California Contractors – You Should Know That Section 7141.5 May Be Your Golden Ticket

Admit one golden ticket

General contractors should be cognizant of both their and their subcontractors’ license renewal obligations and deadlines.

February 18, 2020
Amy L. Pierce, Mark A. Oertel & John Lubitz - Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Under California’s Contractors’ State License Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 7000 et seq., all contractors’ and subcontractors’ licenses expire two years from the last day of the month in which the license issued, or two years from the date on which the renewed license last expired. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) sends licensees a renewal application 60 to 90 days prior to the date the license is set to expire.

Most contractors have various controls in place to make sure that the renewal application is timely filed and the required fee paid. Even so, we are only human and mistakes are made, and a renewal application filing deadline can be missed for a variety of reasons, e.g., the licensee’s mailing address has not been updated on the CSLB’s records, the individual responsible for filing the license renewal is out on leave, there has been a death in the family or a serious health issue, etc. Quoting Robert Burns, even “[t]he best-laid schemes of mice and men go oft awry” (To a Mouse, 1786).

General contractors should be cognizant of both their and their subcontractors’ license renewal obligations and deadlines.

If a licensee missed timely filing its renewal application, Business & Professions Code Section 7141.5may provide some relief. Section 7141.5 provides that the Registrar of Contractors,

“may grant the retroactive renewal of a license if the licensee requests the retroactive renewal in a petition to the registrar, files an application for renewal on a form prescribed by the registrar, and pays the appropriate renewal fee and delinquency fee prescribed by this chapter. This section shall only apply for a period not to exceed 90 days from the due date and only upon a showing by the contractor that the failure to renew was due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee.”

Reprinted courtesy of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP attorneys Amy Pierce, Mark Oertel and John Lubitz
Ms. Pierce may be contacted at
Mr. Oertel may be contacted at
Mr. Lubitz may be contacted at


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