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New Jersey has passed an amendment to its laws regulating home improvement contractors, imposing new licensure requirements in addition to the existing registration framework. The legislation, titled the “Home Improvement and Home Elevation Contractor Licensing Act,” was enacted on January 8, 2023.

The law calls for creation of a new oversight board, the New Jersey State Board of Home Improvement and Home Elevation Contractors, which will be comprised of home improvement contractors, trade association representatives, and members of the public selected by the Governor, State Senate President, and State Assembly Speaker.

The oversight board is tasked with developing education and training requirements for contractors and issuing licenses to contractors. The board will also implement a code of ethics and standards of conduct. Registered contractors with ten or more years of experience are temporarily exempt from licensing and will be granted licenses upon renewal of their current registration. Those with less experience will be required to present proof of completion of an accredited apprenticeship or trade school program, two years’ experience subject to direct oversight of another registered contractor, or completion of the education requirements and examination to be proscribed by the oversight board.

Contractors will be required to renew their licenses every other year, subject to remaining in good standing and completion of a continuing education program. Licenses are subject to revocation upon a finding by the oversight board that the contractor has engaged in fraudulent activity, gross misconduct or negligence, or other conduct inconsistent with public welfare. Municipalities will be prohibited from issuing construction permits to contractors without active licenses (or who are exempt from licensing pending renewal of registration).

Financial security requirements for contracting businesses are also enhanced under the new law. Home improvement contracting businesses will now be required to maintain worker’s compensation insurance in addition to their general liability insurance. Contracting businesses will also be required to post compliance bonds as security for potential claims by consumers and the oversight board.

If you have any questions regarding the new contractor licensing law, contact one of our attorneys today.