Qualifying Individual, RMO or RME, General Experience Requirements and Family Waiver

What you know and what is written in contractor rules sometimes aren’t the same thing, but not always! However, it might take an expert to know the difference. While work experience counts, rolling it over from your ‘minor’ years might be a major issue when applying for a license. The chances for a contractor’s wife to be licensed are slim, but not none…

Q:  Our corporation currently has an “A” (General Engineering) license and we are in a dispute with a previous contract owner who is arguing that we should have had more than one Qualifying individual (RME/RMO) on our license.  According to the CSLB, only one Qualifying individual is permitted for each classification that is reflected on the license.  We only have the “A” class.  Can you tell me where this rule/law is stated, beyond just conversation with the CSLB, so we can provide it to the opposing party?  I’m hoping that it’s in print somewhere and not just an internal policy.

A:  B&P Code Section 7068, which outlines the qualifications of a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO)/ Responsible Managing Employee (RME), repeatedly refers to the Qualifying individual, whether it be an Officer, Employee, Member, etc.  The code section always refers to the Qualifying individual in the singular, not in the plural.

Q:  We are going to be applying for a new contractor’s license.  Does it change the process at all if we use an RMO vs. an RME?

A:  The application process is the same whether your Qualifying individual is an RME or an RMO.  The difference is the individual’s title.  RMO stands for Responsible Managing Officer, so the person would need to be an Officer of the corporation.  If the person is not an Officer, they would be an RME, which stands for Responsible Managing Employee.  RME’s can only Qualify one license at a time.  RMO’s can be on up to three licenses at a time under certain circumstances.  Contact our office if you need further clarification in making the choice.

Q:  My son who has been involved in the family business for many years wants to get his Contractor’s License.  He’s 21 years old and he worked part time for the company from age 16-18, and then full time ever since.  Will that qualify him to sit for the General Building exam?

A:  In order to qualify for a Contractor’s License in California, he needs to document at least four years of full time work experience in the trade being applied for, at Journeyman level or above.  It is very difficult to prove full time Journeyman level experience at this age, being that most individuals in their early 20’s have not been in the workforce at that level for over 4 years.  In my opinion your son will have a better chance of qualifying if he waits another year.

Q:  My husband has had a contractor’s license for over 20 years and I’d like to obtain my own license without having to take the test.  Is that possible?

A:  There are only a few circumstances that allow for you to waive the exams.  In your case, you wouldn’t be able to obtain your own license with a waiver, but it’s possible that you may qualify for a waiver of the exams if you wanted to replace your husband as the qualifying individual on his existing contractor’s license.  Contact my office and we can go over your experience to determine if you meet the requirements to request a waiver.