Scope of RME vs RMO and Qualifier Signing Rule

A contractor decides his days as a Qualifier have run their course, so what now? First, Mom may or may not have the right idea. While ‘multiplicity’ was in a movie being in more than one place at the same time is still impossible in the real world, even for contractors!…

 Q:  My son wants to get his contractor’s license but he doesn’t have the required four years of experience.  He was told that he needed to have an RMO (Responsible Managing Officer) or an RME (Responsible Managing Employee) in order to Qualify for the license.  He’s really hesitant to hire someone and give them an Officer title, but my thought is since he plans on having multiple jobs in progress at the same time he needs to go with the option of RMO, because isn’t it illegal for an RME to not be supervising all projects?

A:  While an RME does have certain responsibilities that are not required for an RMO, the CSLB understands that an individual cannot be in multiple places at the same time.  Some companies have hundreds of projects in progress at the same time, and certainly an RME, or RMO for that matter, cannot be on site of every single job.  B&P Code section 7068.1 states that a Qualifying Individual must have direct supervision and control of their employer’s construction operations, which includes any one or combination of the following activities: “supervising construction, managing construction activities by making technical and administrative decisions, checking on jobs for proper workmanship, or direct supervision on construction sites.”  Further, the section requires that an RME be permanently employed by the licensee and actively engaged in the operation of the licensee’s contracting business for at least 32 hours or 80% of the total hours per week during the business operations, whichever is less.

Q:  I purchased a contracting business 8 years ago and the seller stayed on the license as my RME since I didn’t have the requisite experience yet.  My license is up for renewal at the end of this month and when I gave him the renewal to sign, he said he no longer wants

to hold the position and therefore is willing to sign the renewal, but would prefer not to if he doesn’t have to.  He stated that I could apply to replace him and request to waive the exams.  Is that possible and how long does the process take?  I’m worried that the CSLB will not accept the renewal without his signature, but I was thinking I could just indicate on the form that he has resigned.  Please provide me with any guidance you may have.

A:  First of all, you are correct that the CSLB will not accept the renewal application without the Qualifying Individual’s signature.  You can apply to replace your RME and a waiver of the exams may be granted if you meet the specific requirements.  Most importantly, you must show that you have been employed and working in a supervisory capacity for the company for five out of the last seven years.  The process of replacing him will take several weeks, so since your current Qualifier is willing, it will be beneficial to you to have him sign the renewal to avoid a lapse in the license.