License Transfer After Death

‘Time is money’ is an old cliché. However, waiting too long or missing a deadline can cost you plenty. While one contractor learns he can’t afford to wait ‘one day’ to renew an expired license, another will likely be given ‘one year’ to wrap up issues with their license change…

Q: I was the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on a contractor’s license (“B”) but then let it expire in 2008. The Contractor’s License Board told me that I could be issued a new personal license with the same Class “B” without any tests as long as it was within 5 years. Is this true and if so could you direct me to the specific Law or Regulation? Also is it possible this could change if I wait?

A: You were given the correct information by the CSLB. They were referring to B&P Code 7141 which states in part, “…a license that has expired may be renewed at any time within five years after its expiration date by filing an application for renewal…” I do not believe this law will be changed; however, if you wait beyond the five years — even by one day — you will be required to file a new application for original license and retake the applicable state exams.

Q: My husband passed away a few weeks ago. He was a contractor for over 35 years. I know he used to read your column so I am writing to see if you can give me some advice. We want to finish all the jobs in progress and will then wrap up the business. What is required and how long will it take? Thank you.

A: I am sorry for your loss. As we discussed, since your husband was a sole proprietor, you, as an immediate family member, “can request a continuance of the license to complete projects in progress and undertake new work for a reasonable amount of time” (Code Section 7076). The request must be made in writing to the CSLB within 90 days of his death and will likely result in the CSLB granting you a one-year continuance. The Board will require a change in the contractors bond, plus if any of the projects last for more than a year, you or another family member would be required to obtain your own license to continue contracting.

Q: I have been told by a General Contractor that he will not hire my company unless all my plumbers are certified. I asked him what he was referring to and he told me it was a new state law. I’ve never heard anything about this and was wondering if you can tell me what he is talking about?

A: There is an apprenticeship program for electricians, which is administered by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS); however, I have not heard about any State law that requires plumbers to be certified in a similar manner. The DAS program requires electricians working for a “C-10” contractor to show a specific number of hours working in the field and to pass a DAS administered exam.

It’s possible this GC was referring to pending legislation (AB 660) by Assembly-member Torrico. This bill – if passed and signed by the Governor — would prohibit a person from performing work on any fire suppression system, unless he or she possesses a valid sprinkler-fitter certificate issued by the State Fire Marshal.

Since this GC will not hire your company as a sub, I would call him back and ask for the code section he is referring to and where he heard about this “new state law”. Please let me know what he says.