On June 30, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis signed “The Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act” (HB 1193) which eliminates unnecessary regulations and reduces barriers to entry for certain professions in Florida. Effective July 1, 2020, the bill provides the following changes:
- There has been a change to the previous handyman exemption to state licensing requirements. The provision in 489.103, Florida Statutes, formerly exempted projects totaling less than $1,000. The exemption amount will be raised to $2,500. The remaining stipulations, including that the work be of a casual, minor and inconsequential nature, remain in place. That phrase is defined in Rule 61G4-12.011, Florida Administrative Code, and essentially means, when no permit is required.
- The testing requirements for incoming contractors have changed. Graduates with 3.0 or better GPA in building construction will now be exempt from the trade knowledge portion of the state licensing exam. It appears that the intent is that prior graduates will benefit, as well as future graduates should they apply for new licenses. Likewise, the provision applies to any type of license covered in Chapter 489 Part 1, Florida Statutes. Those applicants who qualify for the exemption will so elect when applying for the exam, and apply only to take only the business and finance portion of the test.
- Finally, applicants with an active or recently active out-of-state license held for 10 years or more may apply for the same license in Florida. Division I and roofing endorsement/reciprocity applicants must complete a 2 hour course on the Florida Building Code which includes information on wind mitigation techniques. If you hold the license in the business name, you will need to submit documentation from your home state agency indicating you were the test taker and qualifier. Also, make sure to apply for a license at the same level as you currently hold and include documentation showing what scope of work is allowed with your current license.
Construction Industry Licensing Board Expands Online Continuing Education
The Construction Industry Licensing Board is allowing all continuing education courses previously approved for classroom (in-person) credit to be taught via interactive distance learning methods for the next 90 days. Continuing education course providers will not be required to submit separate course applications for distance learning during this time. This relief from Rule 61G4ER20-6 is effective June 18, 2020 and valid for the next 90 days.
DBPR Hurricane Dorian Updates:
The license renewal and continuing education compliance deadline of September 3, 2019, has been suspended and tolled through September 30, 2019, for licensed registered contractors in the following professions: Registered Air Conditioning Contractor (RA), Registered Building Contractor (RB), Registered Roofing Contractor (RC), Registered Plumbing Contractor (RF), Registered General Contractor (RG), Registered Tank Lining Applicator (RL), Registered Mechanical Contractor (RM), Registered Pool/Spa Contractor (RP), Registered Precision Tank Tester (RQ), Registered Residential Contractor (RR), Registered Sheet Metal Contractor (RS), Registered Utility and Excavation Contractor (RU), and Registered Specialty Contractor (RX).
Public Works Projects
When requesting bids for public works projects, there are times when local governments are uncertain which contractor they need to specify for the project because more than one category of licensure is legally authorized to perform the work. That said, local municipalities may not prohibit any contractor that is qualified, licensed, or certified as required by state law from bidding on public works projects, pursuant to section 255.0992, Florida Statutes. Additionally, section 489.113(9)(a), Florida Statutes provides that a contractor may act as a prime contractor where the majority of the work to be performed under the contract is within the scope of his or her license and the remaining work is subcontracted to other licensed contractors. For more information regarding the scope of work for contractors please review DBPR’s License Types. Contractors may wish to consult their local government attorney regarding the foregoing.
Emergency Order 2018-08696 has been issued in response to Hurricane Michael and is applicable to counties directly affected by the hurricane.
The order temporarily allows local building departments, if needed, to issue local specialty roofing licenses to roofers who are qualified in other localities within the State of Florida. These specialty licenses would be subject to local disciplinary oversight like other local specialty licenses.
The order extends the exemption found in section 489.103(19), F.S. to cover repairs to non-residential structures by non-profit organizations, including community centers, houses of worship, and sports facilities. For-profit commercial buildings are not included in this temporary expansion of the exemption.
For purposes of tarp installation, the order clarifies that Section 489.103(6), Florida Statutes provides an exemption to contractor’s license for: “The sale or installation of any finished products, materials, or articles of merchandise that are not fabricated into and do not become a permanent fixed part of the structure, such as awnings . . .” So long as the tarp installation complies with this exemption, a state contractor’s license is not required.
Paperless Licensing, effective 05/04/2018
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is excited to announce an advancement in how we license construction contractors in the State of Florida.
The Department has implemented an innovative way to expedite the licensing process for construction contractors. The Department will no longer be mailing licenses upon issuance, as licensees can now print their licenses by logging into their secure online account with the Department. This will allow new licensees to enter the work force at least 7 to 10 business days early, whereas, in the past, they would have to wait for the license to arrive in the mail. In addition to new licenses, this process will allow licensees to renew online and print the license at their convenience, as well as print duplicate licenses as needed without paying a fee.
All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Division of Professions
Construction Industry Licensing Board
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791