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We study and present design guidelines for thru-reflect-line vector-network-analyzer calibration kits used for characterizing circuits and transistors fabricated on silicon integrated circuits at millimeter-wave frequencies. We compare contact-pad designs and develop fixed-fill contacts that achieve both repeatable and low contact-pad capacitances. We develop a fill-free and mesh-free transmission line structure for the calibration kit and compare it to similar transmission lines with meshed ground plane. We also develop a gold plating process that greatly improves contact repeatability, permitting the use of redundant multiline calibrations. This in turn simplifies the development of an error analysis. Finally, we apply the technique to state-of-the-art transistor characterization, and present measured results with uncertainties.