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Title XXXII REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS & OCCUPATIONS Chapter 489 CONTRACTING PART II - ELECTRICAL AND ALARM SYSTEM CONTRACTING (ss. 489.501-489.538)

 PART II

ELECTRICAL AND ALARM SYSTEM
CONTRACTING

 489.501 Purpose.

 489.503 Exemptions.

 489.505 Definitions.

 489.507 Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board.

 489.509 Fees.

 489.510 Evidence of workers’ compensation coverage.

 489.511 Certification; application; examinations; endorsement.

 489.513 Registration; application; requirements.

 489.514 Certification for registered contractors; grandfathering provisions.

 489.515 Issuance of certificates; registrations.

 489.516 Qualifications to practice; restrictions; prerequisites.

 489.517 Renewal of certificate or registration; continuing education.

 489.518 Alarm system agents.

 489.5185 Fire alarm system agents.

 489.519 Inactive status.

 489.520 Automated licensure status information system.

 489.521 Business organizations; qualifying agents.

 489.522 Qualifying agents; responsibilities.

 489.523 Emergency registration upon death of contractor.

 489.525 Report to local building officials.

 489.529 Alarm verification calls required.

 489.530 Audible alarms.

 489.531 Prohibitions; penalties.

 489.5315 Proprietary electrical or alarm contractors.

 489.532 Contracts entered into by unlicensed contractors unenforceable.

 489.533 Disciplinary proceedings.

 489.5335 Journeyman; reciprocity; standards.

 489.537 Application of this part.

 489.538 Authority of licensed job scope.

 

 489.501 Purpose.—The Legislature deems it necessary in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare to regulate the electrical and alarm system contractors in this state. This regulation seeks to enable qualified persons to obtain licensure, while ensuring that applicants have sufficient technical experience in the applicable trade prior to licensure, are tested on technical and business matters, and upon licensure are made subject to disciplinary procedures and effective policing of the profession.

History.—ss. 1, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 1, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 269, ch. 94-119; s. 21, ch. 2000-332.

 

489.503 Exemptions.—This part does not apply to:

 (1)Any employee of a certificateholder, registrant, or business organization authorized to engage in contracting who is acting within the scope of the license held by that certificateholder or registrant and with the knowledge and permission of the licenseholder. However:

 (a)If the employer is not a certificateholder or registrant in that type of contracting, and the employee performs any of the following, the employee is not exempt:

 1.Holds himself or herself or his or her employer out to be licensed or qualified by a licensee;

 2.Leads the consumer to believe that the employee has an ownership or management interest in the company; or

 3.Performs any of the acts which constitute contracting.

 (b)The legislative intent of this subsection is to place equal responsibility on the unlicensed business and its employees for the protection of the consumers in contracting transactions.

For the purpose of this part, “employee” is defined as a person who receives compensation from, and is under the supervision and control of, an employer who regularly deducts the F.I.C.A. and withholding tax and provides workers’ compensation, all as prescribed by law.

 (2)An authorized employee of the United States, this state, or any municipality, county, irrigation district, reclamation district, or any other municipal or political subdivision of this state, except school boards, state university boards of trustees, and community college boards of trustees, unless for the purpose of performing routine maintenance or repair or construction not exceeding $200,000 to existing installations, as long as the employee does not hold himself or herself out for hire or otherwise engage in contracting except in accordance with his or her employment. If the construction, remodeling, or improvement exceeds $200,000, school boards, state university boards of trustees, and community college boards of trustees shall not divide the project into separate components for the purpose of evading this section.

 (3)An officer appointed by a court when he or she is acting within the scope of his or her office as defined by law or court order.

 (4)Public utilities, on construction, maintenance, and development work performed by their forces and incidental to their business.

 (5)The sale or installation of any finished products, materials, or articles of merchandise which are not actually fabricated into, and do not become a permanent fixed part of, the structure. This subsection shall not be construed to limit the exemptions provided in subsection (6).

 (6)An owner of property making application for permit, supervising, and doing the work in connection with the construction, maintenance, repair, and alteration of and addition to a single-family or duplex residence for his or her own use and occupancy and not intended for sale or an owner of property when acting as his or her own electrical contractor and providing all material supervision himself or herself, when building or improving a farm outbuilding or a single-family or duplex residence on such property for the occupancy or use of such owner and not offered for sale or lease, or building or improving a commercial building with aggregate construction costs of under $75,000 on such property for the occupancy or use of such owner and not offered for sale or lease. In an action brought under this subsection, proof of the sale or lease, or offering for sale or lease, of more than one such structure by the owner-builder within 1 year after completion of same is prima facie evidence that the construction was undertaken for purposes of sale or lease. This subsection does not exempt any person who is employed by such owner and who acts in the capacity of a contractor. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “owner of property” includes the owner of a mobile home situated on a leased lot. To qualify for exemption under this subsection, an owner shall personally appear and sign the building permit application and must satisfy local permitting agency requirements, if any, proving that the owner has a complete understanding of the owner’s obligations under the law as specified in the disclosure statement in this section. If any person violates the requirements of this subsection, the local permitting agency shall withhold final approval, revoke the permit, or pursue any action or remedy for unlicensed activity against the owner and any person performing work that requires licensure under the permit issued. The local permitting agency shall provide the owner with a disclosure statement in substantially the following form:

Disclosure Statement

State law requires electrical contracting to be done by licensed electrical contractors. You have applied for a permit under an exemption to that law. The exemption allows you, as the owner of your property, to act as your own electrical contractor even though you do not have a license. You may install electrical wiring for a farm outbuilding or a single-family or duplex residence. You may install electrical wiring in a commercial building the aggregate construction costs of which are under $75,000. The home or building must be for your own use and occupancy. It may not be built for sale or lease. If you sell or lease more than one building you have wired yourself within 1 year after the construction is complete, the law will presume that you built it for sale or lease, which is a violation of this exemption. You may not hire an unlicensed person as your electrical contractor. Your construction shall be done according to building codes and zoning regulations. It is your responsibility to make sure that people employed by you have licenses required by state law and by county or municipal licensing ordinances.

 (7)Any construction, alteration, improvement, or repair carried on within the limits of any site the title to which is in the United States or any construction, alteration, improvement, or repair on any project when federal law supersedes this part.

 (8)Any construction or operation incidental to the construction or repair of irrigation and drainage ditches; regularly constituted irrigation districts; reclamation districts; or clearing or other work on the land in rural districts for fire prevention purposes or otherwise, except when performed by a certificateholder under this part.

 (9)A registered architect or engineer acting within the scope of his or her practice, or any person exempted by the law regulating architects or engineers, including persons doing design work as specified in s. 481.229(1)(b).

 (10)Any person who only furnishes materials or supplies without fabricating them into, or consuming them in the performance of, the work of the contractor.

 (11)The installation of alarm systems on motor vehicles and boats.

 (12)Any person as defined and licensed under chapter 527 while engaged in work regulated under that chapter.

 (13)Any person defined and licensed as a fire protection system contractor under chapter 633, while engaged in work as a fire protection system contractor.

 (14)The sale of, installation of, repair of, alteration of, addition to, or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, computers, customer premises equipment, customer premises wiring, and conduit, or any part thereof, by an employee, contractor, subcontractor, or affiliate of a company operating under a certificate issued under chapter 364 or chapter 610, or under a local franchise or right-of-way agreement, if those items are for the purpose of transmitting data, voice, video, or other communications, or commands as part of a cable television, community antenna television, radio distribution, communications, or telecommunications system. An employee, subcontractor, contractor, or affiliate of a company that operates under a certificate issued under chapter 364 or chapter 610, or under a local franchise or right-of-way agreement, is not subject to any local ordinance that requires a permit for work related to low-voltage electrical work, including related technical codes, regulations, and licensure. The scope of this exemption is limited to electrical circuits and equipment governed by the applicable provisions of Articles 725 (Classes 2 and 3 circuits only), 770, 800, 810, and 820 of the National Electrical Code, current edition, or 47 C.F.R. part 68, and employees, contractors, and subcontractors of companies, and affiliates thereof, operating under a certificate issued under chapter 364 or chapter 610 or under a local franchise or right-of-way agreement. This subsection does not relieve any person from licensure as an alarm system contractor.

 (15)The provision, installation, testing, routine maintenance, factory-servicing, or monitoring of a personal emergency response system, as defined in s. 489.505, by an authorized person who:

 (a)Is an employee of, or a volunteer supervised by an employee of, a health care facility licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration;

 (b)Performs services for the Department of Elderly Affairs;

 (c)Performs services for the Department of Children and Families under chapter 410; or

 (d)Is an employee of or an authorized representative or distributor for the producer of the personal emergency response system being monitored.

 (16)The monitoring of a personal emergency response system, as defined in s. 489.505, by a charitable, not-for-profit corporation acting in accordance with a contractual agreement with the Agency for Health Care Administration or one of its licensed health care facilities, the Department of Elderly Affairs, or the Department of Children and Families, providing that the organization does not perform any other service requiring certification or registration under this part. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to provide any of the agencies mentioned in this subsection the authority to develop rules, criteria, or policy pursuant to this subsection.

 (17)The monitoring of an alarm system without fee by a direct employee of a law enforcement agency or of a county, municipal, or special district fire department or by a law enforcement officer or fire official acting in an official capacity.

 (18)The monitoring of an alarm system by a direct employee of any state or federally chartered financial institution, as defined in s. 655.005, or any parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof, so long as:

 (a)The institution is subject to, and in compliance with, s. 3 of the Federal Bank Protection Act of 1968, 12 U.S.C. s. 1882;

 (b)The alarm system is in compliance with all applicable firesafety standards as set forth in chapter 633; and

 (c)The monitoring is limited to an alarm system associated with:

 1.The commercial property where banking operations are housed or other operations are conducted by a state or federally chartered financial institution or any parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof; or

 2.The private property occupied by the institution’s executive officers, as defined in s. 655.005,

and does not otherwise extend to the monitoring of residential systems.

 (19)The monitoring of an alarm system of a business by the direct employees of that business, so long as:

 (a)The alarm system is the exclusive property of, or is leased by, the business;

 (b)The alarm system complies with all applicable firesafety standards as set forth in chapter 633; and

 (c)The alarm system is designed to protect only the commercial premises leased by the business endeavor or commercial premises owned by the business endeavor and not leased to another.

This exemption is intended to allow businesses to monitor their own alarm systems and is not limited to monitoring a single location of that business. However, it is not intended to enable the owner of any apartment complex, aggregate housing, or commercial property to monitor alarm systems on property leased or rented to the residents, clients, or customers thereof.

 (20)Contracting for repair, maintenance, remodeling, or improvement by any person licensed under part I of chapter 475 while acting as the owner’s agent pursuant to that license, where all work requiring a contractor is performed by a contractor who has a current, valid certificate or registration issued under this part to perform such work, and where the aggregate contract for labor, materials, and all other items is less than $5,000; however, this exemption does not apply:

 (a)If the maintenance, repair, remodeling, or improvement is a part of a larger or major operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different contractor, or in which a division of the operation is made in contracts of amounts less than $5,000 for the purpose of evading this part or otherwise.

 (b)To a person who advertises that he or she is qualified to engage in contracting.

 (21)Alarm system inspections, audits, or quality assurance services performed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized as meeting the requirements of 29 C.F.R. s. 1910.7.

 (22)Any person who installs or repairs lightning rods or related systems.

