(a) A person shall not undertake, offer to undertake, or submit a bid to do work as a contractor on a structure or arrange to have work done unless that person has a current, valid certificate of registration for all construction work issued by the board. A partnership, corporation, or joint venture may do the work, offer to undertake the work, or submit a bid to do the work only if that partnership, corporation, or joint venture is registered for the work. In the case of registration by a corporation or partnership, an individual shall be designated to be responsible for the corporation’s or partnership’s work. The corporation or partnership and its designee shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the registration fee, as requested in this chapter, and for violations of any provisions of this chapter. Disciplinary action taken on a registration held by a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor may affect other registrations held by the same corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, and may preclude future registration by the principal of that business entity.

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 5-65-3. Registration for work on a structure required of contractor -- Issuance of building permits to unregistered or unlicensed contractors prohibited -- Evidence of activity as a contractor -- Duties of contractors

  • affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Board: means the contractors' registration and licensing board established pursuant to the provisions of Rhode Island general laws § 5-65-14 or its designees. See Rhode Island General Laws 5-65-1
  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Contractor: means a person who, in the pursuit of an independent business, undertakes or offers to undertake or submits a bid, or for compensation and with or without the intent to sell the structure arranges to construct, alter, repair, improve, move over public highways, roads or streets or demolish a structure or to perform any work in connection with the construction, alteration, repair, improvement, moving over public highways, roads or streets or demolition of a structure, and the appurtenances thereto. See Rhode Island General Laws 5-65-1
  • corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • in writing: include printing, engraving, lithographing, and photo-lithographing, and all other representations of words in letters of the usual form. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-16
  • jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • person: extends to and includes co-partnerships and bodies corporate and politic. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-6
  • precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • right of rescission: Right to cancel, within three business days, a contract that uses the home of a person as collateral, except in the case of a first mortgage loan. There is no fee to the borrower, who receives a full refund of all fees paid. The right of rescission is guaranteed by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Source: OCC
  • State: means the state of Rhode Island. See Rhode Island General Laws 5-65-1
  • Structure: means (i) any commercial building; or (ii) any building containing one or more residences and their appurtenances. See Rhode Island General Laws 5-65-1
  • town: may be construed to include city; the words "town council" include city council; the words "town clerk" include city clerk; the words "ward clerk" include clerk of election district; the words "town treasurer" include city treasurer; and the words "town sergeant" include city sergeant. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-9

(b) A registered partnership or corporation shall notify the board in writing immediately upon any change in partners or corporate officers.

(c) A city, town, or the state shall not issue a building permit to anyone required to be registered under this chapter who does not have a current, valid certificate of registration identification card or valid license which shall be presented at the time of issuance of a permit and shall become a condition of a valid permit. Each city, town, or the state which requires the issuance of a permit as a condition precedent to construction, alteration, improvement, demolition, movement or repair of any building or structure or the appurtenance to the structure shall also require that each applicant for the permit file as a condition to issuing the permit a written affidavit subject to the penalties of perjury, subscribed by the applicant, that the applicant is registered under the provisions of this chapter, giving the number of the registration and stating that the registration is in full force and effect, or, if the applicant is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, listing the basis for the exemption. The city, town, or the state shall list the contractor’s registration number on the permit obtained by that contractor, and if a homeowner is issued a permit, the building inspector or official must ascertain registration numbers of each contractor on the premises and shall inform the registration board of any non-registered contractors performing work at the site.

(d) Every city and town which requires the issuance of a business license as a condition precedent to engaging, within the city or town, in a business which is subject to regulation under this chapter, shall require that each licensee and each applicant for issuance or renewal of the license file, or has on file, with the city or town a signed statement that the licensee or applicant is registered under the provisions of this chapter and stating that the registration is in full force and effect.

(e) It shall be prima facie evidence of doing business as a contractor when a person for that person’s own use performs, employs others to perform, or for compensation and with the intent to sell the structure, arranges to have performed any work described in § 5-65-1(3) if within any one twelve (12) month period that person offers for sale one or more structures on which that work was performed.

(f) Registration under this chapter shall be prima facie evidence that the registrant conducts a separate, independent business.

(g) The provisions of this chapter shall be exclusive and no city or town shall require or shall issue any registrations or licenses nor charges any fee for the regulatory registration of any contractor registered with the board. Nothing in this subsection shall limit or abridge the authority of any city or town to license and levy and collect a general and nondiscriminatory license fee levied upon all businesses, or to levy a tax based upon business conducted by any firm within the city or town’s jurisdiction, if permitted under the laws of the state.

