Inactive California Contractors Licenses, HAZ and RME

Who can add the HAZ to their license and who can’t? A contractor helps us learn those limits as another discovers he may have more time than he thought to replace his Responsible Managing Employee. While you can’t use someone else’s contractors license, you can work with it and I’ll explain how…

Q: My brother-in-law has an inactive general “B” sole proprietor license in California. Is it possible for me to use his license if it’s reactivated? Any information would be appreciated.

A: It is against CSLB regulations to use someone else’s license even if it’s a close relative. In fact, the CSLB could consider use of a contractor’s license in this manner to be a serious offense.

One option would be for your brother-in-law to reactivate his license and hire you as an employee. Of course, all work would be performed under the auspices of his license and would require him to secure Worker’s Compensation to cover you.

A better option might be for you both to form a new partnership or corporation with him as the qualifying individual and you as a general partner or officer respectively. In this way, the new company, which you’ll legally be a part of, can contract for general building work. Your brother-in-law’s current license does not need to be reactivated in this case because the entity will be issued a new license number.

Q: I currently hold a General Engineering “A” license and want to add the HAZ (Hazardous) addendum to it. I have operated an environmental consulting business for over 15 years including investigation and site remediation. I also previously owned and operated a large environmental testing laboratory for over 10 years. Would I need to take the exam to get this addendum?

A: The CSLB will not grant a waiver for the Hazardous Substance Removal Certification test. All applicants must sit for this exam. The application is one page and no certification of work experience is required. Contractors who want to add the certification to their existing licenses must hold the “A”, “C-12” (earthwork and paving), “B” (general building), “C-36” (plumbing), or the “C-61″/”D-40”, limited specialty category for service station equipment and maintenance.

Q: I applied to replace the Qualifying Individual on our license a few weeks ago. I know I must take both exams, which I hope will be scheduled soon. My concern is that since I only have 90-days to replace the RME (he left almost 2 months ago), our license might be suspended. Any suggestions on what we can do to prevent this from happening?

A: Yes, you can request a 90-day extension. In your situation, the Contractors Board should give your company the needed time to replace your RME with no suspension. However, it is important that your request be filed IN WRITING prior to the initial 90-day grace period. By law only one 90-day extension will be granted. By the way, my research indicates that your application was accepted a few days ago and you’ve been scheduled for an exam at the end of next month.