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When exploring the idea of whether to become either a contractor licensed state wide vs. a county or local municipal license there are some important factors to consider. A state certified contractor is able to conduct a trade throughout the State of Florida.  A county or local municipal registered contractor is only authorized by a specific county or local municipality to conduct a trade within the confines of the jurisdiction where a local exam was passed and the qualifications for that local jurisdiction were meet. In most jurisdictions that have a local licensing process (many don't) you must achieve a passing score of 75% on their exam which is the same passing percentage you have to achieve with the State of Florida licensing exam. In most cases there are less exam questions on local exams when compared to the state exam and perhaps less or different books. Most local jurisdiction exams reference the NEC and/or OSHA 1926 for the technical exam and the Florida Contractors Manual for the business/law exam. You will need to pass both the trade exam and the business/law exams and meet the local jurisdiction's applicant requirements. Some local jurisdictions may accept the exam results from another local jurisdictions exam in lieu of having to take their exam, this is often referred to as reciprocity or endorsement, however you will still have to meet all other requirements of that local jurisdiction when applying. Many local jurisdictions have different requirements and unfortunately its not easy to decipher what a particular jurisdiction's requirements are or if they will approve other exam jurisdiction's results without personally visiting the building department. In all cases of local reciprocity you will have to submit an application for approval to the county or local municipality's board you are applying to, which may require your appearance in front of the local board. Once you obtain your local license you are required to register the license with the DBPR current cost is $125.00 per year.

Possible Advantages a county or local municipal license (local jurisdiction)

 

  • You plan on working in one county or one local municipality only and/or you may be able to get other jurisdictions to accept your exam
        score from just one jurisdiction.
  • It may be quicker to obtain a single local jurisdiction's license vs. a Florida state wide license. A state license takes approximately three
        (3) months minimum to obtain, some Florida local jurisdiction licenses could be obtained in as little as two (2) months. It all depends on
        how timely the completed licensing application is submitted and when the board meets to review and approve the licensing application.
  • The cost may be less to get locally licensed compared to state licensed. However the more local jurisdictions you obtain the greater the
        overall cost and it could quickly exceed the initial and ongoing cost and time of becoming state licensed.
  • Some local jurisdictions may have less requirements than the state requirements. they cold still require any of the following such as
        education history, job experience, bonding, business insurance, personal and business financial statements, past and tax statements,
        personal and business credit reports, and other information as well. However each jurisdiction will require you to meet their requirements
        and complete an initial application and each jurisdiction may vary in their requirements.
  • The local exam may have less questions and less books than the state exam. You are still required to take two exams, a trade exam and
        a business/law exam as you do in a state wide license issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
  • Some counties and local municipalities do not require the passing of an exam and some do not offer any testing options and only except
        the passing of the Florida state certified exam.
  • Some local municipalities may not require any continuing education units (CEU) compared to the state which requires 14 hours of CEU's
        every two years.


    Possible Advantages of a state wide license
    :

  • Less overall and ongoing cost than multiple local licenses. 
  • One license covers the entire State of Florida.
  • When you have a local license you are required by the State of Florida to register then renew your registration every two years (Biennial
        License Renewal Fee $125.00)
     with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for each local license held.
  • Testing is only one time and available at multiple testing site location thru the testing company www.pearsonvue.com
  • One application compared to multiple applications.
  • One governmental licensing board to deal with. (DBPR Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board)


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


    What is the difference between a certified contractor and a registered contractor?
    Certification: The applicant has taken and passed the State Licensing examination and can practice throughout the State of Florida. Registration: The applicant has taken and passed a local competency examination and can practice only within that locale.

     

    Do I have to register every county in which I wish to contract? Yes. Your registered license is only good for the counties and municipalities which you registered with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The application to add an additional county is online at www.MyFloridaLicense.com> Apply for a License.

     

    Must I take an examination to become a registered electrical or alarm contractor even if the county does not require an examination? Yes. You need to provide proof you passed an examination in the appropriate category before you can obtain a registered license ( See Section 489.513, Florida Statues).

     

    Can I hold a registered license and a certified license at the same time? You can hold both a registered license and a certified license at the same time only if they are in different categories.. For example, an individual can hold a registered electrical contractor’s license and a certified alarm system contractor I license.

     

    Can I perform alarm contracting with my registered electrical (ER) license? No. Alarm contracting is not within the scope of work for the ER license. You must hold a registered or certified alarm license.


