Asbestos Certification, Public Works & Obtaining License History

Despite attempts to make government more accessible, understandable and open to citizens there always seems to be one more ‘hoop’ to jump through to get where you want to go as our first question shows. We also offer a new take on the old Latin phrase, “caveat emptor” or buyer beware…

Q:  First of all, I want to say thank you for your recent efforts/help with our various licenses!  I’d like some clarification on our asbestos certification though.  On our license it shows the asbestos certification and says “for bidding purposes only”.  That implies that we cannot actually perform the service.  We are registered with DOSH as an asbestos contractor.  Do we need to provide the CSLB with our DOSH certificate?

A:  Yes, if you are performing asbestos abatement work then you should provide the CSLB with your DOSH certificate.  Once that is provided, the CSLB will remove the “for bidding purposes only” notation from your license.


Q:  Is there anything a contractor can do to influence how a public agency classifies work for a project?  The General Contractor on our current project said the project is 90% General and 10% Electrical, but the City wants to give the contract to a “C-10” Electrical contractor.


A:  Unfortunately there is not much a contractor can do regarding a public agency class determination on one of their projects.  Unless it’s wildly ‘off base’ a local government agency can pretty much decide which classification they will accept. Both public agency and federal projects have their own unique processes and requirements that don’t always align with those in the private commercial marketplace.


You can always appeal to the governing board of the public agency, however that usually doesn’t go anywhere because it creates the need to re-advertise the bid but it’s one thing you can try.


Q:  I am not a contractor but I came across your website when I was doing research on what I should do about an issue that I’m having with a contractor that is doing work on my home.  I am not happy with his work at all and I checked out his license and found that it’s currently suspended!  I called the CSLB to see what the date of Suspension was and they said that they were not able to give me that information.  Is there a way that you can find out when the license went ‘suspended’?  And is it true that I don’t have to pay him for the project because his license is suspended?

A:  In order to find out when the license was suspended you will want to request a “certified license history” from the CSLB.  We can request this for you and pick it up when it’s ready, or you can fill out the form, which is available on the CSLB’s website, and mail it in.

Yes, it is true that you as a consumer are not required to pay a contractor who is not properly licensed during the entire length of the project.  If the individual’s license goes ‘Suspended’ even for just one day as the result of non-compliance (such as an expired Worker’s Comp policy or an expired License bond) they are not entitled to be paid for the entire project by law. A crucial point for contractors to know and understand because many consumers now do know they can easily research the law and licensing online. “Contra cave” in Latin or in any language, contractors beware!