 (23)An employee or sales representative of an alarm system contractor if he or she:

 (a)Does not alter, install, maintain, move, or repair alarm systems on end-user premises; and

 (b)Is not granted access to passwords or codes that can be used to arm or disarm alarm systems installed on specific end-user premises, or, if working at an out-of-state location, has received a satisfactory fingerprint and background check from a state or federal agency.

This subsection shall not be construed to limit the exemptions provided in subsection (6) or relieve a person of his or her obligation to comply with the applicable background check provisions of ss. 489.518 and 489.5185 for any onsite alarm sales.

History.—ss. 12, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 1, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 89-343; s. 36, ch. 90-228; ss. 1, 10, ch. 91-119; s. 42, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 8, ch. 92-55; s. 65, ch. 92-149; s. 270, ch. 94-119; s. 8, ch. 94-284; s. 34, ch. 95-145; s. 1, ch. 96-298; s. 73, ch. 96-388; s. 1132, ch. 97-103; s. 40, ch. 98-250; s. 35, ch. 98-419; s. 233, ch. 99-8; s. 23, ch. 99-254; s. 36, ch. 2000-372; s. 3, ch. 2006-154; s. 2, ch. 2006-283; s. 57, ch. 2007-217; s. 37, ch. 2011-194; s. 1, ch. 2013-203; s. 272, ch. 2014-19.

 

489.505 Definitions.—As used in this part:

 (1)“Alarm system” means any electrical device, signaling device, or combination of electrical devices used to signal or detect a burglary, fire, robbery, or medical emergency.

 (2)“Alarm system contractor” means a person whose business includes the execution of contracts requiring the ability, experience, science, knowledge, and skill to lay out, fabricate, install, maintain, alter, repair, monitor, inspect, replace, or service alarm systems for compensation, including, but not limited to, all types of alarm systems for all purposes. This term also means any person, firm, or corporation that engages in the business of alarm contracting under an expressed or implied contract; that undertakes, offers to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake, or submits a bid to engage in the business of alarm contracting; or that by itself or by or through others engages in the business of alarm contracting.

 (a)“Alarm system contractor I” means an alarm system contractor whose business includes all types of alarm systems for all purposes.

 (b)“Alarm system contractor II” means an alarm system contractor whose business includes all types of alarm systems other than fire, for all purposes, except as herein provided.

 (3)“Board,” except “local board,” means the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board created by this part.

 (4)“Certificate” means a geographically unlimited certificate of competency issued by the department as provided in this part.

 (5)“Certificateholder” means a contractor who has obtained a certificate of competency.

 (6)“Certification” means the act of obtaining or holding a certificate of competency from the department as provided in this part.

 (7)“Certified alarm system contractor” means an alarm system contractor who possesses a certificate of competency issued by the department. The scope of certification is limited to alarm circuits originating in the alarm control panel and equipment governed by the applicable provisions of Articles 725, 760, 770, 800, and 810 of the National Electrical Code, Current Edition, and National Fire Protection Association Standard 72, Current Edition. The scope of certification for alarm system contractors also includes the installation, repair, fabrication, erection, alteration, addition, or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, and conduit, or any part thereof not to exceed 98 volts (RMS), when those items are for the purpose of transmitting data or proprietary video (satellite systems that are not part of a community antenna television or radio distribution system) or providing central vacuum capability or electric locks; however, this provision governing the scope of certification does not create any mandatory licensure requirement.

 (8)“Certified electrical contractor” means an electrical contractor who possesses a certificate of competency issued by the department.

 (9)“Contracting” means, except where exempted in this part, engaging in business as a contractor or performing electrical or alarm work for compensation and includes, but is not limited to, performance of any of the acts found in subsections (2) and (12), which define the services which a contractor is allowed to perform. The attempted sale of contracting services and the negotiation or bid for a contract on these services also constitutes contracting. If the services offered require licensure or agent qualification, the offering, negotiation for a bid, or attempted sale of these services requires the corresponding licensure.

 (10)“Contractor” means a person who is qualified to engage in the business of electrical or alarm system contracting pursuant to a certificate or registration issued by the department.

 (11)“Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

 (12)“Electrical contractor” or “unlimited electrical contractor” means a person who conducts business in the electrical trade field and who has the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, repair, alter, add to, or design, in compliance with law, electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, apparatus, raceways, conduit, or any part thereof, which generates, transmits, transforms, or utilizes electrical energy in any form, including the electrical installations and systems within plants and substations, all in compliance with applicable plans, specifications, codes, laws, and regulations. The term means any person, firm, or corporation that engages in the business of electrical contracting under an express or implied contract; or that undertakes, offers to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake, or submits a bid to engage in the business of electrical contracting; or that does itself or by or through others engage in the business of electrical contracting.

 (13)“Local construction regulation board” or “local board” means a board, composed of not fewer than three residents of a county or municipality, which the governing body of that county or municipality may create and appoint to maintain the proper standard of construction of that county or municipality.

 (14)“Primary qualifying agent” means a person who possesses the requisite skill, knowledge, and experience, and has the responsibility, to supervise, direct, manage, and control the electrical or alarm system contracting activities of the business organization with which he or she is connected; and whose technical and personal qualifications have been determined by investigation and examination as provided in this part by the department, as attested to by the board; and who has been issued a certificate of competency by the department.

 (15)“Secondary qualifying agent” means a person who possesses the requisite skill, knowledge, and experience, and has the responsibility to supervise, direct, manage, and control the electrical or alarm system contracting activities on a job for which he or she has obtained a permit; and whose technical and personal qualifications have been determined by investigation and examination as provided in this part by the department, as attested to by the board; and who has been issued a certificate of competency by the department.

 (16)“Registered electrical contractor” means an electrical contractor who has registered with the department pursuant to fulfilling the competency requirements in the jurisdiction for which the registration is issued. A registered electrical contractor may contract only in the jurisdiction for which his or her registration is issued.

 (17)“Registration” means registration with the department as provided in this part.

 (18)“Registrant” means a person who has registered with the department pursuant to the requirements of this part.

 (19)“Specialty contractor” means a contractor whose scope of practice is limited to a specific segment of electrical or alarm system contracting established in a category adopted by board rule, including, but not limited to, residential electrical contracting, maintenance of electrical fixtures, and fabrication, erection, installation, and maintenance of electrical advertising signs together with the interrelated parts and supports thereof.

 (20)“Mediation” means a process whereby a neutral third party acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute without prescribing what it should be. It is an informal and nonadversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

 (21)“Registered alarm system contractor I” means an alarm system contractor whose business includes all types of alarm systems for all purposes and who is registered with the department pursuant to s. 489.513. A registered alarm system contractor I may contract only in the jurisdictions for which his or her registration is issued.

 (22)“Registered alarm system contractor II” means an alarm system contractor whose business includes all types of alarm systems, other than fire, for all purposes and who is registered with the department pursuant to s. 489.513. A registered alarm system contractor II may contract only in the jurisdiction for which his or her registration is issued.

 (23)“Registered residential alarm system contractor” means an alarm system contractor whose business is limited to burglar alarm systems in single-family residential, quadruplex housing, and mobile homes of a residential occupancy class and who is registered with the department pursuant to s. 489.513. The board shall define “residential occupancy class” by rule. A registered residential alarm system contractor may contract only in the jurisdiction for which his or her registration is issued.

 (24)“Licensure” means any type of certification or registration provided for in this part.

 (25)“Burglar alarm system agent” means a person:

 (a)Who is employed by a licensed alarm system contractor or licensed electrical contractor;

 (b)Who is performing duties which are an element of an activity which constitutes alarm system contracting requiring licensure under this part; and

 (c)Whose specific duties include any of the following: altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, selling, or monitoring an intrusion or burglar alarm system for compensation.

 (26)“Personal emergency response system” means any device which is simply plugged into a telephone jack or electrical receptacle and which is designed to initiate a telephone call to a person who responds to, or has a responsibility to determine the proper response to, personal emergencies, but does not include hard-wired or wireless alarm systems designed to detect intrusion or fire.

 (27)“Monitoring” means to receive electrical or electronic signals originating from any structure within the state or outside the state, regardless of whether those signals are relayed through a jurisdiction outside the state, where such signals are produced by any security, medical, fire, or burglar alarm, closed circuit television camera, access-control system, or related or similar protective system and are intended by design to initiate a response thereto. A person shall not have committed the act of monitoring if:

 (a)The person is an occupant of, or an employee working within, protected premises;

 (b)The person initiates emergency action in response to hearing or observing an alarm signal;

 (c)The person’s action is incidental to his or her primary responsibilities; and

 (d)The person is not employed in a proprietary monitoring facility, as defined by the National Fire   Protection Association pursuant to rule adopted under chapter 633.

 (28)“Fire alarm system agent” means a person:

 (a)Who is employed by a licensed fire alarm contractor or certified unlimited electrical contractor;

 (b)Who is performing duties which are an element of an activity that constitutes fire alarm system contracting requiring certification under this part; and

 (c)Whose specific duties include any of the following: altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, servicing, selling, or monitoring a fire alarm system for compensation.

 (29)“Nationally recognized testing laboratory” means an organization that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has legally recognized to be in compliance with 29 C.F.R. s. 1910.7 and that provides quality assurance, product testing, or certification services.

History.—ss. 2, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 88, ch. 83-329; s. 3, ch. 85-290; ss. 3, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 2, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 1, ch. 89-81; s. 5, ch. 89-343; s. 41, ch. 90-228; s. 2, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 271, ch. 94-119; s. 187, ch. 94-218; s. 2, ch. 96-298; s. 73, ch. 96-388; s. 1133, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 97-122; s. 9, ch. 98-170; s. 36, ch. 98-419; ss. 37, 46, ch. 2000-372; s. 4, ch. 2006-154; s. 38, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.507 Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board.—

 (1)There is created in the department the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board. The board shall consist of 11 members, 7 of whom shall be certified electrical contractors, 2 of whom shall be consumer members who are not, and have never been, electrical contractors or members of any closely related profession or occupation, and 2 of whom shall be certified alarm system contractors I. Members shall be appointed for 4-year terms.

 (2)To be eligible to serve, each contractor member must have been certified by the board to operate as a contractor in the category with respect to which the member is appointed, be actively engaged in the construction business, and have been so engaged for a period of not less than 5 consecutive years before the date of appointment. Each appointee must be a citizen and resident of the state.

 (3)The board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this part.

 (4)It is the intent of the Legislature that the board promulgate no rules and take no action to require that applicants for certification as alarm system contractors serve any type of apprenticeship before being allowed to sit for the certification examination.

 (5)Any proposed board rule which has not been modified to remove proposed committee objections of the Administrative Procedures Committee must receive approval from the department prior to filing the rule with the Department of State for final adoption. The department may repeal any rule enacted by the board which has taken effect without having met proposed committee objections of the Administrative Procedures Committee.

 (6)The Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board and the Construction Industry Licensing Board shall each appoint a committee to meet jointly at least twice a year.

History.—ss. 3, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 3, 21, 22, ch. 88-149; s. 38, ch. 89-374; s. 43, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 158, ch. 92-149; s. 188, ch. 94-218; s. 161, ch. 98-200; s. 37, ch. 98-419; s. 38, ch. 2000-372.

