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VOLUME 39, ISSUE 9
Issue Date: MAY 7, 2007
RULE PROPOSALS

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS

Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:31

Click here to view Interested Persons Statement

Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors Rules

Authorized By: Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, Barbara A. Cook, Executive Director.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:5A-6 and 45:1-15.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2007-146.
Submit comments by July 6, 2007 to:

   Barbara A. Cook, Executive Director
   Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
   P.O. Box 45006
   Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

The Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (the Board) is proposing to readopt N.J.A.C. 13:31 with amendments. These rules are scheduled to expire on May 2, 2007, pursuant to Executive Order No. 66 (1978). Because this notice of readoption has been filed prior to May 2, 2007, the expiration date of the rules in Chapter 31 is extended by 180 days to October 29, 2007, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:14B-5.1c.

In compliance with Executive Order No. 66 (1978), the Board undertook a thorough review of the existing provisions of N.J.A.C. 13:31 in order to delete unnecessary or unreasonable rules and to clarify existing provisions. The Board believes that the rules proposed for readoption, as amended, are necessary, reasonable, understandable and responsive to the purposes for which they were promulgated.

The following is a summary of the existing rules of Chapter 31, which the Board proposes to readopt with amendments. Subchapter 1 sets forth rules of general applicability. The Board is proposing that N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.1, which establishes requirements for Board meetings, and N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.2, which sets forth definitions for various terms used throughout the subchapter, be readopted without change.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.3, which provides that any person injured or aggrieved by the actions of a licensed electrical contractor may maintain an action on the bond that the licensee is statutorily required to maintain, N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4, which requires electrical contractors and business permit holders to comply with Federal, State and municipal laws and regulations pertaining to electrical contracting, and N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.5, which concerns the identification of licensees, permit holders and journeyman electricians in business correspondence and advertisements, and on business vehicles, are proposed to be readopted without change. The Board notes that it intends to propose amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.5, concerning registration requirements for qualified journeyman electricians, in the near future.

The Board is proposing to amend its fee schedule set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6 in order to decrease the fee currently charged for the issuance of a replacement seal press. The current fee set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6(a)9 for a replacement seal press is $ 40.00. The Board is proposing to lower this fee to $ 25.00 in light of the fees currently charged by the vendor that issues the seal presses on behalf of the Board. In addition, the Board is proposing to further amend the fee schedule to include a reference at N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6(a)9 to an initial seal press, which was inadvertently omitted from the fee schedule. The fee for the initial seal press is proposed to be $ 25.00.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7, which sets forth continuing education requirements for licensees, is proposed to be readopted with several amendments. In addition to technical amendments to the rule, the Board is proposing to clarify the existing language in subsection (a) to provide that falsification of continuing education information submitted to the Board may subject a licensee to disciplinary action. The Board is proposing to delete paragraph (b)1 because the provision concerns requirements applicable to the triennial registration period ending on March 31, 2003 only, which has already expired. Subsection (f) currently provides that the Board shall conduct audits on randomly selected licensees. The amendments provide that the Board may conduct an audit of any licensee who is the subject of a complaint to the Board or who is the subject of any Board investigation. The Board is also proposing an amendment to subsection (h), which concerns the responsibilities of continuing education sponsors. Paragraph (h)5 currently provides that sponsors must pay a fee for each submission of course offerings for which Board approval is sought. The Board is proposing to amend the paragraph to provide that a sponsor who has obtained approval of a course in the triennial renewal period must submit any changes to the approved course, such as a change in course content, hours of instruction or lecturer, to the Board for re-approval. The sponsor will be required to remit the submission fee again for this new review by the Board. The Board believes the proposed amendment is necessary in order to ensure that approved courses, which may have undergone significant changes, still satisfy the requirements necessary for Board approval.

The Board is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.8, which currently requires licensees to provide the Board with notice of any change of address. Proposed new subsection (c) provides that a qualifying licensee for an electrical contacting business who is terminated by, or resigns from, the business, must notify the Board immediately of such action. In addition, proposed new subsection (d) requires a licensee who is engaged as the qualifying licensee for a business to notify the Board immediately of any changes in the name of the electrical contracting business. The Board is proposing these new requirements in order to ensure that it has accurate information concerning the parties who are to be held responsible for electrical contacting activities being conducted throughout the State.