    Do I need a license to install low voltage landscape lighting? Yes. If you are not licensed as an electrical or alarm contractor, you must have a limited energy (low voltage) specialty license.
     

    Do I need a license to install low voltage wiring such as cable TV outlets, satellite TV outlets, surround sound speaker systems or computer networks? Yes, if you are installing wiring within a structure for any reason including the items listed a license is required. Low voltage wiring work (any wiring under 98 volts) can be done by someone with a certified or registered Limited Energy Specialty license, an Alarm System I or II license, an Electrical Contractor License or a Residential Electrical Specialty license. The license specifically for this work is called the Limited Energy Systems Specialty.


    Am I exempt for the low voltage wiring licensure requirement? Probably not, the exemptions are listed in chapter 489.503, F.S. and primarily apply to public utility companies and their direct employees, not subcontractors. If you think you may be exempt you should contact an attorney and petition the board for a declaratory statement to ensure you are not engaging in unlicensed activity which can carry a fine of up top $5000 per offense.


    Do I need a license to perform telecommunication and/or fiber optic work? Yes. If you are not licensed as an electrical or alarm contractor, you must have a limited energy (low voltage) specialty license unless you are licensed under Chapter 364, F.S., as a public service/utility company.


    What work can I do with the Limited Energy Systems Specialty License? This is the definition of the Limited Energy Systems Specialty license. The scope of certification of a limited energy systems specialty contractor includes the installation, repair, fabrication, erection, alteration, addition to, or design of electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, thermostats, apparatus, raceways, conduit, and fiber optics (transmission of light over stranded glass) or any part thereof not to exceed 98 volts, when those items are for the purpose of transmitting data, proprietary video (satellite systems which are not part of a community antenna television, cable television, or radio distribution system), radio frequency, central vacuum, or electric locks, data distribution networks, home theater systems, surround sound systems, public address systems or telephone systems.


    Do I need a license to sell alarm systems? Yes. The sale, installation and service of an alarm systems falls under the scope of

    work of an alarm contractor. If you are selling an alarm system that requires installation or monitoring, you must have a license.
     

    Who are the testing companies that offer Florida county and local municipal exams? Prometric www.prometric.com or Gainesville Independent Testing Service (GITS) www.gitsllc.org

     


        For more Frequently Asked Questions
    Click Here
     


    To take a county or local municipal exam you should first contact the jurisdictions building department to obtain an application and find out the requirements needed to take the exam in that area. For more county specific information click below:
     

    ALACHUA COUNTY
    BAKER COUNTY
    BAY COUNTY
    BRADFORD COUNTY
    BREVARD COUNTY
    BROWARD COUNTY
    CALHOUN COUNTY
    CHARLOTTE COUNTY
    CITRUS COUNTY
    CLAY COUNTY
    COLLIER COUNTY
    COLUMBIA COUNTY
    DADE COUNTY
    DESOTO COUNTY
    DIXIE COUNTY
    DUVAL COUNTY
    ESCAMBIA COUNTY
    FLAGLER COUNTY
    FRANKLIN COUNTY
    GADSDEN COUNTY
    GILCHRIST COUNTY
    GLADES COUNTY
    GULF COUNTY
    HAMILTON COUNTY
    HARDEE COUNTY
    HENDRY COUNTY
    HERNANDO COUNTY
    HIGHLANDS COUNTY
    HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
    HOLMES COUNTY

    INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
    JACKSON COUNTY
    JEFFERSON COUNTY

    LAFAYETTE COUNTY

    LAKE COUNTY
    LEE COUNTY
    LEON COUNTY
    LEVY COUNTY
    LIBERTY COUNTY
    MADISON COUNTY
    MANATEE COUNTY
    MARION COUNTY
    MARTIN COUNTY
    MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
    MONROE COUNTY
    NASSAU COUNTY
    OKALOOSA COUNTY
    OKEECHOBEE COUNTY
    ORANGE COUNTY
    OSCEOLA COUNTY
    PALM BEACH COUNTY
    PASCO COUNTY
    PINELLAS COUNTY
    POLK COUNTY
    PUTNAM
    SAINT JOHN'S COUNTY
    SAINT LUCIE COUNTY
    SANTA ROSA COUNTY
    SARASOTA COUNTY
    SEMINOLE COUNTY
    SUMTER COUNTY
    SUAWANNEE COUNTY
    TAYLOR COUNTY
    UNION COUNTY
    VOLUSIA COUNTY
    WAKULLA COUNTY
    WALTON COUNTY
    WASHINGTON COUNTY
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