Capitol Connection Q&A for Contractors

By Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.


2024 sprouted a new limb on tree service licensing in CA, and the new class will be tested! The old class is dismissed. I also help a HVAC contractor plumb some new opportunity and ‘reconstruct’ the rules on remediation work…


Just a reminder that the new “C-49” (Tree and Palm) classification took effect on January 1, 2024 and the CSLB is now accepting applications for the new “C-49”. The CSLB created this classification to ensure tree service contractors are tested on health and safety protocols in the tree service industry. 

CSLB will no longer accept applications for the “C-61”/“D-49 “ (Tree Service) limited specialty classification. Applications received for the “C-61”/“D-49”, Tree Service classification, will be processed as a “C-49”or Tree and Palm application. Contractors who wish to specialize in tree service work who do not hold a “C-61”/“D-49” (Tree Service) classification will need to apply for the new “C-49” (Tree and Palm) Contractor classification.

 Bad news is, all applicants for the “C-49” Tree and Palm Contractor classification will need to sit for a trade examination regardless of other license classifications they hold. The good news is the CSLB will prioritize the application experience review for “C-49” applicants that have held an active “C-61”/“D-49” (Tree Service) license for at least four years. 

Contractors who hold a “C-61”/“D-49” (Tree Service) classification issued before January 1, 2024, may retain and work under that classification. However, “C-61”/“D-49” are encouraged to apply for the new Tree and Palm classification, which will become the industry standard. While the “C-49” and older “C-61”/“D-49” classification descriptions differ slightly (the “C-49” description includes palms) CSLB regards the classification of work as the same.


Q: I am a “C-20” contractor and am looking to add the “C-36”(Plumbing) classification. As part of my HVAC work, I frequently install boilers, do pipe insulation, etc. I understand I will be required to take the “C-36” trade exam, but do I need to re-take the law portion of the exam?
A: No, you will not be required to re-take the law exam.


Q: Does a company need a license from the Board to do water remediation work for a personal property owner?  We remove tile flooring, subfloor, baseboards, carpets and drywall.  I have been told that a contractor’s license is not required, but then I’ve also been asked for our contractor’s license number on some jobs. Please assist with your expert opinion.

A: If the project is over $500 in labor and materials, then yes, a contractor’s license is required. The most appropriate license classification for the removal of damaged building materials and drying out the structure, but with no reconstruction, is the “C-61”/“D-64” Non-Specialized classification. The CSLB will likely give the classification a title of “water remediation”, or something similar.


While knowledge is power, knowing where to go for the answers is half the battle. Get expert assistance immediately when you call 866-443-0657, email, or write us at Capitol Services, Inc., 3609 Bradshaw Rd, Ste H, #343, Sacramento, CA 95827. Search past columns at