Subchapter 2 concerns licensure and business permit requirements.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.1, which concerns the qualifications of applicants for licensure, is proposed to be readopted without change.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.2 sets forth requirements applicable to the National Electrical Contractors Licensing Examination, which applicants must pass in order to be licensed. Subsection (a), which provides that the examination will be developed and administered by Experior Assessment, LLC, is proposed to be amended to refer to Thomson Prometric, LLC, in order to provide the correct name of the organization that now develops and administers the examination on the Board's behalf.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.3, which concerns license renewal, suspension and reinstatement, is proposed to be readopted with several amendments. Subsection (c), which currently provides that an applicant for reinstatement must submit evidence of having completed all delinquent continuing education credits, is proposed to be amended to clarify that a licensee must submit evidence of having completed the continuing education credits for the current triennial registration period. The credits must have been completed within three years prior to the date of the application for reinstatement. In addition, the Board is proposing a new subsection (d), which provides that an applicant applying for reinstatement more than five years following license expiration must, in addition to submitting an application, renewal fees and a reinstatement fee, retake and pass the Board's licensure examination. The Board is also proposing a new subsection (e), which sets forth the Board's responsibilities in terms of issuing license renewal applications, including the requirement that the Board send a notice of renewal to licensees at least 60 days prior to the date of license expiration. The proposed amendments in subsections (c), (d) and (e) are necessary in order to make the Board's rules consistent with amendments to the Uniform Enforcement Act, N.J.S.A. 45:1-7.1, P.L. 1999, c. 403, which mandate the license renewal and reinstatement requirements set forth in the rules as amended.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.4, which concerns the election of inactive license status by Board licensees, is proposed to be readopted with amendments. The Board is amending the rule to clarify that an inactive licensee seeking to resume the practice of electrical contracting must submit an application to the Board, which must include a renewal fee. In addition, the provision in the rule that requires applicants to submit evidence of having completed continuing education requirements is proposed to be amended to clarify that an applicant must complete the continuing education requirements for the current triennial registration period within three years prior to the date of application for the return to active status, consistent with the provisions of the Uniform Enforcement Act.

Subchapter 3 sets forth standards of practice for licensed electrical contractors, business permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.1, which requires a business permit holder to obtain worker's compensation insurance coverage for his or her employees, is proposed to be readopted without change.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.2, which concerns work standards and inspections, is proposed to be readopted with technical amendments.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3 sets forth requirements imposed upon licensees concerning the use of official, Board-provided pressure seals. The Board is proposing technical amendments to the rule, and is also proposing that subsection (c), which currently provides that a licensee whose license is suspended or revoked, or who has registered with the Board as inactive, must return the seal to the Board immediately, be amended to provide that any licensee who has been terminated or has resigned from his or her position as a qualifying licensee for a business also immediately turn in his or her pressure seal. The Board is proposing to further amend subsection (c) to clarify that a licensee seeking a new pressure seal following the return of a previously issued one to the Board must pay the initial pressure seal fee again.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.4, which sets forth requirements for the supervision of electrical work, is proposed to be readopted with technical amendments. The Board notes that the provisions of the rule which require all electrical work to be performed in compliance with the Electrical Subcode of the State Uniform Construction Code, are being amended to refer to the State Uniform Construction Code in its entirety because work performed by Board licensees and permit holders must comply with all applicable portions of the State Uniform Construction Code, not just the Electrical Subcode. In addition, subsection (e) is being amended to refer to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 et seq., rather than the specific N.J.S.A. 45:1-21. The proposed amendment may result in a license being subjected to additional or alternative penalties than the suspension or revocation of licensure that is authorized under N.J.S.A. 45:1-21.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.5, which requires all parties to a joint venture in electrical contracting in the State to hold business permits issued by the Board, is proposed to be readopted without change.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.6, which prohibits a licensee from allowing an unlicensed or unauthorized person to use the wallet sized identification card issued to the licensee at the time of license and/or business permit renewal, is proposed to be readopted with technical amendments for clarification purposes. The Board is also proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.6 that clarify the Board's authority with respect to an unlicensed user of a Board-issued identification card, which may include a finding that such person has engaged in the unlicensed practice of electrical contracting.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.7, which prohibits a licensee from charging an excessive fee for electrical contracting services, and N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.8, which sets forth when the installation, maintenance and servicing of wires must be performed by a Board licensee, are proposed to be readopted without change.

The rules in Subchapter 4 set forth limited licensure exemptions.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.1, which provides that businesses engaged in telecommunications wiring are exempt from the Board's license and business permit requirements, is proposed to be readopted with amendments. Specifically, the Board is proposing that paragraph (c)3, which requires an applicant for a telecommunications wiring exemption to provide a certification to the Board that the applicant is familiar with rules of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, is being amended to specifically reference the State Uniform Construction Code and its implementing rules.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.2, which exempts from the Board's licensure and business permit requirements work performed by well drillers or pump installers licensed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:4A-4.1 et seq., is proposed to be readopted with technical amendments.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.3, which concerns the licensure exemption for the testing, servicing and repairing of electrical equipment, is proposed to be readopted without change.

