California Contractors Licensing Fingerprinting

‘Breaking up is NOT hard to do’ when it comes to a ‘shared’ contractor’s license. Another contractor learns you must ‘ink’ a fingerprint card long before any contracts. Finally, an important warning for contractors about a ‘phishing’ scam…

Q: Thanks again for your guidance in getting us started with the licensing change for our corporation.

As a follow up to our conversation last week regarding setting up a new company, I mentioned that our qualifier would need to be fingerprinted. I cannot recall whether or not we need to complete/submit forms to begin this process. Can you enlighten me where this is handled and also, once this is done, to whom do we send the fingerprinting information?

A: The CSLB will send out Live Scan fingerprint forms AFTER an application has been accepted (posted). Once an applicant is fingerprinted, everything is handled electronically. All you’ll need to do is submit a copy of the Live Scan form to the CSLB as proof that the fingerprinting was completed. There are hundreds of Live Scan locations around the State. Visit my web site (www.cutredtape) for a link to all locations. Note, for non-CA companies, there is a choice between in-state Live Scan and the “old-fashioned” out-of-state card method.

As I’ve mentioned previously in this column, fingerprints can be cleared through the CA Dept. of Justice (DOJ) and FBI as quickly as one day. Or it may takes weeks (or even months) if the prints cannot be read or the applicant has a criminal background which triggers a review by the CSLB or one of the agencies referenced above.

Q: I read that my license number must be included in all construction contracts, subcontracts, bids and all forms of advertising “as prescribed by the Registrar of Contractors”. Do you have any idea what this all includes?

A: You likely read Business &Professions (B&P) Code section 7030.5. Board rule 861 explains that the term advertising includes but is not limited to, “…any card, contract proposal, sign, billboard, lettering on vehicles(registered in this, or any other state), brochure, newspaper”… In other words, most anything distributed to or viewed by the public that contains your business name, address, phone, etc.

Q: I want out of a license partnership. We obtained the license a year ago, and it has not worked out as planned. What would you recommend as the best – and fastest — way to cancel the license? Will I need the other partner’s signature?

A: You can either file a Notice of Disassociation with the CSLB, which, for partnerships, has the affect of canceling the license or you can complete and file a “Cancellation Notice”. Either of these forms can be filed with just your signature. Both forms are available on the CSLB website.

(Like scam artists attempting to gather your personal or financial information from fake internet pages or e-mails that look ‘official’, there are others more ‘old school’ in using the telephone for a similar purpose.)

My Warning: I have received several inquires this past week from applicants who received a call from someone purporting to be from the Contractors Board (it turns out he was not). Unless, the Board needs a simple clarification on your application, the CSLB will correspond with applicants in writing regarding exam dates, etc. CSLB employees will not call to tell you your application has been accepted or fingerprint information has been sent, nor will they ever attempt to sell you anything or ask for a credit card. Be cautious if you get a call of this nature and ask point blank if the person works for the State of CA!