Waiver Experience, Fingerprinting and Subcontractor Licenses

‘Alexa, bundle my renewal’ won’t cut it either as some things still require individual paperwork, and if it sounds too good to be true ‘clarification’ is likely needed. Finally, a cross country contractor is getting started with the wrong ‘directions’…

Q:  I am a General Contractor in California and I have a painter who is soliciting us to have my Company hire him as a sub-contractor to do some painting work for us.  I asked him for his license number and he said that sub-contractors are not required to be licensed, and he can simply work under my General Contractor’s License.  That doesn’t sound right to me.  Can you clarify?

A:  The only way an individual can work under a company’s license, is if that individual is directly employed by the company.  Sub-contractors are required to be licensed for any work done over $500 (labor and materials included). 

Q:  My boss has a Sole Proprietor license that is current and Active, and it’s due to expire on January 31st of next year.  He also has an application in process in which he is applying to be the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) for a company he will be working for once their license is issued.  Is he still required to renew his Sole Proprietor license, or will the new application automatically take care of renewing his personal license?

A:  No, it will not be automatic.  He will still need to submit a renewal application and pay the required fee.  If your boss owns at least 20% of the new LLC, he can renew his personal license Active.  If he owns less than 20%, he should renew his license Inactive.

Q:  You are helping us with obtaining a “C-45” Contractor’s License in CA.  Our Qualifier was approved and scheduled for an exam on December 15th.  He also received the fingerprint information.  Is it okay for him to fly out to California early and do the fingerprints prior to the exam, or does he need to wait until he passes the exam to complete the fingerprint requirement?

A:  Once you receive the fingerprint request forms, you can be fingerprinted at any time.  He does not need to wait until he passes the exams to get them done. 

Q:  I have been a General Building contractor licensed in Louisiana for over 15 years.  I am filling out an Original License Application “Waiver” because I will be providing my license verification from Louisiana which I already have back from them.  Do I still need to complete the Certification of Work Experience page that’s part of the application?  

A:  Yes, you do.  Even if you believe you are eligible for a Waiver, the CSLB still requires that you have the experience section of the application completed and document at least five years of journey-level experience.  Also, I believe you have the wrong directions and you are completing it incorrectly.  Please call my office and we’d be happy to help you out with the process and make sure you have the right start with the proper forms.

Registered Agent, LLC Conversion and Acceptable Experience

If you are a contractor, I can help you and sometimes the answer is ‘fast’, other times they are just ‘hard’. Something different for a ‘change’, and a contractor looking for a special ‘agent’ wraps it up…

Q:  I am interested in applying for a General Building (“B”) license, but I am unsure whether I will qualify or not.  I went to a technical school for HVAC training back in 1993 and since then I have been doing general maintenance construction work including some remodels.  All of this has been done on a referral basis.  I’ve done a lot of painting, floor installs, and even many paver installations.  I can document my work history with pictures/images, and I have many references who can vouch for my experience.  Do you have any advice as to whether I would be approved to sit for the exam?

A:  I am not in the position to give you a hard and fast “yes” or “no” answer, however I can tell you that based on what you’ve described, it will be difficult to get approved.  As you may be aware, the CSLB requires that you document at least four years of fulltime work experience in the trade you are applying for within the last ten years.  That being said, any training from more than ten years ago will not be considered.  

Also, the CSLB does not accept photos/images as a form of verifiable experience.  For the “B” classification, your fulltime work experience needs to include Framing and at least two unrelated trades.  It sounds like you have the two unrelated trades (Flooring and Painting), but you didn’t mention Framing.  You can feel free to give me a call anytime to further discuss your experience and the likelihood of success.

Q:  I am an attorney and I have a client who is looking to sell their business which is currently a Corporation.  The buyer intends to convert to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and transfer the license number.  From the research I’ve done, both from your articles online at cutredtape.com as well as the CSLB website, I understand the personnel of the current Corporation and the new LLC all need to be the same on both entities in order to accomplish this.  If the Managers/Members of the new LLC change shortly after the license number is transferred, is that acceptable?  In other words, does the requirement for having the same personnel need to be indefinite?  If the answer is no, how do we notify the CSLB and when?

A:  The personnel of the original Corporate license does not have to indefinitely match the personnel of the LLC.  Once the license number is transferred, you can update the personnel at any time.  Once updated with the Secretary of State, you have 90 days to notify the CSLB of the change.

Q:  You helped me obtain my Sole Proprietor license last year.  I’m going to incorporate and transfer my number.  I was wondering if your company provides Registered Agent services, or can I be my own Registered Agent?

A:  We do offer Registered Agent services so please contact me if you’d like to get that set up.  You can act as your own Registered Agent as long as you have a California address.

