CSLB Issues 1,000,000th Contractor License

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Milestone reached 85 years after first license issued

SACRAMENTO – The nation’s largest industry* reached a milestone in California over the weekend as the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issued its one-millionth contractor license. License 1,000,000 was issued on Saturday, January 10, 2015, to a tree service company in Norwalk (Los Angeles County).

“This milestone says a lot about the resiliency of the construction industry,” said CSLB Registrar Cindi Christenson. “Despite ups and downs in the marketplace, this industry is a major reason the state has thrived, especially during the past century, and why California is the envy of many other states and countries. Construction has helped our state though a depression, economic downturns, wars, natural disasters, and many other challenges.”

CSLB was created on August 14, 1929, with the support of the state’s construction industry, so the public would be protected from irresponsible contractors. CSLB began as the Contractors’ License Bureau under the Department of Professional and Vocational Standards. The Department had complete control over Bureau operations.

The Bureau changed into its current Board format on September 15, 1935, enabling appointed industry representatives to have a say in the state’s construction industry regulations. Today, CSLB is a semi-autonomous board within the state Department of Consumer Affairs.

The law that created the Board also defined three contractor categories that remain in effect today. They are “A” General Engineering, “B” General Building, and “C” Specialty contractors. In 1939, those categories evolved into the original license “classifications” and CSLB also began to examine applicants on their trade qualifications.

Beyond building homes and major infrastructure and transportation systems, California’s construction industry was especially robust in the mid-1940’s after the end of World War II, and produced remarkable and iconic structures during the 20th century that include the California aqueduct; dozens of bridges, among them the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges; multiple dams; and countless low, mid-, and high-rise commercial and residential buildings.

Detailed below are the years when each 100,000 license milestone was reached. There currently are about 284,000 licensed contractors in California, in more than 40 different licensing classifications.

CSLB License Milestones
September 24, 1929 First License Issued
January 19, 1948 License #100,000 Issued
April 19, 1961 License #200,000 Issued
November 18, 1974 License #300,000 Issued
February 10, 1981 License #400,000 Issued
October 16, 1986 License #500,000 Issued
August 7, 1990 License #600,000 Issued
December 8, 1994 License #700,000 Issued
October 4, 2001 License #800,000 Issued
July 12, 2007 License #900,000 Issued
January 10, 2015 License #1,000,000 Issued

*U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics