To protect the life, health and property of the public through examination of applicants, education of licensees and discipline of individuals to promote quality electrical contracting in accordance with NC General Statutes Chapter 87-Article 4.
Chapter 87-Article 4
87-39. Board of Examiners; appointment; terms; chairman; meetings; quorum; principal office; compensation; oath.
(a) The State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors shall continue as the State agency responsible for the licensing of persons engaging in electrical contracting within this State, and shall consist of one member from the North Carolina Department of Insurance to be designated by the Commissioner of Insurance; one member who has satisfied the requirements for an unlimited license as defined in G.S. 87-43.3 and who is a representative of the North Carolina Association of Electrical Contractors to be designated by the governing body of that organization; and five members to be appointed by the Governor: one from the faculty of The Greater University of North Carolina who teaches or does research in the field of electrical engineering, one who is serving as a chief electrical inspector of a municipality or county in North Carolina, one who has satisfied the requirements for an unlimited license as defined in G.S. 87-43.3 and who is a representative of the Carolinas Electrical Contractors Association operating a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation located in North Carolina which is actively engaged in the business of electrical contracting, and two who have no ties with the construction industry and who represent the interest of the public at large.
(b) Members of the Board shall serve staggered seven-year terms. Each member shall serve until his or her successor is designated or appointed, and is duly qualified. Vacancies occurring during a term shall be filled for the remainder of that term by the authority that designated or appointed the departing member.
(c) Members of the Board shall not serve consecutive, complete terms. For purposes of this subsection, only a term of less than seven years that results from the filling of a vacancy is an incomplete term; a term of less than seven years that results from the successor’s late designation or appointment is not an incomplete term.
d) All members shall be residents of North Carolina during their tenure on the Board. Any member of the Board may be removed by the authority that designated or appointed that member for misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty.
(e) The Board shall hold regular meetings quarterly and may hold meetings on call of the chair. The chair shall be required to call a special meeting upon written request by two members of the Board. At its regular first quarter meeting, the Board shall elect from its membership a chair and a vice-chair, each to serve for one year. Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The principal office of the Board shall be at such place as shall be designated by a majority of the members thereof. Payment of compensation and reimbursement of expenses of Board members shall be governed by G.S. 93B-5.
(f) Before entering upon the performance of his or her duties hereunder, each member of the Board shall take and file with the Secretary of State an oath in writing to properly perform the duties of his or her office as a member of the Board, and to uphold the Constitution of North Carolina and the Constitution of the United States.
At its regular first quarter meeting, the Board shall appoint a secretary-treasurer to serve for one year. The secretary-treasurer need not be a member of the Board, and the Board is authorized to employ a full-time secretary-treasurer and such other assistants and to make such other expenditures as may be necessary to the proper performance of the duties of the Board under this Article. The compensation and the duties of the secretary-treasurer shall be fixed by the Board, and the secretary-treasurer shall give bond in such sum and form as the Board shall require for the faithful performance of duty. The secretary-treasurer shall keep a record of the proceedings of said Board and shall receive and account for all moneys derived from the operations of the Board under this Article.
The Board shall adopt a seal for its own use, and the secretary-treasurer shall have charge and custody thereof. The seal shall have inscribed thereon the words “Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, State of North Carolina.”
As used in this Article, unless the context requires otherwise:
(1) A “qualified individual” is an individual who is qualified in a specific license classification as a result of having taken and passed the qualifying examination required by this Article for such a classification and who has been certified as such by the Board pursuant to G.S. 87-42.
(2) A “listed qualified individual” is a qualified individual whose name is listed on a license issued by the Board. A listed qualified individual has the specific duty and authority to supervise and direct electrical contracting done by or in the name of a licensee of the Board on whose license the qualified individual is so listed.
(3) A licensee of the Board is a person listed pursuant to subsection (2), or a partnership, firm or corporation that regularly employs at least one listed qualified individual and which has been issued a license by the Board.
