Licensing (general)

  • A contractor’s license is required:  a C-46 Solar Contractors License or “A” General Contractors or“B” General Building Contractors License
  • C-46 is the Solar Contractor licensing classification for solar (PV and thermal) installations and maintenance.  The C-46 Solar Contractor license covers active solar water and space heating systems, solar pool heating systems, and photovoltaic systems
  • Education/testing requirements:  include written examinations (Law and Business as well as the trade examination) and 4 years experience; (note:  technical training, apprenticeship training and education may be credited instead of experience, however at least 1 year needs to be practical experience.  See CSLB guidelines for maximum allowable credit from training)

Licensing (PV and Solar thermal): California offers the following specialty classifications:

  • C-4. Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting (for solar thermal systems)
  • C-10. Electrical (for photovoltaics only)
  • C-20. Warm-Air, HVAC (HVAC systems that utilize solar energy)
  • C-36. Plumbing (solar thermal systems)
  • C-53. Swimming Pool (for solar pool heating)

Electric code: All jurisdictions in the State of California, are required to adopt and enforce the following codes:

  • 2007 California Building Code (Incorporates by adoption and reprints the 2006 International Building Code with California amendments
  • 2007 California Fire Code (Incorporates by adoption and reprints the 2006 International Fire Code with California amendments

Licensing authority: California Contractors State License Board

Reciprocity: Arizona, Nevada (C-37), and Utah

Permitting notes: Permitting requirements vary by City – check local rules and regulations


  1. California Contractors State License Board
  2. California Contractors State License Board/C46 Solar Contractor
  3. Blueprint for Becoming a California Licensed Contractor (2006)

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