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Illinois Roofing License: How to Get Certified as a Roofer in IL

September 19, 2023 6 min. read
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If you’re looking to secure your financial future in a stable industry, getting your Illinois roofing license is a great option. The state has the fourth highest employment level for roofers in the country, with nearly 6,000 licensed roofers, according to BLS

The average roofer’s salary in Illinois is around $41,133, but that number jumps to over $50,000 for those with extensive industry experience. Plus, you stand to make even more money if you start your own roofing business

In this licensing guide, we’ll go over all the main steps and questions in the licensing process, including: 

Do I need a roofing license in Illinois?

Yes, you need a license if you want to build, repair, or alter a roof in the state of Illinois. These licenses are issued by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) through the Roofing Advisory Board. 

Types of roofing licenses in Illinois

According to the Illinois Roofing Industry Licensing Act, there are two different types of roofing licenses available: 

  1. Limited Roofing License (Residential): License holder can work on roofing projects involving residential properties with a maximum of eight units.
  2. Unlimited Roofing License (Residential, Commercial, & Industrial): License holder can work on roofing projects involving any type of residential, commercial, or industrial property.

While it is not a stand-alone license, the state board does have a commercial license application process for those with a limited roofing license who want to upgrade to the unlimited type. 

    Illinois roofing license requirements

    There are some requirements you need to meet in order to get either a limited or unlimited license:

    License TypeMaximum Contribution to Experience Requirement
    Limited Roofing License 
    • Obtain the required bond of $10,000
    • Meet the insurance and bond requirements
    • Designate a qualifying party who will pass the licensing exam
    • Get a 70% on the trade exam
    Unlimited Roofing License 
    (Residential, Commercial, & Industrial)
    • Obtain the required bond of $25,000
    • Meet the insurance and bond requirements
    • Designate a qualifying party who will pass the licensing exam
    • Get a 70% on the trade exam

    There may also be some regional requirements that you need to consider. For example, the city of Chicago also has contractor requirements for working on building projects. 

    How do I get a roofing license in Illinois?

    To get your roofing license in Illinois, you need to fill out your application for licensure and complete the following steps: 

    1. Complete the Certificate of Insurance (RF-INS) document showing you have the necessary liability and property damage insurance
      a) $250,000 per occurrence for property damage
      b) $500,000 per occurrence for personal injury 
    2. Complete the Roofing Contractor Bond (BD-RF) document proving you are bonded
      a) $10,000 for limited roofers
      b) $25,000 for unlimited roofers
    3. Designate the qualifying party who will write the limited or unlimited exam
      –> Qualifying Party refers to the individual who is legally qualified to work on all day-to-day activities of the roofing business and has the authority to supervise roofing installation operations
    4. Submit the roofing exam qualifying party application and pass either the limited, unlimited, or commercial roofing license exam
      –> If you are upgrading your license from limited to unlimited, write and pass the commercial & industrial roofing exam

    The Illinois Roofing License Act also includes steps for limited and unlimited license applicants who are applying as part of a legal entity like a corporation, partnership, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship. 

    All completed applications, supporting documents, and fee payments can be sent to the IDFPR, Attn: Division of Professional Regulation, at the following address: 

    P.O. Box 7007 
    Springfield, Illinois 

    Illinois roofing license exam

    According to the Illinois state legislature, the state licensing board is in charge of authorizing exams and determining the time and place of exams. These exams are then carried out by the state’s testing vendor, Continental Testing

    ExamExam Information
    Residential (Limited License)• 80 questions
    • 90 minutes to write
    • Passing score of 70%
    Residential, Commercial, & Industrial 
    (Unlimited License)
    • 130 questions
    • 2.5 hours 
    • Passing score of 70%
    Commercial & Industrial• 80 questions 
    • 90 minutes
    • Passing score of 70%

    Each of the exams covers questions on the following topics: 

    • Safety and employee protection
    • Roofing materials and preparation
    • Steep-slope roofing systems
    • Low-slope roofing systems
    • Rules, regulations, and business practices

    For the dates and locations of roofing license exams throughout the year, visit the Continental Testing website

    Does Illinois reciprocate roofing licenses?

    Reciprocal licenses allow roofers from out of state to apply directly for an equivalent one in another state. Illinois currently does not offer a reciprocal license for roofing. 

    How much does a roofing license in Illinois cost?

    If you want to get your Illinois roofing license, you can expect to pay at least $435, with later additional fees depending on whether you renew your license on time or not. Renewal fees are paid at the end of every odd year by the deadline of December 31st.

    Here’s an approximate breakdown of the costs: 

    Licensing StepLimited RooferUnlimited Roofer
    Renewal$62.50 per year$62.50 per year
    RestorationRenewal + $50 per year 
    (Up to max $375)
    Renewal + $50 per year 
    (Up to max $375)

    Keep in mind that there are also substantial insurance and bond fees that need to be paid before you can become a fully licensed roofer in Illinois. 

    Renewing your Illinois roofing license

    According to the state of Illinois’s administrative code, roofing licenses expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years.

    You renew your license by physically sending the form to the board office in Springfield or by using the online web portal.

    The IDFPR provides instructions for both qualified individuals and businesses looking to renew their licenses online. 

    What happens if my roofing license expires? 

    If you think your roofing license may have expired, you should stop all work immediately. Otherwise, you open yourself up to penalties, fines, and potential legal action. Civil penalties owed to the IDFPR can reach up to $10,000, depending on the situation. 

    You can check the status of your roofing licenses using the Division of Professional Regulation’s License Lookup portal.

    Once you’ve confirmed whether your license has expired, you then need to fill out the renewal form and pay any late fees. If your license has been expired for more than five years, you will need to start your application process from scratch and pay all necessary fees. 

    How to start a roofing business in Illinois

    Once you have your certified or registered roofing license and have built up some experience, you’re ready to take the next step: starting your own roofing business in Illinois. 

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has a web page with information on how to start a business in the state and even a step-by-step guide. Some of the things you need to do include completing a feasibility checklist, registering your business name, and establishing your business with the Illinois Department of Revenue. 

    There are also some practical considerations to think about when starting your own roofing company, including: 

    For more information, guides, and success stories on the roofing industry, check out our roofing business resources page. 

    Does a roofing license increase your earning potential?

    Yes, getting your roofing license in Illinois definitely increases your earning potential. Both limited and unlimited licenses help you get into the fourth-largest roofing industry in the country.

    The average annual wage for Illinois roofers with 5-8 years of experience is $41,252. But that jumps to nearly $51,000 for those with double the experience. You stand to earn even more than that if you open up your own roofing business. 

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