Expired Contractor Licenses, Renewals & Change of Address To CSLB

Like the old school crime drama, Dragnet, the CSLB wants, “just the facts” –including your address changes. Like Detective Joe Friday they now also get your fingerprints! Truth and keeping your information current is your ‘shield’ in avoiding any problems with your contractor’s license. Failure to keep current ‘courts’ potential disaster down the road…

Q: My contractor’s license is due to expire this month. I’m concerned that I have not received the renewal in the mail. After several dry months, work is picking up and I cannot afford to have an expired license. I called the Contractors Board and they are going to send me my renewal. Anything else you can suggest?

A: As we discussed, the reason you did not receive your renewal application is because you moved and failed to notify the CSLB. Mailings from the Contractors Board are typically not forwarded by the postal service so it’s vitally important to file an address change with the Board.

Alternatives to waiting for the renewal to arrive at your new address include: flying or driving to CSLB headquarters; re-contacting the Board to see if they will fax the renewal; or having someone pick up the renewal on your behalf (so it can be sent overnight or emailed to you the same day). When returning the renewal application make sure it’s signed by the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) — and yourself as the Officer of record – and includes the correct fee.

It is presently taking the Board up to two weeks to process renewals. Therefore, your license may show “expired” for a short period of time. This “expiration” should be erased from your record assuming the renewal is postmarked or delivered in person to CSLB Headquarters no later than the expiration date.

Q: I have been licensed for about 16 years. I have never had any complaints against my license; I have always kept my bond up to date; made sure my Worker’s Compensation was always in force and never had any problems with the Contractors Board – until now.

Apparently last year when I sent in my renewal it was not processed until a week after my expiration date. This lapse was just discovered because I am in a lawsuit and my attorney tells me this is a problem. I’m certain I renewed the license on time. Is there any way you can find out what may have caused this?

A: Your attorney is correct. Having an expired license for even a few days can cause serious problems for contractors. A Certified License History from the CSLB, which your attorney undoubtedly has in hand, would show each and every expiration or suspension.

To delve deeper into the cause of this license lapse, your attorney will need to review your entire file. Have him contact my office and we’ll make such a request on your behalf. I can also personally review this document, and give your attorney some insight into what may have happened with your renewal. If it’s determined that the Board made an error, a request can be made to correct the record.

AB 397 (Monning) is sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature or veto. This bill hopes to stem the tide of contractor’s claiming a Worker’s Compensation exemption when in fact they have employees. If signed, an active licensee would be required, at the time of renewal, to either recertify they are still exempt or provide a current and valid Certificate of Worker’s Compensation Insurance. As it is today a contractor who may have filed an Exemption at the time his or her license was first issued is never required to reconfirm they are, in fact, still exempt.