RME & Inactive Licenses, RMO & Partnerships & Waiver Applications

One word can often make the difference in success or failure in having a contractor’s license. ‘Inactive’ and ‘expired’ are good examples one contractor brings to our attention. Adding a class to your existing license is a way to extend your opportunity and may be possible without taking a test. We also share some ‘general’ observations about license qualifiers…

Q:  I currently hold a “B” (General Building) and “C-36”(Plumbing) license. I would like to add the “C-20”(HVAC) classification.   I consider HVAC installation a significant portion of my business since almost every permit I pull includes mechanical work, not to mention the fact that plumbing and mechanical are closely related trades. Do you think I can add the “C-20” without taking the test?

A: Over the years Capitol Services has handled hundreds of these 7065.3 waiver applications.   This is the statute that allows the CSLB to waive the trade exam for some additional classifications.  While the CSLB has established general internal guidelines for these trade waivers, each applicant is evaluated based on his or her experience and detailed project background.

This being said, I can tell you that based on our extensive experience at Capitol Services, a “B/C-36” contractor applying for an additional HVAC class is in a good position to receive a waiver. It is important to keep in mind that detailed project descriptions covering at least 4 years are required, as is a detailed written waiver request on company stationary.

Q:  We have a couple of questions if you don’t mind. As a General (50/50) partnership, can we change the percentage of ownership and keep the same license number?  As I am the Qualifier I will need to pursue a Qualifiers bond because my ownership will drop to less than 10%.  Unfortunately, some personal issues have affected our business ability to get bonds so I have been trying to figure a way to fix this.  Is there a State fee to make this change?


A:   You can change the percentage each partner owns without impacting the license number.  If you, as Qualifying Partner (QP), also qualify another license, and will now own less than 20%, this could impact one or both entities. Licensing law generally allows the Qualifier to act as the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) or QP on one license at a time unless ownership is 20% or more for each entity.  The CSLB does not charge any fee to change a Qualifiers ownership percentage.

Regarding your “personal issues” these may not be an issue since a Bond of Qualifying Individual (BQI) is not required on a partnership license if you’re a QP. It is required if qualified by a Responsible Managing Employee/ (RME).

Q:  We have a contractor’s license, which was inactivated a few years ago.  Now that the economy is turning around, we want to reactivate the license.  Our problem is that the RME, is no longer employed with the company. Can we replace him or must we reactivate the license first?  What do you suggest?

A:  It makes little sense to reactivate the license without a Qualifier (i.e. it would immediately be listed as “suspended”).  I suggest designating an individual to take the license exam (as the new RME or RMO) and file an Application to Replace the Qualifying Individual.  The CSLB will accept applications for additional class and replacing the Qualifier for a license that is “inactive” as long as the license is not expired.