Mason Contractor License

A City of Chicago mason contractor license is required to perform work in stone, concrete, brick, and similar materials used in above- and below-ground portions of buildings and structures within the City of Chicago. A mason contractor license is not required for masonry work limited to ground-level sidewalks and paving.

Mason contractor licenses are issued by the Department of Buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a mason contractor license required?

A mason contractor license is required to perform work in stone, concrete, terra cotta (including clay brick), or structural tile, or any combination of these materials when used as part of buildings or structures above- or below-ground.

There are four exceptions:

  • A mason contractor license is not required for work limited to ground-level sidewalks and paving.
  • A mason contractor license is not required for an individual performing or overseeing work at a property that constitutes the individual's primary residence if the primary residence is either: (1) a single-family residential building or (2) a multiple-family residential building that does not exceed three stories above grade plane in height and contains six or fewer dwelling units. This exception is limited to one such property during a calendar year.
  • A mason contractor license is not required to perform repairs of a type that do not require a building permit in accordance with Section 402 of the Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions.
  • A mason contractor license is not required for work at property owned or controlled by a governmental entity and performed by employees of the governmental entity.

Who can perform work under a mason contractor license?

A mason contractor license authorizes mason work to be performed by the licensed business and its employees, working under the supervision of the business’s supervising mason.

“Employees” means individuals that the business treats as employees for purposes of unemployment insurance contributions, worker’s compensation, and income taxation. A mason contractor license does not authorize mason work to be performed by individuals who are paid by the licensed business as independent contractors.

If employees of another business will be performing mason work at a job site, that business must be licensed as a mason contractor and listed on the permit.

Are there different types of mason contractor licenses?

Yes, there are three classes of mason contractor licenses:

License Classification Authorized Work
Class A Mason Contractor Authorized to perform all types of mason work
Class B Mason Contractor Authorized to perform all types of mason work except site-formed concrete
Class C Mason Contractor Authorized to perform site-formed concrete work only

The classification of a contractor license is based on the examination(s) passed by the individual mason(s) who own or are employed by the business.

Who may obtain a mason contractor license?

Mason contractor licenses are issued to businesses, including sole proprietorships, that are owned by or employ at least one individual who has passed a City of Chicago mason license examination.

What is required to obtain a mason contractor license?

To obtain a mason contractor license, a business must employ at least one individual who has passed a written mason examination (a “supervising mason”).

To take the written mason examination (either for brick, concrete, or both), an individual must be at least 21 years old.

Study guides for the different mason examinations are available on the Continental Testing Services web site.

How do I apply for a new mason contractor license?

Continental Testing Services processes mason contractor license and mason examination applications on behalf of the Department of Buildings.

Applications are submitted through the Continental Testing Services web site.

How do I renew an existing mason contractor license?

Existing mason contractor licenses are renewed through the Department of Buildings web portal.

How much does a mason contractor license cost?

The following fees apply to mason contractor licenses:

License Classification Initial License Fee Renewal Fee
Mason Contractor (all classes) $500.00 $100.00
Other Fees

Mason Examination: $95.00 (per exam)
Reinstatement of Expired License: $50.00
Amended License: $50.00
Replacement License Certificate: $50.00

How long is a mason contractor license valid?

A mason contractor license is valid for one year from issuance.

A mason contractor license is automatically inactivated if there is no valid supervising mason (individual) associated with the contractor license.

Ordinances and Rules 

Municipal Code of Chicago, Chapter 4-376: Mason Contractors

This information is provided to help you better understand licensing requirements in the City of Chicago. It may not reflect all conditions, limitations, or exceptions that may apply to a particular situation and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. To the extent the information on this page differs from the Municipal Code of Chicago or applicable rules, the ordinance or rule controls. 

Supporting Information Facts