 

489.509 Fees.—

 (1)The board, by rule, shall establish fees to be paid for applications, examination, reexamination, transfers, licensing and renewal, reinstatement, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The examination fee shall be in an amount that covers the cost of obtaining and administering the examination and shall be refunded if the applicant is found ineligible to sit for the examination. The application fee is nonrefundable. The fee for initial application and examination for certification of electrical contractors may not exceed $400. The initial application fee for registration may not exceed $150. The biennial renewal fee may not exceed $400 for certificateholders and $200 for registrants. The fee for initial application and examination for certification of alarm system contractors may not exceed $400. The biennial renewal fee for certified alarm system contractors may not exceed $450. The board may establish a fee for a temporary certificate as an alarm system contractor not to exceed $75. The board may also establish by rule a delinquency fee not to exceed $50. The fee to transfer a certificate or registration from one business organization to another may not exceed $200. The fee for reactivation of an inactive license may not exceed $50. The board shall establish fees that are adequate to ensure the continued operation of the board. Fees shall be based on department estimates of the revenue required to implement this part and the provisions of law with respect to the regulation of electrical contractors and alarm system contractors.

 (2)A person who is registered or holds a valid certificate may go on inactive status during which time he or she shall not engage in contracting, but may retain the certificate or registration on an inactive basis, on payment of a renewal fee during the inactive period, not to exceed $50 per renewal period.

 (3)Four dollars of each fee under subsection (1) paid to the department at the time of application or renewal shall be transferred at the end of each licensing period to the department to fund projects relating to the building construction industry or continuing education programs offered to persons engaged in the building construction industry in Florida. The board shall, at the time the funds are transferred, advise the department on the most needed areas of research or continuing education based on significant changes in the industry’s practices or on the most common types of consumer complaints or on problems costing the state or local governmental entities substantial waste. The board’s advice is not binding on the department. The department shall ensure the distribution of research reports and the availability of continuing education programs to all segments of the building construction industry to which they relate. The department shall report to the board in October of each year, summarizing the allocation of the funds by institution and summarizing the new projects funded and the status of previously funded projects.

History.—ss. 4, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 89, ch. 83-329; ss. 5, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 4, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 63, ch. 89-162; s. 3, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 71, ch. 92-149; s. 272, ch. 94-119; s. 490, ch. 97-103; s. 38, ch. 98-419; s. 19, ch. 2001-186; s. 406, ch. 2011-142.

 

489.510 Evidence of workers’ compensation coverage.—Except as provided in s. 489.515(3)(b), any person, business organization, or qualifying agent engaged in the business of contracting in this state and certified or registered under this part shall, as a condition precedent to the issuance or renewal of a certificate or registration of the contractor, provide to the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board, as provided by board rule, evidence of workers’ compensation coverage pursuant to chapter 440. In the event that the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Department of Financial Services receives notice of the cancellation of a policy of workers’ compensation insurance insuring a person or entity governed by this section, the Division of Workers’ Compensation shall certify and identify all persons or entities by certification or registration license number to the department after verification is made by the Division of Workers’ Compensation that persons or entities governed by this section are no longer covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Such certification and verification by the Division of Workers’ Compensation may result from records furnished to the Division of Workers’ Compensation by the persons or entities governed by this section or an investigation completed by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The department shall notify the persons or entities governed by this section who have been determined to be in noncompliance with chapter 440, and the persons or entities notified shall provide certification of compliance with chapter 440 to the department and pay an administrative fine in the amount of $500. The failure to maintain workers’ compensation coverage as required by law shall be grounds for the board to revoke, suspend, or deny the issuance or renewal of a certificate or registration of the contractor under the provisions of s. 489.533.

History.—s. 31, ch. 89-289; s. 1, ch. 90-192; s. 48, ch. 90-201; s. 46, ch. 91-1; s. 4, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 32, ch. 2001-91; s. 18, ch. 2002-236; s. 59, ch. 2003-1; s. 511, ch. 2003-261.

 489.511Certification; application; examinations; endorsement.—

 (1)(a)Any person who is at least 18 years of age may take the certification examination.

 (b)Any person desiring to be certified as a contractor shall apply to the department in writing and must meet the following criteria:

 1.Be of good moral character;

 2.Pass the certification examination, achieving a passing grade as established by board rule; and

 3.Meet eligibility requirements according to one of the following criteria:

 a.Has, within the 6 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 3 years’ proven management experience in the trade or education equivalent thereto, or a combination thereof, but not more than one-half of such experience may be educational equivalent;

 b.Has, within the 8 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 4 years’ experience as a supervisor or contractor in the trade for which he or she is making application;

 c.Has, within the 12 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, at least 6 years of comprehensive training, technical education, or supervisory experience associated with an electrical or alarm system contracting business, or at least 6 years of technical experience in electrical or alarm system work with the Armed Forces or a governmental entity;

 d.Has, within the 12 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, been licensed for 3 years as a professional engineer who is qualified by education, training, or experience to practice electrical engineering; or

 e.Has any combination of qualifications under sub-subparagraphs a.-c. totaling 6 years of experience.

 (c)For purposes of this subsection, “supervisor” means a person having the experience gained while having the general duty of overseeing the technical duties of the trade, provided that such experience is gained by a person who is able to perform the technical duties of the trade without supervision.

 (d)For purposes of this subsection, at least 40 percent of the work experience for an alarm system contractor I must be in the types of fire alarm systems typically used in a commercial setting.

 (2)The board may determine by rule the number of times per year the applicant may take the examination and after three unsuccessful attempts may require the applicant to complete additional college-level or technical education courses in the areas of deficiency, as determined by the board, as a condition of future eligibility to take the examination.

 (3)(a)“Good moral character” means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for laws of this state and nation.

 (b)The board may determine that an individual applying for certification is ineligible for failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only if:

 1.There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the individual and the professional responsibilities of a certified contractor; and

 2.The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

 (c)When an individual is found to be unqualified for certification because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish such individual a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the individual to a rehearing and appeal.

 (4)The board shall, by rule, designate those types of specialty electrical or alarm system contractors who may be certified under this part. The limit of the scope of work and responsibility of a certified specialty contractor shall be established by board rule. A certified specialty contractor category exists as an optional statewide licensing category. Qualification for certification in a specialty category created by rule shall be the same as set forth in paragraph (1)(b). The existence of a specialty category created by rule does not itself create any licensing requirement; however, neither does its optional nature remove any licensure requirement established elsewhere in this part.

 (5)The board shall certify as qualified for certification by endorsement any individual applying for certification who:

 (a)Meets the requirements for certification as set forth in this section; has passed a national, regional, state, or United States territorial licensing examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required by this part; and has satisfied the requirements set forth in s. 489.521; or

 (b)Holds a valid license to practice electrical or alarm system contracting issued by another state or territory of the United States, if the criteria for issuance of such license was substantially equivalent to the certification criteria that existed in this state at the time the certificate was issued.

 (6)Upon the issuance of a certificate, any previously issued registered licenses for the classification in which the certification is issued are rendered void.

History.—ss. 5, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 4, ch. 85-290; ss. 6, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 5, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 6, ch. 89-343; s. 11, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 66, ch. 92-149; s. 22, ch. 93-166; s. 273, ch. 94-119; s. 491, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 98-419; s. 24, ch. 99-254; s. 31, ch. 2008-240.

 

489.513 Registration; application; requirements.—

 (1)Any person engaged in the business of contracting in the state shall be registered in the proper classification unless he or she is certified. Any person desiring to be a registered contractor shall apply to the department for registration and must:

 (a)Be at least 18 years old;

 (b)Be of good moral character; and

 (c)Meet eligibility requirements according to the following criteria:

 1.As used in this subsection, the term “good moral character” means a personal history of honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and for state and federal law.

 2.The board may determine that an individual applying for registration is ineligible due to failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only if:

 a.There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the individual and the professional responsibilities of a registered contractor; and

 b.The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

 3.When an individual is found to be unqualified because of lack of good moral character, the board must furnish such individual a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the individual to a rehearing and an appeal.

 (2)Any contractor may be registered to contract in the area specified in such registration if the contractor is qualified as provided in this section.

 (3)To be registered as an electrical contractor, an alarm system contractor I, an alarm system contractor II, or a residential alarm system contractor, the applicant shall file evidence of holding a current certificate of competency issued by any municipality or county of the state for the type of work for which registration is desired, on a form provided by the department, together with evidence of having passed an appropriate local examination, written or oral, designed to test skills and knowledge relevant to the technical performance of the profession, accompanied by the registration fee fixed pursuant to this part. For any person working or wishing to work in any local jurisdiction that does not require an examination for its license, the applicant may apply and shall be considered qualified to be issued a registration in the appropriate electrical or alarm system category, provided that he or she shows that he or she has scored at least 75 percent on an examination which is substantially equivalent to the examination approved by the board for certification in the category and that he or she has had at least 3 years’ technical experience in the trade. The requirement to take and pass an examination in order to obtain a registration shall not apply to persons making application prior to the effective date of this act.

 (4)The name or names of the business organization that the registrant is qualifying shall be listed on the registration issued by the department.

 (5)Registration permits the registrant to engage in contracting only in the area and for the type of work covered by the registration, unless local licenses are issued for other areas and types of work or unless certification is obtained. When a registrant desires to register in an additional area of the state, he or she shall comply with any local requirements of that area and then file a request with the department, together with evidence of holding a current license issued by the county or municipality for the area or areas in which he or she desires to be registered, whereupon his or her evidence of registration shall be endorsed by the department to reflect valid registration for the new area or areas.

 (6)The local jurisdictions are responsible for providing the following information to the board within 30 days after licensure of, or any disciplinary action against, a locally licensed contractor who is registered under this part:

 (a)Licensure information.

 (b)Code violation information pursuant to s. 553.781.

 (c)Disciplinary information.

The board shall maintain such licensure and disciplinary information as it is provided to the board and shall make the information available through the automated information system provided pursuant to s. 455.2286.

History.—ss. 6, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 5, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 274, ch. 94-119; s. 492, ch. 97-103; s. 26, ch. 98-287; s. 40, ch. 98-419; ss. 2, 25, ch. 99-254; s. 5, ch. 2006-154; s. 39, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.514 Certification for registered contractors; grandfathering provisions.—

 (1)The board shall, upon receipt of a completed application, appropriate fee, and proof of compliance with the provisions of this section, issue:

 (a)To an applying registered electrical contractor, a certificate as an electrical contractor, as defined in s. 489.505(12);

 (b)To an applying registered alarm system contractor, a certificate in the matching alarm system contractor category, as defined in s. 489.505(2)(a) or (b); or

 (c)To an applying registered electrical specialty contractor, a certificate in the matching electrical specialty contractor category, as defined in s. 489.505(19).

 (2)Any contractor registered under this part who makes application under this section to the board shall meet each of the following requirements for certification:

 (a)Currently holds a valid registered local license in the category of electrical contractor, alarm system contractor, or electrical specialty contractor.

 (b)Has, for that category, passed a written, proctored examination that the board finds to be substantially similar to the examination required to be licensed as a certified contractor under this part. For purposes of this subsection, a written, proctored examination such as that produced by the National Assessment Institute, Block and Associates, NAI/Block, Experior Assessments, Professional Testing, Inc., or Assessment Systems, Inc., shall be considered to be substantially similar to the examination required to be licensed as a certified contractor. The board may not impose or make any requirements regarding the nature or content of these cited examinations.

 (c)Has at least 5 years of experience as a contractor in that contracting category, or as an inspector or building administrator with oversight over that category, at the time of application. For contractors, only time periods in which the contractor license is active and the contractor is not on probation shall count toward the 5 years required under this subsection.

