Occupational Licensing

The Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 and later amendments (Law) provide buyers of manufactured homes, mobilehomes, multifamily manufactured homes (collectively referred to as “MH-units”) and commercial modulars (CMs) 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 MH-unit or CM 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 judgments rendered against them in connection with manufactured housing activities; are on the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) Top 500 Sales & Use Tax Delinquencies list or the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list; or have not met statutory prerequisites for licensing, including preliminary education and/or experience if applicable. HCD may refuse to issue a license based on any of the above criteria.

In-lieu of refusing an applicant, HCD may issue a probationary license on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specifics of the reason(s) to refuse.

The Occupational Licensing (OL) Program ensures 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. When an investigation of a complaint or business audit reveals violations of state laws or regulations governing MH-unit or CM sales, HCD 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 illegally as a licensee; or files an accusation against the licensee. HCD’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, HCD may request the local district attorney or Attorney General to file criminal charges.

The OL program consists of four elements:

  • Licensing
  • Preliminary and Continuing Education
  • Enforcement
  • Manufactured Home Recovery Fund (MHRF)

Laws and Regulations

The OL program laws and regulations include part of the California Health and Safety Code and HCD regulations that apply to all manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and salespersons who manufacture and sell or lease new or used MH-units or CMs within California.  

Preliminary Education (PE) and Continuing Education (CE)

Important Note: PE and CE requirements do not apply to any manufacturer, CM dealers, or CM salesperson.

Prior to taking the HCD examination for an MH-unit salesperson or dealer’s license, or prior to the license renewal for an existing MH-unit salesperson or dealer’s license, the applicant or licensee must provide evidence of completion of the required PE or CE 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 HCD-approved course providers.

Every PE or CE Course Provider must submit an application to HCD for approval of their qualifications to become a course provider and for their courses.

PE and CE 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 HCD’s regulations.

Find occupational licensing courses, providers, locations, how many hours and the type of continuing education available.

Examination Locations and Fees

HCD administers examinations for MH-unit or CM dealer or salesperson licenses at HCD’s Codes and Standards Main Office in Sacramento and at three (3) HCD Registration and Titling District Offices. The examinations are multiple choice and cover the requirements of the laws and/or regulations specific to the type of license the applicant is requesting.

Some documents that may be helpful in preparing for the Occupational Licensing examination include:

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.  A complete list of Occupational Licensing fees may be found in Title 25, California Code of Regulations, section 5040 .  

Please Note: It is strongly recommended that an appointment be made to take an exam. Space is limited and appointments take priority over walk-in applicants.

Occupational License Search

You may check the status of HCD occupational licensees online through the Occupational License Search. This online status inquiry feature is a service primarily for consumers, but may be used by complainants, course providers, HCD staff, etc. Before accessing the form, you must first agree to use the online portal. The first page, the agreement, describes what can be disclosed to the public when checking the status of an MH-unit or CM manufacturer, dealer, and salesperson (including 90-Day Certificate Holders).

Out-of-Date Information

The information available in the online Occupational License Search 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 (800) 952-8356 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.

California Department of Real Estate

You should also check with the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) to determine if an individual or business is licensed by DRE. DRE brokers and salespersons can sell used manufactured homes and mobilehomes that have previously been sold or placed on a foundation system. You can check DRE licenses at DRE license search .

CDTFA/FTB Tax Refusal or Suspension for Failure to Pay State Taxes

HCD’s OL Program is required to refuse or suspend any new license application or existing license (includes preliminary education, continuing education approvals) of any licensee or applicant listed on either the CDTFA Top 500 Sales & Use Tax Delinquencies list or the FTB Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list. Reference AB 1424, Perea, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011.

Once OL staff determines that a licensee or applicant is on the Top 500 lists, the person has 90 calendar days to satisfy their tax obligations with CDTFA or FTB and obtain a release from BOE or FTB, before HCD will un-suspend their application or license. For more information you may go to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration or Franchise Tax Board websites to view the CDTFA and FTB Top 500 lists, or call CDTFA at (800) 400-7115, or FTB at (888) 426-8555 for individuals or (888) 426-8751 for businesses.

For general information on suspension, go to the FTB’s Suspension Guidelines and the Secretary of State’s Suspension FAQs .

Submit a Complaint

The Mobilehome Assistance Center receives and processes complaints regarding failure to honor warranty, improper installation, false advertising, illegal sales, escrow violations, non-receipt of title, contract disputes, fraud or misrepresentation, unlicensed sales activity, and other illegal activities by HCD licensees and non-HCD licensees. HCD conducts complaint investigations for alleged violations related to licensee activities. If you would like to file a mobilehome sales and warranty complaint, visit HCD’s Submit a Complaint page.

Consumer Information

Visit the Consumer Information page for additional information regarding home installation on a foundation system, carbon monoxide, fire safety, and other resources.

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.