It is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any project for which the combined price of labor and materials is $500 or more. CSLB works to curtail underground economy contracting activities and reduce unlicensed activity through construction site stings, sweeps, and other enforcement actions.
In a complaint involving an unlicensed contractor, CSLB may issue a warning letter, a citation, or refer the complaint to the local district attorney for review and possible prosecution. CSLB has limited jurisdiction over unlicensed persons and cannot require an unlicensed person to make repairs to your project or pay restitution.
Investigation by CSLB does not guarantee restitution to complainants. If your primary interest is to gain restitution, you should pursue the matter in small claims court or consult with an attorney. If you are considering legal action to recover damages of $10,000 or less, CSLB can provide you with information about filing a small claims court action, or you can consult the clerk of the small claims court for information and assistance. Additional "self help" information can be found online at www.courts.ca.gov. If your damages are more than $10,000, you should consult with an attorney.