI Department of Labor and Training.

Plumbing & Irrigation Contractor License

Plumbers are responsible for maintaining and fixing different types of pipe systems. While most people see plumbing and irrigation as a single trade, each has its own attendant jurisdictions. You can lookup plumbing licenses in Rhode Island right here.

According to the RI Department of Labor and Training website, plumbers “install clay, concrete, plastic or cast-iron pipe for drains, sewers and water mains.” Irrigators, on the other hand, “install piping for lawn sprinklers and the irrigations of golf courses and farms.”

For a more detailed explanation of the differences between plumbers and irrigators, please go to this link.

Plumbing & Irrigation Contractor License Requirements

  • Government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Completed Plumbers and Irrigators Application for Examination
  • Non-refundable application fee of $75
  • Company Letterhead stating work experience for relevant trade along with a separate notarized statement signed by the current or previous employer
  • Verification of at least five years experience in the relevant trade
  • Plumber Journeyperson’s License (valid for at least one year prior to taking the trade exam)
  • Get a score of at least 70% in the trade exam

You can contact the Department through the following information:

Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety Professional Regulation

Unit 1511 Pontiac Avenue

PO Box 20247

Cranston, RI 02920-0943

Phone (401) 462-8580 | Fax (401) 462-8528

http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/profregs/

Application for Plumbing & Irrigation Journeyperson Exam

Apprentices are also required to submit the following requirements.

  • Company Letterhead with detailed job description and date of hire
  • Completed ratio sheet signed by Master Plumber/Irrigator
  • Verification of at least four years experience in relevant trade and 576 hours of relevant training approved by the Department of Labor and Training

Plumbing/Irrigation Application as an Out-of-state Contractor

Out-of-state applicants for the Plumbing/Irrigation License Exam in Rhode Island must submit proof of licensure from their home state.

Plumbing/Irrigation License Exam

The plumbing/irrigation exam comprises 50 multiple choice questions based on the Rhode Island State Building Code SBC-3 State Plumbing code.

The test will cover the following topics:

  • Terminology and Calculations
  • Materials and Material Standards
  • Joints and Connections
  • Traps and Cleanouts
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Hangers and Support
  • Indirect Waste Piping
  • Water Distribution Systems
  • Sanitary Drainage Systems
  • Vents and Venting Systems
  • Cross Connections
  • Storm Drains
  • Related Subjects
  • Inspecting and Testing

Want to check the status of your application? You can do so through this link.

Processing Application Fees for different Plumbing/Irrigation licenses

                    Application Fee 2-Year License Fee
Contractor Master $75 $240
Master Plumber $75 $240
Journeyperson Plumber $75 $72
Apprentice Plumber No Test No Fee
Master Irrigator $75 $240
Journeyperson Irrigator $75 $72
Apprentice Irrigator No Test No Fee
Master water-filtration/treatment-system installer $75 $240
Journeyperson water-filtration/treatment-system installer $75 $72

City of Providence

Do you want to apply your trade in the City of Providence? You’ll need to acquire a permit for the relevant trade from the Department of Inspections and Standards before you can perform work in Rhode Island’s capital. Only licensed contractors registered with Rhode Island are eligible to obtain a permit.

You can contact the Department using the following information:

Department of Inspections and Standards — Providence

444 Westminster Street

Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Phone: 01-680-5201v | 401-680-5481f

Below are the different permits the City of Providence is issuing to contractors. Click the relevant link to access requirements and procedures for obtaining the trade-specific permit.

You can also apply online by logging in to the City of Providence, RI website using your viewpoint ID.

Permit Cost

The cost of each permit will depend on the scope of the project to be performed. You can use City of Providence’s free Permit Cost calculator to get an accurate estimate.

City of Warwick

Contractors who want to render their services in the City of Warwick are required to obtain a permit from the City of Warwick’s Building Department. You need to register with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training before you can apply for a permit.

You can also contact the Building Department through the following contact information:

Building Department

51 Draper Avenue

Warwick, RI 02889

United States

Phone: (401) 738-2007

Email: war.build@warwickri.com

See exact location via Google Maps.

The department is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

The City of Warwick issues permits for the following trades (click on the relevant link to apply online).

Unregistered Warwick Contractors List

To check if a contractor is suspended, revoked, or has a pending violation, please check WarwickWatch.com’s Unregistered Contractors List.

City of Cranston

Contractors who wish to perform work on any residential structure in the City of Cranston are required to obtain a permit from the Building Inspections office. Only contractors who are registered with Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board are allowed to apply for a permit in the municipality.

You can contact the Building Inspections office through the following contact information:

Building Inspections Office

Hamilton Building

1090 Cranston St

Cranston RI 02920

Phone: 780-6012

You can email the Building Inspections Office through the department’s senior clerk, Jayna Jenkins, via this contact form.

The Building Inspections Office issues permits to applicants for the following trades (click on the relevant link to apply online).

City of Pawtucket

As is the case with other Rhode Island cities, the City of Pawtucket requires contractors to obtain the relevant permit before performing work within the city limits. The Zoning and Code Enforcement Office is responsible for issuing all building, plumbing/mechanical and electrical permits as well as performing relevant inspections. They also issue certificates for zoning compliance and occupancy permits.

The Zoning and Code Enforcement Office issues permits for the following trades (click relevant link to apply online):

You can contact the Zoning and Code Enforcement Office through the following contact information:

PAWTUCKET CITY HALL

Zoning and Code Enforcement Office

137 Roosevelt Avenue

Pawtucket, RI 02860

Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Phone: (401) 728-0500

Zoning and Code Enforcement Fax: (401) 722-3356

Zoning Office: Extension 347

Environmental Extension: 265

Housing Standards Extension: 314

Building Inspection Unit Extension: 310