Enter Your Email Below To Get Instant Access To The FREE Course!
"A drilling contractor does core and post hole drilling, horizontal drilling (no piping) and drilling for placement of charges and performing blasting work; performs drilling for site dewatering, oil well drilling and other oil field related specialty work. (DOES NOT INCLUDE WATER WELL DRILLING)" - CSLB.GOV
The D-9 license is the classification required in the state of California for anyone looking to bid on drilling services where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500
The C-61 Limited Specialty License is an umbrella term for all licenses that may fall under a more obscure category of construction work.
If your skill set or business is limited to one particular portion of trade work, you could obtain a C-61 limited specialty license to contract over $500 for your services legally.
D-9 drilling contractors are sometimes referred to as: directional or horizontal drilling contractors, oil drilling contractors, or drilling and blasting contractors.
The C-61 / D-9 classification covers all of these duties. Drilling contractors typically engage in:
To drill water wells and engage in piping specifically you will need to obtain a C-57 Well Drilling License, however if your business is primarily drilling or oil field specialty work you can obtain the D-9 License.
In a construction setting, a General Engineering Contractor may hire a drilling contractor specifically for their expertise and equipment.
As a result, a general contractor ensures that the drilling phase of the project is executed correctly.
Learn more about the General Engineering License!
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is the governing body for all contractors in the state of California. Their sole responsibility is to protect the consumer public.
They ensure that anyone charging over $500 for construction services is qualified and registered with the state.
The C-61/D-9 Drilling contractor license is issued to contractors by the CSLB.
Drilling contractors in California must prove a minimum of 4 years journeyman level experience and pass a law exam.
To qualify for an exam date you must meet the the following requirements:
You must also have:
Journeyman level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a drilling service, or for a contractor that holds the D-9 License.
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.
The following people may act as a Qualifying Individual when applying for your D-9 drilling contractor license
In addition, your Qualifying Individual will need to provide a brief but detailed description of your knowledge and skillset.
The way this description is written is critical to whether or not your application gets accepted. For example:
“Hank and his team drilled our post holes” is not descriptive enough.The CSLB will be looking for something like:
"Hank has operated various types of directional drilling rigs, he has engaged in oilfield work, hill side drilling, placement of charges, blasting and site dewatering" etc.
Most importantly, the description written by your qualifying individual has to include the core skills required a drilling contractor.
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 which include:
The CSLB receives thousands of applications per month so there is a good chance they won’t document your experience.
However, 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.
The time it takes to get your application processed and assigned a test date fluctuates throughout the year.
Typically you can expect:
I have seen some situations where applicants got their test date sooner and some where they got their test date much later.
The most common reasons your application would get held up are:
The Current CSLB fees are:
Having a criminal record in no way stops you from getting the a drilling contractor license.
Thousands of tradesman get licenses each year despite their criminal records. Be honest on the application. Even if the felony or misdemeanor happened years ago and even if it was expunged.
BE 100% HONEST ON THE APPLICATION, because the CSLB sees everything when you do live scan fingerprinting. The CSLB handles criminal records on a case by case basis. Remember, the state board's responsibility is to protect the public.
In my experience, the CSLB are primarily concerned with criminal charges dealing with fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and financial related crimes.
Contractor licenses are broken down into four categories:
1) A-General Engineering
2) B-General Building
3) C-Specialty classes
4) C-61 / D-Limited Specialty classes
Each category of license except the D-Limited Specialty license class requires that you pass a TRADE exam. C-61 Classification licenses do not have trade portions.
You must only pass a LAW exam. The exam is:
The Law Examination is divided into eight major sections:
1. Business Organization (10%)
2. Business Finances (15%)
3. Employment Requirements (12%)
4. Bonds, Insurance, and Liens (10%)
5. Contract Requirements and Execution (23%)
6. Licensing Requirements (8%)
7. Safety (15%)
8. Public Works (7%)
The CSLB has testing locations in the following cities:
If you do not have the experience required to get the C-61/D-6 Concrete services Contractor license, not to worry!
Your journey begins here. Generally someone looking to become licensed contractor would want to look into an apprenticeship for find an experienced person to work with.
For a detailed explanation on this process, check out my article: Apprentice vs Journeyman!
It is critical for drilling contractors to be able to read designs and symbols on construction blueprints.
If installation or repair is part of a larger project, being able to execute their duties within the larger scope of the job is essential.
They also communicate what materials were used for its construction. Reading blueprints is an invaluable skill for all tradesman but can be especially important for concrete services contractors.
Check out our Free Blueprint Reading Course!
Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.
That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average. Professionals in the landscaping and tree removal industry must take pre-caution to prevent falls and injury.
Drilling can be dangerous, especially if your workers are not properly trained. For employment with a drilling company you may be required that you have completed some level of OSHA training.
Learn more about OSHA Training!
Getting the C-61/D-9 Drilling License can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own company or become an RMO for an existing firm! T
he key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.
If you have found this article helpful feel free to drop a comment below and be sure to check back for updates!
Digital Constructive is the #1 Online Resource for Construction Professionals
Get The Free California Contractor Licensing Course!