What is NASCLA?

NASCLA Overview

Founded in 1962, the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote best practices and license uniformity for agencies that regulate the construction industry. By upholding dedication to the assistance of contractor licensing and enforcement agencies, trade associations, and members of the construction industry, NASCLA serves as a vital resource for its members and the contracting community.

The NASCLA Accredited Contractor Exam is a major step toward a national contractors license exam and is currently accepted in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Visit nascla.org to learn more.

How many states are part of the NASCLA?


Participating states consist of Administering and Accepting states. Administering state agencies are also considered to be accepting state agencies as they both offer the examination for candidates and accept the examination in lieu of their state specific trade portion.

Administering States

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Additional Accepting States

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

Preparing for the NASCLA contractors exam

Exam Details

The exam consists of 115 questions created from the content of the book set detailed on the following tab. The exam must be completed within 5.5 hours and must be passed with a score of 70% or higher.

Exam Fees

  • Application Fee: $25
  • Exam Fee: $106

*Exam questions may vary slightly by state.

Exam Registration Process

  1. Submit the application and $25 fee at: ned.nascla.org
  2. Applications will be processed within 7 business days.
  3. An approval email will come directly from support@psiexams.com with a link to schedule the exam at one of PSI's locations. To schedule an examination over the phone, please call (855) 746-8177.
  4. You have up to 1 year from your approval date to sit for the exam with a maximum of 3 attempts to pass.
  5. Once you pass the test, your electronic transcript will automatically be uploaded to the National Examination Database (ned.nascla.org) within 48 hours. You can then create an account to submit your pass score to the state you are applying to be licensed in. You will receive a physical copy of your pass score at PSI's testing facility immediately after the exam.

We have all the books required for the NASCLA exam.

Exam Books

Complete NASCLA Trade Exam Book Set

  • ICC A117.1-2017 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities
  • BCSI: Guide to Good Practice for Handling, Installing, Restraining, and Bracing of Metal Plate Connected Wood Trusses
  • Carpentry and Building Construction
  • Code of Federal Regulations - 29 CFR Part 1926 (OSHA)
  • Construction Jobsite Management, 4th Edition
  • Construction Project Management, 4th Edition
  • NASCLA Contractors' Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Basic 13th Edition
  • Erectors' Manual - Standards and Guidelines for the Erection of Pre-Cast Concrete Products
  • Green Building Fundamentals, Michael Montoya, 2nd edition
  • Gypsum Construction Handbook, 7th edition
  • Technical Digest No. 9 – Handling and Erection of Steel Joists and Joist Girders, 3rd Edition
  • International Building Code, 2018 Edition
  • ACI 318-14: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary
  • Training and Certification of Field Personnel for Unbonded Post-Tensioning - Level 1
  • Modern Masonry - Brick, Block, Stone, 8th edition
  • Pipe and Excavation Contracting
  • Principles and Practices of Commercial Construction, 10th edition
  • Roofing Construction and Estimating
  • Placing Reinforcing Bars, Recommended Practices, 10th Edition
  • SDI (Steel Deck Institute) Manual of Construction with Steel Deck, 3rd Edition
  • The Contractor's Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, 4th Edition
  • Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
  • ANSI/EIMA 99-A-2017: Standard for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) and EIFS with Drainage

The licensing exam is an open-book exam. You will need to purchase or rent a set of books to take with you to the exam. CEI stocks all books required for the general contractor exam. 

EXAM READY BOOKS (Highlighted & Tabbed for the Exam) 

Exam Ready Books are specially prepared to make passing the exam easier. Exam Ready Books are professionally highlighted and tabbed by CEI's staff to indicate the answers to common test questions. Book tabs will help you find the correct section of the books much more quickly when looking for the answer to an exam question, and highlights detail parts of the books from where questions are often asked. This tabbing and highlighting is free for anyone purchasing an exam preparation course from CEI or $275 for non-students.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program considered a “National License”?

No, the NASCLA Accredited Examination eliminates the trade examination ONLY for the participating state agencies. Once you have passed an examination within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program, contractors will still have to meet additional state licensure requirements within each participating state to obtain their license.


What is the difference between the NASCLA Accredited Examination and an examination based on one jurisdiction?

The NASCLA Accredited Examination was developed utilizing contractors from multiple jurisdictions across the United States and based on a national job occupational analysis. To review the NASCLA Test Specifications for the Commercial General Building Contractor Examination, click here.


What State Licensing Agencies currently accept the NASCLA Accredited Examination?

Please click below to view a complete list of participating state licensing agencies:

NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors


What is the difference between state agencies administering the examination within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program and state agencies accepting an examination within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program?

The state agencies administering an examination within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program are offering the examination as their agency’s state specific trade examination. Some administering state agencies also offer their own state specific trade portion or the NASCLA Accredited Examination as an either/or option for their candidates to take. Accepting state agencies will accept the examination as an examination waiver in lieu of their state specific trade portion. All administering state agencies are also considered accepting state agencies.

There is a difference in administration procedures for the examinations within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program. The NASCLA  Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors can either be taken as a stand alone national examination vs. under an administering state agency.

The NASCLA Accredited Electrical Examination Program must be taken under an administering state agency, it is not offered as a stand alone examination.

You can also take the NASCLA Accredited Examination directly through PSI Services, LLC. If you take it directly through PSI Services, LLC instead of through the administering state agency, you will have to purchase individual transcripts from the National Examination Database (NED) to send to the state agency.


If I have passed an examination within the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program, what do I do next?

Register an account in the NASCLA National Examination Database (NED) at ned.nascla.org. This account will allow you to purchase and electronically send your transcript information to the participating state agencies. If you have taken and passed the examination under an administering state agency, that agency will not need a transcript from the database as they are already already by the testing company.


How do I send my examination transcript to an accepting state licensing agency?

Login to your existing account in the NASCLA National Examination Database (NED) at ned.nascla.org or create a new account.  Once you are logged into your account, you will be able to click on “Transcript for Purchase” to purchase and send your test results electronically to the state agency with whom you are applying for licensure. Both you and the state agency will receive an emailed confirmation your transcript transaction is completed.


What is the fee to electronically send a transcript to an accepting state agency?

There is a $24.99 fee each time you need to send your transcript to a state licensing agency.


How long is my transcript accessible to the state agency in the National Examination Database (NED)?

Transcripts are only valid in the system for a two (2) year period for the state agency to access the information. If it has been longer than two (2) years since a transcript has been purchased and you have NOT been licensed within that state, you will need to repurchase the transcript to go with your application for licensure with that state agency through the database.


What is the fee to sit for the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors?

The cost for the examination is $106 plus the $25 application fee.  Please click here to review the candidate information bulletin from PSI.


How fast does NASCLA process my NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors application?

NASCLA will review all applications within seven (7) business days.


How long do I have to schedule my NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors once I have been approved?

Eligibility is for one (1) year from the application approval date.


If I need to retest, how soon can I apply and is there a limited number of times I can retake the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors?

There is no restriction on how soon you can reschedule to sit for the exam if within the maximum three (3) times within the one (1) year eligibility period.  If you have failed the examination three (3) times, you must wait one (1) year after your initial application was approved to reapply to take the examination.

Need help finding the right course for you?

We’re here to help you select the best program for your needs. Get in touch with us to discuss your options in obtaining your construction license in Florida.