(h)(1) Every contractor shall maintain a list which shall include the following information about all subcontractors or other contractors performing work on a structure for that contractor:

(i) Names and addresses.

(ii) Registration numbers or other license numbers.

(2) The list referred to in subdivision (h)(1) of this subsection shall be delivered to the board within twenty-four (24) hours after a request is made during reasonable working hours, or a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) may be imposed for each offense.

(i) The following subcontractors who are not employees of a registered contractor must obtain a registration certificate prior to conducting any work: (1) carpenters, including finish carpenters and framers; (2) siding installers; (3) roofers; (4) foundation installers, including concrete installers and form installers; (5) drywall installers; (6) plasterers; (7) insulation installers; (8) ceramic tile installers; (9) floor covering installers; (10) swimming pool installers, both above ground and in ground; (11) masons, including chimney installers, fireplace installers, and general masonry erectors. This list is not all inclusive and shall not be limited to the above referenced contractors. No subcontractor licensed by another in-state agency pursuant to § 5-65-2 shall be required to register, provided that said work is performed under the purview of that license.

(j) A contractor including, but not limited to, a general contractor, shall not hire any subcontractor or other contractor to work on a structure unless the contractor is registered under this chapter or exempt from registration under the provisions of § 5-65-2.

(k) A summary of this chapter, prepared by the board and provided at cost to all registered contractors, shall be delivered by the contractor to the owner when the contractor begins work on a structure; failure to comply may result in a fine.

(l) The registration number of each contractor shall appear in any advertising by that contractor. Advertising in any form by an unregistered contractor shall be prohibited, including alphabetical or classified directory listings, vehicles, business cards, and all other forms of advertisements. The violations could result in a penalty being assessed by the board per administrative procedures established.

(i) The board may publish, revoke or suspend registrations and the date the registration was suspended or revoked on a quarterly basis.

(ii) Use of the word “license” in any form of advertising when only registered may subject the registrant or those required to be registered to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense at the discretion of the board.

(m) The contractor must see that permits required by the state building code are secured on behalf of the owner prior to commencing the work involved. The contractor’s registration number must be affixed to the permit as required by the state building code.

(n) The board may assess an interest penalty of twelve percent (12%) annually when a monetary award is ordered by the board.

(o) All work performed, including labor and materials, in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000) shall be accompanied by a contract in writing. Contracts required pursuant to this subsection shall include a location on or near the signature line location on or in which the parties to the contract shall initial to evidence the receipt of certain consumer education materials or information approved and provided by the board to the contractor. Said educational materials and/or information shall include, but not be limited to, the following notice and shall be provided by the contractor to the homeowner:

NOTICE OF POSSIBLE MECHANIC’S LIEN

To: Insert name of owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the simple fee.

The undersigned is about to perform work and/or furnish materials for the construction, erection, alterations or repair upon the land at (INSERT ADDRESS) under contract with you. This is a notice that the undersigned and any other persons who provide labor and materials for the improvement under contract with the undersigned may file a mechanic’s lien upon the land in the event of nonpayment to them. It is your responsibility to assure yourself that those other persons under contract with the undersigned receive payment for their work performed and materials furnished for the construction, erection, alteration or repair upon the land. Failure to adhere to the provisions of this subsection may result in a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine against the contractor and shall not affect the right of any other person performing work or furnishing materials of claiming a lien pursuant to Chapter 34-28. However, such person failing to provide such notice shall indemnify and hold harmless any owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the fee simple from any payment or costs incurred on account of any liens claims by those not in privity with them, unless such owner, lessee or tenant, or owner of less than the fee simple shall not have paid such person.

(p) Contracts entered into must contain notice of right of rescission as stipulated in all pertinent Rhode Island consumer protection laws.

(q) The contractor must stipulate whether or not all the proper insurances are in effect for each job contracted.

(r) Contractors who are in compliance with the provisions of this subsection shall be exempt from the requirements of § 34-28-4.1.

(s) In addition to the requirements of this chapter, contractors engaged in well drilling activities shall also be subject to regulations pertaining to licensing and registration promulgated by the contractors’ registration and licensing board pursuant to chapter 5-65.2 and § 46-13.2-4.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 222, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 381, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 350, § 2; P.L. 1996, ch. 322, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 349, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 322, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 648, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 32, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 228, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 324, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 364, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 17, § 4.)