In order to protect the life, health and property of the public, the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors shall provide for the written examination of all applicants for certification as a qualified individual, as defined in G.S. 87-41.1. The Board shall receive all applications for certification as a qualified individual and all applications for licenses to be issued under this Article, shall examine all applicants to determine that each has met the requirements for certification and shall discharge all duties enumerated in this Article. Applicants for certification as a qualified individual must be at least 18 years of age and shall be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board their good character and adequate technical and practical knowledge concerning the safe and proper installation of electrical work and equipment. The examination to be given for this purpose shall include, but not be limited to, the appropriate provisions of the National Electrical Code as incorporated in the North Carolina State Building Code, the analysis of electrical plans and specifications, estimating of electrical installations, and the fundamentals of the installation of electrical work and equipment. Certification of qualified individuals shall be issued in the same classifications as provided in this Article for license classifications. The Board shall prescribe the standards of knowledge, experience and proficiency to be required of qualified individuals, which may vary for the various license classifications. The Board shall issue certifications and licenses to all applicants meeting the requirements of this Article and of the Board upon the receipt of the fees prescribed by G.S. 87-44. The Board shall have power to make rules and regulations necessary to the performance of its duties and for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Article. The Board shall have the power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of persons and the production of papers and records before the Board in any hearing, investigation, or proceeding conducted by it. Members of the Board’s staff or the sheriff or other appropriate official of any county of this State shall serve all notices, subpoenas, and other papers given to them by the Chairman for service in the same manner as process issued by any court of record. Any person who neglects or refuses to obey a subpoena issued by the Board shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Board shall have the power to acquire, rent, encumber, alienate, and otherwise deal with real property in the same manner as a private person or corporation, subject only to approval of the Governor and the Council of State. Collateral pledged by the Board for an encumbrance is limited to the assets, income, and revenue of the Board. The Board shall keep minutes of all its proceedings and shall keep an accurate record of receipts and disbursements which shall be audited at the close of each fiscal year by a certified public accountant, and the audit report shall be filed with the State of North Carolina in accordance with Chapter 93B of the General Statutes.
Electrical contracting shall be defined as engaging or offering to engage in the business of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing any electric work, wiring, devices, appliances or equipment. No person, partnership, firm or corporation shall engage, or offer to engage, in the business of electrical contracting within the State of North Carolina without having received a license in the applicable classification described in G.S. 87-43.3 from the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors in compliance with the provisions of this Article, regardless of whether the offer was made or the work was performed by a qualified individual as defined in G.S.87-41.1. In each separate place of business operated by an electrical contractor at least one listed qualified individual shall be regularly on active duty and shall have the specific duty and authority to supervise and direct all electrical wiring or electrical installation work done or made by such separate place of business. Every person, partnership, firm or corporation engaging in the business of electrical contracting shall display a current certificate of license in his principal place of business and in each branch place of business which he operates. Licenses issued hereunder shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary-treasurer of the Board, under the seal of the Board. A registry of all licenses issued to electrical contractors shall be kept by the secretary-treasurer of the Board, and said registry shall be open for public inspection during ordinary business hours.
The provisions of this Article shall not apply:
(2) To the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of telephone, telegraph, or signal systems, by public utilities, or their corporate affiliates, when said work pertains to the services furnished by said public utilities;
(4) To the installation, construction or maintenance of electrical equipment and wiring for temporary use by contractors in connection with the work of construction;
(5) To the installation, construction, maintenance or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment by persons, firms or corporations, upon their own property when such property is not intended at the time for rent, lease, sale or gift, who regularly employ one or more electricians or mechanics for the purpose of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing of electrical wiring, devices or equipment used for the conducting of the business of said persons, firms or corporations;
(5a) To any person who is himself and for himself installing, maintaining, altering or repairing electric work, wiring, devices, appliances or equipment upon his own property when such property is not intended at the time for rent, lease, or sale;
(6) To the installation, construction, maintenance or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment by State institutions and private educational institutions which maintain a private electrical department;
(7) To the replacement of lamps and fuses and to the installation and servicing of cord-connected appliances and equipment connected by means of attachment plug-in devices to suitable receptacles which have been permanently installed or to the servicing of appliances connected to a permanently installed junction box. This exception does not apply to permanently installed receptacles or to the installation of the junction box.
(8) To the bonding of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) gas piping systems as required under Section 310.1.1 of the 2012 N.C. Fuel Gas Code.
