My License Expired, RME Qualifying, Mergers & Reciprocity States

There was a time when LLC’s couldn’t be licensed in California. That changed in 2012, but many contracting rules and regulations put on paper for decades have stood the test of time unchanged. With a nod to the CSLB’s recent look at the roots of contracting law in California, we revisit some contractor Q&A from previous years that show what goes then still goes now. This from 2002 gets us started on this ‘blast from the past’…


Q.  I sent my renewal in weeks ago and it shows on the Internet that my license has expired.  Can I still legally work and pull permits?

A.  NO, if your license is expired, you technically are not able to contract. Once the CSLB processes your application, it will show as “active” and in good standing.


Q. Can our RME qualify two companies at the same time?

A. The CSLB will only allow a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) to qualify one license at a time.  There are very few exceptions.  Please contact our office if you’d like more information.


Q. Our firm was just purchased by an out-of-state corporation. With a pending merger must we apply for a new contractor’s license?

A. Yes, you will certainly need to apply for a new license.  Once your company has merged out, it can no longer legally conduct business.


Q. Can I renew my CA contractors’ license even though it expired 4 years ago?

A.  Yes.  The CSLB will allow a license to be renewed if the expiration date is less than 5 years old.


Q.  What States have reciprocal licensing agreements with California?

A.  Nevada, Arizona and Utah reciprocate with California.  This reciprocity only applies to the trade exam and certain classifications.  All fees and other paperwork must be completed in each individual state.


Q. : A recent column mentioned the term “lower” license number.  What is meant by lower?

A.:  The CSLB issues license numbers in order.  A contractor applying today will be issued a license in the #760,000 range. The CSLB issued license #500,000 sometime in 1986.  License #300,000 was issued about 25 years ago.  These “lower” (i.e. older) numbers tell people that a contractor has been in business for many years.  For example, a partnership formed in 1980, which recently incorporated, will lose their older number and will be issued a much “higher” (i.e newer) license number.  If a prospective customer knows nothing about the contractor except their license number, they may not realize that this same company has been in business for 20 years.