Generals Adding Electrical and Fingerprint ‘Vacations’

A contractor with a great deal of on-the-job history is ‘shocked’ to learn that his work experience won’t do ‘double duty’ as he seeks to add a new class to his existing license. Another license-seeker is advised to remember the sunscreen when he visits California for a ‘fingerprint’ vacation from his starting point between a rock and a hard place…

 Q:   I have had a General Building (“B”) license since 2011.  To obtain that license I used my work experience from 2006 thru 2011.  As part of my building projects I have regularly done electrical work.  I applied to add the “C-10” classification to my license and on the work experience page I documented my experience from 2006 up until now.  The CSLB rejected my application stating that I had already used some of that time to obtain my “B” license.  If I cannot re-use some of that time, and I’m only able to use the time period of 2011 thru the present, obviously I won’t meet the 4-year requirement.  I have done NUMEROUS electrical projects that I’m confident would add up to a total of four years, but my electrical experience was gained throughout the time I’ve been in the construction business which is since 2006. Can you help?


A:  This could be difficult to prove as verifiable experience because you are correct; the CSLB considers this “overlapping experience”.  Besides the overlapping experience, the CSLB assumes that since you have a “B” license you are completing a variety of trades on each job, and not the same trade day after day.  In order to qualify for a specialty classification such as the “C-10”, you must show that you performed electrical work every day for 4 full years for approximately 8 hours a day.


While it will be difficult to prove, it’s not impossible!  I assume that they sent you a letter requesting further information.  If you are able to show proof of the electrical work by providing them with signed contracts or permits that were pulled then you will be in a better position to be approved.  You should also consider submitting a letter explaining how you were able to perform electrical work full-time in conjunction with your building license. Get back with us for further help as needed.


Q: We are in the process of applying for a new contractor’s license in CA.  Our CEO is based in South Carolina.  We are being told that if he doesn’t fly out to California to get live scan fingerprints done, and instead does the hard copy fingerprint card method, the process may take 3-6 months!   We have a job coming up and we just can’t wait that long to get the license but at the same time we are having difficulty getting our CEO, who is extremely busy, to fly to California just for that.  Is there any way to pay extra to expedite the fingerprint card method?  If not, can he do live scan in South Carolina?  I know they have live scan facilities here and I don’t understand why that wouldn’t be acceptable?

A: Let me start by saying that you are not alone.  We talk to people in this same predicament on a daily basis.  There is no way to expedite the fingerprint card method, and it is true they take much longer to process than the live scan fingerprints.  The CSLB will only accept live scan fingerprints done at a facility in the State of California.  It’s unfortunate, but your only choices are to do the card method and have the application delayed, or have your CEO squeeze in a “fingerprinting vacation” to sunny California.