(9) To the installation, maintenance, or replacement of any load control device or equipment by an electric power supplier, as defined in G.S. 62-133.8, or an electrical contractor contracted by the electric power supplier, so long as the work is subject to supervision by an electrical contractor licensed under this Article. The electric power supplier shall provide such installation, maintenance, or replacement in accordance with (i) an activity or program ordered, authorized, or approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission pursuant to G. S. 62-133.8 or G.S. 62-133.9 or (ii) a similar program undertaken by a municipal electric service provider, whether the installation, modification, or replacement is made before or after the point of delivery of electric service to the customer. The exemption under this subdivision applies to all existing installations.
(10) To the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment by a person certified as a well contractor under Article 7A of this Chapter when running electrical wires from the well pump to the pressure switch.”
(a) A person, partnership, firm, or corporation shall be eligible to be licensed as an electrical contractor and to have such license renewed, subject to the provisions of this Article, provided:
(1) At least one listed qualified individual shall be regularly employed by the applicant at each separate place of business to have the specific duty and authority to supervise and direct electrical contracting done by or in the name of the licensee;
(2) An application is filed with the Board which contains a statement of ownership, states the names and official positions of all employees who are listed qualified individuals and provides such other information as the Board may reasonably require;
(3) The applicant, through an authorized officer or owner, shall agree in writing to report to the Board within five days any additions to or loss of the employment of listed qualified individuals; and
(4) The applicant furnishes, upon the initial application for a license, a bonding ability statement completed by a bonding company licensed to do business in North Carolina, verifying the applicant’s ability to furnish performance bonds for electrical contracting projects having a value in excess of forty thousand dollars ($40,000) for the intermediate license classification and in excess of one hundred ten thousand dollars ($110,000) for the unlimited license classification. In lieu of furnishing the bonding ability statement, the applicant may submit for evaluation and specific approval of the Board other information certifying the adequacy of the applicant’s financial ability to engage in projects of the license classification applied for. The bonding ability statement or other financial information must be submitted in the same name as the license to be issued. If the firm for which a license application is filed is owned by a sole proprietor, the bonding ability statement or other financial information may be furnished in either the firm name or the name of the proprietor. However, if the application is submitted in the name of a sole proprietor, the applicant shall submit information verifying that the person in whose name the application is made is in fact the sole proprietor of the firm.
(b) A license shall indicate the names and classifications of all listed qualified individuals employed by the applicant. A license shall be cancelled if at any time no listed qualified individual is regularly employed by the applicant; provided, that work begun prior to such cancellation may be completed under such conditions as the Board shall direct; and provided further that no work for which a license is required under this Article may be bid for, contracted for or initiated subsequent to such cancellation until said license is reinstated by the Board.
An electrical contracting license shall be issued in one of the following classifications: Limited, under which a licensee shall be permitted to engage in a single electrical contracting project of a value not in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and on which the equipment or installation in the contract is rated at not more than 600 volts; Intermediate, under which a licensee shall be permitted to engage in a single electrical contracting project of a value not in excess of one hundred thirty thousand dollars ($130,000); Unlimited, under which a licensee shall be permitted to engage in any electrical contracting project regardless of value; and such other special Restricted classifications as the Board may establish from time to time to provide, (i) for the licensing of persons, partnerships, firms or corporations wishing to engage in special restricted electrical contracting, under which license a licensee shall be permitted to engage only in a specific phase of electrical contracting of a special, limited nature, and (ii) for the licensing of persons, partnerships, firms or corporations wishing to engage in electrical contracting work as an incidental part of their primary business, which is a lawful business other than electrical contracting, under which license a licensee shall be permitted to engage only in a specific phase of electrical contracting of a special, limited nature directly in connection with said primary business. The Board may establish appropriate standards for each classification, such standards not to be inconsistent with the provisions of G.S. 87-42. The Board may, by rule, modify the project value limitations up to the maximum amounts set forth in this section for limited and intermediate licenses no more than once every three years based upon an increase or decrease in the project cost index for electrical projects in this State.
There is hereby created a separate license for electrical contractors which shall permit an electrical contractor to engage in electrical contracting projects pertaining to single-family detached residential dwellings. The value of a single project pertaining to a single-family detached residential dwelling shall not be in excess of the maximum value, established in G.S. 87-43.3, of a single project engaged in by a licensee with a license classified as limited. The Board shall establish appropriate standards for this new license. The standards of knowledge, experience and proficiency shall be those appropriate for that license.
