“C-33” Waiver for “B” Generals, Owner/Builder Limits & Unlicensed ‘Stings’

We ‘fix up’ an answer for a homeowner who plans on ‘flipping out’ in Newport Beach. Another contractor is ‘generally’ interested in replacing his RMO, without being put to the ‘test’ or disassociating his current Qualifier…

Q:  I am 50% owner and President of a painting company.  Our Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) is not disassociating but I would like to replace him nonetheless.  I have been listed on the license since it was issued in 2009.  I also have an Inactive “B” (General Building) license.  I have never been the Qualifier for a “C-33” (Painting) license.  Is an exam going to be required?

A:  You can request a waiver of the trade exam based on the fact that you have been listed as an Officer on the license for over 5 years.  Keep in mind that it’s a request and not automatic, but as long as you can document the required experience, in most instances the waiver will be approved.

You can only have one Qualifier for each classification so if your RMO is not disassociating he will no longer be listed as an RMO, but he can still remain on the license as an Officer.

Q:  I have worked for a General Building contractor here in Newport Beach for about 7 years but I don’t have my own license.  I am planning on buying a “fixer-upper” house and renovating it so that I can turn around and sell it.  Do I need a license to do the remodel?  I was hoping that I would qualify for the owner-builder exemption.

A:  B&P Code section 7044 states that you cannot qualify for the owner builder exemption if the improvements are intended for the sale of the property.  In order to self-perform the renovations I would suggest applying for your own license.  The State requires that you document four years of experience and since you have worked for a General Contractor for 7 years, you will likely qualify for a contractor’s license. If you need further help get back in touch.

Just FYI, seeing that you reside in Newport Beach, the CSLB just recently put out a News Release stating that home remodeling is booming in Orange County and, that in Costa Mesa, the amount of building permits pulled has increased 21% over the past three years.

That being said, the Newsletter went on to report that the CSLB teamed up with other local agencies in Orange County to conduct undercover stings and combat unlicensed activity.  The CSLB issued citations to many unlicensed phony contractors for a range of criminal acts including unlicensed activity, illegal advertising, and several were also cited by Costa Mesa Code Enforcement for not having a city business license. Needless to say, it is risky business to do contracting work over $500 without a license!