Offshore Contractor Licensing, Qualifiers & Waivers

We ‘whet’ your appetite for answers with an unusual inquiry that starts with a cruise up the California coast. We turn a contractor 180-degrees after getting some bad direction but our final contractor’s problem won’t be solved despite a positive answer…


Q:  We’re an out-of-state corporation that will be doing contracting work on a cruise ship.  The ship is due to dock in San Diego, where our employees will get on.  From there the ship will head out to Seattle and our crews “in tow”.  Do we need a CA license to do the work since it will be docking in San Diego?
A: Interesting question!  Our research indicates that you do not require a CA contractor’s license to work on this vessel. Bon Voyage!

Q:  I have a Sole Owner General building contractor’s license.  My buddy who is licensed in Oregon does plumbing work.  Can I add him to my license with the plumbing classification so that we can start doing plumbing and building projects?  When I contacted the Contractors Board, the guy I spoke with said I would need to form a corporation or partnership.  Is this right?

A:  The CSLB staff member was incorrect when he told you an individual could NOT add anyone to a Sole Owner license.   Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we believe he may have misunderstood your question.  Regardless, while you certainly have the option of forming a partnership or corporation to conduct business, you just as certainly can hire a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) — as long as it’s for a different classification than you hold.  Your friend will be required to show four years of plumbing experience and pass the law and trade exams.  He will also need to post a $12,500 Bond of Qualifying Individual and go through the Board’s fingerprinting process.



Q:  We’ve had a “C-39” (Roofing) license since 2007 with my son as the Qualifier.   He does not have the best credit so I would like to replace him.  His bad credit is preventing our partnership from getting bonding anymore.  Since we’ve had a license for 5 years I thought I could do this without taking the exam but the CSLB told me NO because we had to get a new license in 2009 when we added another partner.  They said since we got a new license and number they start the 5 years over again.  Are they correct even though we have been in business for 5 years under the same name and he and I are still partners?


A: Yes, the CSLB was correct. To be eligible for a waiver under Code Section 7065.1, you must have been on ONE license for 5 of the prior 7 years.  In other words, your time did start over again when you applied for the new Partnership license in 2009 (you were required to do so since any change in General Partners results in a license being cancelled).


While not part of your question, in researching your license status, we noticed that your license is suspended due to a Worker’s Compensation issue.  Aside from needing to contact your insurance company, it is important to note that to be eligible for a waiver the license must have been active and in good standing for the entire 5 year period.