The Board shall collect a fee from each applicant before granting or renewing a license under the provisions of this Article; the annual license fee for the limited classification shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each principal and each branch place of business; the annual license fee for the intermediate classification shall not exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) for each principal and each branch place of business; the annual license fee for the unlimited classification shall not exceed two hundred ($200.00) for each principal and each branch place of business; and the annual license fee for the special restricted classifications and for the single-family detached residential dwelling license shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each principal and each branch place of business.
The Board shall establish a system for the renewal of licenses with varying expiration dates. However, all licenses issued by the Board shall expire one year after the date of issuance. Licenses shall be renewed by the Board, subject to G.S. 87-44.1 and G.S. 87-47, after receipt and evaluation of a renewal application from a licensee and the payment of the required fee. The application shall be upon a form provided by the Board and shall require such information as the Board may prescribe. Renewal applications and fees shall be due 30 days prior to the license expiration date.
Upon failure to renew by the expiration date established by the Board, the license shall be automatically revoked. This license may be reinstated by the Board, subject to G.S. 87-44.1 and G.S.87-47, upon payment of the license fee, an administrative fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and all fees for the lapsed period during which the person, partnership, firm or corporation engaged in electrical contracting, and, further, upon the satisfaction of such experience requirements during the lapse as the Board may prescribe by rule.
The Board may collect fees from applicants for examinations in an amount not to exceed one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00), except the fee for a specially arranged examination shall not exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00). In addition, the Board may collect an examination review fee, not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00), from failed examinees who apply for a supervised review of their failed examinations.
Notwithstanding G.S. 87-44, as enacted in this act, all licenses issued by the Board prior to the effective date of this act shall expire on June 30, 2001. The Board may renew some or all of the expired licenses for a period of more than one year to establish the system of staggered license renewal authorized in G.S. 87-44, as enacted in this act. Licensees whose licenses were renewed for more than one year shall pay the annual fee, as authorized in this section, and a prorated annual fee for any additional period of time beyond 12 months. When the Board has fully implemented the system for staggered license renewals, the licensees shall pay only the annual fee.
Notwithstanding G.S. 87-44, as enacted in this act, the following fee amounts shall become effective July 1, 2001, and shall remain in effect until changed by permanent rule of the Board:
(1) The annual license fee for the limited classification shall be sixty dollars ($60.00).
(2) The annual license fee for the intermediate classification shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00).
(3) The annual license fee for the unlimited classification shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).
(4) The annual license fee for the special restricted classification and for the single-family detached residential dwelling license shall be sixty dollars ($60.00).
(5) The examination fees for all examinations administered by the Board, whether written or by computer, shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00).
Beginning July 1, 1991, the Board may require as prerequisite to the annual renewal of a license that every listed qualified individual complete continuing education courses in subjects relating to electrical contracting to assure the safe and proper installation of electrical work and equipment in order to protect the life, health, and property of the public. The listed qualified individual shall complete, during the 12 months immediately preceding license renewal, a specific number of hours of continuing education courses approved by the Board prior to enrollment. The Board shall not require more than 10 hours of continuing education courses per 12 months and such continuing education courses shall include those taught at a community college as approved by the Board. The listed qualified individual may accumulate and carry forward not more than two additional years of the annual continuing education requirement. Attendance at any course or courses of continuing education shall be certified to the Board on a form provided by the Board and shall be submitted at the time the licensee makes application to the Board for its license renewal and payment of its license renewal fee. This continuing education requirement may be waived by the Board in cases of certified illness or undue hardship as provided for in the Rules of the Board.
87-44.2. Licensing of nonresidents
(a) Definitions. — The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Delinquent income tax debt. — the amount of income tax due as stated in a final notice of assessment issued to a taxpayer by the Secretary of Revenue when the taxpayer no longer has the right to contest the amount.
(2) Foreign corporation. — Defined in G.S. 55-1-40.
(4) Foreign limited liability company. –Defined in G.S. 57C-1-03.
(b) Licensing.–The Board shall not issue a license for a foreign corporation unless the corporation has obtained a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State pursuant to Article 15 of Chapter 55 of the General Statutes. The Board shall not issue a license for a foreign limited liability company unless the company has obtained a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State pursuant to Article 7 of Chpater 57C of the General Statutes.
