How Do I Prove My Contractor Experience to Get a Virginia General Contractor License?

If you want to become a licensed contractor in Virginia, you need to deal with a handful of to-dos. You’ll probably need to set up your business, take some pre-license education hours, and take an exam. But wait, there’s more! You also need to be able to show the state that you (or someone else on your staff) has sufficient contracting experience.

More specifically, when you fill out the contractor license application, you need to name at least one qualified individual (QI). You can be your business’s QI. Whether it’s you or someone else, the QI needs to have a specific number of years of contracting experience. And you need to be able to prove it to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). So here’s a quick look at how to verify your years of experience in order to get your Virginia contractor license. 

Experience requirements depending on Virginia contractor license class

The number of hours you need to prove hinges on the type of license you plan to get. Your license type caps the financial value of each project you can do, and your total for the year. If you’re not sure which class of license is right for your business, here’s a quick guide. 

Once you pick your license type, here’s how much experience you need:

  • Class C licenses: 2 years
  • Class B licenses: 3 years
  • Class A licenses: 5 years

If you don’t have the necessary experience, you’ll need to find someone who will be either a full-time employee or a part of your responsible management to name as your QI and meet that requirement. 

Proving the required experience

How is the DPOR supposed to know if your QI has the years of experience they need? Easy. They have you fill out and attach an Experience Verification Form to your contractor application.

Two people need to be involved in filling out that form: the QI and what the DPOR calls the “verifier.” That second person can be a:

  • Building official
  • Building inspector
  • Licensed contractor
  • Licensed tradesman
  • Licensed architect
  • Licensed professional engineer 

You also have the option to designate your verifier as “Other,” but it will hold up your application processing because the DPOR will need to do extra checks to confirm that person fits their verifier parameters. 

Once you identify your verifier, the rest of the process is pretty easy. The QI fills out the form, laying out the years during which they did the qualifying work and quickly outlining their job duties during those years.

Then, the verifier fills out the rest of the form, basically confirming that the QI did what they said they did during the specific time. 

With the verifier’s and the QI’s signature, the Experience Verification Form is ready to ship back to the DPOR with your contractor application. It’s just one piece of a fairly robust application, so make sure you include all the required components. The last page of the application has a checklist to help you double-check that you have what the DPOR will need to review — and ideally approve — your Virginia contractor application.