What is the NASCLA Exam?

Being a licensed contractor is a rewarding profession, but the licensing process can be daunting. Some contractors wish to practice in multiple states, making the process even more complicated – that’s why the NASCLA exam can be so helpful.

What is the NASCLA Exam?

NASCLA stands for the National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies. This association is composed of state agencies that regulate the business of contractors. If you are interested in becoming a general contractor licensed in multiple states, a NASCLA examination may help streamline the process. For participating states, you will not need to take a trade exam each time you apply for a separate state agency.

In 2009, NASCLA created the Commercial General Building Contractor exam. This test is either administered or accepted by certain states. If a state administers the NASCLA exam, this means that they use it as their trade exam. If you take the NASCLA exam in an administering state, you will be able to apply for a license in another state that accepts the exam, and your trade exam will be waived.

States that Administer the NASCLA Exam

Here is a list of states and territories that, at the time of this writing, administer the NASCLA examination:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Virgin Islands

States that Accept the NASCLA Exam

If a state accepts the NASCLA exam, when you apply for your General Contractor license and have passed the exam, the trade portion of your exam will be waived. (Most states still require you to take the business & law portion of the exam)

Here is a list of states that, at the time of this writing, accept the NASCLA exam:

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Is the NASCLA Exam a National License?

The NASCLA examination program should not be confused with a national license. NASCLA coordinates with participating state agencies only, and eliminates the need to retake the trade examination for these states. Each state has its own licensing requirements, and applying contractors will need to meet these to qualify.

How to Take the NASCLA Exam

If you want to take the NASCLA exam, you can either take an administering state agency’s trade examination, or you can take it through PSI Services, LLC. To take the exam, you must pay a $25 application fee, as well as a $106 exam fee. NASCLA reviews applications within 7 business days. Once you are approved, you have one year to schedule the exam. If you do not pass on the first try, you can reschedule a retake up to 3 times in a one-year period.

Once you have passed, you’ll need to register an account in the National Exam Database, then you can purchase and send your transcript to the appropriate state agencies. At the time of this writing, the fee for sending a transcript is $24.99.

Preparing for the NASCLA Exam

The NASCLA exam has proven to be very helpful in saving time and effort for those contractors who wish to be licensed in multiple states. We are happy to provide you with multiple ways of studying for this test: from study guides to computer software to live seminars. However you learn best, you can be prepared to be successful on this important test.