blog post about how to get a C47 license for manufactured housing in california

C-47 License: Manufactured Housing Contractor

Table of Contents

Manufactured Housing Contractors engage in:

  • Design and Installations
  • Alteration and Renovation
  • Repair
  • Transportation and Demolition of modular housing

everything you need to pass your C-47 general manufactured housing contractor license exam in California

  • In the United States, nearly 20 million people live in some type of modular home.
  • Contractors that specialize in this specific type of housing have the opportunity to create a highly profitable business that services a large population. ​
  • In this article you will learn everything you need to know to get the C-47 license!

What is a General Manufactured Housing Contractor?

“A general manufactured housing contractor installs, alters, repairs, or prepares for moving any type of manufactured home. A manufactured home does not include any recreational vehicle, commercial coach, or factory-built housing. A general manufactured housing contractor may provide utility services on a single-family individual site placement. Utility services mean the connection of gas, water, sewer, and electrical utilities to the home.” CSLB.GOV

The C-47 license is the classification is a requirement for anyone looking to charge over $500 for construction services associated with mobile homes.

Duties associated with the C-47 License

Contractors that hold the C-47 license are sometimes referred to as:

  • Mobile Home Contractors 
  • Modular Home Contractors 
  • Manufactured Housing Contractors

Mobile home contractors engage in activities very similar to General Contractors.

The only difference is that they specialize in modular homes.

Their job site duties generally include:

  • Framing, carpentry, drywall, flooring, electrical, plumbing, roofing, and painting of modular homes
  • Modular home installation and repair
  • Providing utility services
  • Moving and transporting modular homes
  • Lot development
  • Maneuvering and joining sections
  • Estimation, bidding, accounting, and book-keeping
  • Maintaining a safe job-site 

Jobs You Can Do With the C-47 License!

A long red modular with wheels at the bottom, sitting on a plot of land. there are seven windows and a white door.

To obtain the C-47  license, you will be tested on all aspects of:

  • Design, Construction, and Repair of Modular Homes
  • To be successful on the exam you have to be familiar with all aspects of your trade, even if you do not do them on a daily basis.


two run down trailers sitting on a green patch of grass. The mobile homes look every old possibly from the 1970's and are appear to be abandoned

Manufactured housing contractors that hold the C-47 license can work in a variety of settings. 

They are subcontracted by a General Contractor who has placed a bid on a project that includes the construction of several mobile homes.

Check out this article for an in-depth look at the General Contractor License!


logo of the contractors state license board. a blue illustration features a paint brush, saw and cement truck with the words CSLB above in white

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California.

Their responsibility is to protect the consumer public and ensure that anyone charging over $500 for plumbing services is qualified and registered with the state of California. 

The C-47 license is issued to manufactured housing contractors.

The Contractors State License Board also:

  • Administers Exams
  • Processes Applications
  • Maintains a database of all active and inactive contractor license numbers 
  • Sets up Sting Operations targeting unlicensed contractors

How to get the C-47 License

To get a C-47 license in California, you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Driver's License or USA Issued Identification
  • Have a Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not Currently on probation or parole

You must also have:

  • 4 Years Journey Level Experience
  • A Certifier to sign off on your experience
  • A way to prove your experience if the state asks for documentation

What is a Journey level experience?

a man kneeled down wearing blue jeans and a black watch using a hammer and a piece of wood to straighten a floor board. In the process of doing a floor installation

Journeyman-level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full-time for a construction company or someone that holds the C-47 License.

  • A journeyman can perform all of the duties associated with his or her trade.

The CSLB will want to see four full-time years over the last ten years. The years do not need to be consecutive, but they do need to be four years in total. 

Signature of a Certifier

The following people may be used as a certifier to sign off on your experience when applying for the C-47 license:

  • Licensed General Contractor
  • C-47 License Holder
  • Former Supervisor (within the last 10 years)
  • Fellow Employee (within the last 10 years
  • Business Associate
  • Fellow Journeyman
  • Union Representative

Filling out the C-47 License Application

Your Qualifying Individual will also need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skill set.

The way this description is written will be critical to whether or not your application is accepted.

For example: 

“Ed built our mobile home” is not descriptive enough

 The CSLB will want to see something like: 

“Ed has installed and repaired manufactured housing, built foundations, prepared for transport, done drywall, flooring, carpentry, and electrical hook-ups” etc.

Work experience for the Contractor License

several tools laying on top of a wooden table. The CSLB may request to see documentation of you experience working in mobile home construction

You must be prepared to submit documentation supporting the experience you claim to have. The Contractors State License Board gives you a few ways that you can prove your experience.

  • Tax Returns
  • Check Stubs
  • Contracts
  • Material Order Invoices or Receipts

The CSLB  receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience but if you are one of the applicants that get reviewed you will need to be ready to submit something. 

