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Electrical certification FAQs

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Topics covered in this FAQ include:
Who is required to be certified?
What do I need to know about certification?
Can you tell me about the application process?
I am a trainee and have questions
I have questions about the test
What if I fail the test?
Renewal Certification Questions
Enforcement Questions
Who should I contact to request a form W-9?

Who is required to be certified?

Is it true that licensed electrical contractors themselves are not required to obtain the certification? Who is required to be certified? In a short answer, who is required to be certified? I have a C-10 license; do I have to be certified? I am a foreman for a contractor and sometimes I work with the tools for that work. Do I have to be certified? I work for a school district or a plant as an electrician, do I need to be certified? I am an electrician moving to California from out of state, do I need to be certified? Is there a grace period for obtaining certification when moving to the state? What if I'm only coming into California to work for a short time as an electrician on one job? If I have a license from another state, do I have to be tested and certified? Do non-qualifying partners or officers of a C-10 Electrical corporation need to be certified?

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What do I need to know about certification?

What are the qualifications to apply for certification? What is the deadline to be certified? How many classifications are there for certification and testing? What if I don't have enough hours of on the job experience?

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Can you tell me about the application process?

How do I apply for the certification? What is the cost for the application and test? Update image Do I need to attach a copy of my employment history with my application form? I sent in my application but haven't received a response, what do I do? What if I have a change of address? Can I check the status of my certification or electrician trainee? What if I lose my certification card?

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I am an Electrician Trainee (ET) and have questions.

Can I register as a trainee and what are my rights as a trainee? How often do I have to renew my trainee card? What do I need to do to renew my trainee card? What happens when I withdraw from school? What does "Inactive" status mean? What if I completed schooling as an Electrician Trainee, how do I renew my trainee card? Can I take the Certification exam as an Electrician Trainee? If I completed and do not have the hours of experience, do I qualify to take the certification test? How do I inform you about releasing my Electrician Trainee card? Can I be a trainee again after being withdrawn from the Electrician Trainee school? Is there a fee for renewing Electrician Trainee cards?

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I have questions about the test.

Is there any out-of-state testing centers besides California for electrician certification exams? What happens if I miss the date I'm scheduled to take the test? Where are the testing sites located? Is the test a written exam? Is the test true/false, multiple choice, fill in the blank or essay? What is the content of the exam? Is this an open-book test? What should I study in preparation for the exam? How many questions are on the test? Are there any sample questions available? Is the test available in languages other than English? What identification is required for certification? When will I receive my certification card?

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What if I fail the test?

What happens if I fail the test? If I don't pass the test how soon can I take it again? If I don't pass the test, do I have to pay to take it again? What if I failed the exam many times and my year is up?

We thank you for your interest in this matter. Please refer to this website periodically for updated information.

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Renewal Certification Questions

When do I have to renew? What do I need to do to renew? How do I apply for renewal? Who may offer continuing education? Is there a form to complete to renew my certification? What courses qualify for my continuing education requirement? What kind of proof do I need to show that I met the requirement of working 2,000 hours in the industry? As a certified electrician am I required to obtain continuing education to maintain my certification? What kind of proof do I need to show that I met the requirement of completing 32 hours of continuing education? If I take the certification exam, do I have to do the 32 hours of continuing education? What is the deadline to submit my renewal application with proof of 32 hours and payment? When can we send our renewal applications to the State? What if I did not go to a provider listed on your website? Do I have to have the 2,000 hours of work in the industry in the past three years? What if my certification expired, do I still need to fulfill the 32 hour requirement?

NOTE: For those who are renewing their certification:

If you are renewing on or prior to your certification card expiring, you will need to have 2,000 hours of work in the industry in the past three years, and have completed 32 hours of continuing education from an approved educational provider that are listed on our website under the following links:

Continuing education providers or the Electrician Trainee Approved Schools list. Submit your Renewal Application with proof of your 32 hours and payment of $100.00.

If you are renewing after your card expired, you do not need to fulfill the 32 hours requirement for continuing education. You must retake the exam and pass or you will be illegally working. Submit your Renewal Application and place a check mark the expired box. Attach your $200.00 payment to retake the exam.
Employers employing uncertified electricians can be found in violation of Labor Code 108.2.

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Enforcement Questions

Who enforces the law for electrician certification? What is the penalty when an electrician is found working without a valid certification?

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Who should I contact to request a form W-9?

Please email your request to DIRW9Inquiry@dir.ca.gov and specify which collection unit and/or type of fee you will be paying.

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Revised October 30, 2015