The Board has provided a 60-day comment period for this notice of proposal. Therefore, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The Board believes that the existing rules, which have been in effect for the past five years, have protected the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of New Jersey by identifying those individuals who are qualified and legally authorized to engage in the practice of electrical contracting. These rules establish the requisite standards of licensure in the State and positively affect the regulated community by clarifying the varied aspects of the practice of electrical contracting for the benefit of all licensed electrical contractors, business permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians, and applicants for licensure and/or business permits. The readoption of N.J.A.C. 13:31 is essential in order for the Board to continue to regulate the practice of electrical contracting, to identify those individuals who are qualified to engage in the practice, and to ensure that every licensee, business permit holder, qualified journeyman electrician, and applicant for licensure and/or business permit is aware of the procedures involved in the issuance of a license and/or business permit.

The readoption of N.J.A.C. 13:31 continues the accepted practice standards for licensed electrical contractors, business permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians established by the Board, and by so doing, provides licensees, permit holders, qualified journeyman electricians and applicants for licensure and/or business permits with a clear and comprehensive set of rules to guide them in their professional work. Applicants for licensure will benefit by having a set of rules that governs the manner in which they may qualify for licensure. The Board also believes that licensees will benefit from the rules proposed for readoption as a result of the uniform standards that will be applied throughout the field of electrical contracting.

The Board believes that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will have a positive impact upon the general public by continuing to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare by ensuring the maintenance of appropriate practice standards, which will enable licensees, business permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians to provide the highest quality service in the performance of electrical work.

The Board believes that the proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6 will have a positive impact upon licensees by decreasing the fees a licensee must pay for obtaining and/or replacing his or her official pressure seal. In addition, the Board believes that the proposed amendments to the pressure seal requirements in N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3(c) will have an impact upon those licensees who have been issued pressure seals by advising them of their obligation to return the pressure seals to the Board if they are terminated or the resign from a qualifying licensee position with a business. The proposed amendments to this subsection will also have an impact upon licensees seeking the return of previously issued pressure seals. Such licensees will be required to repay the fee associated with the issuance of the pressure seals.

The Board believes that the proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7(h) will have a positive impact upon licensees by advising them of the Board's right to conduct an audit of continuing education credits for any licensee who is the subject of a complaint or Board investigation. The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7(h) will also have an impact upon sponsors of continuing education programs to the extent that sponsors will be required to submit any changes to previously approved courses or programs for re-approval by the Board. Sponsors will also be required to resubmit the fee required for Board review of the program or course offering.

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.8 will have an impact upon all licensees who serve as business qualifiers. Such licensees will be required to immediately notify the Board of any changes to the electrical contracting business name or about the licensee's termination or resignation from his or her position as the business's qualifying licensee. The Board also believes that the amendments that it is proposing to N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.3(d) and (e), concerning license renewal and reinstatement, will have a positive impact upon all licensees by clarifying the Board's obligations with respect to sending renewal notices to licensees, and by establishing the procedures with which a licensee seeking reinstatement more than five years following a license suspension must comply.

Economic Impact

The Board anticipates that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will not impose any new or additional significant costs upon applicants for licensure, licensees, business permit holders, qualified journeyman electricians or consumers. The proposed readoption of the existing rules will continue the economic impact that the rules have had on such persons for the past five years. Specifically, Subchapter 1 will continue to have an economic impact upon electrical contractors and business permit holders to the extent that N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.3 entitles any person injured, aggrieved or damaged by the actions of the holder of the bond required to be maintained pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq., to bring an action against the obligor of the bond.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.5, which requires the inclusion of certain identifying information on vehicles, stationery and advertising, will have an economic impact upon licensees and permit holders, to the extent that licensees and/or permit holders will incur costs associated with ensuring that the required information is included on all commercial vehicles, business stationery and advertising utilized by the electrical business.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6, which sets forth the Board's fee schedule, will continue to have an economic impact upon licensees, permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians, to the extent that such persons will be required to remit to the Board the fees specified in the rule. The Board, however, notes that the proposed amendment to the fee schedule at paragraph (a)9 will have a positive economic impact upon licensees, to the extent that the fees associated with obtaining initial and/or replacement seal presses are being decreased.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7, concerning continuing education requirements, will continue to impose economic costs upon licensed electrical contractors, to the extent that licensees must satisfy continuing education requirements during each triennial renewal period. Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7 will have an economic impact upon continuing education sponsors to the extent that sponsors will be required to submit for re-approval any changes to a Board approved course and remit the associated fee.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.8, which requires licensees and permit holders to notify the Board of any change in address, and which, as proposed to be amended, will require a qualifying licensee to notify the Board of any business name changes or the termination or resignation of his or her position with an electrical contracting business, may have an economic impact upon licensees and business permit holders and/or qualifying licensees, to the extent that such individuals may incur administrative costs associated with notifying the Board of such changes.