The CSLB does not accept pictures of projects.

Application Processing, Fees, and Criminal History

The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.

Typically you can expect:

  • 6-8 Week Application Processing Time
  • 3-4 Week wait for an Exam date

I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and somewhere they got their test date much later.

The most common reasons your application would get held up are:

  1. Time of year (processing time slows down during the holidays) 
  2. Criminal History 
  3. Proving Experience
  4. Mistakes on your application 

Application Costs for the C-47 License 

The Current CSLB fees are: 

Can you get a Contractor's License with a Felony in California?

a white hand holding a pen filling out a criminal background check form

Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting a C-47 License. I have personally helped guys with all types of criminal records obtain multiple licenses.

The key is, to be honest on the application, even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.

See the CSLB's verbiage below:

Just because you have been convicted of a crime does not automatically mean
your application will be denied. CSLB's Criminal Background Unit (CBU) reviews
all criminal convictions to determine if the crime is substantially related to
the duties, qualifications, and/or functions of a contractor. Since no two
conviction records are the same, they are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The
criteria used by CSLB include whether the crime shows the present or potential
unfitness of an applicant or licensee to perform the functions authorized by
the license in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, or welfare.
In addition, CSLB reviews and considers any evidence of rehabilitation
submitted by the applicant or licensee. Please see the above link to the
California Code of Regulations sections 868 and 869 for more specific
information on the criteria for determining substantial relationship and

Learn more about the Background Check Process here:

BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because they will see everything anyway when you do fingerprinting.

The CSLB handles criminal records on a case-by-case basis. Remember, their responsibility is to protect the public. In my experience, they are primarily concerned with criminal charges associated with Fraud, Embezzlement, and Forgery.

The exam will be:

  • 115 Questions on Contractor LAW
  • 115 Questions on modular and manufactured housing 
  • You will have 3 hours to complete each portion
  • The exam is multiple choice and is taken on a computer
  • Closed Book

The General Manufactured Housing (C-47 License) Examination is divided into six major sections:

1. Planning and Estimation (20%)

  • Project Scope Planning
  • Lot Evaluation
  • Cost and Material Calculation

2. Site Preparation (17%)

  • Lot Development
  • Preparing for Transport

3. Manufactured Home Installation (26%)

  • Support and Foundation Systems
  • Maneuvering and Joining Sections
  • Connecting and Sealing Procedures

4. Accessory Installation (19%)

  • Installing home accessories
  • Building accessory structures

5. Repairs (9%)

  • Troubleshooting and Repairing

6. Safety (19%)

  • Employee safety
  • Job site and equipment safety
  • Job site hazards

Recommended Resources

CSLB Test Locations

The CSLB has exam centers all over the state of California. Once your
application is approved you will be given a list of locations you can go and
take the exam based on your zip code.

These are proctored facilities with cubicles where you take the exam on a
computer. The computer will have a calculator for your use. You will not be
able to bring in a phone, notes, or personal calculator to the exam center.

  • The test is not available online 

  • The CSLB allows you to bring a pre-approved translator with you 

  • The CSLB will grant you 18 months after your application is accepted to pass the examination 
  • ($100 per retake)

C-47 License Practice Tests and Exam Prep

Some things to remember:

  • The questions you will see on the exam may use outdated terms
  • Processes may be completely different from how things are done on the job site
  • You will see questions about things you may have never done before
  • Questions will be presented to you as if you are running a large-scale construction business with several employees and jobs happening all at once. 
  • Know all aspects of your trade

Construction Apprenticeships

A blue modular home with one door and two windows and an Air conditioning unit connected to the back

If you don’t have the 4 years required journeyman-level construction experience required to get a C-47 license, your journey begins here.

Generally, someone looking to get into the trades would begin by finding a union or apprenticeship program.

For a detailed explanation of this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman

Blueprint Reading Course

featured image for a blueprint reading course. modular home contractors looking to get the C-47 license should know how to read construction blueprints

  • Construction blueprints communicate important information about how a structure must be built as well as what materials are necessary for its construction.

  • It is critical for manufactured housing contractors to be able to read blueprints or at least be able to recognize lines and symbols.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

EPA Certification

logo of the united states environmental protection agency

Understanding how to safely contain lead-based paint when altering structures built before 1978 is required by the Environmental Protection Agency

The most profitable plumbing contractors are the ones that position themselves as the experts and are the most knowledgeable and helpful to their clients. 

Staying EPA compliant is not only important to the survival of your business but also to the safety of your customers.  

Learn how to get an EPA certification, in 8 hours!


Getting the C-47 License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own modular home construction company or become an RMO!

The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end. 

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