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How to Get Your Illinois Roofing License From The IDFPR

How to Get Your Illinois Roofing License From The IDFPR

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has no state level contractor license regulation. It's up to the county, city, or township and each local has its own requirements based on the project. However, Illinois does have state regulations for roofing contractors and the good news is getting your application accepted is very straightforward.

This short article will help explain:

  • The types of roofing contractor licenses
  • What a qualifying individual is and how to declare one
  • The requirements for each business entity type
  • How to satisfy the surety bond requirement
  • The only insurance accepted by the IDFPR
  • Plus links to helpful resources

The Two Types of Illinois Roofing Contractor Licenses

There are two types of Illinois roofing contractor licenses. The first is limited roofing license and the second is unlimited roofing license. Limited can only work on residential homes and unlimited has zero restrictions.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation oversees licensing for two types of roofing contractors:

Limited Roofing License

A limited roofing license can only accept projects on residential homes and buildings. If the building is an apartment, condo, or townhome structure, it must have 8 units or less.

Unlimited Roofing License

An unlimited license can accept any type of project from residential, to commercial properties and industrial properties.

The type of license you choose will impact the surety bond requirement and most likely the amount of required insurance you'll purchase.

Designating a Qualifying Individual

The qualifying individual is the person who is the roofing expert. They are responsible for passing the required exams and they have the authority to work and supervise all roofing projects and installations.

A qualifying individual is is the "expert" who is responsible:

  • For passing the required exams
  • Having the authority to work and supervise all roofing installations

In short, the qualifying individual is the contractor that runs the actual building part of the business.

Illinois Roofing Contractor Examinations

The limited license qualifying individual is responsible for passing the Residential examination.

The unlimited license qualifying individual is responsible for passing the Residential, Commercial, and Industrial examination.

Both residential and commercial exams cover the similar topics:

  • Safety and employee protection
  • Preparation and materials
  • Steep slope roofing systems
  • Low slow roofing systems
  • Rules, regulations and business practices
  • Type of shingles
  • Moisture control
  • Rigid board insulation
  • Waterproofing and dampproofing
  • Plus more

The limited license is only responsible for these topics on residential properties and the unlimited license has to know these topics for residential, commercial, and industry.

To get the exam scheduled, the qualifying individual must submit the Qualifying Party Examination application and then register online through Continental Testing.

Qualifying Individual Rules

No individual can be a qualifying individual for more than one license, unless:

  • There is common ownership of at least 25% of each license entity for which the person is the qualifying individual
  • The same person acts as a qualifying individual for one licensed entity and it's licensed subsidiary as long as the parent company owns at least 25% of the subsidiary

If the qualifying individual leaves the company the IDFPR must be notified within 30 days. The licensed company then has 30 days to find a new qualifying individual. This person must pass the appropriate exam.


Form BD-FR - The Illinois Roofing Surety Bond Requirement

The Illinois roofing surety bond requirement. A surety bond is a type of insurance that a roofing contractor will not commit any purposeful misconduct or fraud causing financial harm to their customers.

All roofing contractors, both limited and unlimited, are required to purchase a surety bond before a roofing license can be issued. Remember, Illinois has no state level requirement for a contractor license bond.

What is a Surety Bond?

If this is your first time getting licensed, you're probably wondering what is a surety bond and why do you need one.

A surety bond is a type of insurance you, as the contractor, are required to purchase for the protection of your customers.

It's considered a financial guarantee that the roofing contractor will not commit any purposeful misconduct or fraud against their customer.

Examples of purposeful misconduct include:

  • Not finishing a job according to a contract
  • Using cheaper materials to increase profits
  • Not following Illinois roofing codes
  • Failing to pay subcontractors

The amount or coverage you're required to purchase is called the bond amount or penalty.

For an limited license the bond amount is $10,000.

For an unlimited license the bond amount is $25,000.

How Much Does a Illinois Roofing Surety Bond Cost?

The $10,000 and $25,000 bond amounts are not the cost. The cost is a small fraction of this amount.

