The Prairie State is one of the few jurisdictions that requires roofers to be licensed. Some roofers in Chicago see that requirement as a good thing. It gives the profession more prestige, they argue. Furthermore, they say, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation oversight basically serves as an alternative to the rather harsh criminal and civil liability that wayward roofers can face.
Others do not agree. They insist that the additional regulatory burden is unnecessary and unwanted.
Like them or not, the roofer licensing regulations are here to stay. With a little effort and a little help from an attorney when needed, compliance with the IDFPR rules is not that difficult.
Obtaining a Roofing License
A preliminary matter is the definition of “roofing” and “roofing contractor.” Both these terms are quite broad. According to the law, roofing means “to construct, reconstruct, alter, maintain and use materials and items used in the construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of all kinds of roofing and waterproofing.” A roofing contractor is anyone involved in “construction, reconstruction, alteration, maintenance and repair of all kinds of roofing and waterproofing as related to roofing.”
Next, consider the type of license you want or need to get. Illinois offers a limited license and a full license. In a nutshell, the limited license is rather easy to obtain and also rather restricted in its utility. All first-timers must start with a limited license. The 90-minute test is 75 questions long. If you pass the test, your license is valid for residential projects with fewer than eight units. You must also post a $10,000 bond.
The next step is an unlimited license. The 150-minute test is 125 questions long. An unlimited license requires a $25,000 bond. It is valid for larger residential projects as well as all commercial work.
All licensed roofing contractors in Illinois must also have workers’ compensation insurance, liability insurance, and an EIN number.
Common Issues with an Illinois Roofing License
Advertising violations are one of the most common IDFPR actions. All advertisements must have the contractor’s legal name, and not just the D/B/A name, as well as the license number. There are a number of other possible violations, including:
- Deceptive Advertising: This rule prohibits not only blatant untruths but also anything misleading. This standard is extremely subjective, so it is important to have an attorney who can clearly state your side of the story.
- License Abuse: It is also unlawful for licensed roofers to allow unlicensed roofers to use their licenses for any reason whatsoever. That could be a store discount, job bid, or advertisement.
- Aiding and Abetting License Abuse: Once again, this standard is quite subjective. There is a difference between innocent assistance and aiding and abetting, but that line is often difficult to draw.
Violations are punishable not only by action against a license but also a fine of up to $10,000.
Contact Experienced Attorneys
Due to Tom Glasgow’s highly specialized experience in these areas, he has successfully defended many roofing professionals and private individuals against the unlimited resources of the Federal and State government. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Schaumburg, contact Glasgow & Olsson.
(image courtesy of Bradley Ziffer)