Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Electricians
- Is a license required to provide electrical services?
- How do I apply for the examination?
- Application Process - How long does it take to process my application for exam?
- Exam Preparation - Is there a course to prepare for the required exam? Is any course required in order to apply for an Electrical license?
- Exam Retakes - I did not pass the exam. What do I need to do to retake it?
- Criminal Convictions - When I was younger, I was convicted of a crime. Can I still obtain an electrical contractor license?
- Out-of-State Contractor's License - I am a contractor licensed in another state. I do not have an office in Maryland, but I would like to provide services there. Do I need a separate license for the state of Maryland?
- How do I know if I am to apply for a qualified agent or a statewide master electrician?
- 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.
- How do I apply for a license once I pass the exam?
- Reciprocity - I am licensed in another state. Do I still have to take the exam for Maryland?
- What if I am licensed in a reciprocal state? How do I know the requirements?
- Now that I have my statewide master license, can I contract work?
1. Is a license required to provide electrical services?
A state-issued license is required to provide electrical services. Local jurisdictions may also require a registration in order to provide electrical services. The Maryland State Board of Master Electricians issues a master license and will begin accepting applications for apprentice and journeyperson licenses starting July 1, 2021. An individual may sit for the required licensing examination offered through the State Board of Electricians or in the local jurisdiction. Please be advised that if you take a license examination in a local jurisdiction and reciprocate your local jurisdiction registration in order to obtain a State license, you will NOT be able to use your State license to obtain a reciprocal license in another state or the District of Columbia. Maryland’s reciprocal licensure agreement requires that the license be obtained by exam, not reciprocity, in order to qualify for a license in another state.
2. How do I apply for the examination?
To register for the journeyperson or master exam, please contact the board’s test vendor, PSI Exams online, or call 1-800-733-9267. On the PSI Homepage, click on “Government/State Licensing Agencies,” then select “Maryland” as the jurisdiction and select “MD Electrician” as the account. Then click on “download Candidate Information Bulletin.” The forms to order the study guide and to register for the exam are contained in the Candidate Information Bulletin.
3. Application Process -
How long does it take to process my application for exam?
There is no set time frame for processing an application, which is processed through PSI, Inc., the board’s test vendor. Once the application is approved, the applicant's complete information is updated at PSI and an email or a letter is issued to notify the applicant of examination approval.
4. Exam Preparation -
Is there a course to prepare for the required exam? Is any course required in order to apply for an Electrical license?
There is no required course to sit for the license examination. The license examination is
based on the current NEC Codes. Many providers offer a license examination preparatory course.
5. 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. Any subsequent requests to retest cannot be made until 60 days have passed. You must pay the exam fee each time.
6. Criminal Convictions -
When I was younger, I was convicted of a crime. Can I still obtain an electrical contractor license?
Each applicant is required to report to all prior convictions of a felony or a misdemeanor criminal offense. The applicant must provide a "true-test copy" of the court docket from the clerk's office of the court where the conviction was entered. The board is required to consider certain factors before granting or denying, or, if convicted during a license cycle, renewing a license application when an applicant or licensee has been of a criminal offense. The board’s evaluation will include consideration of 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 electrical services; the length of time since the conviction; and the behavior and activities of the applicant or licensee before and after the conviction.
7. Out-of-State Contractor's License -
I am a contractor licensed in another state. I do not 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 electrical services in Maryland is required to hold an electrical license. This is true regardless of whether the contractor holds a license issued by another state or jurisdiction. A contractor who does not reside or have a principal place of business in Maryland must designate a resident agent in Maryland.
8. How do I know if I am to apply for a qualified agent or a statewide master electrician?
A qualified agent is an individual who assigns his/her license to a single company and the company provides the required insurance. A master electrician provides his/her own insurance and may sub-contract work from different entities. You may find the insurance requirement online.
9. 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 an individual passes the license examination, an applicant must register the license number with the Maryland Department of Labor. Each licensee is mailed a paper copy of the master electrician license. A letter with instructions to register a license should arrive within 10 business days after passing the exam.
10. How do I apply for a license once I pass the exam?
Once you have successfully passed the license examination, you may go online apply for a license. You will sign in by creating a password if you do not have one or using your existing password. All active master electricians must provide a certificate of insurance to the board. (You may find insurance requirement online.)
11. Reciprocity -
I am licensed in another state. Do I still have to take the exam for Maryland?
An electrician licensed in another state may apply for a Maryland license. Reciprocal licensing is permissible if the state in which the individual is licensed and the board have entered into a reciprocal agreement* and the individual meets the qualifications of Maryland's Electrical law; holds an active license in good standing in the other state; holds a license that is equivalent to the Maryland license; and became licensed in the other state after meeting, in that state, requirements for licensure that are at least equivalent to the licensing requirements of Maryland, including the number of years of work experience required by the Maryland law.
12. What if I am licensed in a reciprocal state? How do I know the requirements?
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal and the Maryland Board of Electricians have entered into an agreement to waive the written exam for any individual who currently holds a master electrician license issued by either Maryland or West Virginia, which is in good standing, if the individual has passed the written license exam to obtain the other state's master electrician license, and is otherwise qualified.
An individual who is licensed by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal may apply to the State Board of Electricians without having to take the Maryland written licensure exam, so long as the applicant passed the licensure exam in West Virginia and has held the license for at least two years, in good standing.
Individuals holding a license in good standing in Virginia or the District of Columbia who have passed the written examination in Virginia or the District of Columbia may apply for licensure in Maryland without taking the Maryland written exam.
Additionally, individuals holding a Delaware license in good standing for at least five years who passed the exam in Delaware may also apply for licensure without taking the Maryland written exam.
Each licensing authority will review the applications submitted under this agreement to ensure that applicants are otherwise eligible to obtain a license.
The board also issues licenses, through reciprocity to individuals, who hold a current master electrician license in one of the Maryland counties or Baltimore City.
To apply, complete the application online.
13. Now that I have my statewide master license, can I contract work?
Any individual licensed by the board may also have to obtain a registration in a local jurisdiction to be eligible to provide electrical services and obtain a permit in that jurisdiction. You must contact the county or city you wish provide electrical services in to learn about that jurisdiction’s specific requirements.