Waiver of California Contractors License

As the end of this column suggests, one contractor has discovered the secret of success! He quickly learned how knowledge of license law can be a significant ‘tool’ itself. Another wants to find out how to keep their business ‘all in the family’. They also help us all remember why we go to experts when we want accurate information, because ‘a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing’…

Q: I just joined our local Builder’s Exchange and read your latest Kalb’s Q & A in our newsletter. This prompted me to write and ask you the following.

I know of a licensed “A” contractor who is doing “C-10” work only and was wondering if there is an exemption in the license law that allows this specialty work to be performed? The work he is doing is NOT part of a larger scope of work; it is strictly electrical wiring such as 120/240V, installing power meter panels and additional circuitry. I thought the only way for an “A” license to perform that work was if it was a smaller portion of a larger project that required the “A” license. Am I misinformed?

A: You’re not misinformed. For contractors strictly installing “electrical wiring such as 120/240V, power meter panels and additional circuitry”, a “C-10” — not an “A” — would be the proper classification. While I am not aware of any specific exemption in the license law that allows an “A” to perform “C-10” work only, there are some instances where this would be acceptable. For instance, a power plant requiring major electrical repairs could be performed by either an “A” or “C-10” contractor.

Q: Please confirm, if we switch Responsible Managing Officers (RMO), our license number remains the same, correct? I don’t want to draw attention to the switch with ongoing contracts.

A: Simply changing the RMO will not impact your license number. It will remain the same.

Q: We have a family business, which is a corporation. My father is currently the owner of the company and wants to know how we would go about making me the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or Officer (RMO) so that if anything happened to him, I could stand in and the company would continue to operate without penalties. We are not exactly sure what the guidelines are but we have heard many things. For one thing, we have heard that because I am his son I would not have to take the contractor’s license test. We just started to think about this and couldn’t find any information except from your website. It seems that you have (and offer) knowledge about this subject so if you could please help us out that would be great.

A: I am glad you were able to find this information. Most of my past columns are posted at www.cutredtape.com for people to review and search by topic.

What you heard is partially correct. B&P Section 7065.1 (b) does allow for the transfer of an INDIVIDUAL (sole owner) contractors license from father to son — with a waiver of the law and trade exam — in case of the absence or death of the licensee. However, since your father qualifies a corporation, the license belongs to the company, not your father as an individual.

B&P Section 7065.1(c)) would still apply to your situation in that it allows for the replacement of the existing qualifier on a CORPORATE license even if the person is not a close relative. In both instances, the new qualifier must have worked for this company (or individual) in a supervisory capacity for 5 of the past 7 years in the same classification(s) presently held by the licensee. Note, a waiver can be applied for but is not automatic.