Legal Alerts

California Contractors: Amended Section 7141.5 Provides Important License Renewal Safety Net

Sacramento, Calif. (July 6, 2021) - Under California’s Contractors State License Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 7000 et seq., contractors’ licenses expire two years from the last day of the month in which the license was 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 in advance of the date the license is set to expire. Even with various controls in place, mistakes happen and a renewal application filing deadline can be missed.

During the August 5-6, 2019 Executive, Licensing, and Legislative Committee Meetings, the CSLB discussed proposed amendments to Section 7141.5 to reduce both the burden on it to review applications for retroactive renewal of a license that had not been timely submitted and to provide contractors with some relief from the high burden to establish “the failure to renew was due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee.” Not long after, the CSLB’s Board of Directors gave staff approval to seek an author for the bill and, on September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1474 into law, which includes the CSLB’s proposed amendments to Section 7141.5, effective January 1, 2021. Amended Section 7141.5 provides that the Registrar of Contractors:

“shall grant the retroactive renewal of a license if, within 90 days of the expiration of the license, the otherwise eligible licensee submits a completed application for renewal on a form prescribed by the registrar, and pays the appropriate renewal fee and delinquency fee prescribed by this chapter. For the purposes of this section, an application shall be deemed submitted if it is delivered to the board’s headquarters or postmarked within 90 days of the expiration of the license.”

This gives contractors a much needed safety net. Even so, contractors should be diligent in timely filing their renewal application to avoid the appearance of a lapse in their licensure when their renewal application is being processed by the CSLB.

For more information on these new amendments and the license renewal process, contact the authors of this alert. Visit our Construction Practice page for more alerts in this area.


Amy L. Pierce, Partner

Mark A. Oertel, Partner

John Lubitz, Partner

Adam B. Wiens, Partner

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