 (d)Has not had his or her contractor’s license revoked at any time, had his or her contractor’s license suspended in the last 5 years, or been assessed a fine in excess of $500 in the last 5 years.

 (e)Is in compliance with the insurance and financial responsibility requirements in s. 489.515(1)(b).

 (3)An applicant must make application by November 1, 2015, to be licensed pursuant to this section.

History.—s. 4, ch. 99-254; s. 39, ch. 2000-372; s. 11, ch. 2013-193.

 

489.515 Issuance of certificates; registrations.—

 (1)(a)The department shall issue a certificate to a person who the board certifies is qualified to become a certified contractor.

 (b)The board shall certify as qualified for certification any person who satisfies the requirements of s. 489.511 and who submits satisfactory evidence that he or she has obtained both workers’ compensation insurance or an acceptable exemption certificate issued by the department and public liability and property damage insurance for the health, safety, and welfare of the public in amounts determined by rule of the board, and furnishes evidence of financial responsibility, credit, and business reputation of either himself or herself or the business organization he or she desires to qualify.

 (c)Upon compliance with the provisions of this section and payment of the certification fee, the department shall issue the person a certificate.

 (2)The department shall issue a registration to a person who is in compliance with the provisions of s. 489.513 and who the board certifies is qualified to be registered.

 (3)(a)As a prerequisite to the initial issuance or the renewal of a certificate or registration, the applicant shall submit an affidavit on a form provided by the board attesting to the fact that the applicant has obtained both workers’ compensation insurance or an acceptable exemption certificate issued by the department and public liability and property damage insurance for the health, safety, and welfare of the public in amounts determined by rule of the board. The board shall by rule establish a procedure to verify the accuracy of such affidavits based upon a random audit method.

 (b)An applicant for initial issuance of a certificate or registration shall submit as a prerequisite to qualifying for an exemption from workers’ compensation coverage requirements under s. 440.05 an affidavit attesting to the fact that the applicant will obtain an exemption within 30 days after the date the initial certificate or registration is issued by the board.

 (4)The board may refuse to certify any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of s. 489.533.

 (5)A certificate or registration is not transferable.

History.—ss. 7, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 7, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 6, ch. 91-119; s. 44, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 51, ch. 92-149; s. 275, ch. 94-119; s. 493, ch. 97-103; s. 47, ch. 2000-372; s. 33, ch. 2001-91; s. 32, ch. 2008-240.

 

489.516 Qualifications to practice; restrictions; prerequisites.—

 (1)Any person who desires to engage in electrical or alarm system contracting on a statewide basis shall, as a prerequisite thereto, establish his or her competency and qualifications to be certified pursuant to this part. To establish competency, a person shall pass the appropriate examination administered by the department. Any person who desires to engage in contracting on other than a statewide basis shall, as a prerequisite thereto, be registered pursuant to this part, unless exempted by this part.

 (2)No person who is not certified or registered shall engage in the business of contracting in this state. To enforce this subsection:

 (a)The department shall issue a cease and desist order to prohibit any person from engaging in the business of contracting who does not hold the required certification or registration for the work being performed under this part. For the purpose of enforcing a cease and desist order, the department may file a proceeding in the name of the state seeking issuance of an injunction or a writ of mandamus against any person who violates any provision of such order.

 (b)A county or municipality may issue a cease and desist order to prohibit any person from engaging in the business of contracting who does not hold the required certification or registration for the work being performed under this part.

 (3)When a certificateholder desires to engage in contracting in any area of the state, as a prerequisite therefor, he or she shall only be required to exhibit to the local building official, tax collector, or other authorized person in charge of the issuance of licenses and building or electrical permits in the area evidence of holding a current certificate and a current business tax receipt issued by the jurisdiction in which the certificateholder’s principal place of business is located and having paid the fee for the permit required of other persons. However, a local construction regulation board may deny the issuance of an electrical permit to a certified contractor, or issue a permit with specific conditions, if the local construction regulation board has found such contractor, through the public hearing process, to be guilty of fraud or a willful building code violation within the county or municipality that the local construction regulation board represents, or if the local construction regulation board has proof that such contractor, through the public hearing process, has been found guilty, in another county or municipality within the past 12 months, of fraud or a willful building code violation and finds, after providing notice to the contractor, that such fraud or violation would have been fraud or a violation if committed in the county or municipality that the local construction board represents. Notification of and information concerning such permit denial shall be submitted to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation within 15 days after the local construction regulation board decides to deny the permit.

 (4)A county or municipality may suspend or deny a locally issued permit when the local building official, tax collector, or other authorized person determines that the contractor has failed to obtain both workers’ compensation insurance or an acceptable exemption certificate issued by the department and public liability and property damage insurance in the amounts determined by rule of the board.

 (5)Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a certified electrical contractor, registered alarm system contractor I, registered alarm system contractor II, or alarm system contractor I or alarm system contractor II that is a certified alarm system contractor is exempt from any local law, local ordinance, or local code that requires a contractor to be listed or placarded by a nationally recognized testing laboratory or to be certified by any regionally or nationally recognized certification organization. However, a county, municipality, or special district may require any such electrical contractor or alarm system contractor to provide, at the final inspection of a fire alarm system, the documentation required by NFPA No. 72, “National Fire Alarm Code,” for installation and monitoring. This subsection does not prohibit a county, municipality, or special district from requiring compliance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code or with NFPA No. 72.

History.—ss. 8, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 7, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 276, ch. 94-119; s. 189, ch. 94-218; s. 494, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2006-154; s. 40, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.517 Renewal of certificate or registration; continuing education.—

 (1)The department shall renew a certificate or registration upon receipt of the renewal application and fee and proof of meeting all continuing education requirements.

 (2)The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of certificates and registrations.

 (3)Each certificateholder or registrant shall provide proof, in a form established by rule of the board, that the certificateholder or registrant has completed at least 14 classroom hours of at least 50 minutes each of continuing education courses during each biennium since the issuance or renewal of the certificate or registration. The board shall by rule establish criteria for the approval of continuing education courses and providers and may by rule establish criteria for accepting alternative nonclassroom continuing education on an hour-for-hour basis.

 (4)(a)If a certificateholder or registrant holds a license under both this part and part I and is required to have continuing education courses under s. 489.115(4)(b)1., the certificateholder or registrant may apply those course hours for workers’ compensation, workplace safety, and business practices obtained under part I to the requirements under this part.

 (b)Of the 14 classroom hours of continuing education required, at least 7 hours must be on technical subjects, 1 hour on workers’ compensation, 1 hour on workplace safety, 1 hour on business practices, and for alarm system contractors and electrical contractors engaged in alarm system contracting, 2 hours on false alarm prevention.

 (5)By applying for renewal, each certificateholder or registrant certifies that he or she has continually maintained the required amounts of public liability and property damage insurance as specified by board rule. The board shall establish by rule a procedure to verify the public liability and property damage insurance for a specified period, based upon a random sampling method.

 (6)The board shall require, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, a specialized number of hours in specialized or advanced module courses, approved by the Florida Building Commission, on any portion of the Florida Building Code, adopted pursuant to part IV of chapter 553, relating to the contractor’s respective discipline.

History.—ss. 8, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 9, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 277, ch. 94-119; s. 27, ch. 98-287; s. 41, ch. 98-419; s. 1, ch. 2004-76; s. 132, ch. 2008-4; s. 41, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.518 Alarm system agents.—

 (1)A licensed electrical or alarm system contractor may not employ a person to perform the duties of a burglar alarm system agent unless the person:

 (a)Is at least 18 years of age or has evidence of a court-approved declaration of emancipation.

 (b)Has successfully completed a minimum of 14 hours of training, to include basic alarm system electronics in addition to related training including CCTV and access control training, with at least 2 hours of training in the prevention of false alarms. Such training shall be from a board-approved provider, and the employee or applicant for employment shall provide proof of successful completion to the licensed employer. The board shall by rule establish criteria for the approval of training courses and providers and may by rule establish criteria for accepting alternative nonclassroom education on an hour-for-hour basis. The board shall approve providers that conduct training in other than the English language. The board shall establish a fee for the approval of training providers or courses, not to exceed $60. Qualified employers may conduct training classes for their employees, with board approval.

 (c)Has not been convicted within the last 3 years of a crime that directly relates to the business for which employment is being sought. Although the employee is barred from operating as an alarm system agent for 3 years subsequent to his or her conviction, the employer shall be supplied the information regarding any convictions occurring prior to that time, and the employer may at his or her discretion consider an earlier conviction to be a bar to employment as an alarm system agent. To ensure that this requirement has been met, a licensed electrical or alarm contractor must obtain from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement a completed fingerprint and criminal background check for each applicant for employment as a burglar alarm system agent or for each individual currently employed on the effective date of this act as a burglar alarm system agent.

 (d)Has not been committed for controlled substance abuse or been found guilty of a crime under chapter 893 or a similar law relating to controlled substances in any other state within the 3-year period immediately preceding the date of application for employment, or the effective date of this act for an individual employed as a burglar alarm system agent on that date, unless he or she establishes that he or she is not currently abusing any controlled substance and has successfully completed a rehabilitation course.

 (2)(a)Persons who perform only monitoring are not required to complete the training required for burglar alarm system agents.

 (b)Persons who perform only monitoring at an out-of-state location are not required to comply with background check requirements.

 (c)Persons who perform proprietary burglar alarm system agent duties for only a single employer, and who do not offer alarm system contracting services to the public, are not required to comply with background check requirements.

 (d)A state-certified electrical contractor, a state-certified alarm system contractor, a state-registered alarm system contractor, a journeyman electrician licensed by any local jurisdiction, or an alarm technician licensed by a local jurisdiction that requires an examination and experience or training as licensure qualifications, is not required to complete the training required for burglar alarm system agents. A state-registered electrical contractor is not required to complete the training required for burglar alarm system agents, so long as he or she is only doing electrical work up to the alarm panel.

 (e)A nonsupervising employee working as a helper or apprentice under the direct, onsite, continuous supervision of a state-certified electrical contractor, a state-registered electrical contractor, a state-certified alarm system contractor, a state-registered alarm system contractor, a journeyman electrician licensed by any local jurisdiction, an alarm technician licensed by a local jurisdiction that requires an examination and experience or training as licensure qualifications, or a qualified alarm system agent is not required to complete the training otherwise required and is not required to be 18 years of age or older.

 (3)An applicant for employment as an alarm system agent, or an individual employed as a burglar alarm system agent on the effective date of this act, may commence or continue employment pending the completion of the required training and the results of the background check required by this section for a period not to exceed 90 days after the date of application for employment, or 90 days after the effective date of this act for individuals currently employed as burglar alarm system agents. However, the person must work under the direction and control of a sponsoring licensed electrical or burglar alarm system contractor pending the completion of the training and the criminal background check. If an applicant or an individual employed on the effective date of this act does not complete the training or receive a satisfactory criminal background check within the 90-day period, the employment must be terminated immediately.

 (4)(a)A licensed electrical or alarm system contractor shall furnish each of its burglar alarm system agents with an identification card.

 (b)The identification card shall be designed in a board-approved format. The card must include a picture of the agent, must specify at least the name of the holder of the card and the name and license number of the contractor, and must be signed by the contractor and by the holder of the card. Each identification card is valid for a period of 2 years after the date of issuance. The identification card must be in the possession of each burglar alarm system agent while engaged in burglar alarm system agent duties.

