SWIFT Unlicensed Enforcement & RMO/RME License Qualifiers

Contractors will be happy to hear about the figurative SWIFT ‘kick in the pants’ unlicensed contractors are getting. Can a son-in-law qualify for a family license waiver? I’ll expand on a previous ‘Q&A’ for this contractor’s solution. We also share some important considerations if you’re a licensed contractor thinking about becoming a CA Qualifier…

Q: I have an opportunity to RMO my licenses. They are both under one CA license number. I have never been a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) and know nothing about the good & bad points of doing this. One question is can I leave at any time with my license? I would be hired as a Corporate Officer, Manager or Superintendent with an hourly wage. Where can I get good information without paying an attorney?

A: First, if you’re going to be the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO), by definition you’ll need to be a Corporate Officer. Your corporate title is up to the company doing the hiring and could for example be Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. If hired as a “manager or superintendent” this would make you a Responsible Managing Employee (RME).

There are both advantages and disadvantages with being a RMO. For instance, you are not required to be employed 32 hours a week like a RME. On the other hand, as an Officer, you could be financially liable for judgments or other financial problems that may arise with your new employer. Either way, you have the option of leaving (disassociating) any time you want. Since you have never done this before, I would recommend caution before jumping into this situation.

You likely should contact an attorney; however, if you want some basic (non-legal) answers they can be found in the book “What Every Contractor Should Know: Answers to Real World Questions in CA, NV and AZ”. Chapter 7 is entitled: The RME/RMO.

Q: A few weeks ago, you answered a question in our local builder’s newsletter regarding the passing of a contractor license to a son. I believe you stated that the only requirement was that the “son” must have 5 years experience in the field. I have three questions: 1) Do the 5 years need to be consecutive? 2) Does this also apply to a son-in-law (he works within the same industry) 3) Can the two of them inherit the license as co-owners?

A: I don’t believe I said the “ONLY” requirement was 5 years in the field. There are several other considerations. The new Qualifier can be a son or son-in-law but only one can apply to take over a family license. The 5 years employment must be within the prior 7-year period and must be with the business that holds the license. While having experience with another company would allow your son-in-law to take the exam, it would not make him eligible for a waiver.

The CSLB has been busy nabbing the bad guys. During the past week the Board’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), in coordination with local enforcement agencies, conducted undercover stings in South Pasadena and Chico. The CSLB posed as property owners and invited suspected illegal operators to bid on home improvements such as fencing, landscaping and painting.

Notices to appear in court were issued to 21 suspects primarily for operating without a license or illegal advertising. 2 of those caught in the Chico sting were repeat offenders and face a penalty of up to $5000 and at least 90-days in jail. Two of those nabbed in Pasadena had their vehicles towed for driving with suspended licenses due to a prior DUI conviction.

According to the Registrar, Steve Sands, these stings “should serve notice that the CSLB and its partners are serious about cracking down on illegal contracting activity”.

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