General Building Contractors Licensing in CA

If you ‘pay the freight’ you might naturally expect to receive delivery of what you paid for. However, government doesn’t necessarily always meet those expectations. Unfortunately, today it’s more like ‘business unusual’ in California. No matter how long you’ve been licensed there is always more to learn. A concrete contractor helps us ‘cement’ the learning curve for what must be displayed on your company vehicles…

Q: We sent our Worker’s Compensation Certificate to the Contractors Board last December about 2 weeks before the expiration date. When the system had not been updated, we sent a second Certificate in February via US mail. While checking our license online prior to signing a contract, we discovered that our CA license had been suspended for – you guessed it – failure to file a Worker’s Comp Certificate.

What are our options now? We must have our license back in good standing as soon as possible.

A: The State’s misguided furlough policy has struck again. The CSLB, which is fully funded by contractor fees, is experiencing some backlogs due to these forced (non-paid) days off.

I have received several recent calls from contractors whose license have been suspended for “failure” to file a Certificate of Worker’s Compensation. I checked into your specific issue and was informed that the February Certificate was logged in their computer system on February 17th; however, they could find no record of the one filed in December.

According to the Board’s online table of “processing times” this unit is experiencing a backlog of about 5 weeks. Since they process based on the order received, your license suspension will likely not be lifted for another week or more. I was told there are over 7000 Certificates or exemption forms waiting in the queue.

In my opinion, if the Governor were truly interested in creating and saving jobs he would lift the furlough for agencies that are not funded through the general fund. Helping to create a logjam of paperwork at the CSLB hurts established contractors. The same contractors who: a) must by law have a valid license to begin or continue work; b) employ thousands of people, who in turn pay taxes; and c) pay fees to the CSLB to process important forms like license renewals and Worker’s Compensation Certificates.

In the Legislature, Assemblyman Hector De La Torre has introduced AB 1215 to keep state employees working when the furloughs do not yield state general fund savings. In a recent Sacramento Bee editorial, he wrote “The Governor has put up a ‘no service’ sign to California residents by locking State employees out of their jobs despite their willingness to serve the public”. Assemblyman De La Torre went on to, as I believe, rightly point out that “closing down hundreds of agencies and departments and forcing a dramatic reduction in vital state services make it hard for everyone to do business…”

Q: My husband is a cement contractor, licensed for over 30 years. Our work trucks are insured through our commercial policies however, we were just told that the CA State license number is required on our vehicles. The company name is NOT on any vehicle, but we were told that the license number is still required by law somewhere, on the trucks. Is this true? I am sure we should know this after all these years, but we don’t. Many thanks for your expert advise.

A: Whoever told you about advertising on company vehicles is actually correct. Section 7029.6 requires contractors to display “his or her business name and contractor’s license number in a clearly visible location in print type of at least 72-point font or ¾ of an inch in height and width”. So, as you described it, both your name and number were missing.

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