Electrical Exam

The City of Ottawa requires that electricians performing electrical work in Ottawa must be licensed by the City of Ottawa. Passing a 100 question exam administered by the City of Ottawa is required. Many communities honor an Ottawa license. However, some require that a person take their own City exam to work in their community.

Ottawa has an Electrical Commission that oversees the examination policy and process. The Commission is comprised of the following: City of Ottawa Electrical Inspector, a representative of City of Ottawa Fire Dept., a registered electrical contractor, a licensed electrician employed by a firm other than that of the contractor member, a representative of the electrical power company that serves the City and a licensed professional engineer.

The City offers three classes of Electrical Licenses: 1. Residential only, 2, Commercial only, 3. Comprehensive: Residential, Commercial & Industrial. Those taking the test are not allowed to leave the building, confer with each other or use cell phones during the testing process. The tests have 100 questions and are based on the NEC 2017 Code Book and City of Ottawa Ordinance. 2017 tabbed NEC Code Books will be provided by the City for reference during the exam. A score of 80% or higher must be attained to pass the exam. Those taking an exam must be 21 or older and need to bring a photo ID with them to the exam. No notes or reference books are allowed to be used. Calculators are not necessary. Snacks or sack lunches can be brought into the exam room. Those not passing the exam must wait 60 days before retesting in Ottawa in the same classification. Once an exam is passed, an Electrician’s License from the City can be obtained for a $150 fee along with a copy of a photo ID and proof of General Liability Insurance, when applicable. Licenses are valid from January 1 through December 31 and are to be renewed annually for $150.

Those wishing to renew their Electrical License for 2020 are advised that renewals received after March 1, 2020 will be charged an additional $100 late fee. Those not renewing their license and skipping one year will be required to pay for the year skipped, the current year and all applicable late fees. Those skipping 2 years must retest. Written appeals to the Electrical Commission should be sent to 301 W. Madison St, Ottawa, IL 61350.