CA Generals, NV “B” Licensing, Bid Limits and Unlicensed Contractors

“To be or not to be” isn’t the question. Unlike the line from Shakespeare’s work, for some NV applications it’s ‘generally’ a “B” or “B-2”…

Q:  I have had a “B” (General Building) license in CA since the 90’s and I recently applied for a NV license.  I sent in verification of my CA license with the application.  I thought the Reciprocity agreement meant that you didn’t have to show your experience because they would just use the CA license as proof that you have the required experience, but they sent me a letter asking for four references and a resume’.  I haven’t been able to get a hold of the analyst handling my application, but do you know why they wouldn’t be accepting my CA license verification?


A:  Of course! It’s not that they aren’t “accepting” your CA License.  Assuming you have been actively licensed in CA for five out of the last seven years, you should be able to qualify for Reciprocity and waive the Trade exam.  BUT, Nevada just recently changed the Reciprocity rules with regards to the General Building (“B”) classification.  Nevada has both the “B” (General Building) and “B-2” (Residential and Small Commercial) licenses.  “B-2” contractors can do everything that “B” contractors can do, but only on structures that are under three stories.  Any work done on structures over three stories requires a full “B” license.  That being said, in order to qualify for a full “B” license, you have to show that you have experience working on structures over three stories.  Since CA doesn’t have that requirement, when you apply for a “B” License in NV and ask for Reciprocity, you have to also provide the four references and resume’ showing proof that you have done work on structures over three stories.


In Fresno on May 28, 2015, the California Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB) partnered with the California Highway Patrol and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office to conduct an undercover sting operation, and caught eight people who were illegally contracting.  Two of the eight suspects had been cited by the CSLB before.  Repeat offenders proves the need to “Check the License First” for consumers and contractors alike.

The CSLB’s Registrar, Cindi Christenson says “Even when contractors tell you they’re experience, it’s still best to check CSLB’s website or call our toll-free line to make sure the person is licensed for the type of work they’re offering.”

Any bid over $500 (labor and materials included) requires that you hold a valid contractor’s license.  First time conviction penalties for contracting without a license can include up to six months in jail and/or up to $5000 in fines.  A second conviction can result in a mandatory 90 days in jail.

Not only does unlicensed contracting put homeowners at risk, but it also undercuts legitimate contractors.