The rules in Subchapter 2 will continue to have an economic impact upon licensees and applicants for licensure. Applicants for licensure may experience an economic impact as a result of N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.1, which sets forth applicant qualifications, to the extent that they incur costs associated with submitting the required application and supporting materials, as well as the costs of the examination required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.2.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.3, concerning licensure renewal, suspension and reinstatement, may have an economic impact upon licensees, to the extent that licensees who submit their renewal applications within 30 days of their license expiation date must submit a late fee, in addition to the standard license renewal fee charged by the Board. In addition, licensees who have had their licenses suspended for failure to renew within 30 days of the license expiration date may incur additional costs if they wish to have their license reinstated. A licensee seeking reinstatement must submit a renewal application, all past delinquent renewal fees and a reinstatement fee, and, if applying more than five years following the expiration of the license, must retake and pass the Board's licensing examination. Applicants for reinstatement must also have completed all applicable continuing professional education requirements prior to reinstatement.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.4, concerning inactive licensure status, may also have an economic impact upon licensees who choose to renew their licenses with the designation of inactive status, to the extent that such persons who wish to resume the active practice of electrical contacting may experience the economic costs associated with having to complete the continuing education requirements specified in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7 prior to resumption of practice. Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.4 may also have an economic impact upon those seeking to resume the active practice of electrical contracting to the extent that they must remit an application, as well as a renewal fee.

The rules in Subchapter 3, concerning standards of practice, will continue to have an economic impact upon licensed electrical contractors and business permit holders. Business permit holders may experience an economic impact as a result of costs associated with obtaining worker's compensation insurance coverage for all persons employed by the permit holder and any subcontractor utilized by the permit holder, pursuant to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.1. In addition, licensees and/or permit holders may incur costs associated with obtaining work permits and inspections required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.2(b), and in remediating State Uniform Construction Code violations found in the licensee's work, pursuant to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.2(c).

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3, which requires a licensee to use an official pressure seal on all applications for electrical inspections, will continue to have an economic impact upon licensees, to the extent that licensees must pay for the pressure seal prior to its issuance by the Board. In addition, an electrical contracting business may experience an economic impact as a result of the requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3(c), which requires a licensee to return the pressure seal to the Board upon the licensee's suspension or license revocation, or registration as inactive, thereby prohibiting the business from engaging in any electrical work. Proposed amendments to subsection (c), which require a licensee to remit a fee for a new pressure seal when a previously issued pressure seal has been returned, will also have an economic impact upon licensees. Subsections (d) and (e) may also have an economic impact upon a business entity by allowing the entity to continue to engage in the business of electrical contracting for up to one year without the licensed electrical contractor to whom the pressure seal was issued, provided the Board is notified of the change and an appropriate replacement for the licensed contractor is hired.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.4, which sets forth the requirements for supervision of electrical work, will continue to have an economic impact upon licensees, to the extent that licensees may delegate the performance of certain electrical work to employees provided the requirements of the rule are satisfied, thereby increasing the number of jobs that a licensee may undertake.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.5, which imposes requirements on those entities engaged in joint ventures concerning electrical work, will continue to have an economic impact upon participants to any such joint venture, to the extent that all business entities that are part of the joint venture must hold business permits issued by the Board and, therefore, must remit the fee for such permits set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.7, which prohibits unconscionable pricing, will also continue to have an economic impact upon licensees and permit holders, to the extent that the fees that may be charged by electrical businesses for their services must conform to the criteria set forth in the rule.

The rules of Subchapter 4 will have an economic impact upon those entities exempt from the licensure and business permit requirements imposed by the Board.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.1, which concerns entities engaged in telecommunications wiring, will continue to have an economic impact upon such entities, to the extent that an entity incurs administrative expenses associated with submitting the application and documentation required for the exemption. In addition, such entities may incur administrative expenses in notifying the Board of any changes in address or ownership, as required pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.1(g) and (h).  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.2, which concerns entities that perform well drilling and pump installation and that are licensed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:4A-4.1 et seq., will continue to have an economic impact upon such entities to the extent that they are exempt from the licensure and business permit requirements imposed by the Board. Such entities, however, may incur costs associated with obtaining all required permits and inspections for their work in compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.2(a)2.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the rules proposed for readoption with amendments are governed by N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq., and, therefore, are not subject to any Federal standards or requirements. Although the rules in N.J.A.C. 13:31 are not subject to any mandated Federal requirements or standards, where deemed appropriate, the Board has voluntarily required licensees and permit holders to comply with applicable Federal laws and regulations. Specifically, N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4 requires all licensed electrical contractors and business permit holders to comply with all general and special Federal laws and regulations pertaining to the business of electrical contracting. In addition, N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.1, which exempts from the licensure and business permit requirements of Chapter 31 any entity performing telecommunications wiring, requires all exempt entities to comply with applicable Federal Communications Commission regulations set forth at 47 CFR ß68.1 et seq.