 (c)Each person to whom an identification card has been issued shall be responsible for the safekeeping thereof and shall not loan, or allow any other person to use or display, the identification card.

 (d)Each identification card must be renewed every 2 years and in a board-approved format to show compliance with the 6 hours of continuing education necessary to maintain certification as a burglar alarm system agent.

 (e)Each licensed electrical or alarm system contractor must obtain an updated criminal background check from the Department of Law Enforcement for each burglar alarm system agent who renews certification.

 (5)Each burglar alarm system agent must receive 6 hours of continuing education on burglar alarm system installation and repair and false alarm prevention every 2 years from a board-approved sponsor of training and through a board-approved training course.

 (6)Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this section shall be a disciplinable offense against the contractor pursuant to s. 489.533.

History.—s. 16, ch. 96-298; s. 2, ch. 97-122; s. 46, ch. 98-419; s. 28, ch. 99-7; s. 22, ch. 2000-332; s. 2, ch. 2004-76.

 

489.5185 Fire alarm system agents.—

 (1)A certified unlimited electrical contractor or licensed fire alarm contractor may not employ a person to perform the duties of a fire alarm system agent unless the person:

 (a)Is at least 18 years of age or has evidence of a court-approved declaration of emancipation.

 (b)Has successfully completed a minimum of 14 hours of initial training, to include basic fire alarm system technology in addition to related training in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards and access control training, with at least 2 hours of training in the prevention of false alarms. Such training must be from a board-approved provider, and the employee or applicant for employment must provide proof of successful completion to the licensed employer. The board, by rule, shall establish criteria for the approval of training courses and providers. The board shall approve qualified providers that conduct training in other than the English language. The board shall establish a fee for the approval of training providers, not to exceed $200, and a fee for the approval of courses at $25 per credit hour, not to exceed $100 per course.

 (c)Has not been convicted within the last 3 years of a crime that directly relates to the business for which employment is being sought. Although the employee is barred from operating as a fire alarm system agent for 3 years subsequent to his or her conviction, the employer shall be supplied the information regarding any convictions occurring prior to that time, and the employer may at his or her discretion consider an earlier conviction to be a bar to employment as a fire alarm system agent. To ensure that this requirement has been met, a certified unlimited electrical contractor or licensed fire alarm contractor must obtain from the Department of Law Enforcement a completed fingerprint and criminal background check for each applicant for employment as a fire alarm system agent or for each individual currently employed on the effective date of this act as a fire alarm system agent.

 (d)Has not been committed for controlled substance abuse or been found guilty of a crime under chapter 893 or any similar law relating to controlled substances in any other state within the 3-year period immediately preceding the date of application for employment, or immediately preceding the effective date of this act for an individual employed as a fire alarm system agent on that date, unless the person establishes that he or she is not currently abusing any controlled substance and has successfully completed a rehabilitation course.

 (2)(a)Any applicant for employment as a fire alarm system agent, or any individual employed as a fire alarm system agent on the effective date of this act, who has completed alarm system agent or burglar alarm system agent training prior to the effective date of this act in a board-certified program is not required to take additional training in order to comply with the initial training requirements of this section.

 (b)A state-certified electrical contractor, a state-certified fire alarm system contractor, a state-registered fire alarm system contractor, a journeyman electrician licensed by any local jurisdiction, or an alarm technician licensed by a local jurisdiction that requires an examination and experience or training as licensure qualifications is not required to complete the training required for fire alarm system agents. A state-registered electrical contractor is not required to complete the training required for fire alarm system agents, so long as he or she is only doing electrical work up to the alarm panel.

 (c)A nonsupervising employee working as a helper or apprentice under the direct, onsite, continuous supervision of a state-certified electrical contractor, a state-registered electrical contractor, a state-certified fire alarm system contractor, a state-registered fire alarm system contractor, a journeyman electrician licensed by any local jurisdiction, an alarm technician licensed by a local jurisdiction that requires an examination and experience or training as licensure qualifications, or a qualified fire alarm system agent is not required to complete the training otherwise required and is not required to be 18 years of age or older.

 (d)A burglar alarm system agent employed by a licensed fire alarm contractor or certified unlimited electrical contractor who has fulfilled all requirements of s. 489.518 prior to the effective date of this act is not required to complete the initial training required by this section for fire alarm system agents.

 (e)Persons who perform only monitoring are not required to complete the training required for fire alarm system agents.

 (3)An applicant for employment as a fire alarm system agent may commence employment, or an individual employed as a fire alarm system agent on the effective date of this act may continue employment, pending completion of both the training and the fingerprint and criminal background checks required by this section, for a period not to exceed 90 days after the date of application for employment or 90 days after the effective date of this act for individuals employed as fire alarm system agents on that date. However, the person must work under the direction and control of a sponsoring certified unlimited electrical contractor or licensed fire alarm contractor until completion of both the training and the fingerprint and criminal background checks. If an applicant or an individual employed on the effective date of this act does not complete the training or receive satisfactory fingerprint and criminal background checks within the 90-day period, the employment must be terminated immediately.

 (4)(a)A certified unlimited electrical contractor or licensed fire alarm contractor must furnish each of his or her fire alarm system agents with an identification card.

 (b)The card shall follow a board-approved format, to include a picture of the agent; shall specify at least the name of the holder of the card and the name and license number of the certified unlimited electrical contractor or licensed fire alarm contractor; and shall be signed by both the contractor and the holder of the card. Each identification card shall be valid for a period of 2 years after the date of issuance. The identification card must be in the possession of the fire alarm system agent while engaged in fire alarm system agent duties.

 (c)Each person to whom an identification card has been issued is responsible for the safekeeping thereof, and may not loan, or allow any other person to use or display, the identification card.

 (d)Each identification card must be renewed every 2 years and in a board-approved format to show compliance with the 6 hours of continuing education necessary to maintain certification as a fire alarm system agent.

 (e)Each licensed electrical or alarm system contractor must obtain an updated criminal background check from the Department of Law Enforcement for each fire alarm system agent who renews certification.

 (5)Each fire alarm system agent must receive 6 hours of continuing education on fire alarm system installation and repair and false alarm prevention every 2 years from a board-approved sponsor of training and through a board-approved training course.

 (6)Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this section shall be grounds for disciplinary action against the contractor pursuant to s. 489.533.

History.—s. 10, ch. 98-170; s. 50, ch. 98-419; s. 40, ch. 2000-372; s. 3, ch. 2004-76.

 

489.519 Inactive status.—

 (1)A certificate or registration that becomes inactive may be reactivated under s. 489.517 upon application to the department. The board may not require a licensee to complete more than one renewal cycle of continuing education to reactivate a certificate or registration.

 (2)Notwithstanding any provision of s. 455.271 to the contrary, a certificateholder or registrant may apply to the department for voluntary inactive status at any time during the period of certification or registration.

 (3)The board shall impose, by rule, continuing education requirements for inactive certificateholders, when inactive status is sought by certificateholders who are also building code administrators, plans examiners, or inspectors certified pursuant to part XII of chapter 468.

 (4)After January 1, 1999, any person who passes the certification examination must submit an application either to qualify a business or to place the person’s license on inactive status.

History.—ss. 9, 17, ch. 79-272; s. 373, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 278, ch. 94-119; s. 42, ch. 98-419; s. 13, ch. 99-254; s. 32, ch. 2012-61.

 489.520Automated licensure status information system.—By January 1, 1995, the department shall implement an automated licensure status information system for electrical and alarm system contracting. The system shall provide instant notification to local building departments and other interested parties, as determined by the board or department, regarding the status of the certification or registration of any contractor certified or registered pursuant to the provisions of this part. The provision of such information shall consist, at a minimum, of an indication of whether the certification or registration of the contractor applying for a permit is active, of any current failure of the contractor to make restitution according to the terms of any final action by the board, of any ongoing disciplinary cases against the contractor that are subject to public disclosure, and whether there are any outstanding fines against the contractor.

History.—s. 279, ch. 94-119.

 

489.521 Business organizations; qualifying agents.—

 (1)If an individual proposes to engage in contracting as a sole proprietorship, certification shall be issued in the name of that individual. If a fictitious name is used, the applicant shall furnish evidence of statutory compliance.

 (2)(a)1.If the applicant proposing to engage in contracting is a partnership, corporation, business trust, or other legal entity, other than a sole proprietorship, the application shall state the name of the partnership and its partners; the name of the corporation and its officers and directors and the name of each of its stockholders who is also an officer or director; the name of the business trust and its trustees; or the name of such other legal entity and its members. In addition, the applicant shall furnish evidence of statutory compliance if a fictitious name is used. A joint venture, including a joint venture composed of qualified business organizations, is itself a separate and distinct organization that shall be qualified in accordance with board rules. The registration or certification, when issued upon application of a business organization, shall be in the name of the qualifying agent, and the name of the business organization shall be noted thereon. If there is a change in any information that is required to be stated on the application, the business organization shall, within 45 days after such change occurs, mail the correct information to the department.

 2.Any person certified or registered pursuant to this part who has had his or her license revoked shall not be eligible for a 5-year period to be a partner, officer, director, or trustee of a business organization as defined by this section. Such person shall also be ineligible to reapply for certification or registration under this part for a period of 5 years.

 (b)The applicant shall also show that the proposed qualifying agent is legally qualified to act for the business organization in all matters connected with its electrical or alarm system contracting business and concerning regulations by the board and that he or she has authority to supervise electrical or alarm system contracting undertaken by the business organization.

 (c)The proposed qualifying agent shall demonstrate that he or she possesses the required skill, knowledge, and experience to qualify the business organization in the following manner:

 1.Having met the qualifications provided in s. 489.511 and been issued a certificate of competency pursuant to the provisions of s. 489.511; or

 2.Having demonstrated that he or she possesses the required experience and education requirements provided in s. 489.511 which would qualify him or her as eligible to take the certification examination.

 (3)(a)The applicant shall furnish evidence of financial responsibility, credit, and business reputation of the business organization, as well as the name of the qualifying agent. The board shall adopt rules defining financial responsibility based upon the business organization’s credit history, ability to be bonded, and any history of bankruptcy or assignment of receivers. Such rules shall specify the financial responsibility grounds on which the board may determine that a business organization is not qualified to engage in contracting.

 (b)In the event a qualifying agent must take the certification examination, the board shall, within 60 days from the date of the examination, inform the business organization in writing whether or not its qualifying agent has qualified.

 (c)If the qualifying agent of a business organization applying to engage in contracting, after having been notified to do so, does not appear for examination within 1 year from the date of filing of the application, the examination fee paid by it shall be credited as an earned fee to the department. A new application to engage in contracting shall be accompanied by another application fee fixed pursuant to this act. Forfeiture of a fee may be waived by the board for good cause.

 (d)Once the board has determined that the business organization’s proposed qualifying agent has qualified, the business organization shall be authorized to engage in the contracting business. The certificate, when issued, shall be in the name of the qualifying agent, and the name of the business organization shall be noted thereon.

 (4)As a prerequisite to the initial issuance of a certificate, the applicant or the business organization he or she qualifies shall submit evidence that he or she or the business organization has obtained public liability and property damage insurance for the safety and welfare of the public in an amount to be determined by board rule.

