All masonry construction on projects under DSA jurisdiction requires continuous inspection by an appropriately qualified individual per the California Building Code (CBC). The individual must be DSA certified in masonry inspection, as required in section 1705A.4 of the 2016 CBC and section 4-335(f) of the California Administrative Code. DSA Masonry Special Inspectors shall have a thorough knowledge of the building materials associated with masonry, shall be able to read and interpret plans and specifications, and must meet other miscellaneous qualification criteria.

Masonry Special Inspectors are listed on the DSA Certified Masonry Special Inspector List. Masonry Special Inspectors are required to recertify (renew) every four years. Though an individual may be DSA certified, DSA approval is required for each specific project when masonry special inspectors are hired independently of a DSA certified testing laboratory by a school district.

The following information will help you prepare to become a DSA Certified Masonry Special Inspector.

A detailed description of the application process is as follows:

Step 1:

  • Applicants must hold current/valid certification as a Structural Masonry Inspector through the International Code Council (ICC).

Step 2:

Applicants shall submit all of the following to DSA as one package to apply to sit for an exam:

Upon approval by DSA to sit for the exam, the applicant will receive a detailed admittance letter and exam outline. Upon passing the exam, DSA will post the applicant’s name on the DSA Certified Masonry Special Inspector List.

The exam is based on the reference material stated below. The exam is 60 questions, with a two-hour time limit, and will be open-book format.

Exam References

2016 California Building Code, Title 24, Parts 1 and 2 as follows:

  • Part 1 California Administrative Code, Chapter 4 (especially sections on special inspection, special inspectors, and reporting requirements)
  • Part 2, Volume 1 California Building Code, Chapter 2, Chapter 14
  • Part 2, Volume 2 California Building Code, Chapter 17A, Chapter 21A

Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures and Related Commentaries: TMS 402-13/ACI 530-13/ASCE 5-13

ASTM Standards: A615/A615M-13, C62-13a, C90-14, C140-14a, C216-14a, C270-12a, C476-10, C1019-13, C1314-12

Exam Content

  • Title 24 Administrative Requirements
  • Masonry Quality
  • Reinforcement
  • Masonry Placement
  • Grout Placement
  • Veneers

All DSA certified Masonry Special Inspectors must renew their DSA certification every four years prior to expiring. To apply for certification renewal, follow the same steps outlined above with two exceptions: evidence of work history and resubmittal of the DSA 650 is not required.

Upon approval by DSA to sit for the exam, the applicant will receive a detailed admittance letter. Upon passing the exam, DSA will extend the applicant’s certification for another four years on the DSA Certified Masonry Special Inspector List.

Contact DSA Inspector Programs

Inspector Programs

Headquarters Office
Division of the State Architect

1102 Q Street, Suite 5100
Sacramento, CA 95811


(916) 443-9932