More so than many other states, Tennessee has been hit hard this past couple of months. In addition to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Middle Tennessee was hit by a series of deadly tornadoes causing widespread damage that has yet to be fully repaired. Gov. Bill Lee subsequently issued Executive Order No 13 to provide relief to victims of this tragic event. Among its provisions, this order is designed to accelerate reconstruction by waiving examinations for temporary contractor’s licenses and allowing contractors to conduct repairs without the need for a license.
Below, a Nashville license defense attorney discusses the rules and requirements that contractors who perform storm damage cleanup without a license or operate with an emergency temporary contractor’s license must consider. Although Gov. Lee’s order allows for a temporary suspension of license requirements, it’s still only temporary. Failure to abide by Tennessee’s license requirements could result in strict penalties.
Emergency Contractor’s License
The Board of Licensing Contractors is now allowed to license a person without examinations so long as they provide proof of their experience and that the license will be used to assist victims of tornado damage caused on March 3. Of note, this license expires six months after it is issued and cannot be renewed. Although it’s easy to get sidetracked by work, you must be mindful of this six-month timeframe; otherwise, you could be held responsible for violating Tennessee licensing laws. The very same documents used to apply for the temporary license will be used when you apply for a two-year license. Our advice is that you take the time to pass the required exams well before your six months run out.
Storm Damage Cleanup
The executive order also suspends licensing requirements for “persons engaging in storm damage cleanup … provided that the person has sufficient experience and knowledge in the field to provide for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public.” If you contract without a license, it is imperative that you only do so to engage in storm damage cleanup. We highly recommend consulting a Nashville license defense lawyer to ensure that you have sufficient experience and knowledge as stipulated by the executive order.
Don’t Take Any Chances
In Tennessee, operating without a license is a Class A misdemeanor. If you are out providing valuable services to victims of this tragedy, we implore you to be mindful of Tennessee’s licensing laws. Becoming a licensed contractor in Tennessee is far easier than dealing with the consequences of violating state law. If you’ve been accused of operating without a license in the state of Tennessee, a Nashville license defense lawyer with Cotney Construction Law can assist you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.