The Board also notes that applicants for licensure seeking to satisfy the experience requirement set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.1 may enroll in an apprenticeship program approved by both a Federal agency and a Federally-certified State agency. Such applicants would be required to comply with all Federal requirements of such programs.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will affect the number of applicants for licensure as electrical contractors or applicants for electrical contracting business permits, or the number of licensees or permit holders authorized to engage in the practice of electrical contracting. Therefore, the Board does not anticipate that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will result in an increase or decrease in the number of jobs in the State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry in the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Currently, the Board has approximately 9,550 active licensed electrical contractors, 6,600 electrical contracting business permit holders, and 2,700 registered journeyman electricians. If Board licensees, permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians are considered "small businesses," within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., then the following analysis applies.

The rules proposed readoption with amendments of Subchapter 1 will continue to impose reporting and compliance requirements upon licensed electrical contractors, qualified journeyman electricians and permit holders.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4 requires all electrical contractors and business permit holders to comply with all general and special Federal, State and municipal laws, ordinances and regulations dealing with electrical contracting.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.5 requires all electrical contractors and permit holders to ensure that any commercial vehicle utilized in the provision of electrical contracting services is visibly marked on both sides with identifying information.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.5 also requires that all business correspondence, stationery and advertising utilized by a licensee or permit holder contain identifying information. The rule also requires a licensee engaging in electrical contracting work to have a business permit in his or her possession.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7 continues to require all licensees to complete a course of study on each new edition of the National Electrical Code for purposes of continuing education. Proposed amendments to subsection (h) clarify that continuing education sponsors must submit any changes to approved course offerings to the Board for additional review and approval.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.8 requires all licensees and business permit holders to report to the Board any change in their address of record. Notice must be provided to the Board within 10 days of such change. Proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.8 require a licensee who has been terminated or has resigned his or her position as a qualifying licensee for a business to notify the Board of such action. A qualifying licensee must also notify the Board of any changes to the name of the electrical contracting business in which he or she is engaged as the qualifying licensee.

Subchapter 2 imposes various compliance requirements upon applicants for initial licensure as electrical contractors and upon electrical contractors seeking to renew their licenses. Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.1, an applicant for initial licensure must submit proof to the Board that he or she is over the age of 21, holds a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, and has five years of practical hands-on experience working with tools in the installation, alteration or repair of wiring for electric light, heat or power.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.2 requires an applicant to obtain a passing grade on the National Electrical Contractors Licensing Examination as a prerequisite to licensure. An applicant who fails the examination may not retake the examination for six months from the date of the failure.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.3 requires licensees to remit their renewal applications to the Board, along with the specified renewal fee, prior to the date of their license expiration. If a licensee submits the renewal application within 30 days following the date of his or her license expiration, he or she must also submit a late fee with the application. If a licensee fails to submit the renewal application within 30 days of the license expiration date, he or she must cease engaging in the practice of electrical contracting because his or her license is considered suspended. A licensee applying for reinstatement within five years of the date his or her license expired must submit a renewal application, all past delinquent renewal fees and a reinstatement fee. Licensees seeking reinstatement must also submit evidence of having completed all relevant continuing education requirements. Proposed amendments to the rule require a licensee applying for reinstatement more than five years after the date of his or her license expiation to also retake and pass the Board's licensing examination.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.4 requires licensees who seek to renew their licenses as inactive to cease engaging in the practice of electrical contracting for the entire triennial registration period. An inactive licensee who seeks to resume the active practice of electrical contracting must submit evidence to the Board of having completed all continuing education requirements for the triennial period in which they were inactive within three years of the date of application for the return to active status.

