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New Specialty Contractor Licenses in Florida

What You Need to Know

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As the construction industry continues to evolve, so do the regulations and licensing requirements for contractors. In Florida, recent legislative changes have introduced new statewide specialty licenses aimed at streamlining the licensing process and enhancing the quality of services offered. This article will delve into these new specialty licenses, the implications of Florida House Bill 735, and how these changes affect local licensing.

Understanding Florida House Bill 735

Florida House Bill 735, now extended by Senate Bill 1142, marks a significant shift in the way contractor licenses are managed within the state. This bill effectively eliminates the authority of local governments to issue their own contractor licenses, centralizing the licensing process under state jurisdiction. The main aim of this legislation is to create uniformity and reduce the complexity associated with obtaining multiple local licenses.

For a detailed overview of this bill and its implications, you can refer to Contractor Licensing Pros’ article on Florida House Bill 735.

Introduction to New Statewide Specialty Licenses

With the implementation of HB 735, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has introduced several new specialty licenses to cover specific areas of construction work. These licenses are designed to ensure that contractors have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform specialized tasks, thereby protecting consumers and enhancing industry standards.

According to the Florida Administrative Code, Section 61G4-15.100, the new specialty licenses include certifications for the following areas:

  • Structural Aluminum or Screen Enclosures Contractor: Qualified to perform work involving aluminum screened porches, pool enclosures, residential glass and window door enclosures, vinyl panel window enclosures, and single-story self-contained aluminum utility storage structures not exceeding 720 square feet. This scope includes incidental woodwork, masonry concrete work for foundations, slabs, and block knee walls. Contractors must subcontract work that affects the structural integrity of a building to qualified professionals.

  • Marine Specialty Contractor: Certified to construct, repair, and alter marine structures such as fixed and floating docks, boathouses, mooring devices, seawalls, piers, wharfs, boat ramps, and wave attenuators. The scope includes pile driving, framing, concrete, masonry, and roofing.

  • Marine Seawall Work Contractor: Authorized to install, alter, repair, maintain, and replace supporting members of piers and docks, focusing on construction related to piers, docks, and seawalls below, above, or beyond the mean low water line.

  • Marine Bulkhead Work Contractor: Certified to install, alter, repair, maintain, and replace bulkheads and their supporting members, with a scope that includes construction below, above, or beyond the mean low water line for bulkheads.

  • Marine Dock Work Contractor: Qualified to install, repair, maintain, or alter docks, piers, and marine decks, including pile driving and other necessary operations for safe construction.

  • Marine Pile Driving Contractor: Certified to drive concrete, wood, or steel piles in a marine environment for foundations of docks, piers, and other marine structures.

  • Structural Masonry Specialty Contractor: Certified to form, place, finish, install, repair, and maintain concrete or masonry products, including foundations, slabs, footers, walls, columns, and beams. The scope includes batching, mixing, laying block, brick, constructing forms, and reinforcing steel placement.

  • Structural Pre-Stressed, Precast Concrete Work Specialty Contractor: Qualified to erect structural precast concrete units such as decks, beams, walls, columns, and stairs used in buildings and structures. This includes minor field fabrication, welding, and rigging.

  • Structural Steel Work Contractor: Certified to install, repair, maintain, and replace steel frameworks, columns, sheathing, beams, and fabricate metal buildings.

  • Window and Door Installation Contractor: Authorized to install, replace, adjust, repair, and service exterior windows and doors, hurricane protection devices, and related hardware, excluding structural changes except for replacing window bucks in retrofit.

  • Garage Door Installation Contractor: Qualified to fabricate, assemble, handle, erect, install, dismantle, adjust, alter, repair, and service all types of garage doors, including related hardware and low voltage wiring for safety features.

  • Plaster and Lath Specialty Contractor: Certified to coat surfaces with mixtures of sand, gypsum plaster, Portland cement, or quicklime, creating permanent coatings, and performing lathing work.

  • Structural Carpentry Specialty Contractor: Qualified to install wood products or metal framing in structures, including rough framing, doors, windows, and structural trusses.

