“C-4”, “C-20”, Fingerprinting & License ScamsAlert

Oh, say can you “C”? I’ll school this contractor with a license question that may benefit others interested in a wider margin for profit. An urgent alert for all contractors, and we share how honesty is truly the best policy when applying for your contractor’s license…

Q: How does someone with a “C-20” License go about getting a “C-4”? I just looked up a competitor’s license on line, and they now have a “C-4”. They have always subcontracted their wet heat and plumbing work out, so I have no idea how they even qualified to apply for one. I checked the personnel list online, and I see no change in ownership, new Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) or other people listed. If you have a moment to educate me, I’d sure appreciate it.

A: Thank you for the interesting question. There are several ways he could qualify for the additional “C-4” Boiler classification. According to my notes, accumulated over nearly 30 years, the CSLB has determined that the “C-4” is “closely related” to the “C-20” (HVAC) class. This being said, your competitor may have qualified for a trade exam waiver under Section 7065.3. He would need to have been a licensed contractor for at least 5 years and applied for a classification that, as determined by the Registrar, is “closely related to the classification or classifications in which he is licensed”.

7065.3 also allows a waiver if the qualifying individual is a licensed General Engineering or General Building contractor and applies for a classification “which is a significant component of the licensed contractor’s construction business”.

The “C-20” contractor could have also gained experience by supervising boiler work through hired subcontractors or he may have been performing hot water and boiler work directly even though he has never held the proper “C-4” class.

Q: A friend who you helped a few years ago referred me. I tested and passed my General “B”, but it has been under review for some time now. My friend suggested I contact you and see if there is anything that can be done. Or should I just wait it out. Thank you for your time.

A: Your application is under review by the Criminal Background Unit (CBU). Most times a review is done if you respond “YES” to question #11 (criminal background) on the license application. Or, you respond “NO”, but a fingerprint check shows you failed to list one or more criminal incidents in your background.

Either case could trigger a time-consuming review or more detailed investigation. The CSLB requires that every applicant list ALL prior criminal convictions regardless of when it took they place or even if it was sealed or expunged.

If a response should have been YES but the NO box was checked, the Board will contend that the application was falsified and may allow the applicant to withdraw and start over. There would be no need to retest; however, a new application and state fee would be required. On the other hand, if you responded NO and there in fact is nothing in your background, then I would suggest contacting the CSLB directly to see what they can tell you. Good luck with your overall licensing.

ALERT: FOR APPLICANTS WHO HAVE RECENTLY APPLIED FOR A CONTRACTOR’S LICENSE. I have received calls and emails from applicants regarding a company that is apparently sending letters pretending to be associated with the State Contractors Board. Use caution when responding to any mailing after you file an application with the CSLB. Scams ‘masquerading’ as ‘official’ government paperwork have exploded in recent years. Better to be safe than sorry, call with any question.