What Licenses Do Roofing Pros Need In California

California Roofing Pros

Navigating the rules and regulations of the roofing industry can be challenging. You understand the risks associated with the job and look to mitigate them, all the while, staying on top of the latest requirements. As these requirements vary state by state, and even sometimes by county, you may need to properly research to ensure your license is valid in the state you’re working in.

For roofing pros in California, having your license is a requirement to work in the state. While the process is straightforward, you’ll want to be sure you have all that is required before working.

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C-39 Roofing License

Out of all 50 states, only 21 of them require roofing pros to be licensed. California is one of them. The license they require is called the C-39 license. This is a specialty contractor license for roofing pros only. If you’re a contractor in California that works in other trades as well, you may need licenses for those as well.

Thankfully, the process to earn your license is straightforward, but will take some work. The state of California requires all applicants to qualify and take an exam. You must have at least four years of roofing experience to qualify for the exam. If your application to take the exam is accepted, you then move on to the fingerprinting and examination stage. If the application needed some corrections, you must return it within 90 days, or you cannot continue the process. To get your fingerprint, you must bring three copies of the form provided to a live scan station, such as a local police department.

Once that is completed, you must study for your exam. It’s a good idea to utilize the study guide provided by the state to assist you in preparing for this exam. Once the exam is passed, you will be charged a licensing fee and will now have your C-39 roofing license. Keep in mind, this is not transferable from state to state. If you’re planning on moving your roofing business soon, you may want to check out other state’s licensing requirements.

C-39 Requirement

Other California Roofing Requirements

The process to get your roofing license in California does require some work, but it’s well worth it to conduct your business legally. In addition, California also requires that roofing business owners must have worker’s compensation coverage, even if they do not have employees.

Insurance helps to protect you and your business if something were to go wrong. As roofing is an industry with many risks, you should look beyond what the state requires. There are many types of insurance to choose from. Most contractors opt for general liability insurance. This covers many claims such as injury and property damage. It may also be paired with the worker’s compensation you need for the state of California. This all depends on the insurance company however. To learn more, read A guide To Insurance For Contractors.

The Benefits Of A License

The payoff you receive for having a roofing license in California goes beyond just having the requirements needed to do work. Licenses add customer value to your roofing business, that you can use to your advantage. They are more likely to hire a pro who is legal and licensed, than to one who is not. It shows that you’ve taken the steps necessary to pass the state exam and register, eliminating customer fears that you may not do a good job on their roofing project.

Roofing Association

Roofing Contractors Association Of California

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can have a voice for the roofing contractors in your state, consider joining the Roofing Contractors Of California. They are an active group working for the protection and advancement of California roofing pros. Members have the ability to track bills related to their industry and petition for or against them, in a community. They also provide beneficial educational opportunities for their members, that are specific to the location.

To access all the features of RCAC, you must become a member. Memberships are available annually and you must pay an association due to join. Membership provides exclusive event registration and roofing industry educational opportunities20.

Joining a trade organization is another way you can help differentiate your business from another California roofing pro. In addition to your license and insurance, having the backing of a local trade organization can show to customers that you’re are actively working to better your business and community.


For roofing pros in California, having your license is a must. If you’re working without one, you’re putting yourself and your business at risk. Though it takes some extra work outside of your day-to-day routine, it will be well worth your time to get registered.

Need more convincing? Read Why A Contractors License Could Mean More Jobs.