 (5)At least one officer or supervising employee of the business organization must be qualified under this act in order for the business organization to be qualified to engage in contracting in the category of the business conducted. If any individual so qualified on behalf of the business organization ceases to qualify the business organization, he or she shall notify the board and the department thereof within 30 days after such occurrence. In addition, if the individual is the only individual who qualifies the business organization, the business organization shall notify the board and the department of the individual’s termination, and it shall have a period of 60 days from the termination of the individual to qualify another person under the provision of this act, failing which, the board shall determine that the business organization is no longer qualified to engage in contracting. The individual shall also inform the board in writing when he or she proposes to engage in contracting in his or her own name or in affiliation with another business organization, and the individual, or such new business organization, shall supply the same information to the board as required for applicants under this act. After an investigation of the financial responsibility, credit, and business reputation of the individual or the new business organization and upon a favorable determination, the board shall certify the business organization as qualified, and the department shall issue, without examination, a new certificate in the individual’s name, which shall include the name of the new business organization, as provided in this section.

 (6)When a business organization qualified to engage in contracting makes application for a business tax receipt in any municipality or county of this state, the application shall be made with the tax collector in the name of the business organization, and the business tax receipt, when issued, shall be issued to the business organization upon payment of the appropriate licensing fee and exhibition to the tax collector of a valid certificate issued by the department.

 (7)(a)Each registered or certified contractor shall affix the number of his or her registration or certification to each application for a building permit and to each building permit issued and recorded. Each city or county building department shall require, as a precondition for the issuance of a building permit, that the contractor applying for the permit provide verification giving the number of his or her registration or certification under this part.

 (b)The registration or certification number of a contractor shall be stated in each offer of services, business proposal, or advertisement, regardless of medium, used by that contractor. For the purposes of this part, the term “advertisement” does not include business stationery or any promotional novelties such as balloons, pencils, trinkets, or articles of clothing. The board shall assess a fine of not less than $100 or issue a citation to any contractor who fails to include that contractor’s certification or registration number when submitting an advertisement for publication, broadcast, or printing. In addition, any person who claims in any advertisement to be a certified or registered contractor, but who does not hold a valid state certification or registration, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 (8)Each qualifying agent shall pay the department an amount equal to the original fee for certification or registration to qualify any additional business organizations. If the qualifying agent for a business organization desires to qualify additional business organizations, the board shall require him or her to present evidence of supervisory ability and financial responsibility of each such organization. Allowing a licensee to qualify more than one business organization shall be conditioned upon the licensee showing that the licensee has both the capacity and intent to adequately supervise each business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1). The board shall not limit the number of business organizations which the licensee may qualify except upon the licensee’s failing to provide such information as is required under this subsection or upon a finding that such information or evidence as is supplied is incomplete or unpersuasive in showing the licensee’s capacity and intent to comply with the requirements of this subsection. A qualification for an additional business organization may be revoked or suspended upon a finding by the board that the licensee has failed in the licensee’s responsibility to adequately supervise the operations of that business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1). Failure of the responsibility to adequately supervise the operations of a business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1) shall be grounds for denial to qualify additional business organizations.

 (9)If a business organization or any of its partners, officers, directors, trustees, or members is disciplined for violating s. 489.533(1), the board may, on that basis alone, deny issuance of a certificate or registration to a qualifying agent on behalf of that business organization.

 (10)(a)A business organization proposing to engage in contracting is not required to apply for or obtain authorization under this part to engage in contracting if:

 1.The business organization employs one or more registered or certified contractors licensed in accordance with this part who are responsible for obtaining permits and supervising all of the business organization’s contracting activities;

 2.The business organization engages only in contracting on property owned by the business organization or by its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities; and

 3.The business organization, or its parent entity if the business organization is a wholly owned subsidiary, maintains a minimum net worth of $20 million.

 (b)Any business organization engaging in contracting under this subsection shall provide the board with the name and license number of each registered or certified contractor employed by the business organization to supervise its contracting activities. The business organization is not required to post a bond or otherwise evidence any financial or credit information except as necessary to demonstrate compliance with paragraph (a).

 (c)A registered or certified contractor employed by a business organization to supervise its contracting activities under this subsection shall not be required to post a bond or otherwise evidence any personal financial or credit information so long as the individual performs contracting activities exclusively on behalf of a business organization meeting all of the requirements of paragraph (a).

History.—ss. 10, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 11, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 14, ch. 89-162; s. 39, ch. 89-374; s. 45, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 93-239; s. 280, ch. 94-119; s. 22, ch. 97-98; s. 495, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 98-419; s. 7, ch. 2003-257; s. 42, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.522 Qualifying agents; responsibilities.—

 (1)(a)A qualifying agent is a primary qualifying agent unless he or she is a secondary qualifying agent under this section. All primary qualifying agents for a business organization are jointly and equally responsible for supervision of all operations of the business organization; for all field work at all sites; and for financial matters, both for the organization in general and for each specific job.

 (b)When a qualifying agent ceases to qualify a business, the qualifying agent must transfer the license to another business, qualify himself or herself as an individual, or place the license in an inactive status within 60 days after termination of the qualifying status with the business.

 (2)One of the qualifying agents for a business organization that has more than one qualifying agent may be designated as the sole primary qualifying agent for the business organization by a joint agreement that is executed, on a form provided by the board, by all qualifying agents for the business organization. The joint agreement shall be submitted to the board for approval. If the board determines that the joint agreement is in good order, it shall approve the designation and immediately notify the qualifying agents of such approval. The designation made by the joint agreement is effective upon receipt of the notice by the qualifying agents. The qualifying agent designated for a business organization by a joint agreement is the sole primary qualifying agent for the business organization, and all other qualifying agents for the business organization are secondary qualifying agents.

 (a)A designated sole primary qualifying agent has all the responsibilities and duties of a primary qualifying agent, notwithstanding that there are secondary qualifying agents for specified jobs. The designated sole primary qualifying agent is jointly and equally responsible with secondary qualifying agents for field work supervision.

 (b)A secondary qualifying agent is responsible only for:

 1.The supervision of field work at sites where his or her license was used to obtain the building permit; and

 2.Any other work for which he or she accepts responsibility.

A secondary qualifying agent is not responsible for supervision of financial matters.

 (c)A primary qualifying agent shall have approval authority for checks, payments, drafts, and contracts issued by or entered into by the business organization.

 (3)(a)A qualifying agent who has been designated by a joint agreement as the sole primary qualifying agent for a business organization may terminate this status as such by giving actual notice to the business organization, to the board, and to all secondary qualifying agents of his or her intention to terminate this status. The notice to the board shall include proof satisfactory to the board that he or she has given the notice required in this paragraph. The status of the qualifying agent shall cease upon the designation of a new primary qualifying agent or 60 days after satisfactory notice of termination has been provided to the board, whichever first occurs. If no new primary qualifying agent has been designated within 60 days, all secondary qualifying agents for the business organization shall become primary qualifying agents, unless the joint agreement specifies that one or more of them shall become sole qualifying agents under such circumstances, in which case only they shall become sole qualifying agents.

 (b)Any change in the status of a qualifying agent is prospective only. A qualifying agent is not responsible for his or her predecessor’s actions, but is responsible, even after a change in status, for matters for which he or she was responsible while in a particular status.

History.—ss. 12, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 281, ch. 94-119; s. 496, ch. 97-103; s. 41, ch. 2000-372.

 

489.523 Emergency registration upon death of contractor.—If an incomplete contract exists at the time of death of a contractor, the contract may be completed by any person even though not certified. The person shall notify the appropriate board, within 30 days after the death of the contractor, of his or her name and address, knowledge of the contract, and ability to complete it. If the board approves, he or she may proceed with the contract. The board shall then issue an emergency registration which shall expire upon the completion of the contract. For purposes of this section, and upon written approval of the board, an incomplete contract may be one which has been awarded to, or entered into by, the contractor before his or her death, or on which he or she was the low bidder and the contract is subsequently awarded to him or her, regardless of whether any actual work has commenced under the contract before the contractor’s death.

History.—ss. 11, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 497, ch. 97-103.

 

489.525 Report to local building officials.—The department may report to all building officials the contents of this part and the contents of the rules of the board. Any information that is available through the Internet or other electronic means may be excluded from the report.

History.—ss. 11, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 14, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 44, ch. 98-419.

 

489.529 Alarm verification calls required.—All residential or commercial intrusion/burglary alarms that have central monitoring must have a central monitoring verification call made to the premises generating the alarm signal, prior to alarm monitor personnel contacting a law enforcement agency for alarm dispatch. The central monitoring station must employ call-verification methods for the premises generating the alarm signal if the first call is not answered. However, if the intrusion/burglary alarms have properly operating visual or auditory sensors that enable the monitoring personnel to verify the alarm signal, verification calling is not required.

History.—s. 17, ch. 96-298; s. 3, ch. 97-122; s. 6, ch. 2006-154.

 

489.530 Audible alarms.—Every audible alarm system installed by a licensed contractor shall have a device to automatically terminate the audible signal within 15 minutes of activation. A fire alarm system, whether installed voluntarily or as a requirement of an adopted code, which employs an audible fire signal is exempt as required by such code.

History.—s. 18, ch. 96-298; s. 7, ch. 2006-154.

 

489.531 Prohibitions; penalties.—

 (1)A person may not:

 (a)Practice contracting unless the person is certified or registered;

 (b)Use the name or title “electrical contractor” or “alarm system contractor” or words to that effect, or advertise himself or herself or a business organization as available to practice electrical or alarm system contracting, when the person is not then the holder of a valid certification or registration issued pursuant to this part;

 (c)Present as his or her own the certificate or registration of another;

 (d)Use or attempt to use a certificate or registration that has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive or delinquent status;

 (e)Employ persons who are not certified or registered to practice contracting;

 (f)Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the department, the board, or a member thereof;

 (g)Operate a business organization engaged in contracting after 60 days following the termination of its only qualifying agent without designating another primary qualifying agent;

 (h)Conceal information relative to violations of this part;

 (i)Commence or perform work for which a building permit is required pursuant to part IV of chapter 553 without the building permit being in effect; or

 (j)Willfully or deliberately disregard or violate any municipal or county ordinance relating to uncertified or unregistered contractors.

 (2)Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 (3)(a)Any unlicensed person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 (b)Any unlicensed person who commits a violation of subsection (1) after having been previously found guilty of such violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 (c)Any unlicensed person who commits a violation of subsection (1) during the existence of a state of emergency declared by executive order of the Governor commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

The remedies set forth in this subsection are not exclusive and may be imposed in addition to the remedies set forth in s. 489.533(2).

 (4)Each county or municipality may, at its option, designate one or more of its code enforcement officers, as defined in chapter 162, to enforce, as set out in this subsection, the provisions of subsection (1) against persons who engage in activity for which county or municipal certification is required.

 (a)A code enforcement officer designated pursuant to this subsection may issue a citation for any violation of subsection (1) whenever, based upon personal investigation, the code enforcement officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that such a violation has occurred.

 (b)A citation issued by a code enforcement officer shall be in a form prescribed by the local governing body of the county or municipality and shall state:

 1.The time and date of issuance.

 2.The name and address of the person to whom the citation is issued.

 3.The time and date of the violation.

 4.A brief description of the violation and the facts constituting reasonable cause.

 5.The name of the code enforcement officer.

 6.The procedure for the person to follow in order to pay the civil penalty or to contest the citation.

 7.The applicable civil penalty if the person elects not to contest the citation.

 (c)The local governing body of the county or municipality may enforce codes and ordinances against unlicensed contractors under the provisions of this section and may enact an ordinance establishing procedures for implementing this section, including a schedule of penalties to be assessed by the code enforcement officers. The maximum civil penalty which may be levied may not exceed $2,000. Moneys collected pursuant to this section shall be retained locally as provided for by local ordinance and may be set aside in a specific fund to support future enforcement activities against unlicensed contractors.