(c) Information.–Upon request, the Board shall provide the Secretary of Revenue on an annual basis the name, address, and tax identification number of every nonresident individual licensed by the Board. The information shall be provided in the format required by the Secretary of Revenue.
(d) Delinquents.–If the Secretary of Revenue determines that any nonresident individual licensed by the Board owes a delinquent income tax debt, the Secretary of Revenue may notify the Board of these nonresident individuals and instruct the Board not to renew their licenses. The Board shall not renew the license of such a nonresident individual identified by the Secretary of Revenue unless the Board receives a written statement from the Secretary that the debt either has been paid or is being paid pursuant to an installment agreement.
The fees collected for examinations and licenses under this Article shall be used for the expenses of the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors in carrying out the provisions of this Article. No expenses of the Board or compensation of any member or employee of the Board shall be payable out of the treasury of the State of North Carolina; and neither the Board nor any member or employee thereof shall have any power or authority to make or incur any expense, debt or other financial obligation binding upon the State of North Carolina. Any funds remaining in the hands of the secretary-treasurer to the credit of the Board after all expenses of the Board for the current fiscal year have been fully provided for shall be paid over to the North Carolina Engineering Foundation, Inc., for the benefit of the electrical engineering department of the Greater University of North Carolina. Provided, however, the Board shall have the right to maintain an amount, the cumulative total of which shall not exceed twenty percent (20%) of gross receipts for the previous fiscal year of its operation as a maximum contingency or emergency fund.
Nothing in this Article shall relieve the holder or holders of licenses issued under the provisions hereof from complying with the building or electrical codes or statutes or ordinances of the State of North Carolina, or of any county or municipality thereof now in force or hereafter enacted. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as relieving the holder of any license issued hereunder from responsibility or liability for negligent acts on the part of such holder in connection with electrical contracting work; nor shall the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors be accountable in damages, or otherwise for the negligent act or acts of any holder of such license.
(a1) The following activities are prohibited:
(1) Offering to engage or engaging in electrical contracting without being licensed.
(2) Selling, transferring, or assigning a license, regardless of whether for a fee.
(3) Aiding or abetting an unlicensed person, partnership, firm, or corporation to offer to engage or to engage in electrical contracting.
(5) Engaging in fraud or misrepresentation to obtain a certification, obtain or renew a license, or practice electrical contracting.
(6) Engaging in false or misleading advertising.
(7) Engaging in malpractice, unethical conduct, fraud, deceit, gross negligence, gross incompetence, or gross misconduct in the practice of electrical contracting.
(2) Suspension from practice for a period not to exceed 12 months.
(3) Revocation of the right to serve as a listed qualified individual on any license issued by the Board.
(4) Revocation of license.
(5) Probationary revocation of license or the right to serve as a listed qualified individual on any license issued by the Board, upon conditions set by the Board as the case warrants, and revocation upon failure to comply with the conditions.
(6) Revocation of certification.
(7) Refusal to certify an applicant or a qualified individual.
(8) Refusal to issue a license to an applicant.
(9) Refusal to renew a license.
(a3) In addition to administering a penalty under subsection (a2) of this section, the Board may assess a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) against a licensee or a qualified individual who has engaged in an activity prohibited under subsection (a1) of this section or has violated another provision of this Article or a rule adopted by the Board. Civil penalties collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the General Fund of North Carolina as nontax revenue.
In determining the amount of a civil penalty, the Board shall consider:
(1) The degree and extent of harm to the public safety or to property, or the potential for harm.
(2) The duration and gravity of the violation.
(3) Whether the violation was committed willfully or intentionally, or reflects a continuing pattern.
(4) Whether the violation involved elements of fraud or deception either to the public or to the Board, or both.
(5) The violator’s prior disciplinary record with the Board.
(6) Whether and the extent to which the violator profited by the violation.
