On November 10, 2020, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the CSLB’s emergency renewal fee increases and filed the action with the Secretary of State. The fee increases will go into effect January 1, 2020.

Who is affected: The fee increases are specific to renewals. There is no fee increase for contractors that are:

  • Applying for an original license in a single classification.
  • Applying to replace a responsible managing officer or employee.
  • Applying for a home improvement salesperson (HIS) registration.
  • Applying for a hazardous substance removal or remedial action certification.
  • Applying for an asbestos certification examination.
  • Attempting to reschedule an examination.

Per the California Code of Regulations Title 16, Division 8, the breakdown of renewal costs before and after the fee increases are such: 


Previous Cost

New Cost

Renewal of Active License



Renewal of Inactive License



Renewal of HIS Registration



CSLB Reasoning: There are valid reasons for the CSLB’s decision to increase renewal fees. The most significant reasons for the Board taking this action are:

  • There has been a major reduction in contractor license renewals.
  • The Board had to increase its expenditures in order to continue providing services to contractors and consumers.
  • The Board has experienced a decrease in funds, inhibiting its ability to continue enforcement efforts and has severely limited the performance of core licensing, examination, investigative and public outreach functions. 

The increases in renewal fees are expected to:

  • Increase revenue, ensuring the Board complies with its fund reserve mandate. A reserve fund is a savings account or other asset set aside by a business to meet any future costs or financial obligations.
  • Allow the Board to request additional spending authority for enforcement activities while maintaining its solvency.
  • Continue to carry out the CSLB’s core mission of consumer protection.

Fiscal Impact: The Board anticipates that the average additional annual revenue from the emergency fee increases will be approximately $6,258,480 (98.1% coming from contractor license renewals and 1.9% coming from HIS registration renewals). The Board has acknowledged (page 10) this regulation will have an economic impact on private persons and select  businesses, specifically, sole owner contractor licensees and HIS registrants.

Timeline: The proposed fee increases were initially approved by the Office of Administrative Law on December 19, 2019. On August 14, 2020, the CSLB Board gave a 45 days’ notice of the rulemaking, in which the public could submit comments on the increases. The Board approved the responses to these comments during the Board meeting on December 10, 2020. It anticipates that it will submit the official certificate of compliance to the Office of Administrative law on or before February 2021. 

The Board relied on the following documents for this proposal:

If you have questions or concerns about the license renewal fee increase, you can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-CSLB (2752). 

Tips when calling the CSLB: https://www.cslb.ca.gov/About_us/Licensing_Contact_Tips.aspx