Subchapter 3 imposes recordkeeping and compliance requirements upon licensees and business permit holders.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.1 requires all business permit holders to obtain worker's compensation insurance for all individuals employed by the business permit holder or his or her subcontractor. The business permit holder is required to maintain a certificate of insurance as proof of such coverage, and must ensure that all temporary employees working under the supervision of the permit holder have obtained worker's compensation coverage.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.2 requires all licensees and permit holders to comply with specified work standards, such as ensuring that all work is performed in conformity with the standards of the State Uniform Construction Code. Every licensee who performs or supervises electrical work must secure all necessary permits and inspections of the completed work. Licensees must also correct, within a reasonable time and at no additional charge to customers, any Code violation discovered in the electrical work performed or supervised by the licensee.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3 requires a licensed contractor to impress his or her official pressure seal upon all applications for electrical inspections by State inspection agencies. In addition, licensed contractors are required to sign all applications for electrical permits. An electrical contractor is prohibited from allowing any person other than the licensee from using the pressure seal. A licensee who has had his or her license suspended or revoked, or who has registered as inactive, must return the pressure seal to the Board. Proposed amendments to subsection (c) require a licensee seeking the return of a previously issued pressure seal that has been remitted back to the Board to pay a fee to have a new pressure seal issued.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.3 continues to provide that if the licensee is rendered incapable of fulfilling his or her professional duties, however, the business may delay returning the pressure seal to the Board for up to six months provided the Board is notified in writing of the name of a person who can qualify the business entity to remain in business. All work performed during this interim six-month period must be performed or supervised by the new, qualifying person. At the end of the six-month interim period, or at the end of any extension to this period provided by the Board, the pressure seal must be returned to the Board.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.4 requires the qualifying licensee to assume full responsibility for the inspection and supervision of all electrical work performed by the business permit holder. All work must be performed in accordance with recognized safety standards. Specifically, the qualifying licensee must inspect and supervise the work of all employees where necessary, and must provide on-site supervision of all employees commensurate with their level of competence and the complexity of the work performed. The qualifying licensee must also be personally available to handle emergency situations and is, therefore, prohibited from being absent on a regular and continuous basis from the principal office of the permit holder or from the work site.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.5 requires all parties to a joint venture for the purpose of performing electrical work in the State to hold business permits issued by the Board.

 N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.6 prohibits a licensee from allowing an unlicensed or unauthorized person to use the wallet sized identification card issued to the licensee at the time of license and/or business permit renewal. The licensee is also required to present the identification card, upon request, to any duly licensed inspection agency upon all applications for electrical permits. A licensee is prohibited from using the identification card of another licensee.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-3.7 prohibits a licensee from charging an excessive fee for electrical contracting services.

Subchapter 4 imposes reporting and compliance requirements upon persons granted a limited exemption from the licensure and business permit requirements of the Electrical Contractors Licensing Act and the rules of Chapter 31. Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.1, a business engaged in telecommunications wiring may be exempt from the Board's licensure and business permit requirements provided it submits an application to the Board documenting all relevant information, and it remits the fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6. An exempt entity must notify the Board in writing of any change of address within 10 days, and of any change in name, ownership or form of ownership within 30 days.  N.J.A.C. 13:31-4.2, which exempts well drillers or pump installers licensed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:4A-4.1 et seq., from licensure and business permit requirements imposed by the Board, requires such exempt persons or business entities to obtain all permits and inspections required pursuant to the State Uniform Construction Code.

No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the rules proposed for readoption with amendments. In addition, the Board does not believe that there will be any significant, additional economic impact upon licensees, permit holders and qualified journeymen electricians as a result of the rules proposed for readoption with amendments. The costs of compliance with the rules proposed for readoption with amendments are discussed in the Economic Impact statement above. The Board believes that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments should be uniformly applied to all licensed electrical contractors, business permit holders and qualified journeyman electricians in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the general public in the provision of electrical contracting services and, therefore, no differing compliance requirements for any licensee, permit holder or qualified journeyman electrician are provided based upon the size of the business.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not believe that the rules proposed for readoption with amendments will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Full text of the rules proposed for readoption may be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 13:31.

Full text of the proposed amendment follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):

13:31-1.6   Fee schedule

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board:

1.-8. (No change.)

9. [Replacement]Initial/replacement seal press........ [$ 40.00] $ 25.00

10.-15. (No change.)

13:31-1.7   Continuing education requirements

(a) Upon triennial license renewal, a licensee shall attest that he or she has completed courses of continuing education of the types and number of credits specified in (b), (c), (d) and (e) below. Falsification of any information submitted on the renewal application may require an appearance before the Board and may [result in penalties and/or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to] subject a licensee to disciplinary action as set forth at N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 [through 45:1-25.] et seq.

(b) Each applicant for triennial license renewal shall be required to complete, during the preceding triennial period, except as provided in (b)1 [and 2] below, a minimum of 34 credit hours of continuing education.

[1. For the triennial registration period ending on March 31, 2003, licensees not exempt pursuant to (b)2 below shall be required to complete 10 credit hours of continuing education, including nine hours on the most recent edition of the National Electrical Code and one hour on applicable State statutes and rules;]

Recodify existing 2.-4. as 1.-3. (No change in text.)