Installing Tubs, Info Statements and Disassociation Notices

Cut to the chase, cut red tape, it’s what I do every day for contractors. Problems solved here are a lesson to all, but thirty years of experience has shown me another new problem is always just a week away. Key word for our first question is ‘responsible’, another contractor knows his stuff, but an expert opinion is always a wise choice. I wrap it up with a question that ‘rocks’…

Q:  I was the qualifier for the Company that I previously worked for.  I had eight different classifications.  I left the company about six months ago, and just out of curiosity, I looked up their license and noticed I am still listed as the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) so they have just been using my license this entire time.  I found a “Disassociation Notice” on the CSLB’s website, but my question is, do I need to fill out a form for each classification, or does one Disassociation Notice work for all of the classifications?

A:  One Disassociation Notice will remove you from the license completely for all classifications.  

Q:  You are helping me with the process of replacing the RMO on our license with a request to Waive the exams.  I reviewed our latest filing with the Secretary of State, and it shows me as President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Director.  I’m the only one listed.  I remember you had said there is way to keep him on as an Officer, but does that mean I also need to file a new Statement of Information to list him as well?

A:  That is correct, you can keep him on the license as an Officer.  As long as you have a designated President, Secretary, and Treasurer with the Secretary of State that matches what you have on file with the CSLB, there is no need to list him on the Statement of Information.  For example, you can elect to have two Presidents or two Secretaries, etc. with the CSLB, however both are not required to be listed with the Secretary of State.  “Vice Presidents” are also not required to be listed with the Secretary of State, but they can be on the Contractor’s as Officers. Confused? Call me! 

Q:  One of our clients is requesting that we obtain a Contractor’s License in California.  We are a Hospitality contractor (out of Colorado) and we install the tub and shower surrounds in hotel bathrooms.  Our client suggested we look in to the “C-54” (Ceramic and Mosaic Tile) classification.  Is that what you would suggest also?  Is there an exam for the “C-54”?

A:  The “C-54” would work if the showers and bathtubs are tiled or stone, however you would not be able to install non-tile (such as cast iron, steel, plastic, fiberglass) shower walls or tubs.  And yes, there is a law and trade exam for the “C-54” license.  A “C-61”/”D-12” (Synthetic Products) contractor can install plastic and/or fiberglass tubs/shower enclosures, and the C61/D12 classification does not require a trade exam.

Exam Waivers, NV “C-1” and Criminal History Disclosure

2 B or not 2 B is not the question, rather we shall “C-1”, but only if the fee has been paid in NV. We roll the dice with another contractor and it comes up 11, CA application question 11 that is and share the rules for a contractor making a Qualifier change….

Q:  We have a Nevada “C-1” (Plumbing and Heating) license.  We recently started installing fire sprinklers, because we recognized we are permitted to, based on the sub-category “C-1b” (Fire Sprinklers).  What is the difference between the “C-1b” and the “C-41” (Fire Protection) license?  Also, with our NV “C-1” license, are we permitted to work on all project types, i.e. residential, multi-family, apartments, commercial, etc?

A:  The “C-1b” classification allows you to install fire sprinklers only, while the “C-41” (Fire Protection) classification is broader in applications.  The NV Fire Protection class allows you to do automatic fire sprinkler installation, fixed fire extinguishing systems, and fire alarm installations.  Nevada doesn’t differentiate between residential and commercial, so yes, you can do all types of projects with your “C-1” license.  

When you initially obtained the license, you were required to either pay into the residential recovery fund or sign an Exemption form stating you wouldn’t be doing residential work in Nevada.  If your company paid into the fund, you are good to go!  If your company signed the Exemption, you will want to be sure to pay the required residential recovery fund fee before you start doing residential work.

Q:  With respect to Question 11 on the Original Contractor’s License application, it requires disclosure of misdemeanors in the US or a foreign country.  In some jurisdictions a speeding ticket can be a misdemeanor.  Does the CA Contractors State License Board require disclosure of those?

A:  Traffic tickets don’t need to be disclosed unless it was something like DUI or reckless driving or if there was aggravating factors.  If you are unsure whether to disclose it or not, I always recommend just answering ‘yes’, completing the disclosure, and then if the CSLB determines it’s not a “conviction” that’s relevant to that question, they will just ignore it.  BUT, if you don’t disclose something and they find something that should have been disclosed, there is a possibility of your application being deemed “falsified”.  That being said, if it was merely a speeding ticket, no need to disclose.

Q:  We have a current license with the following classifications: “C-36”, “C-20”, “B” (General Building), “C-43”, “C-4”, and “C-2”.  Is there any way we can have one of our employees take over the license as the Qualifier without needing to take the exams?

