Information for the Customer

California state law requires anyone who contracts to do work for $500 or more (including labor and materials) to be licensed by the Contractors State License Board in the license category in which the contractor is going to be working.  For tree work a contractor must carry a C61/D49 license.   This information is printed on the pocket card the contractor is required to carry.

Licensed contractors are regulated by laws created by the Department of Consumer Affairs in order to protect the public.  If you decide to contract with someone who does not have a license, the Contractors State License Board will most likely be unable to assist you with a complaint.  Your only recourse against an unlicensed contractor for any damages or miscommunications may be civil court, and you may be liable for damages arising out of any injuries to the “contractor” and his or her employees.  Contract law protects you.

It should be noted that a city or county business license as well as a LTO (Licensed Timber Operator) are not the same as being licensed by the Contractors State License Board.  All true CSLB #’s are six numerical digits long and do not include letters.

You may contact the CSLB to find out if any contractor has a valid license.  The board has complete information on the contractor’s history, including possible suspensions, revocations, judgments, and citations.  Additionally, the profile will give the contractor’s worker’s compensation history and associated claims if applicable.  You can contact the CSLB by calling 1 800 321 CSLB or by going to and clicking on “Check a License of HIS registration” on the left under “Quick Hits.”