Time to Renew for Michigan Contractors

by Brian Murphy and Nate Bortz on 2017-03-15 2:08pm

Updated for 2023

There’s still time to renew your Michigan Residential Builder or Maintenance & Alteration (M&A) Contractor license! If you missed the May 31 renewal deadline, you have until July 30 to renew your license with an additional $20 late fee. After that, you must apply for relicensure. 

The amount of continuing education (CE) you need to renew your license depends on how long you’ve been licensed.  

Licensees with more than six years of experience need: 

  • One hour of Building Codes and Laws 
  • One hour covering Safety 
  • One hour regarding changes in construction and business management laws 


If you have been licensed for less than six years, you must complete the three hours listed above, plus: 

  • A minimum of three hours of CE each year of your three-year renewal period 
  • 21 total hours of CE comprised of the three courses listed above plus 18 hours of 'other' topics  


Thankfully, you don’t need to spend time sitting in a classroom to finish your CE. To finish your CE online, check out our state-approved courses


Michigan builders licenses overview and prerequisites 

Two of the main trades licenses available in Michigan are the Residential Builder and the Maintenance & Alteration Contractor. In most instances, these licenses and their renewals can be obtained on-line as the state strives to expedite the licensing process.


In Michigan, the Residential Builder may build a new home from the ground up as well as perform any repairs covered by Occupational Code Article 24. A Residential Builder may bid and enter into a contract for the whole job, but certain specialties such as plumbing, electrical, and mechanical (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), must be subcontracted to licensed plumbing, electrical and mechanical contractors.


The Maintenance & Alteration Contractor, on the other hand, is licensed only for specific trades and services and work only in the trade(s) or craft(s) for which they are licensed. The contractor's wall license and pocket card identify the trade(s) for which they are licensed. Letter codes are used on the pocket card indicating which trade(s) the contractor is licensed for. 


The M&A trades and their letter codes are:  

  • Carpentry (A)

  • Concrete (B)

  • Excavation (D)

  • Insulation Work (G)

  • Masonry (I)

  • Painting & Decorating (J)

  • Siding (K)

  • Roofing (M)

  • Screen & Storm Sash (N)

  • Gutters (O)

  • Tile & Marble (P)

  • House Wrecking (R)

  • Swimming Pools (S), and 

  • Basement Waterproofing (T)


The prerequisites for licensure in Michigan include 60 hours of state-approved pre-licensing education courses (available online), be of good moral character, submit required documentation, and, of course, pass the exam. 


At least six hours of each of the subjects listed below must be included in the 60 hours of approved prelicensure courses: 

1)     Business Management, Estimating, and Job Costing; 

2)     Design and Building Science;

3)     Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management ;

4)     Marketing and Sales;

5)     Project Management and Scheduling;

6)     The Michigan Residential Code;

7)     MIOSHA Construction Safety Standards

The remaining 18 hours may come from topics selected from the approved course list. 

The Residential Builder examination is split into two parts: 1) Business and Law; 2) Practice and Trade. More information as to what kind of information will be covered in the examinations can be found at PSI Services LLC’s website (the company that administers the exams).

The cost to take the Residential Builder examination is $111.

The M&A Contractor examination includes the residential builder Business and Law exam plus an exam specific to the trade(s) in which an applicant seeks to be licensed. Information covered in the course can be located at the same PSI site provided immediately above.

The cost to take the M&A Contractor examination is $91 for one trade and $106 for two trades.

Individual Residential Builder applicants can apply for a license online. Online applicants must submit a copy of their driver’s license or state personal identification card as well. Copies of identification may be sent by email to csclonline@michigan.gov, by mail to LARA-CSCL, Builders, P.O. Box 30018, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or by fax to 517-373-1044.


Our Residential Builder and Maintenance & Alteration Contractor course will provide you with everything you need to prepare for the exams and meet licensure requirements. Visit us at AYPO’s Michigan Contractor website.