$500 Requirements, High/ Low Voltage Licensing and General’s Scope of Work

Cutredtape.com brought us a follow-up inquiry for a contractor that hopes to make ‘his slice’ the whole pie! Another electrical contractor hopes his specialty is ‘wired in’ to reciprocity as a CA licensee…

Q: In a newsletter I located on-line you indicated that: ”It has been determined by the CSLB that all “C-7” work is covered by the “C-10” classification.”  Can you tell me where that determination can be found?  Thank you in advance.

A:  The CSLB’s description of the two classifications reflects the fact that

Low voltage (“C-7”) work is included in the Electrical (“C-10”) classification.  A Low voltage contractor can install, service, and maintain all types of communication and low voltage systems which are energy limited and do not exceed 92 volts.  A “C-10” contractor can install, service, maintain any electrical wires, fixtures, etc. which generate, transmit, transform or utilize electrical energy in any form or for any purpose.


Q:  Is there any type of contracting work, such as electrical, where even if it’s under $500 in which the work must be done by a licensed contractor?

A:  The CSLB does not require a license for any construction work under $500.

Q:  I was just curious if you could tell me what states we get automatic reciprocity in for having a valid Low voltage license in California?

A:  While we specialize in licensing in CA, NV, and AZ, I am not aware of any State that has a formal reciprocal agreement with California for the Low voltage electrical classification.  Arizona just recently did away with “reciprocity”, however you may be eligible for a Waiver of the Low Voltage Trade exam if you meet certain requirements.  You are required to show that you passed the equivalent exam in California when you originally obtained your license and your Contractor’s license must have been active and in good standing within the preceding five years.  Arizona Registrar of Contractors still requires that you take the Business/Management exam and show your experience when you apply for the license.  Contact us if you’d like assistance with this.


Q:  Can a General Building (“B”) contractor advertise/promote themselves for specialty work, such as Plumbing?  I read in the CSLB’s advertising guidelines “Licensed contractors are not allowed to advertise for construction work outside of the areas for which they are licensed”.  Technically “B” (General Building) contractors can do plumbing projects so it’s not outside the area for which we are licensed, correct?

A: Actually, no.  “B” contractors should not advertise or promote themselves for single specialty trades.  General Building Contractors cannot perform any project involving trades other than framing or carpentry unless the job requires at least two unrelated building trades.  Advertising for specialty work such as plumbing, as you suggested, implies that the “B” contractor can take a contract for just plumbing, which they cannot. However, there is another way.

As long as the contractor in question can show at least four years of full time work experience doing plumbing work, I would suggest that he/she add the “C-36” (Plumbing) classification to the General license.  Then they are free to advertise and promote themselves as a plumbing contractor.