SBE News

Capitol Connection 12/09/2019

CSLB Exam Language Translators And Temporary Licenses

Back to the future as we remind an aspiring applicant to ‘just say no,’ until the license is in his pocket! Let me ‘translate’ this because it may be foreign to you, but it’s an English-only contractor’s exam, and another contractor makes an interesting point but his reasoning doesn’t hold ‘water’…

Shauna Krause, writer of Capitol Connection

Q:  I recently purchased a painting franchise and I applied for a contractor’s license but haven’t completed the application process yet.  What will happen if I contract without a license?  Is there some sort of temporary license I can be issued while the application is being reviewed?

A:  No, the CSLB does not issue temporary licenses.  As you may already be aware, it is illegal for an unlicensed contractor to contract for work over $500 for labor and materials.  The CSLB has an investigative team that frequently conducts stings and sweeps to apprehend unlicensed contractors and it can result in a misdemeanor, jail time, and fines.  Repeat offenders can face even harsher penalties.

Additionally, contractors performing work without a license have no legal right to enforce contracts, so consumers are not legally required to pay contractors operating illegally. Word to the wise! 

Q:  I am an attorney and I have referred many of my clients to you for licensing needs.  I have a new client from Ecuador and I am in the process of helping him set up his business in California and get a Social Security Number so that he can obtain his license.  Obviously English is not his first language and he is very concerned about the exam. Can the Board Exam be taken in Spanish?

A:  No, unfortunately the exam is only offered in English.  Your client can however bring a translator in to the exam with him.   Keep in mind that the translator must be approved by the CSLB in advance.  He will need to check the box on the license application to request the use of a translator