 (d)The act for which the citation is issued shall be ceased upon receipt of the citation; and the person charged with the violation shall elect either to correct the violation and pay the civil penalty in the manner indicated on the citation or, within 10 days of receipt of the citation, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays, request an administrative hearing before the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate to appeal the issuance of the citation by the code enforcement officer.

 1.Hearings shall be held before an enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate as established by s. 162.03(2), and such hearings shall be conducted pursuant to ss. 162.07 and 162.08.

 2.Failure of a violator to appeal the decision of the code enforcement officer within the time period set forth in this paragraph shall constitute a waiver of the violator’s right to an administrative hearing. A waiver of the right to administrative hearing shall be deemed an admission of the violation and, penalties may be imposed accordingly.

 3.If the person issued the citation, or his or her designated representative, shows that the citation is invalid or that the violation has been corrected prior to appearing before the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate, the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate shall dismiss the citation unless the violation is irreparable or irreversible.

 4.Each day a willful, knowing violation continues shall constitute a separate offense under the provisions of this subsection.

 (e)A person cited for a violation pursuant to this subsection is deemed to be charged with a noncriminal infraction.

 (f)If the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate finds that a violation exists, the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate may order the violator to pay a civil penalty of not less than the amount set forth on the citation but not more than $2,500 per day for each violation. In determining the amount of the penalty, the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate shall consider the following factors:

 1.The gravity of the violation.

 2.Any actions taken by the violator to correct the violation.

 3.Any previous violations committed by the violator.

 (g)Upon written notification by the code enforcement officer that a violator had not contested the citation or paid the civil penalty within the timeframe allowed on the citation, or if a violation has not been corrected within the timeframe set forth on the notice of violation, the enforcement or licensing board or the designated special magistrate shall enter an order ordering the violator to pay the civil penalty set forth on the citation or notice of violation, and a hearing shall not be necessary for the issuance of such order.

 (h)A certified copy of an order imposing a civil penalty against an uncertified contractor may be recorded in the public records and thereafter shall constitute a lien against any real or personal property owned by the violator. Upon petition to the circuit court, such order may be enforced in the same manner as a court judgment by the sheriffs of this state, including a levy against personal property; however, such order shall not be deemed to be a court judgment except for enforcement purposes. A civil penalty imposed pursuant to this part shall continue to accrue until the violator comes into compliance or until judgment is rendered in a suit to foreclose on a lien filed pursuant to this section, whichever occurs first. After 3 months from the filing of any such lien which remains unpaid, the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate may authorize the local governing body’s attorney to foreclose on the lien. No lien created pursuant to the provisions of this part may be foreclosed on real property which is a homestead under s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution.

 (i)This subsection does not authorize or permit a code enforcement officer to perform any function or duty of a law enforcement officer other than a function or duty that is authorized in this subsection.

 (j)An aggrieved party, including the local governing body, may appeal a final administrative order of an enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate to the circuit court. Such an appeal shall not be a hearing de novo but shall be limited to appellate review of the record created before the enforcement or licensing board or designated special magistrate. An appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed.

 (k)All notices required by this subsection shall be provided to the alleged violator by certified mail, return receipt requested; by hand delivery by the sheriff or other law enforcement officer or code enforcement officer; by leaving the notice at the violator’s usual place of residence with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents of the notice; or by including a hearing date within the citation.

 (l)For those counties which enact ordinances to implement this subsection and which have local construction licensing boards or local government code enforcement boards, the local construction licensing board or local government code enforcement board shall be responsible for the administration of such citation program and training of code enforcement officers. The local governing body of the county shall enter into interlocal agreements with any municipalities in the county so that such municipalities may by ordinance, resolution, policy, or administrative order, authorize individuals to enforce the provisions of this section. Such individuals shall be subject to the requirements of training as specified by the local construction licensing board.

 (m)Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a citation issued by a code enforcement officer commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 (n)Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a county or municipality from enforcing its codes or ordinances by any other means.

 (o)Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize local jurisdictions to exercise disciplinary authority or procedures established in this subsection against an individual holding a proper valid certificate issued pursuant to this part.

 (5)Local building departments may collect outstanding fines against registered or certified contractors issued by the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board and may retain 25 percent of the fines they are able to collect, provided that they transmit 75 percent of the fines they are able to collect to the department according to a procedure to be determined by the department.

 (6)(a)The local governing body of a county or municipality, or its local enforcement body, is authorized to enforce the provisions of this part as well as its local ordinances against registered contractors, as appropriate. The local jurisdiction enforcement body may conduct disciplinary proceedings against a registered contractor and may require restitution or impose a suspension or revocation of the local license or a fine not to exceed $5,000, or a combination thereof, against the registered contractor, according to ordinances which a local jurisdiction may enact. In addition, the local jurisdiction may assess reasonable investigative and legal costs for the prosecution of the violation against the registered contractor, according to such ordinances as the local jurisdiction may enact.

 (b)In addition to any action the local jurisdiction enforcement body may take against the individual’s local license, and any fine the local jurisdiction may impose, the local jurisdiction enforcement body shall issue a recommended penalty for board action. This recommended penalty may include a recommendation for no further action or a recommendation for suspension, revocation, or restriction of the registration or imposition of a fine to be levied by the board, or a combination thereof. The local jurisdiction enforcement body shall inform the disciplined registered contractor and the complainant of the local penalty imposed, the board penalty recommended, the rights to appeal, and the consequences should the registered contractor decide not to appeal. The local jurisdiction enforcement body shall, upon having reached adjudication or having accepted a plea of nolo contendere, immediately inform the board of its action and the recommended board penalty.

 (c)The department, the disciplined registered contractor, or the complainant may challenge the local jurisdiction enforcement body’s recommended penalty for board action to the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board. A challenge shall be filed within 60 days after the issuance of the recommended penalty to the board. If challenged, there is a presumptive finding of probable cause and the case may proceed without the need for a probable cause hearing.

 (d)Failure of the department, the disciplined registered contractor, or the complainant to challenge the local jurisdiction’s recommended penalty within the time period set forth in this subsection shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing before the board. A waiver of the right to a hearing before the board shall be deemed an admission of the violation, and the penalty recommended shall become a final order according to procedures developed by board rule without further board action. The disciplined registered contractor may appeal this board action to the district court.

 (e)The department may investigate any complaint which is made with the department. However, if the department determines that the complaint against a registered contractor is for an action which a local jurisdiction enforcement body has investigated and reached adjudication or accepted a plea of nolo contendere, including a recommended penalty to the board, the department shall not initiate prosecution for that action, unless the secretary has initiated summary procedures pursuant to s. 455.225(8).

 (f)Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to allow local jurisdictions to exercise disciplinary authority over certified contractors.

 (7)The right to create local boards in the future by any municipality or county is preserved.

 (8)The department may issue a stop-work order for all unlicensed work on a project upon finding probable cause to believe that electrical or alarm system work which requires certification or registration is being performed without a current, valid certificate or registration. Stop-work orders may be enforced using the procedure and remedies set forth in s. 455.228.

History.—ss. 13, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 16, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 7, ch. 89-343; s. 46, ch. 91-137; s. 118, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 23, ch. 93-166; s. 282, ch. 94-119; s. 498, ch. 97-103; s. 28, ch. 98-287; s. 40, ch. 2000-154; s. 42, ch. 2000-372; s. 87, ch. 2004-11; s. 86, ch. 2005-2; s. 133, ch. 2008-4; s. 12, ch. 2013-193.

 

489.5315 Proprietary electrical or alarm contractors.—Businesses that obtain an electrical or burglar alarm system license to work only on their own equipment, and that do not offer electrical or alarm contracting services to the public, are not electrical or burglar alarm system contracting businesses and do not have to obtain a business tax receipt in addition to any they are otherwise required to have.

History.—s. 4, ch. 97-122; s. 43, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.532 Contracts entered into by unlicensed contractors unenforceable.—

 (1)As a matter of public policy, contracts entered into on or after October 1, 1990, by an unlicensed contractor shall be unenforceable in law or in equity by the unlicensed contractor.

 (a)For purposes of this section, an individual is unlicensed if the individual does not have a license required by this part concerning the scope of the work to be performed under the contract. A business organization is unlicensed if the business organization does not have a primary or secondary qualifying agent in accordance with this part concerning the scope of the work to be performed under the contract. For purposes of this section, if a state license is not required for the scope of work to be performed under the contract, the individual performing that work is not considered unlicensed.

 (b)For purposes of this section, an individual or business organization shall not be considered unlicensed for failing to have a business tax receipt issued under the authority of chapter 205.

 (c)For purposes of this section, a contractor shall be considered unlicensed only if the contractor was unlicensed on the effective date of the original contract for the work, if stated therein, or, if not stated, the date the last party to the contract executed it, if stated therein. If the contract does not establish such a date, the contractor shall be considered unlicensed only if the contractor was unlicensed on the first date upon which the contractor provided labor, services, or materials under the contract.

 (2)Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if a contract is rendered unenforceable under this section, no lien or bond claim shall exist in favor of the unlicensed contractor for any labor, services, or materials provided under the contract or any amendment thereto.

 (3)This section shall not affect the rights of parties other than the unlicensed contractor to enforce contract, lien, or bond remedies. This section shall not affect the obligations of a surety that has provided a bond on behalf of an unlicensed contractor. It shall not be a defense to any claim on a bond or indemnity agreement that the principal or indemnitor is unlicensed for purposes of this section.

History.—s. 31, ch. 90-228; s. 12, ch. 91-201; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 499, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 2000-372; s. 2, ch. 2003-257; s. 8, ch. 2006-154; s. 120, ch. 2007-5; s. 44, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.533 Disciplinary proceedings.—

 (1)The following acts shall constitute grounds for disciplinary actions as provided in subsection (2):

 (a)Failure to comply with any provision of chapter 455.

 (b)Attempting to procure a certificate or registration to practice electrical or alarm system contracting by bribery or fraudulent or willful misrepresentations.

 (c)Having a certificate or registration to practice contracting revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another state, territory, or country.

 (d)Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of electrical or alarm system contracting or the ability to practice electrical or alarm system contracting.

 (e)Making or filing a report or record which the certificateholder or registrant knows to be false, willfully failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records shall include only those which are signed in the capacity of a certified electrical or alarm system contractor.

 (f)Committing fraud or deceit, or negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of electrical or alarm system contracting.

 (g)Violating chapter 633 or the rules of the State Fire Marshal.

 (h)Practicing on a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent certificate or registration.

 (i)Violating the applicable building codes or laws of the state or any municipality or county thereof.

 (j)Performing any act which assists a person or entity in engaging in the prohibited uncertified and unregistered practice of contracting, if the certificateholder or registrant knows or has reasonable grounds to know that the person or entity was uncertified and unregistered.

 (k)Knowingly combining or conspiring with any person by allowing one’s certificate to be used by any uncertified person with intent to evade the provisions of this part. When a certificateholder allows his or her certificate to be used by one or more companies without having any active participation in the operations or management of said companies, such act constitutes prima facie evidence of an intent to evade the provisions of this part.

 (l)Acting in the capacity of a contractor under any certificate or registration issued hereunder except in the name of the certificateholder or registrant as set forth on the issued certificate or registration or in accordance with the personnel of the certificateholder or registrant as set forth in the application for the certificate or registration or as later changed as provided in this part.