(a4) Any person, including the Board and its staff on their own initiative, may prefer charges pursuant to this section, and such charges must be submitted in writing to the Board. The Board may, without a hearing, dismiss charges as unfounded or trivial. The Board may issue a notice of violation based on the charges, to be served by a member of the Board’s staff or in accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, against any person, partnership, firm, or corporation for engaging in an activity prohibited under subsection (a1) of this section or for a violation of the provisions of this Article or any rule adopted by the Board. The person or other entity to whom the notice of violation is issued may request a hearing by notifying the Board in writing within 20 days after being served with the notice of violation. Hearings shall be conducted by the Board or an administrative law judge pursuant to Article 3A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. In conducting hearings, the Board may remove the hearings to any county in which the offense, or any part thereof, was committed if in the opinion of the Board the ends of justice or the convenience of witnesses require such removal.
(a5) If the person or other entity does not request a hearing under subsection (a4) of this section, the Board shall enter a final decision and may impose penalties against the person or other entity. If the person or other entity is not a licensee or a qualified individual, the Board may impose penalties under subsection (a2) of this section. If the person or other entity is a licensee or a qualified individual, the Board may impose penalties under subsection (a2) of this section, subsection (a3) of this section, or both.
(b) The Board shall adopt and publish rules, in accordance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes and consistent with the provisions of this Article, governing the matters contained in this section.
(c) The Board shall establish and maintain a system whereby detailed records are kept regarding charges and notices of violation pursuant to this section. This record shall include, for each person, partnership, firm, and corporation charged or notified of a violation, the date and nature of each charge or notice of violation, investigatory action taken by the Board, any findings by the Board, and the disposition of the matter.
(d) The Board may reinstate a qualified individual’s certification and may reinstate a license after having revoked it, provided that one year has elapsed from revocation until reinstatement and that the vote of the Board for reinstatement is by a majority of its members.
The Board shall immediately notify the Secretary of State and the electrical inspectors within the licensee’s county of residence upon the revocation of a license or the reissuance of a license which had been revoked.
(e) In any case in which the Board is entitled to convene a hearing to consider imposing any penalty provided for in subsection (a2) or (a3) of this section, the Board may accept an offer in compromise of the charge, whereby the accused shall pay to the Board a penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). Penalties collected by the Board under this subsection shall be deposited in the General Fund of North Carolina as nontax revenue.
(a) Any person, partnership, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this Article or any rule of the Board adopted pursuant to this Article or who shall engage or offer to engage in the business of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing within the State of North Carolina any electric wiring, devices, appliances or equipment without first having obtained a license under the provisions of this Article shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(b) Whenever it shall appear to the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors that any person, partnership, firm or corporation has violated, is violating, or threatens to violate any provisions of this Article, the Board may apply to the courts of the State for a restraining order and injunction to restrain such practices. If upon such application the court finds that any provision of this Article is being violated, or a violation thereof is threatened, the court shall issue an order restraining and enjoining such violations, and such relief may be granted regardless of whether criminal prosecution is instituted under the provisions of this Article. The venue for actions brought under this subsection shall be the superior court of any county in which such acts are alleged to have been committed or in the county where the defendants in such action reside.
Any person, firm or corporation licensed in this State as a Class II electrical contractor on the effective date of this Article shall be entitled to be licensed, without examination, in the limited classification upon payment of the required fee and may be licensed in the intermediate or in the unlimited classification without written examination upon satisfactory proof to the Board that such applicant is in fact qualified for such classification. Any person, firm or corporation licensed in this State as a Class I electrical contractor on the effective date of this Article shall be entitled to be licensed without examination in the limited, intermediate or unlimited classification upon payment of the required fee. Provided, that any person who has been once duly licensed by the Board, whose license has expired solely because of failure to apply for renewal, may apply and have a license issued under the provisions of this section if within a period of 12 months preceding such issuance the applicant shall have been primarily actively engaged as an electrical contractor or in an occupation which in the judgment of the Board is similar or equivalent to that of an electrical contractor.
To the extent that other states which provide for the licensing of electrical contractors provide for similar action, the Board may grant licenses of the same or equivalent classification to electrical contractors licensed by other states without written examination upon satisfactory proof furnished to the Board that the qualifications of such applicants are equal to the qualifications of holders of similar licenses in North Carolina and upon payment of the required fee.
The Board shall establish and implement a public awareness program to inform the general public of the purpose and function of the Board.
If any provision of this Article or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is for any reason held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Article are declared to be severable.