A:  I looked up the license and the current Qualifier has held those classifications for well over five years.  B&P Code Section 7065.1 allows for an employee who has worked in a Supervisory capacity for over five years to request to Waive the exams.  He/she will need to document at least four years of full-time work experience in each classification.  The employee will likely also need to provide five years of W-2’s. 

Certified License History, Pressure Wash Licensing and Fingerprinting

A ‘digital’ question gets us rolling! I will ‘blast’ through another while under pressure to clean up some confusion about power washing before wrapping up ‘history’ for our last contractor…

Q:  I have a question regarding the fingerprinting process. If I am understanding correctly, because I am an out of state resident, I need to take the fingerprint card to a police or sheriff’s office here in Alabama, complete it and mail it in. It sounds like the LiveScan service is for CA residents only.  Is this correct?

A:  Live scan services are not for California residents only, however live scan fingerprints for the CSLB can only be done in California in order for them to be sent electronically.  If you do the fingerprints outside of California, it can add weeks, and sometimes months, to the process.

Q:  Our company does pressure washing (or power washing).  One of my clients recently requested to have our Contractor’s license number in order to complete their project.  We have been doing pressure washing for over eight years without a Contractor’s license.  We don’t use any chemicals or detergents or soaps or any abrasive materials that are typically used in water blasting.  Our equipment setup uses water at 3,500 PSI and 4.7 GPM.  It was my understanding that it was considered water “blasting” when it reached at least 10,000 PSI and 8 GPM, in which case a contractor’s license would be necessary.  Can you clarify?

A:  If the cost of the pressure washing/blasting project is over $500, including labor and materials, a Contractor’s License will be required.  The “C-61””D38” (Sand and Water Blasting) classification would be the license you would need to obtain.

Q:  I have had a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) on my license since its inception.  He left the company in March of last year (2018).  I applied to add myself as the Qualifier shortly after he resigned, and I requested a 90-day extension, which was granted.  I had several personal matters come up during the process, including a death in the family, and I kept having to re-schedule my exams.  I had until September to replace the RME, but the process was actually completed in early August.  If you look at my license online, it shows the former RME Disassociated on March 14th and then I became the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on August 8th.  One of my current clients has an attorney who is looking at my license and stating that it was suspended from June 14th thru August 7th due to not having a Qualifier.  I understand that would make sense- if- I wasn’t granted the 90-day extension.  How do I prove that my license has been in good standing all along?

A:  The only way to show proof of that would be to order a Certified License History from the CSLB which will give you the history of any suspensions, expirations, etc.  We can order the documents for you so please contact us if you’d like our assistance.

Retaking Exams, Comp Suspension and License Transfer to an LLC

The second question should probably be first, but the suspense is too great! 

A complicated question from a lawyer that has its roots in a contractor’s ‘family tree’. Finally, a worried applicant may need a second, or third, or fourth ‘take’ to pass his contractor’s exam, and that’s okay! …

Q:  Our license is currently Suspended because the CSLB has not processed the Worker’s Comp certificate that our insurance company submitted yet.  It’s also up for renewal and expires at the end of the month.  If I submit the Renewal application with a Suspended license, will they still renew it timely?

A:  I would suggest submitting the Renewal application with the Worker’s Comp Certificate and then they will process them together.  As long as the CSLB has an acceptable Renewal before the expiration date, they will retroactively renew the license.  They are taking about three weeks right now to process renewal so the sooner you send it in the better!

Q:  I am an Attorney and I have a client whose Trust I’m handling.  He unfortunately is not doing well.  He has a Sole Proprietor Contracting business that his Son has basically been running for the last 6+ years.  Before he “took over”, the Son worked for him for at least 10 years prior.  The Son would like to continue the business with the low license number but operate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  Let’s say the Father applies now to transfer his license number to an LLC.  If he were to pass away, does that license number go away because it was originally his number, or does it now belong to the LLC?  If it’s the latter, can the Son take over the license?  And would he need to take the exams?

A:  Three questions and I have three answers for you.  If the Father transfers the license number to an LLC, then the license number would remain with the LLC if anything unfortunate and unexpected were to happen to the Father.  Being that the Son has worked for his Dad for so long, he would be able to qualify to take over the license as the Qualifier.  There are only a few ways to qualify for a Waiver of the exams, and given the background you gave me, he would likely qualify, however please call me to discuss this further. 

Q:  My company wants me to be the Responsible Managing Employee (RME) for their “A” (General Engineering) license.  I applied for my own personal license just to get through the exam before I go through the process of applying as their RME.  I have a test scheduled for next month, but they are pressuring me to get started on the process of getting the company licensed.  What happens if I don’t pass the exams?  I don’t want to hold the company up any longer than I have to.

A:  If you don’t pass the exams the first time around, the CSLB requires that you wait three weeks to re-take them.  You can take the exams as many times as you need to within an 18-month period.