North Carolina Landscape Contrators' Registration Board

Application & Exam

As of August 1, 2014, the NC Landscape Contractors' Registration Board, became the NC Landscape Licensing Board.  We are working to transition to a licensing board as quickly as possible.

Current Registered Landscape Contractors (You are NOT licensed will need to file a new application and proof of a Surety bond in order to apply under the grandfather periodFor more information, please go to the NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board at

This law provides that any person who met the following criteria by December 31, 2014 may obtain a landscape contractors’ license under the grandfather section of this law, without taking the previously required exams; any current Registered Landscape Contractor; any Licensed Irrigation Contractor; Certified Turf Professional, or individual who has three years of documented landscape contracting experience by December 31, 2014 and submits the required application form with the application and license fee no later than August 1,2015.

Licensing Information at a glance (PDF)

Licensing (for Grandfathering) Application (Form GF001) for qualifiers (1), (2) and (3) (PDF)

Licensing (for Grandfathering) Application (Form GF002) or qualifiers (4) (PDF)

Surety Bond Form (PDF)

Additional information may be found on the new NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board website at:

Eligibility for grandfathering :

Any person who, on or before December 31, 2014, meets at least one of the following criteria
shall be issued a landscape contractor's license by the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board, without the requirement of examination, upon submission of a completed application,proof of a Surety Bond of $10,000 and payment of the application fee on or before August 1, 2015: *

(1)       Is registered as a landscape contractor.

(2)       Is licensed as an irrigation contractor.

(3)       Is certified as a turf grass professional.

(4)    Has three years of documented experience in the person's own business as a landscape contractor or three years of documented experience as an employee in a landscape contracting business and meets all other requirements and qualifications for licensure as a landscape contractor. Educational experience can be applied toward the three-year experience requirement as follows:

a.   One year of credit for a two-year degree in related educational training.

b.   Two years of credit for a four-year degree in related educational training.

c.  Up to two years of credit for education or business experience in general business management.

Supplemental information on the grandfather provisions may be found under the "Statute and Rules" section of this website or at

Please Note: If you do not meet any of the requirements to be licensed under the grandfather provisions of the law by December 31, 2014, you can become a licensed landscape contractor outlined below.

Additional information may be found on the new NC Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board website at:

Interim Registration Certificate Application and Exam Information

Application Information (for those how do not qualify under the grandfather provision of the law)
Exam Information

NC Landscape Contractors Registration Board

A non-refundable application fee of $75.00 must accompany your application to become a NC Registered Landscape Contractor.  Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive exam sign-up information.  The exam fee of $60.00 will be due after the application is approved and when the applicant returns the exam sign-up form.  The check or money order is to be made payable to "NCLCRB".

Download Application (Please DO NOT use this Form for licensing under the 3 year grandfathering provision)

Application must be filled in completely and legibly, signed, and notarized.  The Board will only approve applications that fully satisfy all statutory and administrative requirements.
Incomplete or illegible applications will be returned.

The applicant has three years from the date the application is received by the Registration Board office to complete all requirements for registration.  If, at the end of three years the application has not been approved because of missing references, or the applicant has not successfully completed all examinations, or all fees have not been paid, the applicant must submit a new application with the $75.00 fee and begin the process again.

Persons planning to take the examination should start early to prepare for the examination.  Early submission of application is encouraged.

First Page of Application:

Fill in the applicant's full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, Business Address, and Home Address. 

  The date of birth is an essential element in meeting a statutory requirement of the law.

  The applicant's complete residence address and telephone number should be listed to include 
  area code and zip code.  Any changes should be promptly reported to the Board.

  The applicant's complete business address and telephone number should be listed to include
  area code and zip code.  Any changes should be promptly reported to the Board.

  The Board normally uses the business address in corresponding with applicants and registrants
  unless applicant specifically requests us to use a different address.

Page 2 of Application:

It is not required to have any formal education in landscaping or horticulture to become a NC Registered Landscape Contractor as long as the three-year landscaping experience requirement is fulfill.  However, formal education can be used to fulfill the three-year experience requirement.