(c) A licensee, who is not exempt pursuant to [(b)2](b)1 above, shall complete a minimum of a 10 hour course of study relating to the most recent edition of the National Electrical Code, nine hours of which shall pertain to the code and one hour of which shall pertain to applicable State statutes and rules. A licensee shall obtain the balance of continuing education credits in the following areas:

1.-3. (No change.)

4. Supervisory responsibilities as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-[1.13]3.4; and

5. (No change.)

(d)-(e) (No change.)

(f) The Board [shall] may perform audits on randomly selected licensees or upon any licensee who is the subject of a complaint received by the Board or who is the subject of any Board investigation to determine compliance with continuing education requirements. A licensee shall maintain the following documentation for a period of six years after completion of the credits and shall submit such documentation to the Board upon request:

1.-3. (No change.)

(g) (No change.)

(h) All sponsors of continuing education programs or courses shall:

1.-4. (No change.)

5. Submit a fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-[1.11]1.6 for each submission of course or program offering(s) for which Board approval is sought, per triennial period. A sponsor shall submit any changes to an approved course or program offering, including changes to course content, hours of instruction, or course lecturer, to the Board for review. A sponsor shall submit the fee set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6 upon submission of such changes.

(i)-(j) (No change.)

13:31-1.8   Notification of change of address or business name; service of process; termination or resignation of qualifying licensee

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) A licensee who has been terminated or has resigned from his or her position as a qualifying licensee for a business shall immediately notify the Board of such termination or resignation.

(d) A licensee shall immediately notify the Board of any change in the name of the electrical contracting business in which he or she is engaged as the qualifying licensee.

13:31-2.2   Examinations

(a) The Board examination shall be the National Electrical Contractor Licensing Examination developed and administered by [Experior Assessment] Thomson Prometric, LLC.

(b)-(c) (No change.)

13:31-2.3   License renewal; suspension; reinstatement

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) A licensee who has had his or her license suspended pursuant to (a) above may apply to the Board for reinstatement within five years following the date of license expiration. A licensee applying for reinstatement shall submit a renewal application, all past delinquent renewal fees and the reinstatement fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6, as well as evidence of having completed all [delinquent] continuing education credits for the current triennial registration period within three years prior to the date of application for reinstatement, consistent with the requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7.

(d) A licensee who has had his or her license suspended pursuant to (a) above who is applying for reinstatement more than five years following the date of license expiration shall submit a renewal application, all past delinquent renewal fees and the reinstatement fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6, and shall retake and pass the National Electrical Contractor Licensing Examination.

(e) The Board shall send a notice of renewal to each licensee, at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the license. If the notice to renew is not sent 60 days prior to the expiration date, no monetary penalty or fines shall apply to the holder for any unlicensed practice during the period following the licensure expiration, not to exceed the number of days short of 60 before the renewals were issued.

13:31-2.4   Inactive license status

A. licensee may, upon application to the Board, renew his or her license by choosing inactive status. A licensee electing to renew his or her license as inactive shall not engage in the practice of electrical contracting for the entire triennial registration period. An inactive licensee may resume the practice of electrical contracting upon application to the Board, which shall include the submission of the renewal fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6 and evidence [to the Board] of having completed the continuing education requirements for the current triennial registration period within three years prior to the date of application for the return to active status, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.7.

13:31-3.2   Work standards and inspections

(a) Every licensee who performs or supervises the installation, erection, repair or alteration of electrical equipment for the generation, transmission or utilization of electrical energy subject to ["]The Electrical Contractors Licensing Act of 1962,["(] N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq.[)], shall ensure that the work performed is in conformity with the standards of the State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23, in effect at the time work is performed.

(b) Every licensee who performs or supervises work described in (a) above shall secure permits when required and, within a reasonable time after completion of the work, secure an inspection of the completed work when required to ensure conformity with the State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23.

(c)-(d) (No change.)

13:31-3.3   Pressure seal and signature requirements

(a) At the time of the issuance of the license or as soon thereafter as deemed appropriate, the Board shall furnish a pressure seal to every licensed electrical contractor. The cost of the pressure seal, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6, shall be paid for by the licensed electrical contractor to whom it is issued. The pressure seal shall be used exclusively by the licensed electrical contractor in the conduct of his or her practice. The licensed electrical, contractor shall be required to impress the pressure seal upon all applications for electrical inspection by the appropriate duly licensed State inspection agency and shall sign all applications for electrical permits. The pressure seal shall remain the property of the Board and shall be returned to the Board as provided in (c) below.

