The California legislature established the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in 1929 as the Contractors License Bureau under the Department of Professional and Vocational Standards.
Today, CSLB is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The responsibility for licensing and regulating the 45 classifications and two certifications that constitute California’s construction industry belongs to CSLB.
There are approximately 285,000 licensed contractors and 23,000 registered home improvement salespersons in the state. The Registrar of Contractors oversees a staff of more than 400 employees who work at CLSB’s headquarters in Sacramento and at field offices throughout the state.
The Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) focuses on the underground economy and on unlicensed contractors. This unit conducts proactive stings and sweeps to help curtail illegal contracting and cites those who are not licensed.
CSLB’s website provides a wealth of information to various stakeholders. Features include an Instant License Check, which provides information about a particular contractor’s license status, and Find My Licensed Contractor, which generates a list of licensed contractors in a designated geographic area and specific trade. It also includes a Disaster Help Center, which provides information and resources for disaster survivors, contractors, and the media. CSLB holds regularly scheduled public meetings throughout the state, which provide the public an opportunity to provide comment on agenda items and other issues.
CSLB protects consumers by regulating the construction industry through policies that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public in matters relating to construction, including home improvement.
The Board accomplishes this by:
- Ensuring that construction, including home improvement, is performed in a safe, competent, and professional manner;
- Licensing contractors and enforcing licensing laws;
- Requiring licensure for any person practicing or offering to practice construction contracting;
- Enforcing the laws, regulations, and standards governing construction contracting in a fair and uniform manner; • Providing resolution to disputes that arise from construction activities; and • Educating consumers so they can make informed choices.
CSLB is a model consumer protection agency, integrating regulatory oversight of the construction industry as necessary for the protection of consumers and licensed contractors.
CSLB provides the highest quality throughout its programs by:
- Being responsive and treating all consumers and contractors fairly;
- Focusing on prevention and providing educational information to consumers and contractors;
- Embracing technology and innovative methods to provide services; and
- Supporting a team concept and the professional development of staff.
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