If you obtained your license years ago, even within just the last few years, you’ll find that the regulations to obtain a license are now dramatically different.
As we start, two of the most important recommendations that we make to contractor license candidates are these: (1) When you first get your contractor license for Virginia, get the highest class of license with the largest specialty designation possible for your situation. (2) Maintain your license and do not change it nor let it expire.
Why? The reason is simple: Once you have your license, all you have to do is renew the license on time. For the most part, you are automatically ‘grandfathered in’ regarding any regulation changes. When there’s a regulation change, it doesn’t apply to you. However, if your license expires or you do anything to modify it (i.e.- upgrading from a Class C or Class B to a Class A or adding or changing a specialty), you are suddenly subject to all of the newer, burdensome regulations.
DPOR Regulation Changes
With that being said, what have been some of the regulation changes that can affect you?
December 1, 2012: Exams through PSI are now required for all specialty designations. Before this date, a contractor candidate simply needed to apply for a ‘smaller’ specialty (i.e.-HIC (Home Improvement Contracting) or CIC (Commercial Improvement Contracting)), and it was granted. There was no examination required. However, after this date, all applicants were required to take an additional exam regardless of the specialty.
January 1, 2016: The prized BLD (Building Specialty) designation was eliminated. The BLD designation allowed for new construction of both commercial and residential structures. This designation no longer exists. It has been replaced by two specialties: the RBC (Residential Building Contracting) and the CBC (Commercial Building Contracting) designations. Candidates that perform both commercial and residential construction must now pass two exams, one for each specialty.
March 1, 2016: Contractor license applicants must be preapproved by DPOR (Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations), Board of Contractors, to sit for any specialty exams. Previously, applicants were permitted to schedule specialty exams at will.
July 1 2017: For the Virginia Class A and the Virginia Class B license, a $50,000 surety bond can now be purchased instead of supplying financial documents to meet the net worth requirements. Previously, only applicant-supplied (i.e.-bank statements, etc.) or CPA-produced financial documents have been allowed. DPOR has mentioned that reviewing and verifying the many and varied financial documents backlogged the license approval process. To simplify and streamline the process, applicants can opt to post a $50,000 surety bond instead of financial documents.
Getting your Virginia Contractor License can be a key to stable, increased income. Being familiar with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board of Contractors’ regulations can save you a lot of headaches, stress and delays.