Arts Practical Arts

How To Get Your Painter Contractor License


Paint contracting without a license is a law-breaking offense in most states. The construction bidding procedure requires a service provider to show evidence that they have a state painter contractor license, by furnishing their license number when offering their bid. The procedure for attaining a legal painting contractor's license is different in each state. The majority of state licensing agencies need an application completed, and an assessment to be taken in advance of presenting the license. Maintaining an active license may call for proof of ongoing instruction.

Step 1

You can receive a state's licensing package from your state's licensing office. Every state, describes and administers its own licensing process, and will have its own conditions, and procedure for attaining a painter contractor license.

Read over the licensing material that is contained in the painter contractor license packet of information. Complete the application and make sure you have met all the work and educational requirements. A test informational booklet and sample test should also be included. Read the booklet and take the sample test, before taking the painter contractor license exam. In some states, novice painters can be licensed under a general contractor's license umbrella. This classification is usually valid for two years and will count towards the experience and education requirements.

Step 2

Collect all the documents you need to present to the state licensing department. Acquire proof of your former work experience and any additional documentation, recommendations and insurance that may be necessary. There are some states that require documentation of financial obligation in the manner of a monetary bond, plus a social security or tax id number.


Step 3

Study the exam booklet and make an appointment to sit the exam when you feel you are ready. Some states hire a third party to administer the exam, which will require you to contact the third party to make payment and schedule the test. A receipt will be supplied to you by the testing center, and this receipt must be presented to the state licensing department, when you submit the application. Sometimes, the third party company will request that the completed application be submitted before the exam is taken, and any fees paid. Always check with your state licensing department if you have any questions about their painter contractor license policy.

Step 4

Make sure you thoroughly and accurately finish the application. An unsigned or incomplete application could mean a lull in obtaining the painter contractor license. Pay close attention to any application and license charges. Some states require two separate checks one for the license and one for the application.

Step 5

There are online programs available for the painter contractor license. These programs prepare individuals for the exam, also offer whole licensing packages. The entire package can include information to help the licensee through all steps of the licensee process. This includes study materials, bond insurance, application filing, general liability insurance and practice tests.


  • Check your state's definition of a painter and a handyman.
  • Document all education and work experience.
  • Read all the information the state licensing department has given you.
  • Keep your painter contractor license current

Sources and Citations



By Zoe Newf, published at 02/24/2012
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