Local Competency Card

Are you trying to get a permit in your town? Don’t have a contractor’s license with the State of Florida? You may need a local competency card.

What’s a local competency card?

A local competency card shows that you’ve complied with a local government’s licensing requirements. These cards are also called certificates of competency. In most cases, you’ll need to pass an exam given by the city or county. The exams often consist of trade knowledge and business/law. They’re typically issued when the exam is passed and you’ve met the requirements of the issuer.

Do I still need a Florida Contractors License?

Yes. Florida requires most major construction trades to register with the DBPR. In fact, performing construction services without a state license may be illegal! However, some counties and towns may require competency cards of contractors who aren’t required to be licensed with the state.

Who requires a competency card?

Many cities and counties in Florida will require a competency card before pulling a permit. The major ones are Hillsborough, West Palm, and Orange counties. Many others will also require you to pass an exam and register with the state prior to pulling a permit.

What type of state license do I need?

The State of Florida has two main license types for most trades. The first is a certified license. You must pass the state exam and complete the certified contractor application to qualify. The second license type is a registered license. A registered license doesn’t require you to pass the state exam. However, you must pass the local exam of the city or county in which you’re trying to pull a permit.

What do I do first?

You’ll notice that most local applications require that you have a registered license with the state. You’ll also notice that the state application requires a competency card. So which do you do first? In most cases, you’ll want to take and pass the local exams first. However, your local competency card usually isn’t issued until you register with the DBPR. How do you get around this? You’ll need a letter from your city or county stating that you’ve met the requirements for your local competency card. Attach the letter to your application and it satisfies this requirement.

Want help getting your local competency card or registered contractor license?

Getting a state license or local competency card can by confusing. That’s why we created The License Company. We help contractors like yourself navigate the licensing process. Learn more about what we do by clicking here.