It’s official. New legislation requiring North Carolina general contractors to fulfill annual continuing education requirements was signed into law on July 1.

What does this mean?

Beginning January 1, 2020, all general contractors holding a building, residential or unclassified contractor license classification will now be required to have one of their qualifiers (yes, only one) complete eight hours of continuing education on an annual basis in order to renew their license. These continuing education requirements do not apply to highway and utility contractors. Continuing education requirements will begin on January 1 of each calendar year and must be completed by November 30 of that same calendar year. Though November 30 is technically the deadline, it is not a hard deadline, since the qualifier has a 90-day grace period past November 30 to complete the continuing education requirement.

Of the eight hours, two will consist of mandatory course material approved by the Licensing Board and the remaining six hours will consist of approved elective courses. Each qualifier will be allowed to carry forward up to four hours of elective course credits to the next calendar year. Credit hours may be obtained by attending live lectures, or in certain circumstances, by watching a previously recorded video of an approved presentation. The failure of a qualifier to complete continuing education requirements before the expiration of the 90-day grace period will result in the invalidation of the contractor entity’s license until continuing education and other licensing requirements have been met. Put simply, going forward general contractors must take proactive steps to ensure that they timely fulfill all continuing education requirements in order to avoid business interruption as well as potential legal implications that could result from temporary license invalidation. Further details concerning how this new law will be implemented and enforced will be forthcoming once the Licensing Board promulgates new rules. Expect that to happen in the coming months.

A copy of the newly passed legislation can be accessed here.

South Carolina currently does not require continuing education for general contractors. We are not aware of any pending legislation to introduce such requirements.