The S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) will be sending out the following notice to all building officials in SC.
Dear Code Officials:
Many local codes departments in South Carolina require a Residential Specialty Contractor license/registration in Electrical, Plumbing, or HVAC before issuing a permit for this type of work. In the past, the Commission has issued such licenses/registrations to licensed Residential Builders. Please note, however, that S.C. Code Ann. § 40-59-20(7) specifically states that a residential specialty contractor may not be a licensed residential builder. Therefore, in accordance with the law, the Commission will no longer issue Residential Specialty Contactor licenses/registrations to Residential Builders.
The S.C. Residential Builders exam tests builder applicants on the three mechanical trades of Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC. Therefore, a Residential Builder who received his or her license by exam is qualified to perform work in these trades and will have the designation “RBB” on his or her license and will have as the “Home Builders” as the license type on LLR licensee lookup.
The Commission also licenses Residential Builders without exam in three instances: (1) a passing score on the NASCLA exam; (2) a license issued by the SC Contractors Board; or (3) a license from a state with whom the Commission has an exam waiver agreement. A Residential Builder who received his or her license without exam is not qualified to perform work in the mechanical trades and will have the designation “RB” on his or her license as well as license type on LLR licensee lookup. RB Exam Waiver licensees must subcontract with an appropriately licensed person or company to perform any of the mechanical trades on a project.
I hope this clarifies any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact the Commission with any issues that may arise.
This is not a new policy and does not change any licensing requirements. This issue has been brought up several times in the last few months (either a local municipality trying to exact additional business license fees, or builders who have had their license suspended trying to usurp the suspension).