 (m)Committing financial mismanagement or misconduct in the practice of contracting that causes financial harm to a customer. Financial mismanagement or misconduct occurs if:

 1.A valid lien has been recorded against the property of a contractor’s customer for supplies or services ordered by the contractor for the customer’s job, the contractor has received funds from the customer to pay for the supplies or services, and the contractor has not had the lien removed from the property, by payment or by bond, within 75 days after the date of the lien;

 2.A contractor has abandoned a customer’s job and the percentage of completion is less than the percentage of the total contract price that had been paid to the contractor as of the time of abandonment, unless the contractor is entitled to retain the excess funds under the terms of the contract or refunds the excess funds within 30 days after the date of abandonment;

 3.The contractor’s job has been completed and it is shown that the customer has had to pay more for the contracted job than the original contract price, as adjusted for subsequent change orders, unless such increase in cost was the result of circumstances beyond the control of the contractor, was the result of circumstances caused by the customer, or was otherwise permitted by the terms of the contract between the contractor and the customer; or

 4.The contractor fails, within 18 months, to pay or comply with a repayment schedule of a judgment obtained against the contractor or a business qualified by the contractor and relating to the practice of contracting.

 (n)Being disciplined by any municipality or county for an act that is a violation of this section.

 (o)Failing in any material respect to comply with the provisions of this part and the rules adopted pursuant thereto.

 (p)Abandoning a project which the contractor is engaged in or is under contractual obligation to perform. A project is to be considered abandoned after 90 days if the contractor terminates the project without just cause or without proper notification to the prospective owner, including the reason for termination, or fails to perform work without just cause for 90 consecutive days.

 (q)Failing to affix a registration or certification number as required by s. 489.521(7).

 (r)Proceeding on any job without obtaining applicable local building department permits and inspections.

 (s)Practicing beyond the scope of a certification or registration.

For the purposes of this subsection, construction is considered to be commenced when the contract is executed and the contractor has accepted funds from the customer or lender.

 (2)When the board finds any applicant, contractor, or business organization for which the contractor is a primary qualifying agent or secondary qualifying agent responsible under s. 489.522 guilty of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1), it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:

 (a)Denial of an application for certification or registration.

 (b)Revocation or suspension of a certificate or registration.

 (c)Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $10,000 for each count or separate offense.

 (d)Issuance of a reprimand.

 (e)Placement of the contractor on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the contractor to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another contractor.

 (f)Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the contractor.

 (g)Require financial restitution to a consumer.

 (3)In recommending penalties in any proposed recommended final order, the department shall follow the penalty guidelines established by the board by rule. The department shall advise the administrative law judge of the appropriate penalty, including mitigating and aggravating circumstances, and the specific rule citation.

 (4)The board may not reinstate the certificate or registration of, or cause a certificate or registration to be issued to, a person who the board has determined unqualified until it is satisfied that such person has complied with all the terms and conditions set forth in the final order and is capable of competently engaging in the business of contracting.

 (5)When the board imposes administrative fines pursuant to subsection (2) resulting from violation of chapter 633 or violation of the rules of the State Fire Marshal, 50 percent of the fine shall be paid into the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund to help defray the costs of investigating the violations and obtaining the corrective action. The State Fire Marshal may participate at its discretion, but not as a party, in any proceedings before the board relating to violation of chapter 633 or the rules of the State Fire Marshal, in order to make recommendations as to the appropriate penalty in such case. However, the State Fire Marshal shall not have standing to bring disciplinary proceedings regarding certification.

 (6)The board may restrain any violation of this part by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

 (7)(a)The department may, by rule, provide for a mediation process for the complainant and the licensee. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapters 120 and 455, upon receipt of a legally sufficient consumer complaint alleging a violation of this part, both the licensee and the complainant may consent in writing to mediation within 15 days following notification of this process by the department. The department may suspend all action in the matter for 45 days when notice of consent to mediation is received by the department. If the mediation process is successfully concluded within the 60-day period, the department may close the case file with a notation of the disposition and the licensee’s record shall reflect only that a complaint was filed and resolved through mediation. If mediation is rejected by either the complainant or licensee, or should said parties fail to reach a mediated solution within the 60-day period, the department shall process the complaint in the manner required by chapters 120 and 455. The mediator shall provide a written report to the department of the mediation results within 10 days of the conclusion of the mediation process as provided by rule.

 (b)No licensee may avail himself or herself of the mediation process more than three times without the approval of the board. The board may consider the subject and the dates of the earlier complaints in rendering its decision. The board’s decision shall not be considered a final agency action and is not appealable.

 (c)The licensee shall bear all costs of mediation.

 (d)Mediation shall be conducted according to rules of practice and procedure for circuit court as adopted by the Supreme Court. The mediator shall be a certified circuit court mediator.

 (e)The department, in conjunction with the board, shall determine by rule the types of cases which may be included in the mediation process. The department may initiate or continue disciplinary action, pursuant to chapter 455 and this chapter against the licensee as determined by rule.

History.—ss. 14, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 90, ch. 83-329; ss. 9, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 17, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 42, ch. 90-228; s. 47, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 283, ch. 94-119; s. 227, ch. 96-410; s. 1134, ch. 97-103; s. 147, ch. 98-166; s. 29, ch. 98-287; s. 45, ch. 98-419; s. 126, ch. 2000-141; s. 206, ch. 2000-160; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 512, ch. 2003-261; s. 4, ch. 2005-227.

 

489.5335 Journeyman; reciprocity; standards.—

 (1)An individual who holds a valid, active journeyman license in the electrical trade issued by any county or municipality in this state may work as a journeyman in any other county or municipality of this state without taking an additional examination or paying an additional license fee, if he or she:

 (a)Has scored at least 70 percent, or after October 1, 1997, at least 75 percent, on a proctored journeyman Block and Associates examination or other proctored examination approved by the board for the electrical trade;

 (b)Has completed an apprenticeship program registered with a registration agency defined in 29 C.F.R. s. 29.2 and demonstrates 4 years’ verifiable practical experience in the electrical trade, or demonstrates 6 years’ verifiable practical experience in the electrical trade;

 (c)Has satisfactorily completed specialized and advanced module coursework approved by the Florida Building Commission, as part of the building code training program established in s. 553.841, specific to the discipline, or, pursuant to authorization by the certifying authority, provides proof of completion of such curriculum or coursework within 6 months after such certification; and

 (d)Has not had a license suspended or revoked within the last 5 years.

 (2)A local government may charge a registration fee for reciprocity, not to exceed $25.

History.—s. 17, ch. 97-228; s. 30, ch. 98-287; s. 27, ch. 2010-176; s. 30, ch. 2011-213.

 

489.537 Application of this part.—

 (1)This part applies to any contractor performing work for the state or any county or municipality.

 (2)(a)The scope of electrical contracting shall apply to private and public property and shall include any excavation, paving, and other related work incidental thereto and shall include the work of all specialty electrical contractors. However, such electrical contractor shall subcontract the work of any other craft for which an examination for a certificate of competency or registration or a license is required, unless such contractor is certified or registered or holds a license for the respective trade category as required by the appropriate local authority.

 (b)A registered electrical contractor may bid on electrical contracts which include alarm systems contracting as a part of the contract, provided that the individual shall subcontract such alarm systems contracting, except raceway systems, to a properly certified or registered alarm system contractor. Registered electrical contractors may install raceways for alarm systems. However, if the registered electrical contractor is properly certified or registered as an alarm system contractor, the individual is not required to subcontract out the alarm system contracting.

 (3)Nothing in this act limits the power of a municipality or county:

 (a)To regulate the quality and character of work performed by contractors through a system of permits, fees, and inspections which is designed to secure compliance with, and aid in the implementation of, state and local building laws or to enforce other local laws for the protection of the public health and safety. However, a certified alarm system contractor or certified electrical contractor is not subject to any additional certification or licensure requirements that are not required by this part.

 (b)To collect fees for business tax receipts and inspections for engaging in contracting or examination fees from persons who are registered with the local boards pursuant to local examination requirements.

 (c)To adopt any system of permits requiring submission to and approval by the municipality or county of plans and specifications for work to be performed by contractors before commencement of the work.

 (d)To require one bond for each electrical contractor in an amount not to exceed $5,000, which bond shall be conditioned only upon compliance with the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to s. 553.73. Any such bond must be equally available to all electrical contractors without regard to the period of time an electrical contractor has been certified or registered and without regard to any financial responsibility requirements. Any such bonds shall be payable to the Governor and filed in each county or municipality in which a building permit is requested. Bond reciprocity shall be granted statewide. All such bonds shall be included in meeting any financial responsibility requirements imposed by any statute or rule.

 (e)1.To refuse to issue permits or issue permits with specific conditions to a contractor who has committed multiple violations, when he or she has been disciplined for each of them by the board and when each disciplinary action has involved revocation or suspension of a license, imposition of an administrative fine of at least $1,000, or probation.

 2.To issue permits with specific conditions to a contractor who, within the previous 12 months, has had final action taken against him or her, by the department or by a local board or agency which licenses contractors and has reported the action pursuant to paragraph (5)(c), for engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor without a license.

 (f)To require that one electrical journeyman, who is a graduate of the Institute of Applied Technology in Construction Excellence or licensed pursuant to s. 489.5335, be present on an industrial or commercial new construction site with a facility of 50,000 gross square feet or more when electrical work in excess of 77 volts is being performed in order to supervise or perform such work, except as provided in s. 489.503.

 (4)Any official authorized to issue building or other related permits shall ascertain that the applicant contractor is certified or registered and duly qualified according to any local requirements in the area where the construction is to take place before issuing the permit. The evidence shall consist only of the exhibition to him or her of current evidence of proper certification or registration and local qualification.

 (5)(a)Municipalities or counties may continue to provide examinations for their territorial area, provided that no examination is given the holder of a certificate.

 (b)To engage in contracting in the territorial area, an applicant shall also be registered with the board.

 (c)Each local board or agency which licenses contractors shall transmit monthly to the board a report of any disciplinary action taken against contractors and any administrative or disciplinary action taken against unlicensed persons for engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor, including any cease and desist order issued pursuant to s. 489.516(2)(b).

 (6)The right to create local boards in the future by any municipality or county is preserved.

 (7)The scope of work of a certified unlimited electrical contractor includes the work of a certified alarm system contractor as provided in this part.

 (8)Persons licensed under this part are subject to ss. 205.0535(1) and 205.065, as applicable.

 (9)A registered electrical contractor, an alarm system contractor II certificateholder, and a registered alarm system contractor II shall be allowed to install residential smoke detectors or residential heat detectors.

History.—ss. 11, 17, ch. 79-272; s. 374, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 2, ch. 87-152; ss. 10, 14, ch. 87-254; ss. 19, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 8, ch. 91-119; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 284, ch. 94-119; s. 500, ch. 97-103; s. 31, ch. 98-287; s. 47, ch. 98-419; s. 26, ch. 99-254; s. 127, ch. 2000-141; s. 23, ch. 2000-332; s. 45, ch. 2000-372; ss. 20, 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372; s. 6, ch. 2005-147; s. 45, ch. 2009-195.

 

489.538 Authority of licensed job scope.—A licensee under this part need not have a license under part I to perform work within the scope of his or her license under this part.

History.—s. 37, ch. 90-228; s. 12, ch. 91-201; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 501, ch. 97-103.