Typically a surety, the insurance company that issues surety bonds, will assess these three factors when underwriting to determine a price:

  • Personal credit
  • Business history and experience
  • Plus any past bond claims

However, Surety Bonds Direct with it's network of A-rated sureties has secured low, fixed prices that require no credit check for the Illinois roofing contractor bond.

These prices are:

  • Limited license - $175 for a 2 year term
  • Unlimited license - $437.50 for a 2 year term

If you have really good credit you may be able to get a lower price. Contact a bond specialist if you want to find out if you can save a little extra by calling 1-800-608-9950.

What is a Surety Bond Term?

The Illinois roofing contractor licenses expire every December 31st of odd-number years. The IDFPR also requires every roofing contractor to purchase a new bond effective January 1st for the next two years.

Some sureties will allow you to prorate the price of the bond based on when you purchase it or on your first renewal. Most don't. It's best to talk with a bond specialist to see what Surety Bond Direct can do for you.

Illinois Roofing Contractor Insurance Requirement

Licensees are required to purchase workers compensation and unemployment insurance if they have employees. Every roofing contractor must purchase liability and property damage. This requires the form RF-INS.

Workers Compensation Insurance

If you have employees you must provide proof of worker's compensation insurance in the form of a Certificate of Insurance from the insurance provider.

If you're self insured you must provide the Certificate of Approval as a Self Insurer issued by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Self insured means the business entity is responsible for collecting premiums and paying claims when necessary. This is typically only done with very large corporations.

If you're business is located in another state, an out-of-state worker's compensation insurance must be submitted. This form must contain either:

  • An all state endorsement clause
  • Or a statement stating the policy will cover Illinois accidents

Unemployment Insurance

If you have employees, you must submit your unemployment insurance account number and show that you are not behind in any unemployment payment due under the Unemployment Insurance Act.

If your business is located in another state, you must show proof that you are paying unemployment insurance in the origin state.

Form RF-INS - Proof of Liability and Property Damage Insurance

Form RF-INS is provided in the application packet.

This is the only form accepted by the IDFPR as proof of liability and property damage insurance.

Business Ownership And Structure

Finally, if a business entity is getting licensed, the appropriate paperwork from the Secretary of State is required with the application.


A copy of the Partnership Agreement must be submitted with the application.

If there is no formal agreement between the partners of the business, a document stating there is no formal agreement must be submitted. Each partner of the business must sign this document.


Corporations must submit a copy of their full articles of incorporation that's filed with the Illinois Secretary of State.

If the corporation is an out of state entity, a Certificate of Authority must be provided.

A Certificate of Authority is a document that shows you're allowed to conduct business in Illinois. This document can be obtained through the Illinois Secretary of States.

Along with the Certificate of Authority... you must also provide a full copy of the articles or incorporation from the corporation's origin state.

Professional LLC

Like the other business structures, the articles of incorporation (organization) must be submitted.

The "purpose clause" must state whether this is for a Limited roofing license or an Unlimited license.

And similar to the corporation structure, the articles of incorporation from the origin state must be submitted along with the Admission to Transact Business form.


Illinois Roofing License Fees And Costs

Here's a recap of what you need before you submit your application to the IDFPR:

  • Your individual or business entity information
  • Your qualifying individual
  • The exam information and application
  • Your Illinois roofing contractor surety bond
  • The proper proof of the necessary insurance

The application fee is $125.

The other costs associated with getting licensed are:

  • Purchasing the surety bond
  • Purchasing the applicable insurance coverage
  • Paying the examination fees

Get Your Roofing Surety Bond From Surety Bonds Direct

When it's time to get your Illinois roofing contractor bond, you can instantly purchase your bond from Surety Bonds Direct and have your bond ready to submit with your application.

Getting a price quote is easy and there's zero obligation to purchase, so there's zero risk.

Use our online quote form and instantly start the process. If you prefer to speak with a real person, call a bond specialist at 1-800-608-9950.

Surety Bonds Direct   Justin Richmond  

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