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How to Get a C-39 Roofing Contractor License in California

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Compliance is critical. Looking for more information? Keep reading to learn how to get a roofing license in California with Surely First.

What Is a Roofing Contractor License?

A C–39 license certifies that an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or joint venture is licensed to work on roofs. Before the construction of any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) requires a license for projects exceeding $500. 

Roofing contractors are industry experts, but can a general contractor do roofing? Yes! However, a general contractor may cost more and require additional factors to take on the job. Rather than focusing on one specific expertise, general contractors specialize in different areas. Contractor licenses are only issued to business entities, not individuals. How to get a roofing license depends on state requirements. California requires renewal every two years. If you happen to change any general business information, this must be reflected on the renewal application. 

What Does a Roofing Contractor Do?

A roofing contractor installs products and prepares surfaces to seal, waterproof, and weatherproof structures. Throughout the course of work, a certified contractor examines and assembles different materials, including asphaltum, pitch, tar, felt, glass fabric, urethane foam, metal roofing systems, flax, shakes, shingles, roof tile, and slate. Other roofing, waterproofing, weatherproofing, and membrane materials also apply.

How to Get a Roofing License in California

Navigating the process can be challenging, but the C–39 roofing license is required for pros in California. Individuals must have at least four years of working experience within the past decade to qualify and register for the required exam. Once passed, the result is a C–39 roofing license, which is non–transferable between states.

Step 1: Gain Experience as a Journeyman

To qualify for the exam, applicants must have 4 years of experience as a journeyman. Like other permits, the c–39 license requires apprenticeship training or qualification by a Joint Examination Board.

Step 2: Apply and Study for the Exam 

Studying for the CSLB exam is important. Complete the Application for Original Contractor’s License in ink and take time to carefully review the instructions. Once submitted, the CSLB will send a letter of acknowledgment with an application fee number and four-digit PIN, both required to check application status. Find more helpful study resources here <Link to Exam Cram Pros>.

Step 3: Fingerprinting

Before you take the exam, a full set of fingerprints is required to verify your identity. Criminal records are managed on a case–by–case basis. 

Step 4: Obtain the Proper Insurance 

Without the proper insurance coverage, your business could face a range of legal issues and limitations that lead to out-of-pocket fees. General liability insurance protects your company in the event that someone claims bodily or personal injury as a result of operations, products, or services. If your business has employees, workers compensation insurance provides necessary medical benefits and lost wages in cases of work-related illnesses or injuries.

Step 5: Take the Exam

Time to take the exam! Review application requirements to ensure you’re all set. Processing times continuously change, so use your application fee number and PIN to check your current status. 


Don’t let roofing qualifications become overwhelming. Whether you’re seeking a roofing contractors license or workers compensation, our talented team of insurance professionals can help take your business to the next level. We recognize it’s a lot of work, but that’s why Surety First is here to help. Contact us for more information about gaining a C-39 roofing contractor license in refrigeration and masonry.

About the Author:

Shortly after graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelors degree in economics, Jeremy founded Surety First Insurance Services (formerly Schaedler Insurance), a Northern California based insurance agency specializing in surety bonds for California construction professionals. Jeremy is happily married and the proud father of two young boys. In his free time, he enjoys camping, fishing and shooting the breeze with friends and family.


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