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How do I Renew My Virginia Tradesman Certification or License?

 

Working as a tradesman in Virginia is a pretty good deal as far as certification and license renewal goes. While other states require renewal on an annual basis or mandate dozens of continuing education hours to renew, you have it relatively easy in the state of Virginia. 

That said, just because Virginia tradesman certification/license renewal is simple doesn’t mean you can forget about it. If you don’t renew on time, you can get a 30-day grace period but your license or certificate is still technically expired during that period, meaning you can’t work legally. What’s more, if you fail to renew within that grace period, you have to apply for a new license or certificate. That means meeting the most up-to-date eligibility requirements, paying the relevant reinstatement fee ($140, in most cases), and passing the required exam. 

You can skip all of that headache by staying on top of your Virginia tradesman certification or license renewal and taking DPOR continuing education. Here’s everything you need to know to keep yourself current.

When to renew your Virginia tradesman certification/license

You need to renew your license before it expires, which happens two years after the last day of the month it was issued. Check your card for that date. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) needs all of your renewal information before your card expires so if you plan to mail it in, mark your calendar to submit everything a week before expiration. 

How to renew your Virginia tradesman certification/license

Technically, you’re supposed to receive a renewal form. But if you don’t, you still have to renew before your certification expires, so don’t wait until you get that piece of mail. 

If you didn’t get your renewal form, it could be because your address is outdated. You can use the DPOR Online Services portal to update your address. If you’ve never used the portal before, click here to set up your profile. Alternatively, you can send in this Change of Address form

Good news: that same portal allows you to renew your license online and pay the relevant fee. But before you can renew, you first have to complete continuing education. 

Complete the required Virginia tradesman continuing education

As of 2008, all Virginia tradesmen have to complete continuing education before they can renew their licenses. But don’t panic. You’re looking at a few hours, tops. And you don’t even have to go to a classroom to finish your hours, either. DPOR-approved education providers give you the option to complete the required continuing education online at your own convenience. 

Here are the required hours based on your certification or license type:

  • Plumbers: 3 hours 
  • Electricians: 3 hours
  • HVAC workers: 3 hours
  • Gas fitters: 1 hour

When you take your hours, make sure you choose a DPOR-approved provider. You can peruse the full list of approved providers that they publish to find the right option for you. Make sure that you double-check for approval on the provider’s website (e.g., scroll down here to see the DPOR approval letter). 

Once you’ve finished your continuing education, your provider sends that information to the DPOR so they have it on file. Then, when you submit your renewal, the DPOR checks that you’ve completed the required continuing education. When they see that you have, they push your renewal forward. That’s assuming, of course, that you’ve paid the required fee. 

Submit the renewal fee

The renewal fee is $90 for all tradesman licenses and certifications. The DPOR needs to receive your fee before your license expires, so don’t wait until the last minute to send it in. You can send in a check made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with your license or certificate number on it, or you can use the DPOR renewal payment page

 

Because you can renew your Virginia tradesman certification or license online and you only have to take a few hours of continuing education, it’s fairly easy to keep yourself current. Just make sure you mark the calendar to start your renewal process on time.