How to Verify Contractor License
In most jurisdictions, a contractor must be licensed as a business and in their chosen specialty. This specialty license is issued by the Department of Labor and Industries or similar agency, and a number is assigned to the contractor. Most contractors are required to publish this number in all public communications. To verify the contractor license to see if it is current and there are no registered complaints, simply ask to verify the number with the government agency. This can often be completed online. If your jurisdiction doesn't require a specific contractor's license, there are some other ways to verify their credentials so greater confidence in the company or individual hired can be had.
1. Ask For Their Certificate Of Insurance.
Contractors must be insured in every jurisdiction in order to conduct business. This is because they are making a change to a property in some way. Whether acting as a handyman or a specialized contractor, the Certificate of Insurance will verify their coverage and the presence of a surety bond if needed.
2. Ask For a Physical Copy Of The License.
If a contractor has been licensed to complete work, there will be a paper license issued. It is required to be displayed in a prominent location and accessible for inspection. Although you won't have a contractor take this license off their wall and take it to your home, you can visit the contractor's office and ask for a copy of the license to verify its validity.
3. Create An Inquiry.
If there isn't a way to specifically request a license verification, then you may be able to create a local inquiry to get the information that is needed. This is typically through the state licensing board, but it could also happen through a local trade union as well. Be aware: this process may require a specific written request that cannot be submitted online and it may take up to 90 days to complete. Knowing how to verify a contractor license is generally pretty easy. Get the name of the contractor, find their assigned number, and conduct an online search through the appropriate government agency. If that option is not available, then use these additional options to get the information needed today.
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