Lots of other states issue licenses specifically for electrical work. But the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DOPR) handles things a little bit differently. In the Old Dominion, whether you work as an electrician, plumber, HVAC pro, or in a variety of other specialties, you have to get certified as a tradesman.
That might make things easier for the DPOR to manage, but it can make things complicated for you. You need to dig through a whole bunch of information to figure out what’s required for your specific certification. At least, that could be the case.
Fortunately for you, we can make things a little easier. Here’s what electrical tradesmen in Virginia need to do to renew their certifications with the state.
There’s no across-the-board expiration date for tradesman certifications. Instead, your certification stays active for three years from the date it was originally issued.
Specifically, your certification expires on the last day of the month 36 months from your issue date. If you got your license in September initially, for example, it expires on September 30 three years later. If your license was issued in May, it expires on May 31 three years later.
Mark your calendar so you know when your renewal deadline is approaching. You should get a reminder from the DPOR in the mail, but you need to renew whether you get that or not.
One of the most important steps in the Virginia tradesman certification renewal process is completing the required continuing education (CE). Fortunately, you don’t need much. You just need three electrical-focused hours — specifically, three hours on the National Electrical Code (NEC) — to meet this requirement.
You need to take your hours from a CE provider that’s been approved by the DPOR. Fortunately for you, the state approves some CE providers to offer electrical hours online and on-demand. That way, you can chip away at your hours when you find the free time. You can even take them from your phone or tablet.
Once you’ve got your three hours done, you’re ready to submit your renewal.
You have a few options here. All three require paying the renewal fee. Prior to August 31, 2023, it’s $90 to renew. After that date, renewal costs $135.
As one option, you can use the state’s Online Services and pay via credit card. The DPOR has a YouTube video that walks you through the process if you run into any roadblocks.
Alternatively, you can return the renewal notice you got in the mail with your renewal fee. Make sure you put your certificate number on the check. Mail it back to:
Board for Contractors
Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
Finally, you can send this credit card form to that address. Include a note saying that it’s for renewal and write your certificate number on the form.
Long story short, as long as you get your three CE hours and your renewal fee in on time, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your tradesman certificate current.