CSLB Updates Licensees on Building Permits Requirements During COVID-19 Outbreak

SACRAMENTO - In recent days, the Contractors State License Board's (CSLB) has received several calls from licensees asking what responsibility they have to pull building permits if a local building department has closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and if they will face license discipline if they aren't able to pull a building permit.

The short answer is maybe, but probably not if the reason you couldn't pull a permit is because the building department was closed. CSLB bases discipling a license for violating Business and Professions Code Section § 7110 on the determination by the building department that a permit was needed and not pulled.

CSLB recommends that you contact the building departments you work with. If they're still open, get direction from them on what you should do about permits in the event they shut down operations. If they're closed, we suggest that you take some simple steps to document that. This might include saving or printing information off the department or local jurisdiction's website stating they have closed, take a picture of sign posted outside the building department, or any other announcement you can find stating the department is closed. You should also extreme caution and experience to determine when or even if you should proceed to perform work without a permit, or if you don't have either a plan or engineering review if those are needed.

Business and Professions Code Section § 7110

Willful or deliberate disregard and violation of the building laws of the state, or of any political subdivision thereof, or of Section 8550 or 8556 of this code, or of Sections 1689.5 to 1689.15, inclusive, of the Civil Code, or of the safety laws or labor laws or compensation insurance laws or Unemployment Insurance Code of the state, or of the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 4100) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code), or violation by any licensee of any provision of the Health and Safety Code or Water Code, relating to the digging, boring, or drilling of water wells, or Article 2 (commencing with Section 4216) of Chapter 3.1 of Division 5 of Title 1 of the Government Code, constitutes a cause for disciplinary action.

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