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”.