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Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors

  1. Application Process - How long does it take to process an examination application?
  2. Exam Preparation - Is there a course to prepare for the required exam? Is any course required in order to apply for an HVACR license?
  3. Exam Registration - How do I register to take a license exam license?
  4. Exam Retakes - I did not pass the exam. What do I need to do to retake it?
  5. Criminal Convictions - I was convicted of a crime in the past. Can I still obtain an HVACR contractor license?
  6. Out-of-State Contractor's License - I am a contractor licensed in another state. I don’t have an office in Maryland, but I would like to provide services there. Do I need a separate license for the state of Maryland?
  7. Paper License - My company is showing up on your website as an active contractor; however, we
    have not yet received our license in the mail.
  8. How do I register my license and do I get a new number each time I add a new qualification or category?
  9. Reciprocity - I am a licensed contractor in another state. Do I still have to take the contractor
    examination in Maryland?

1. Application Process - How long does it take to process an examination application?
There is no set time frame to process an application, which is handled by PSI Examination Services, (“PSI”), the Board’s testing vendor. Applications for the exams are located on the PSI website and are processed in the order in which they are received. However, PSI staff must ascertain that all required information has been provided before completing an application review. An incomplete or incorrectly completed application will take longer to review because the applicant will be asked to correct or supplement the application before PSI can fully evaluate it. If information is missing from the application materials, such as sufficient documentation of pre-license work experience certified by an appropriately-licensed contractor, PSI staff will return the incomplete application with a letter indicating the additional information required to process the application. If the applicant fails to respond as requested, PSI staff will remove the applicant from consideration and you will need to start the process from the beginning at a later date. However, once the application is approved, the applicant will be notified of the approval to sit for the examination. You must pay the examination fee with your application or your application will not be processed.

2. Exam Preparation- Is there a course to prepare for the required exam? Is any course required in order to apply for an HVACR license?
Many community colleges offer an HVACR license exam prep course. There is no required course for an HVACR license exam.

3. Exam Registration - How do I register to take a license exam license?
To register for a licensing exam, please access the PSI Exams website or call 1-800-733-9267. The forms to register for the exam or order exam materials are contained in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

4. Exam Retakes - I did not pass the exam. What do I need to do to retake it?
If you did not pass the exam, then you must wait for 30 days until you can reapply to take the exam. Any subsequent requests cannot be made until 60 days have passed. You must pay the exam fee each time.

5. Criminal Convictions - I was convicted of a crime in the past. Can I still obtain an HVACR contractor license?
Each original license applicant or licensee eligible for renewal is required to report to the Board any conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor criminal offense. The applicant must provide a "true-test copy" from the clerk's office of the court where the conviction was entered. The Board is required to consider certain facts before it is authorized to grant or deny an application, which include: the nature of the crime; the relationship of the crime to the activities authorized by the license; the relevance of the conviction to the fitness and qualification of the applicant or licensee to provide HVACR services; the length of time since the conviction; and the behavior and activities of the applicant or licensee before and after the conviction.

An applicant’s attempt to conceal or failure to disclose a prior conviction may be treated more severely by the Board than its consideration of the underlying conviction itself.

6. Out-of-State Contractor's License - I am a contractor licensed in another state. I don’t have an office in Maryland, but I would like to provide services there. Do I need a separate license for the state of Maryland?
Each contractor who offers or provides or assists in providing HVACR services in Maryland is required to hold a license issued by the Board in the appropriate category. This is true regardless of whether the contractor holds a license in another state or jurisdiction. A license is required even if the contractor does not have an office in Maryland, in which case, the individual may be asked to designate a resident agent.

7. Paper License - My company is showing up on your website as an active contractor; however, we
have not yet received our license in the mail.

Once a license applicant has passed the appropriate license examination, the applicant must register the license number with the Maryland Department of Labor. Each licensee is mailed a paper copy of the HVACR license. Typically, a letter with instructions to register a license is received within 10 business days.

8. How do I register my license and do I get a new number each time I add a new qualification or category?
Once you have successfully passed the license examination, you may go online to register your license number. The license number will always be the same number that was originally issued. You will sign in by creating a password if you do not have one or by using your existing password. All master contractors who are insured to contract work must provide a certificate of insurance to the Board.

9. Reciprocity - I am a licensed contractor in another state. Do I still have to take the contractor examination in Maryland?
The applicable law permits individuals who have a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration licenses in another state* to apply for a Maryland license through reciprocity without sitting for the license examination in Maryland. Reciprocal licensing is permissible if the state in which the individual is licensed and the Board have entered into an agreement for reciprocal licensing. The applicant must meet the qualifications of Maryland's HVACR law; hold an active license in good standing in the other state; holds a license that is equivalent to the Maryland HVACR license; and have become licensed in the other state after meeting, in that state, requirements for licensure that are at least equivalent to the licensing requirements of this state, including the number of years of work experience required by the Maryland law.

*The Board currently has reciprocal agreements with Delaware and Virginia.

To apply for a reciprocal license, complete the application online.