Compliance Issues for Electrical Contractors Aiding in the Disaster Recovery Efforts in Texas

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, many out-of-state electrical contractors are traveling into Texas to assist in the disaster recovery efforts. In order to operate in accordance with the law, it is necessary to become familiar with the both the State’s laws and the local ordinances of the municipality that you plan on performing work in.

Electrical Contractors, who have an equivalent license in their own state, are able to quickly obtain an Emergency License issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The specific application for this license is available on their website and must be submitted with a copy of your current license and the application fee. An Emergency License can be issued for the following classifications: Master Electrician, Master Sign Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, Journeyman Sign Electrician, Residential Wireman, and Maintenance Electrician. With this license, you must work under another contractor licensed in Texas. The Emergency License is valid for 90 days and will only allow you to perform within the designated disaster area and during the time of a declared disaster and its recovery period.

Another quick way to get licensed is to apply for a temporary apprenticeship license. This temporary license would be valid for 21 days hopefully giving you enough time to obtain your permanent license. Again, you must work under another contractor licensed in Texas.

Be sure to research specific municipality requirements as well. Many cities require contractors to be registered with the municipality. Along with your registration, they may require varying registration fees, additional insurance coverage, and a surety bond.

As an example, here are the licensing requirements for contractors to become registered in the City of Galveston:

  • Completed Contractor License Application
  • $200.00 Registration Fee
  • $300,000 minimum liability insurance listing City of Galveston as an additional insured
  • $5,000 Surety Bond for permitting/general contracting

You can find their Contractor License Application and other helpful information regarding their requirements on their website:
City of Galveston

The State of Texas has adopted the NFPA 70 Electrical Code as published in the NEC 2008 Edition. Check with the local code enforcement office in the city you will be performing work in to find out what electrical code requirements they’ve adopted. It is important to learn state and local standards for electrical work because they could differ from your home state.

It is inspiring to hear from so many contractors wishing to help out those who have faced devastation due to natural disasters such as Hurricane Ike. With great intentions in the front of your mind, it is easy to act in haste and overlook the proper steps essential to stay in compliance. Be sure to protect yourself and your company by doing the necessary research and paperwork. This will save you valuable time and money, so you can put more effort towards what really matters helping those in need.