Massachusetts Roofing Licenses: CSL and HIC Requirements

Some homeowners may find a low roofing bid from an unlicensed roofer appealing. They want to save money on their roof replacement. But, making this decision can turn into a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

My name is Taylor Ferguson. Over the last decade, I’ve worked as a roofer in Massachusetts and have seen the result of unlicensed roofing work first-hand…

Substandard craftsmanship, unresolved leaks, and vanished contractors are all too common. And it’s often Roof Hub who gets called to replace a homeowner’s roof the second time after it wasn’t done right the first. 

One of the easiest boxes to check when hiring a roofing service is to make sure they hold all applicable Massachusetts Roofing Licenses. Every roofer must have one license, and another is necessary depending on the project.

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Do Roofers Need a License in Massachusetts?

Yes, roofers need a license in Massachusetts and the process is strictly regulated by the State. All roofers need a Construction Supervisor License (CSL) and depending on the project scope, some need a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) license.

Make sure whoever you hire has a CSL. There are two types of CSLs to look for. The type you need depends on your building type and what project is being done. But if your roofer doesn’t have either requirement, we recommend tearing up their quote and throwing it into the trash.

The Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) registration is the other license available in MA. It isn’t required on all projects. We’ll cover what roof replacements it is necessary for below.

Roof Hub Massachusetts Roofing Contractor Licenses

Construction Supervisors License Massachusetts for Roof Hub

Roof Hub’s CSL is CS-109235

Home Improvement Contractors License Massachusetts for Roof Hub

Roof Hub’s HIC is 176908 

Hiring an unlicensed roofer can lead to disastrous results…

These include shoddy workmanship, potential legal issues, and no insurance protection if something goes wrong. As a roofing industry expert with over 10 years of experience, I want to provide clear guidance so you can be protected.

Most roofers in Boston and throughout Massachusetts need a state-issued license to operate legally. This includes repairs, replacements, new construction, and additions. Failure to comply can result in fines up to $5,000 and even jail time.

There are limited exceptions – such as homeowners doing work on their own single-family homes or minor repairs under $1,000. But in most cases, licensed roofers are a must.

Massachusetts Roofing License Requirements

Construction Supervisor License (CSL) Requirements

The main license roofers need in Massachusetts is a Construction Supervisor License (CSL) from the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards. The CSL confirms a roofer’s qualifications and expertise for overseeing home construction projects.

There are two types:

  • Restricted CSL: Allows work on 1- and 2-family homes and accessory buildings. This covers most residential re-roofing jobs. It also covers multi-family homes with less than 4 units.
  • Unrestricted CSL: No restrictions on building size or type. This is needed for large residential buildings and commercial roofing work, like flat roof replacment in Boston.

Having qualified, experienced supervision is crucial for safety, code compliance, and quality results on a roofing job. The CSL helps guarantee this oversight is in place. 

Both types of CSLs require passing a standardized exam and submitting an application with proof of relevant experience. 

You can rest assured when hiring a roofer with a CSL. They have met stringent requirements for roofing industry knowledge and technical skills specific to the state of Massachusetts.

Note: when it comes to CSL liscense in MA, there are multiple CSL’s specific to industry and product. On this page, we are discussing roofing only, however, the application and testing processes remain the same for all types.

Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) Requirements

Roofing contractors in Massachusetts who perform home repairs, renovations, improvements, or alterations for projects more than $1,000 are required to register as a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). They must also complete any required CSL.

The HIC registration primarily helps protect consumers from fly-by-night roofing companies. It ensures Massachusetts roofers carry liability insurance, workers’ comp, and/or bonds. Registered contractors must also allow unhappy homeowners to seek restitution from the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Guaranty Fund if all else fails.

So while the CSL focuses on technical expertise, the HIC registration deals more with ethical business practices and financial protections for homeowners hiring roofers. The two certifications work hand-in-hand.

How to Get a Roofing License in Massachusetts

How to Get a Construction Supervisor License (CSL) in Massachusetts

Roofers need to meet experience and exam requirements to get a Restricted or Unrestricted CSL. In order to satisfy the state’s requirements, they must:

  • Have at least 3 years of full-time roofing experience. Of these, 1 year must focus on supervisory duties.
  • Submit documents like W-2s and letters from previous employers. These documents will verify their work history.
  • Pass a 100-question multiple choice exam. This exam will cover topics like construction laws, OSHA safety, plan reading, estimating, and more. Prometric test centers throughout Massachusetts administer the CSL exam. Prospective licensees can register and schedule their exam online.
  • Pay $150 for the initial CSL license, $100 to take the exam, and $100 every three years for renewal.

The application process for the CSL license requires a completed form, $150 fee, and supplementary documents. Roofers submit their application, fee, and backup paperwork either online through the state’s ePlace portal or by mail.

Typical processing time is 4-6 weeks. Approved applicants receive a wallet-sized license card showing proof of certification. To remain valid, roof service providers must renew their licenses every 2 years before they expire.

Here is a screenshot of the Work Experience requirements 

work experience required for CSL license in MA

To read the full document and to apply for a new construction supervisor liscense, view the document on mass.gov.

How to Get a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) in Massachusetts

Obtaining an HIC registration in Massachusetts also involves meeting experience thresholds and passing a standardized exam. At minimum, registrants need 1 year of experience in their trade or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The HIC exam covers topics like lien laws, contracts, consumer protection statutes, and more. It is administered by Prometric test centers.

Prospective HIC registrants start by creating an online account through the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation portal.

