RME Qualifiers for California Contractors Licenses

For one type of California contractor, can they “B” all things to all people when it comes to self-performing work? We’ll ‘brush up’ the experience rules for painters and expand on the feedback from a previous question. First, let’s learn more about the many ways a qualifier can use their license as RME…

Q: We will be applying to replace the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) on our corporate license. Once this is completed will we still use our old license number or will we be issued a new one?

A: You will keep your existing license number. Your outgoing RME cannot take the license with him.

Q: Am I allowed to be an RME on a certain company and at the same time use my own sole proprietorship contractor’s license on weekends?

A: If you’re the qualifying individual (RME) for a company, you must inactivate and cease using your sole owner contractor’s license – even on weekends.

Q: Can you give me an idea on what compensation or salary is typical for a RME? Is a percentage fee per 1 million dollar in contracts appropriate?

A: I am sorry but I cannot give you any information on an appropriate salary for a RME. As with any employment, this is dependent upon your job location and responsibilities, pay scale for comparable company employees, and the employer’s salary offer. I have no knowledge of this ever being tied to a company’s income.

Q: My question involves obtaining a “C-33” (Painting) License. I have been in the trade for 20 years and have been in the Union for all this time. Is there a way of obtaining my license without having to take the test based on this work experience?

A: Although you appear to be highly qualified, the CSLB still requires that you pass the law and “C-33″ trade exams.

Q: In response to ‘Q&A” on your website regarding a “B” license being able to self-perform work on a public works project, you stated that a specialty license is not required for the trades they chose to self-perform? Are you saying that if a general contractor is, for instance, self-performing a dozen specialty trades he can do so without these specific classifications? Does it matter if the project had 30 different trades? Would the dollar amount of the project change your answer?

A: The response you’re referring to stated: ” “B” contractors have the option of self-performing all, some or none of the project work. You can handle all trades with your employees; split the work between your employees and licensed sub contractors or sub out all trades.”

The number of trades does not matter except, as I indicated in my May answer, if the project is only one trade. In this case, a “B” would need the specialty class or sub to a properly licensed specialty contractor. The dollar amount also has no impact of this situation. The public works project could be $100,000 or a hundred million, and my answer would be the same.

Waiver of California Contractors License

After a vacation in the wilds of Alaska, I’m back to answer a quick question – with a short answer that goes a long way to helping everyone understand how many licenses one contractor can qualify. A roofing contractor wants a ‘waiver’ for an additional class and, as always, my answer is ‘on the house’…

Q: I just had a quick question that I wanted confirmation on: Can a license holder have an active personal license as well as three corporate licenses as a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO), or must the personal license go inactive?

A: The “rule of three” as it is commonly known only applies to corporate or partnership licenses. Assuming the RMO owns at least 20% of each entity, the license holder can continue to maintain an active personal (sole owner) license.

Q: I’ve been reading your Q&A for CA Contractors for some time. I’ve had a “B” and “C-39” license for about 20 years with no lapses or complaints. In the course of handling residential re-roofing, I’m constantly asked about insulation in conjunction with the roofing. It seems like the perfect combination to upgrade a home’s attic insulation while I’m re-roofing. I read B&P Code Section 7065, but it still seems ambiguous. Do you think the waiver would apply in this instance?

A: I do not believe the CSLB would grant you a waiver of the “C-2” (insulation) trade exam. B&P Code Section 7065.3 allows the Board to issue an exam waiver for an additional classification, which is closely related to the classification(s) presently held by the contractor. They will also consider a waiver if an “A” or “B” contractor applies for a classification “which is a significant component of the licensed contractors construction business –as determined by the Registrar” (emphasis added).

Based upon the then Registrar’s determination 15 years ago, certain classifications (such as the “C-2”) should not be considered for a waiver because they are NOT sufficiently related to any other classification.

Interestingly, this same Code Section requires that the CSLB make public a “listing of all applicants approved under this section during the previous 12 months including the name of the applicant, license number and classification applied for”. I have attended dozens of Board meeting since this law became took effect in 1990, but have yet to see such a listing made public.

Q: I am a long time avid reader of your column. In 2004, I disassociated from a license as RMO. I am now applying for my own “B” license and exam waiver. On one of the General Information pages on the License Application it states that the “Cert of Work Exp form MAY NOT be required if the qualifier has ever served as the qualifier on a license in the same classification for which he or she is applying for.”

This applies to me but what does MAY NOT mean? Should I take the time and gather these certs from previous employees (if so, how many?) or does being RMO on a “B” until 2004 qualify as enough not to require certificates?

A: As a licensed contractor during the past 5 years, you can apply to become the qualifier on a new license (in the same classification you hold) with no testing and without filing a Certificate of Work Experience. Therefore, there is no need to gather certificates from previous employers.

If your qualification had been more than 5 years ago, the Board still would not require you to file a Cert of Work Experience; however, you would be required to re-take the law and trade exams. Since this covers most of the possible licensing scenarios, it is unclear why the Board included the words “may not”.