Menu Close

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB), along with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office and California Department of Insurance, recently conducted a successful undercover operation targeting unlicensed contractors.

This sting operation took place in Bakersfield on March 20 and 21 where CSLB cited 12 individuals for allegedly conducting contracting activities without the required license. These offenders were issued Notices to Appear in criminal court and could face legal consequences, including fines up to $15,000 and/or jail time. Engaging in contracting work without a contractor’s licnse is a misdemeanor offense in California.

The individuals targeted during this operation submitted bids ranging from $600 to $6,500 for home improvement projects including fencing, landscaping, plumbing, painting, and concrete work. A California contractor’s license is required to bid or contract for construction work exceeding $500 in value, including materials and labor.

In addition, nine stop orders were issued during the operation, halting work at job sites where contractors failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Unlicensed contractors apprehended in this operation may also face additional charges for advertising their construction services without the necessary license. It is illegal in California to advertise construction or home improvement work without a valid license in the advertised classification. If unlicensed individuals advertise contracting services, they must explicitly disclose their lack of licensure and cannot bid or contract for work valued at more than $500.

“CSLB is unwavering in our dedication to protect homeowners from the risks posed by unlicensed contractors,” said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. “Our commitment includes providing continuous consumer education on the critical significance of hiring licensed contractors. We urge homeowners to verify a contractor’s license on CSLB’s website before embarking on any construction project in California.”

Unlicensed contractors often use workers from the underground economy, who are paid in cash, and not protected by worker’s compensation policies of insurance. Licensed contractors are required to provide worker’s compensation coverage information to the Contractors State License Board as part of the regulatory process.