When To Begin Work, Retail Licensing, Solar and Inactive Licenses

Starting, stopping and starting again is part of many projects so the ‘suspense’ of being a licensed contractor is always intense. You can’t get a license ‘wholesale’, especially if you don’t need one. Unfortunately, another contractor learns what he thought was his isn’t…

Q:  I am a licensed contractor and I was recently going to start a project for a homeowner, and they halted the project because they checked my license and found it was expired.  I never received my renewal.  I called the CSLB and they sent me a new one, which I sent in with the delinquent fee.  I confirmed they received it and the website states that the renewal has been received and is in process.  Am I permitted to start working knowing that the renewal is being processed?

A:  No, your license is not valid until the renewal has been processed and your license is listed as “Active”.

Q:  Are retailers of construction materials required to have a Contractor’s License if they aren’t actually installing the products that they sell?

A:  No, retailers are not required to have a Contractor’s License if they are not contracting for the installation of the products they sell.

Q:  My company has a “B” (General Building) license for which I am the RMO (Responsible Managing Officer).  Even though we are permitted to perform solar work with our General Building license, some of our customers look specifically for the “C-46” (Solar) classification to be on the license.  Since we have been performing solar construction with our General Building license now for about ten years, would I be able to Waive the trade exam based on my experience?

A:  B & P Code Section 7065.3 allows for the possibility of an Exam Waiver for a specialty classification under certain circumstances. The CSLB will need to see that the specialty classification is “closely related” to your current class.  In addition, you will need to show that the “C-46” is “a significant component of the licensed contractors construction business”.  If the majority of your work has been solar, in my opinion you would likely have a good chance of being approved for a waiver of the exam.  Keep in mind that the CSLB determines these requests on a case-by-case basis so it’s not guaranteed.  It’s always at the discretion of the Registrar.

Q:  I have my own personal license currently on Inactive status.  For the past few years I’ve been the RME for the company I’ve been working for.  They recently terminated me but I happen to know that they are still operating with my license and have many projects in progress right now that they have employees working on.  Is it legal for them to keep operating without an RME?  Also, how do I get my license back?

A:  First, the company is technically not operating with your license.  I looked up the license and since it’s a corporation the license belongs to the corporation.  You are still listed as the RME, so you will want to file a Disassociation Notice with the CSLB to let them know you are no longer with the company.  The company will then have 90 days to replace you on the license.  During that 90-day window they are permitted to continue working.

In order to reinstate your individual contractor’s license you will need to order a reactivation form from the CSLB and submit it along with the $360 reactivation fee.  Contact our office if you’d like our assistance with this.  We can pick it up for you in person which is quicker than ordering it from the CSLB.