Lots of military people returning from overseas will be looking for new opportunity and your time in service counts when you apply it to a contractor license application. Can your license be less than ‘active’ but not expired? Sometimes you might believe there is no question, and that’s exactly when you need to ask more… 

Q: I was reading the requirements for a Contractor’s License in California and I noticed the CSLB accepts military experience and also expedites military personnel applications. How would I go about applying as such? Just curious if it’s the same application or if there is a different process for former military members?

A: It is the same application. There is a question on the application asking whether you are currently, or have previously, served in the military. If you mark “Yes” and provide your DD-214 showing you were honorably discharged, then they will expedite the application. As far as military experience, they will accept it as long as it is construction related and within the trade classification you are applying to obtain. To our U.S. Armed Forces personnel, thank you for your service!

Q: I read your Q&A article in Engineering Contractors’ Association (ECA) September magazine and saw that you answered a question regarding transferring a California Contractors License number. I am a C-Corp contractor, licensed in CA, and want to convert to an LLC. Can I convert to an LLC and keep my current license number? It has history as my great-grandfather started this company in 1932, and the license number was issued in 1955, so it’s a very low license number. I understand the benefits of converting to an LLC, would very much like to keep this number.

A: If your corporate license is in good standing immediately prior to requesting that the number be transferred and if your Personnel (meaning Officers of record with the CSLB) are remaining the same, you can transfer the number. Once it’s transferred, you can then make any changes to personnel and what not.

Q: My company recently approached me about becoming their Responsible Managing Employee (RME) or Responsible Managing Officer (RMO). I have my own license and they informed of the requirement to Inactivate my personal license, which I’m fine with. Is there somewhere in the CSLB’s publications which outlines my liability based on whether I’m an RME or an RMO? Do you recommend one over the other? Is it possible to request from my employer a release of any potential liability that could possibly come about? I absolutely do not want to run into a situation where the Company license and my association with it negatively affects my personal license.

A: There is no CSLB publication specifically detailing liability of RME’s/RMO’s. And I cannot recommend one over the other, that is something you will need to weigh out on your own. As far as requesting a ‘Release of Liability’ from your Employer, you can certainly request it, but I’m not sure if such an agreement would be legally binding, as in general, an RMO or RME is responsible for work performed. Therefore, there is always potential for some risk and possibility of impacting your personal license. All of that said, I highly suggest you first consult with an attorney to assess the legal issues that could arise before making your decision. It’s always good to be cautious and ask more questions! 

Q: I read in one of your Q&A articles if a license is expired for more than five years, the Contractor is required to re-take the exams. My license was “Inactive” for four years, and then I didn’t pay to renew it, so now it’s been over five years since it’s been Active. Assuming I will need to re-take the exams now and request a reactivation or renewal, correct?

A: Once a Qualifier has not been on a “current” license for over five years is when re-testing is required. “Inactive” licenses are considered still current so technically your license has not been current/expired for a little over a year. Therefore, you do not need to re-test, but you will need to submit a renewal and pay the delinquent fee along with either the Inactive fee or Active fee.

By Shauna Krause, President, Capitol Services, Inc.- www.cutredtape.com