  • Residential Swimming Pool/Spa Servicing Specialty Contractor: Certified to repair and service residential swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas, including equipment repair or replacement, cleaning, filter changes, heater installation, perimeter piping repair, and substantial or complete draining for repair or renovation.

  • Industrial Facility Specialty Contractor: Authorized to perform work involving the construction, repair, demolition, modification, and alteration of uninhabitable industrial structures, including energy production, gas production, chemical production, installation of fixed equipment, and related accessory piping.

  • Building Demolition Specialty Contractor: Certified to demolish steel tanks, towers, structures other than buildings or residences over three stories, and buildings or residences up to three stories.

  • Irrigation Specialty Contractor: Qualified to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, manage, monitor, and audit irrigation systems, including excavation work, piping, fittings, sprinklers, valves, controllers, pumps, and water conservation devices. This excludes agricultural irrigation systems.

  • Tower Specialty Contractor: Certified to construct, repair, and alter towers for communications, energy, water, or utilities, including accessory use structures up to three stories in height.

Handyman in yellow uniform installs new window. House renovation conception
worker plastering gypsum board wall.
  • Glass and Glazing Contractor: Qualified to install and attach all types of windows and glass, swinging or sliding glass doors, glass holding or supporting mullions, structurally anchored impact-resistant opening protection, and prefabricated glass, metal, or plastic curtain walls.

  • Gypsum Drywall Contractor: Certified to install metal accessories, non-load bearing metal studs, runners, channels, drywall metal suspension accessories, prefabricated ceiling materials, and preparation of surfaces for drywall products.

  • Gas Line Specialty Contractor: Qualified to install, modify, alter, test, repair, and maintain natural gas transmission and distribution systems within rights-of-way or easements, terminating at the meter.

Implications for Contractors

The introduction of these new specialty licenses offers several benefits and poses certain challenges for contractors in Florida:


  • Uniform Standards: The statewide licensing system ensures that all contractors meet the same high standards of expertise and professionalism.
  • Consumer Protection: With specialized certifications, consumers can have greater confidence in the quality and safety of the work performed.
  • Simplified Process: Contractors no longer need to navigate the complex web of local licensing requirements, making it easier to work across different jurisdictions within the state.


  • Transition Period: Contractors who previously held local licenses must now transition to the new state certifications, which may involve additional examinations and fees.
  • Increased Competition: With a more streamlined and accessible licensing process, the competition among contractors may increase, requiring professionals to further distinguish themselves through quality and service.

Steps to Obtain a Specialty License

To obtain a specialty license in Florida, contractors must follow these general steps:

  1. Application: Submit an application to the Florida DBPR, including proof of experience, education, and any required financial statements.
  2. Examination: Pass the relevant specialty contractor examination, which tests knowledge specific to the area of certification.
  3. Background Check: Complete a background check, including fingerprinting, to ensure there are no disqualifying criminal convictions.
  4. Insurance: Provide proof of the necessary insurance coverage, such as general liability and workers’ compensation.
  5. Fee Payment: Pay the required application and licensing fees.

For more detailed information on the application process and requirements, you can visit the Florida DBPR website.

Ready to Get Your Specialty License? Contact Contractor Licensing Pros Today!

The new specialty licenses in Florida represent a significant advancement in the state’s approach to contractor licensing. By centralizing the licensing process and introducing specific certifications, Florida aims to enhance the quality and safety of construction work across the state. For contractors, this means adapting to new standards and potentially expanding their areas of expertise to meet the demands of these specialty licenses.

For more information and assistance with obtaining your contractor license, including navigating these new specialty licenses, contact Contractor Licensing Pros. We are here to help you every step of the way.

By staying informed and proactive, contractors can successfully navigate these changes and continue to thrive in Florida’s dynamic construction industry.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Ready to take your contracting career to the next level? Don’t navigate the new specialty licensing requirements alone. Contact Contractor Licensing Pros today for expert guidance and support in obtaining your Florida contractor license. We’re here to help you every step of the way, ensuring you meet all the requirements and succeed in your specialty. Visit Contractor Licensing Pros to get started now!

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