Graduation from a four year program in Landscape Architecture, Landscape Horticulture, or
Horticulture:  Maximum Credit - 1.5 years.

Graduation from a four-year curriculum in any field:  Maximum Credit - 6  months.

Graduation from a two-year program in Horticulture or similar curriculum in a land grant institution or community college:  Maximum Credit - 1 year.

Educational achievement should be documented by having the institution transmit an official transcript directly to the Board, complete with an impression of the seal of the institution.

Page 3 of Application:

All applicants must show at least three years experience.  Education (page 2 of application) can count toward that three years' experience.  Experience equivalents (time spent in the jobs listed) shall be credited as follows:

ALandscape Crew Leader100% Credit
BLandscape Designer of Landscape Architect100% Credit
CLandscape Estimator or Landscape Sales Person100% Credit
DLandscape Project Manager100% Credit
ELandscape Crew Member75% Credit
FNursery Retail Sales Person75% Credit
GGrading Operator50% Credit
HIrrigation Worker50% Credit
INursery Worker50% Credit
JTurfgrass Installer or
Turfgrass Maintenance Worker

50% Credit

As an example:  If applicant was employed as a worker for an established nursery for six years, applicant has the three years experience necessary for application approval.

Provide complete information - name, address, and telephone number for each employer.  If applicant is self-employed, provide the name, address, and telephone number of the business.  A separate listing should be made for each period of employment.  If you worked for the same employer on more than one occasion, list each period separately.  List only one period of employment in a block.  If necessary, list additional employers on a  separate sheet of paper.  For each employment period, clearly indicate the following:
  1. Concise description of the employer's business.
  2. Concise description of your duties and responsibilities.
  3. Whether the work was full-time or part-time.  Part-time work should show number of hours per week.  Note:  One year of experience is considered to be 2000 hours (i.e. at least 50 weeks at 40 hours per week).  Part-time is counted proportionately.
Page 4 of Application:

The applicant should provide the complete name, address, and telephone number for all references.  The NC Registration Board office will inform the applicant regarding the receipt of references.  It will be the responsibility of the applicant to assure that references have responded.  It is desirable, but not mandatory, that at least one of your references is a Registered Landscape Contractor.



The EXAM SCHEDULE is determined by the Board each year.  Below are the exam schedule and application deadlines for 2012.
  • Contact the NCLCRB office to schedule Multiple Choice and Landscape Design exams.
 There are two parts to the NC Landscape Contractors Registration Board exam:

  Part A:  Landscape Design (35-40) multiple choice questions on interpreting a landscape plan.

  Part B:  Multiple Choice exam (200 general landscaping questions).  Most of the questions are taken from the NC Landscape Contractors Study Manual.

  Plant ID.  Applicants are also required to pass the Plant ID portion of the Certified Plantsman exam administered by the NC Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA).  NCNLA offers this exam several times per year.  Contact them directly for exam information at 919-816-9119 or on their website at  After passing the Plant ID exam, send verification to the Registration Board office by sending a copy of your congratulatory letter or certificate to NCLCRB, P.O. Box 20875, Raleigh, NC  27619.

Plant ID administered by the NC Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA)
  • Graham – TBD
  • Raleigh - TBD
  • Asheville  - TBD
  • Concord - TBD
  • Fayetteville – TBD
  • Greenville - TBD

Please verify dates, locations and times directly with the NC Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA).

For registration and information, call NCNLA at 919-816-9119 or see their website,

STUDY MANUAL has been published by the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Registration Board for applicants to use in preparing for the examination.  The manual is in its Sixth Edition and is available for $37.36 (includes tax and postage).  The Manual can be ordered from the NC Landscape Contractors Registration Board office by sending a check for $37.36 to NCLCRB, P.O. Box 20875, Raleigh, NC  27619; or by downloading the credit card payment form and faxing to 919. 782. 9470 or E-mailing the form to

Contact the NCLCRB office concerning the status of the new study manual.

Manual Credit Card Payment Form (PDF)
Manual Credit Card Payment Form (Word)

PO Box 20875
Raleigh, NC 27619
T: 919-266-8070 | F: 919.782.9470
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