How to lookup Tradesman or Contractor Licenses in Virginia:

You have a handyman who you like.  He says he is licensed to do your electrical, or plumbing work, but something makes you suspicious.  Of course you could ask to see his license, but that can be awkward to do.  Here is the alternative.  The state of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) maintains an online database of every individual and business they have licensed.  The DPOR licenses a range of occupations such as Auctioneers, Boxers and Wrestlers, Tattoo practitioners, and Polygraph examiners.  It also licenses Electricians (individuals), Plumbers (individuals), and Contractors (businesses). 

If you want to look up someone in the DPOR license database, you go to License Lookup and type in the name, and click the professsion(s) he is licensed for.  This will also show any Complaints registered against the tradesman or business.  A warning: this site isn't particularly clever about the way you type in a name.  If you are looking up "Bill", and you strike out, make sure you try "William" too.  It may be best to just put in the last name with no zip code, and wade through the resulting list.  Make sure you click the boxes of one or more trades in the bottom of this page.  Also, be sure to try the business name too.