Occupational Licensing and Certification
The Mobilehomes-Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 and later amendments provide buyers of manufactured homes and commercial modulars protection by ensuring that license applicants are qualified to transact business by overseeing dealers' and salespersons' business practices, and by correcting unlawful business practices in a fair manner.
The Law restricts persons from participating in manufactured home, mobilehome, or commercial modular manufacturing and sales if they have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; had their occupational licenses previously revoked; submitted a false application; have outstanding civil or criminal judgments rendered against them in connection with manufactured housing activities; and have not met statutory prerequisites for licensing, including preliminary education or experience.
The purpose of the Occupational Licensing (OL) Program is to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations governing licensing, escrows, and sales through required education, investigating complaints and illegal practices, and taking appropriate disciplinary action against those who violate the laws and regulations, including referrals to prosecutorial agencies.
Consumer complaints filed against licensees alleging violations are investigated by OL Field Staff. In calendar year 2015, over 200 consumer complaints were filed for investigation of HCD licensees or unlicensed activity. When an investigation of a complaint or business audit reveals violations of state laws or regulations governing manufactured housing sales, the Department issues an order to comply (if the situation can be corrected); and/or issues a civil monetary citation to licensees or an unlicensed person acting as a licensee; or files an accusation against the licensee. The Department's accusations generally ask an Administrative Law Judge to revoke or suspend a license, but often also require licensees to pay restitution to consumers harmed by the licensee's acts and to pay the Department's investigative costs. In more serious cases, the Department requests the local district attorney to file criminal charges.
The program consists of five elements:
- Mobilehome Assistance Center
- Preliminary and Continuing Education
- Manufactured Home Recovery Fund (MHRF)
Occupational Licensing Program Laws and Regulations
The occupational licensing program laws and regulations of the Health and Safety Code and Department regulations apply to all manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and salespersons who manufacture and sell or lease new or used manufactured homes, mobilehomes, or commercial coaches within California.
Occupational Licensing Application and Licensee Forms
The Department administers examinations for manufactured home/mobilehome or commercial modular dealer or salesperson licenses at the Department’s headquarters office in Sacramento and at four of the Division’s field offices. The examinations are multiple choice exams covering requirements of the laws and/or regulations specific to the type of license the applicant is requesting.
Licensing applicants are required to complete and submit Department-approved application forms specifically designed to obtain information needed to determine the applicant's eligibility. The application must be accompanied by fingerprint cards which are forwarded to the Department of Justice for a criminal background check.
Each applicant for a manufactured home/mobilehome dealer license must also meet California Health and Safety Code requirements for minimum experience and/or education (PDF).
The Department conducts a review and any necessary investigation of the information provided by the applicant. In the case of a dealer license applicant, a visual inspection of all proposed sales locations is conducted. If all laws and regulations are satisfied, a two-year occupational license is issued to the license applicant.
Preliminary and Continuing Education
Prior to taking the HCD examination for a manufactured home/mobilehome salesperson or dealer license, or prior to license renewal for an existing manufactured home/mobilehome dealer or salesperson, the applicant or licensee must provide evidence of completion of the required preliminary or continuing education courses. Credits claimed are verified by OL staff to ensure that the required education was obtained by the applicant or licensee. The courses are provided by Department-approved course providers and instructors.
Every Preliminary or Continuing Education Course Provider must submit an application to the Department for approval of their courses and qualifications.
Preliminary and Continuing Education courses must include curriculum providing instruction in laws and regulations governing a variety of manufactured housing topics, including warranties, escrow, purchase documents, advertising, misrepresentations, and registration and titling as prescribed in the Department's regulations.
Occupational Licensing Examination Locations and Fees
The Occupational Licensing Examination Study Guide (PDF) is revised periodically and may be used as a resource in preparing for the Occupational Licensing Examination. Other helpful documents include an Informational Booklet (PDF), a 2012 OL Study Guide (DOC), Information on Manufactured Home Repairs and Sales (PDF), Guide to Affordable Manufactured Housing Best Practices (PDF), HUD Manufactured Home Manufacturer Responsibilities for Consumer Complaint Handling and Remedial Actions (PDF), and HUD Manufactured Home Retailer and Distributor Responsibilities Under the Federal Manufactured Housing Program (PDF).
Please Note: It is recommended that an appointment be made to take an exam. Space is limited and appointments take priority over walk-in applicants.
The Dealer Examination fee is $110.00 and the Salesperson Examination fee is $86.00. The Dealer Examination consists of 75 multiple choice questions and applicants are allowed two (2) hours to complete the exam. The Salesperson Examination consists of 50 multiple choice questions and applicants are allowed one and a half (1.5) hours to complete the exam. Both examinations require a minimum score of 70 percent to pass. For a more complete list of fees, download the Occupational Licensing Fees (PDF).
You can make an appointment to take an examination at any one of the HCD Occupational Licensing Examination Locations.
Preliminary and Continuing Education Course Providers
Find occupational licensing courses, providers, locations, how many hours and the type of continuing education available.
Occupational Licensing Status Query
You may check the status of HCD occupational licensees (OL) online through the Occupational License Status Query Requestor. This online status inquiry feature is a service for consumers. Before accessing the form, you must first agree to use the online portal. The first page, the Requestor Agreement, describes what can be disclosed to the public when checking the status of a manufactured home, multifamily manufactured home, mobilehome, or commercial modular manufacturer, dealer, and salesperson (including 90-Day Certificate Holders).
The information available in this database is updated once every working day. If the license information you are searching for is not listed today, please check again soon.
Note to licensees: If your license record reflects information which is no longer current, you should notify the OL Program immediately by calling (916) 323-9803 or by e-mailing the OL Program at OL@hcd.ca.gov to request forms to update the specific changes to your license. Staff will not make the changes based on a phone call or e-mail. Failure to maintain accurate licensee information may result in administrative action and/or penalties.
You should also check with the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) to determine if an individual or business is licensed by BRE. BRE licensees can sell manufactured homes and mobilehomes that have previously been sold or placed on a foundation system. You can check BRE licenses at the BRE license search .
License Application Refusal or Suspension for Failure to Pay State Taxes
The Department of Housing and Community Development’s Occupational Licensing Program (OL) is required to refuse or suspend any new or existing license (includes preliminary education, continuing education approvals) of any licensee or applicant listed by either the Board of Equalization (BOE) or Franchise Tax Board (FTB) on its Top 500 Tax Delinquencies list. (AB 1424, Perea, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011)
Once OL staff determines a licensee or applicant is on the Top 500 lists, the person has 90 calendar days to satisfy all obligations with BOE or FTB before a release is granted.
For more information you may go to the California State Board of Equalization webpage or Franchise Tax Board < website to view BOE and FTB Top 500 tax delinquencies lists, or call BOE at (916) 445-5167, or FTB at (866) 418-3702.
Manufactured Housing Fire-Life Safety Regulations—Carbon Monoxide Alarm Systems, California Code of Regulations, Title 25, Division 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter 2 and California Residential Code/California Code of Regulations/T24, Part 2.5/Section R3105 .
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These FAQs can be helpful in both areas of dealer, manufacturer, and salesperson questions as well as specific questions related to fingerprinting.
Third-party agencies are certified by the Manufactured Housing Program staff to perform as Design Approval Agencies (DAA) and/or Quality Assurance Agencies (QAA), enforcing design and construction approval of commercial modular, special purpose commercial modular and multi-unit manufactured homes designated for sale in California.