Maryland Electricians Act - Electricians
The State Board of Master Electricians (“Board”) is pleased to inform you of the passage of Senate Bill 762 – Maryland Electricians Act – Revisions (“SB 762”), Chapter 708, which became the law of Maryland on May 30, 2021, and which goes into effect on July 1, 2021, unless otherwise noted. This bill makes many significant changes to the current licensure schematic for electricians on both the State and local level. In accordance with uncodified language in SB 762, the Board is required to provide notice to each local board the changes to licensure that the passage of this legislation will have on electricians licensed by local boards, as follows:
- Changes the name of the Board from the State Board of Master Electricians to the State Board of Electricians;
- Provides a definition and licensure requirements for “licensed apprentice electrician” and “licensed journeyperson electrician” and authorizes the State to issue licenses for both license classifications. Prior to July 1, 2021, the Board’s license authority is limited to the issuance of a master electrician license;
- Repeals local authority to license master, journeyperson, and apprentice electricians, however, local jurisdictions may adopt requirements to issue apprentice, journeyperson, and master registrations using the same criteria and examination currently used to issue those licenses. Please be advised that an individual who takes a licensing examination in a jurisdiction and reciprocates to a State license is ineligible to reciprocate their State license to another state or the District of Columbia;
- Requires an individual to hold a State apprentice, journeyperson or master electrician license to offer, provide or assist in providing electrical services. Individuals who only hold a license in one or more jurisdictions will be ineligible to offer or provide electrical services unless a State license is obtained by July 1, 2022;
- Allows a licensing examination waiver under the “grandfathering” provisions set forth in Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, § 6-307 (all other statutory references herein shall be to Business Occupations and Professions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland), for an individual licensed by a local jurisdiction in which the individual passed a license examination. The applicant requesting an examination waiver must apply for a State license on or before December 31, 2022, meet the minimum work experience requirements, submit an application and pay the fee set by regulation in COMAR 09.09;
- Waives work experience requirements for journeyperson examination eligibility for an individual who demonstrates 3 years of work experience under a licensed master electrician (§ 6-307.1);
- Local jurisdictions retain the authority to establish a local board and require permits, fees, and inspections. Local jurisdictions currently offering apprentice, journeyperson, and master licenses may elect or be required to also issue registrations for individuals and to state-licensed electricians required for the provision of electrical services within that local jurisdiction. Local jurisdictions that do not currently issue apprentice, journeyperson, and master licenses may begin issuing apprentice, journeyperson, and master registrations as long as the individual passes the State license exam required to qualify for a journeyperson or master registration;
- Requires at least one licensed master electrician or journeyperson electrician to be present at each job site in which electrical services are provided. The Board interprets this language to require an appropriately-licensed electrician to be on site specifically at the time(s) when electrical services within the meaning of § 6-101(k) are actually provided. An apprentice electrician cannot work on a jobsite without a licensed journeyperson electrician present. A journeyperson can work on a jobsite without a master present as long as the journeyperson is working under the “direction and control” of a licensed master. The Board has administratively defined “direction and control” by a master licensee to mean that the master is immediately available by phone, fax or other electronic means at all times that electrical services are provided;
- Requires the Board to alter the current continuing education requirements for master electricians;
- Requires the Board to enforce minimum standards for the provision of electrical services consistent with the most recent version of the National Electrical Code. The Board has 18 months within which to do so; presently, the Board is working diligently to promulgate those regulatory provisions required to implement the licensing program, pertaining to fees, continuing education, etc.;
- Establishes specified consumer protections, additional violations, and associated fines and penalties ($1,000, $5,000 second offense, $1,000 and misdemeanor for bonding/insurance requirement violations);
- Requires a licensed or registered electrician to display the State license number or the local registration number on each vehicle used on the job for the provision of electrical services, in accordance with § 6-301(c).
- Requires local jurisdictions that register apprentices, journeypersons, or master electricians to report to the Department of Labor on or before July 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, the number of apprentice, journeyperson, and master electricians registered and the number of journeyperson and master electrician license examinations administered; and
- Does not apply to the low-voltage industry or the provision of limited energy services (they stay status-quo for the time being).
Please e-mail John Bull, Executive Director of Mechanical Licensing, if you have any questions or concerns regarding SB 762.