(b) No person, other than the electrical contractor to whom the license and business permit shall have been issued by the Board, shall have the right to use the pressure seal. Any violation of this provision shall subject the person wrongfully using the pressure seal, and the licensee who willfully or negligently allows such unlicensed and unauthorized person to use said seal to such penalties and sanctions or disciplinary action as shall be imposed by the Board pursuant to authority granted by N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq., [and] 45:1-14 et seq. and 45:1-21 et seq.

(c) A licensee whose license is suspended or revoked as a result of either a disciplinary order or a failure to pay licensing fees, or who has registered with the Board as inactive pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:31-2.4, or who has been terminated or has resigned from his or her position as a qualifying licensee for a business, shall immediately return to the Board the previously issued official pressure seal. A licensee seeking a new pressure seal following the return of a previously issued pressure seal to the Board shall remit the fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.6 for the issuance of the new pressure seal.

(d)-(g) (No change.)

13:31-3.4   Supervision of electrical work

(a) The qualifying licensee shall assume full responsibility for the inspection and supervision of all electrical work, other than electrical activities exempt pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5A-18, to be performed by the business permit holder in compliance with [the Electrical Subcode of] N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4 and the State Uniform Construction Code[, set forth at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.16 and N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4] Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.,and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23.

(b) The qualifying licensee shall:

1. Supervise the installation, erection, repair or alteration of electrical equipment for the generation, transmission or utilization of energy, other than electrical activities exempt pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:5A-18, to ensure that such work is performed in compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:31-1.4 and with the [provisions of the Electrical Subcode of the] State Uniform Construction Code[, set forth at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.16,] Act, N.J.S.A 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23, in effect at the time that the work is performed.

2.-4. (No change.)

(c) (No change.)

(d) A qualifying licensee, licensee or qualified journeyman electrician shall provide the following supervision:

1. If the employee performing the work has less than three and one half years experience working under the State Uniform Construction Code[set forth at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.16] Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23,the qualifying licensee, licensee or qualified journeyman electrician shall ensure constant on-site supervision of the employee; or

2. If the employee performing the work has more than three and one half years experience working under the State Uniform Construction Code[set forth at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.16] Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, 5:23, the qualifying licensee, licensee or qualified journeyman electrician shall provide the employee with a verbal or written work order specifying the type of work to be performed, and at the conclusion of the job, the employee shall confirm that the work order has been completed.

(e) A qualifying licensee who violates any provision of this section shall be deemed to have engaged in occupational misconduct within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 45:1-21(e) and shall be subject to [the provisions of] disciplinary action as set forth at N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 et seq.

13:31-3.6   Identification card required

(a) At the time of triennial renewal of the license and/or business permit, the Board shall furnish a wallet size identification card to every licensee. The card shall be used exclusively by the licensee in the conduct of his or her practice. A licensee who willfully or negligently allows an unlicensed or an unauthorized person to use his or her identification card shall be deemed to have engaged in occupational misconduct and shall be subject to [such penalties and sanctions] disciplinary action as shall be imposed by the Board pursuant to authority granted by N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq., [and] 45:1-14 et seq. and 45:1-21 et seq. The licensee shall be required to present the identification card upon request to the appropriate duly licensed inspection agency upon all applications for electrical permits.

(b) Use of an identification card by any person other than the licensee to whom it is issued or his duly authorized agent acting on the licensee's behalf shall be deemed to be the use or employment of dishonesty, fraud, deception, misrepresentation or false pretense. Such conduct shall be unlawful and may be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the license of the unauthorized user if he or she is already licensed by the Board or may result in other disciplinary action against such unauthorized user by the Board pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 et seq. With respect to an unlicensed user, such conduct shall be grounds for the refusal to issue a State license at any point in the future or any other action permitted by law pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 45:1-14 et seq., including a finding that such person has engaged in the unlicensed practice of electrical contracting.

13:31-4.1   Limited telecommunications wiring exemption

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) An applicant for a telecommunications wiring exemption shall provide the following to the Board:

1.-2. (No change.)

3. A certification that the applicant is familiar with and will comply with applicable National Electrical Code requirements, including, but not limited to, Article 800 (communication circuits) and the [regulations of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs] State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq., and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23, and that the applicant will be responsible for obtaining any required local permits and inspections for all work;

4.-5. (No change.)

(d)-(j) (No change.)

13:31-4.2   Limited well drillers or pump installers exemption

(a) Well drillers or pump installers licensed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:4A-4.1 et seq., are exempt from the license and business permit requirements of N.J.S.A 45:5A-9(a) for work involving the installation, servicing, or maintenance of well or water pumps.

1. (No change.)

2. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to exempt such work from permits and inspections required by the State Uniform Construction Code Act, [P.L. 1975, c.217 (] N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.[) or rules adopted pursuant thereto] and its implementing rules set forth in the Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23.

 


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