Then, they log proof of experience and exam completion. Finally, they submit a registration application and pay a fee based on their business size.

For example, a roofing company with 5 employees would owe a $200 fee. HIC registration lasts for 2 years before needing renewal. Failing to register an HIC carries heavy penalties in Massachusetts.

Maintaining both CSL licensing and HIC registration is mandatory for legitimate roofing contractors working on residential projects. 

The licenses give homeowners proof of competence while the registration process focuses on accountability and consumer rights. Together, they result in professional, protected roofing services across the Commonwealth.

Why Hire a Licensed Roofer in Massachusetts

Consumer Protection

Hiring an unlicensed roofer removes many of the legal protections and recourse options for homeowners if something goes wrong. Unlicensed contractors often cut corners and perform low-quality work. This can cause major issues down the road. 

They also frequently take payment upfront and then abandon projects unfinished. Even if this happens, homeowners have little power to recover damages. They need licensing boards and guaranty funds to back them up. That’s why it’s so important only to hire properly credentialed roofers.

The CSL and HIC licensing provide accountability and critical consumer safeguards. You can file complaints with the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards or Office of Consumer Affairs against license-holders. These complaints will trigger investigations. 

Homeowners also have access to the Home Improvement Contractor Guaranty Fund. This fund provides financial restitution in cases of damages from incomplete or faulty work. Plus, licensing ensures roofers carry adequate business insurance.

Workmanship & Quality Standards

Obtaining and maintaining CSL and HIC credentials require proof of skills, experience, and relevant knowledge. Licensed roofers have passed standardized tests in areas like construction laws, safety protocols, building codes, and more. 

The state has vetted their work history. As a result, licensed contractors consistently deliver professional, quality services that adhere to all regulations. Homeowners can feel confident entrusting expensive roofing projects to credentialed experts rather than taking a risk on unqualified handymen.

Insurance & Liability Coverage

Licensed roofing contractors in Massachusetts must carry general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and surety bonds. This coverage protects both homeowners and roofers in the event of on-site accidents, employee injuries, weather damages, vandalism during construction, and other unforeseen problems. 

Liability insurance covers personal and property damage claims. Workers’ comp handles workplace injuries. Surety bonds help fund completion of projects if a contractor fails to finish for any reason. The state mandates minimum insurance levels through licensing requirements. Homeowners should still verify policy details.

Common Questions about Roofing Licenses for Massachusetts

Can I do roofing work on my own house in Massachusetts without a license?

In most cases, homeowners can perform roofing repairs and replacements on their primary residence without needing CSL or HIC licensing. However, permits may still be required based on the scope of work. Homeowners insurance may also deny claims if unpermitted work is discovered.

I’m a roofer from another state. Can I use my out-of-state license in Massachusetts?

No, roofing contractors must obtain proper Massachusetts CSL and HIC licensing to work legally on in-state projects. There is no reciprocity or license transfer with other states. All roofers must meet Massachusetts requirements and pass state-administered exams.

Do I need a license for small roofing repairs in Massachusetts?

Minor repairs under $500 in total value do not require CSL or HIC licensing. Any work beyond that threshold – including full roof replacements – can only be legally performed by properly credentialed roofers. Homeowners should beware of unlicensed contractors offering cut-rate prices for significant roofing jobs.

How do I report an unlicensed roofer in Massachusetts?

Homeowners can check license status by contacting the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Suspected unlicensed activity should be reported to this agency as well. The office’s hotline number is 617-973-8787. Complaints are investigated, and fines or legal actions may be pursued.

What are the benefits of hiring a licensed roofer?

Licensed roofers have proved their expertise and skills by meeting state requirements. They also carry specialized business insurance and bonding that protects homeowners from damages or accidents. Licensing provides accountability through complaint investigations, financial recovery funds, and potential disciplinary actions.

Local Permitting Varies by Town in Massachusetts

The CSL and HIC licenses cover the vetting of roofing business operations across the entire state, but you also need to ensure that all Massachusetts permitting regulations are followed for your project. 

Remaining compliant with local building permit rules means you don’t have to worry about a stop work order or fines for non-compliance. You must have your project approved before any work can legally begin. 

Permitting processes and fees vary between cities and towns, so make sure you check with your local Town Clerk or Building Department and complete the necessary paperwork and application fees before getting started on your roof replacement or repair.

Verifying Your Roofer is Licensed in Massachusetts

To get the highest likelihood of a positive long-term outcome when replacing your roof in Massachusetts, verify that your roofer is licensed before signing a contract.

License verification can be done for free through online license searches.

To search for CSL, go here: Check Construction Supervisor License 

To search for HIC, go here: Check Home Improvement Contractor License 

Investing in licensed contractors give you safety, reliability, accountability, and peace of mind. It’s worth the small amount of additional expense over a roofer who comes in with the cheapest price.

Choose Roof Hub for Massachusetts Roofing: Fully Licensed

Roof Hub, a trusted roofing company with almost a decade of experience replacing roofs in the State of Massachusetts, is committed to ensuring that all homeowners are well-informed and protected when getting a new roof. 

Whether you choose Roof Hub or not, remember that hiring a licensed contractor is crucial for the success of your roofing project.Roof Hub holds both CSL and HIC licenses. This guarantees that we adhere to the highest industry standards while providing exceptional roof replacements across the state. Start your free online roofing estimate through Roof Hub today. Or call 857-237-7648 now. We’re available over the phone 24/7.

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