Written by attorney Michael Lee Claessens

Lawfully obtain a new California contractors license after yours has been revoked.

Revocation of your California contractor’s license is permanent, but that does not mean you cannot receive another. After the passage of time, you can reapply. How much time? Usually, from one to five years must pass from the date of revocation. The amount of time is dependent on the nature and seriousness of the underlying bases for your past license revocation. After that, to reapply, the Contractors State License Board (“Board") requires that you demonstrate: (1) trade competency, (2) atonement, (3) restitution to the state, and (4) financial solvency.

The first requirement, trade competency, is met simply by taking and passing the law and trades portion of the written examination for your specialty.

The second requirement, atonement, requires that you demonstrate that you have paid compensation to anyone you injured or whose property you damaged that was the basis for the revocation of your license. This means that, in addition to paying any court judgment against you, you must also compensate others you may have injured even if the person you injured did not sue you to recover the loss they incurred. The only exception is if the loss has been reduced to a debt that you later discharged in bankruptcy.

The third requirement, restitution to the State, is straightforward: You must pay any outstanding civil penalties and investigative costs incurred by the Board. There are no exceptions. Civil penalties are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you are behind in your family support payments, you must also resolve any outstanding family support issues.

Fourth, you must demonstrate financial solvency. As the condition for any new license issued after a previous revocation, the Board requires that you obtain a disciplinary contractor's bond in the amount of not less than twice the amount or more than ten times the base bond amount of $7,500. The amount of the disciplinary bond is determined by the Board based upon the seriousness of the past violations leading to your previous license revocation. You will be required to maintain the bond on file with the Board for at least two years and the bond period runs only while your license is current, active, and in good standing.

These are daunting requirements to be sure, but competent counsel can assist you at every step to help you avoid mistakes that could cause your application to be rejected and to assist you in getting your carrier back on track.

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