§ 87-10. Application for license; examination; certificate; renewal.
(a) Anyone seeking to be licensed as a general contractor in this State shall submit an application. Before being entitled to an examination, an applicant shall:
(1) Be at least 18 years of age.
(2) Possess good moral character as determined by the Board.
(3) Provide evidence of financial responsibility as determined by the Board.
(4) Submit the appropriate application fee.
(5) Consent to a criminal background check if required by the Board.
(a1) The Board shall require an applicant to pay the Board or a provider contracted by the Board an examination fee not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00). In addition to the costs of any criminal background check, the Board shall also require an applicant to pay the Board a fee not to exceed one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00) if the application is for an unlimited license, one hundred dollars ($100.00) if the application is for an intermediate license, or seventy-five dollars ($75.00) if the application is for a limited license. The fees accompanying any application or examination shall be nonrefundable. The holder of an unlimited license shall be entitled to act as general contractor without restriction as to value of any single project; the holder of an intermediate license shall be entitled to act as general contractor for any single project with a value of up to one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000), excluding the cost of land and any ancillary costs to improve the land; the holder of a limited license shall be entitled to act as general contractor for any single project with a value of up to seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000), excluding the cost of land and any ancillary costs to improve the land. The license certificate shall be classified in accordance with this section.
(a2) In determining an applicant's qualifications for licensure, the Board may utilize a criminal background check. If the Board uses a criminal background check, the provisions of G.S. 93B-8.1 shall apply. The Board shall keep all information obtained from criminal background checks privileged in accordance with applicable State law and federal guidelines, and the information shall be confidential and not a public record under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.
(a3) Records, papers, and other documentation containing personal information collected or compiled by the Board in connection with an application for examination, licensure, certification, or renewal or reinstatement, or the subsequent update of information shall not be considered public records within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.
(b) An applicant shall identify an individual who has successfully passed an examination approved by the Board who, for purposes of this section, shall be known as the "qualifier" or the "qualifying party" of the applicant. If the qualifier or the qualifying party seeks to take an examination, the examination shall establish (i) the ability of the applicant to make a practical application of the applicant's knowledge of the profession of contracting; (ii) the qualifications of the applicant in reading plans and specifications, knowledge of relevant matters contained in the North Carolina State Building Code, knowledge of estimating costs, construction, ethics, and other similar matters pertaining to the contracting business; (iii) the knowledge of the applicant as to the responsibilities of a contractor to the public and of the requirements of the laws of the State of North Carolina relating to contractors, construction, and liens; and (iv) the applicant's knowledge of requirements of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973, Article 4 of Chapter 113A of the General Statutes, and the rules adopted pursuant to that Article. If the qualifier or qualifying party passes the examination, upon review of the application and all relevant information, the Board shall issue a license to the applicant to engage in general contracting in the State of North Carolina, which may be limited as follows:
(1) Building contractor, which shall include private, public, commercial, industrial and residential buildings of all types.
(1a) Residential contractor, which shall include any general contractor constructing only residences which are required to conform to the residential building code adopted by the Building Code Council pursuant to G.S. 143-138.
(2) Highway contractor.
(3) Public utilities contractors, which shall include those whose operations are the performance of construction work on the following subclassifications of facilities:
a. Water and sewer mains, water service lines, and house and building sewer lines as defined in the North Carolina State Building Code, and water storage tanks, lift stations, pumping stations, and appurtenances to water storage tanks, lift stations, and pumping stations.
b. Water and wastewater treatment facilities and appurtenances thereto.
c. Electrical power transmission facilities, and primary and secondary distribution facilities ahead of the point of delivery of electric service to the customer.
d. Public communication distribution facilities.
e. Natural gas and other petroleum products distribution facilities; provided the General Contractors Licensing Board may issue license to a public utilities contractor limited to any of the above subclassifications for which the general contractor qualifies.
(4) Specialty contractor, which shall include those whose operations as such are the performance of construction work requiring special skill and involving the use of specialized building trades or crafts, but which shall not include any operations now or hereafter under the jurisdiction, for the issuance of license, by any board or commission pursuant to the laws of the State of North Carolina.
(b1) Public utilities contractors constructing house and building sewer lines as provided in sub-subdivision a. of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section shall, at the junction of the public sewer line and the house or building sewer line, install as an extension of the public sewer line a cleanout at or near the property line that terminates at or above the finished grade. Public utilities contractors constructing water service lines as provided in sub-subdivision a. of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section shall terminate the water service lines at a valve, box, or meter at which the facilities from the building may be connected. Public utilities contractors constructing fire service mains for connection to fire sprinkler systems shall terminate those lines at a flange, cap, plug, or valve inside the building one foot above the finished floor. All fire service mains shall comply with the NFPA standards for fire service mains as incorporated into and made applicable by Volume V of the North Carolina Building Code.
(c) If an applicant is an individual, examination may be taken by his personal appearance for examination, or by the appearance for examination of one or more of his responsible managing employees. If an applicant is a copartnership, a corporation, or any other combination or organization, the examination may be taken by one or more of the responsible managing officers or members of the personnel of the applicant.
(c1) If the qualifier or qualifying party shall cease to be connected with the licensee, then the license shall remain in full force and effect for a period of 90 days. After 90 days, the license shall be invalidated, however the licensee shall be entitled to return to active status pursuant to all relevant statutes and rules promulgated by the Board. However, during the 90-day period described in this subsection, the licensee shall not bid on or undertake any additional contracts from the time such qualifier or qualifying party ceased to be connected with the licensee until the license is reinstated as provided in this Article.
(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2017-10, s. 2.13(a), effective October 1, 2017, and applicable to applications for licensure submitted on or after that date.
(d1) The Board may require a new application if a qualifier or qualifying party requests to take an examination a third or subsequent time.
(e) A license shall expire on the first day of January following its issuance or renewal and shall become invalid 60 days from that date unless renewed, subject to the approval of the Board. Renewal applications shall be submitted with a fee not to exceed one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00) for an unlimited license, one hundred dollars ($100.00) for an intermediate license, and seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for a limited license. Renewal applications shall be accompanied by evidence of continued financial responsibility and evidence of satisfactory completion of continuing education as required by G.S. 87-10.2. Renewal applications received by the Board on or after the first day of January shall be accompanied by a late payment of ten dollars ($10.00) for each month or part after January.
(f) After a license has been invalid for four years, a licensee shall not be permitted to renew the license, and the license shall be deemed archived. If a licensee wishes to be relicensed subsequent to the archival of the license, the licensee shall fulfill all requirements of a new applicant as set forth in this section. Archived licensed numbers shall not be renewed. (1925, c. 318, s. 9; 1931, c. 62, s. 2; 1937, c. 328; c. 429, s. 3; 1941, c. 257, s. 1; 1953, c. 805, s. 2; c. 1041, s. 3; 1971, c. 246, s. 3; 1973, c. 1036, ss. 1, 2; c. 1331, s. 3; 1975, c. 279, ss. 2, 3; 1979, c. 713, s. 2; 1981, c. 739, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 630, ss. 2, 3; 1989, c. 431; 1993, c. 112, ss. 1, 2; c. 553, s. 26; 1999-123, s. 1; 1999-379, s. 7; 1999-427, s. 1; 2001-140, s. 1; 2001-296, s. 1; 2005-381, ss. 1, 2, 3; 2006-241, s. 1; 2007-247, s. 3; 2011-376, s. 5; 2017-10, s. 2.13(a); 2019-72, s. 2; 2021-121, s. 1(a); 2022-11, s. 12.)