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How Do I Get a Painter's License in the State of Maryland?

The state of Maryland requires all contractors to obtain a license. It is a crime to engage in unlicensed contracting or subcontracting in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is responsible for issuing contractor’s licenses. You need to meet the agency's requirements to get a painter’s license. When you obtain a painter’s license, you will have the ability to enter into contracts directly with homeowners. This will allow you to set your own price for a job and increase profit potential.

Go to the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation website (see References for link). Click on “Apply for License” under the “Licensing” tab at the top left of the page. This page contains links to what you will need to begin the application process.

Read the contractor licensing requirements. Make sure that you meet the minimum qualifications. You must prove you are financially solvent and have at least two years of relevant work experience.

Go to the “Online Forms” link at the top of the sections. Download the application forms. Fill out all the forms in their entirety.

Make an appointment to take the licensing exam. You can find the testing information by using the “PSI Examinations” link in the “License Requirements” section. Take the test for the home improvement license. You must answer 70 percent of the questions correctly to pass.

Submit all your application packet, test scores and fees to the address listed on the contractor’s application. You must also submit proof that you have at least $50,000 in liability insurance.


The contractor application fee is $325 as of 2011.


Depending on your financial statement, you may be required to obtain a surety bond of $20,000 to guarantee financial solvency.