When it’s all said and done, damage from Hurricane Harvey will exceed $200 billion. In the face of such destruction, the Texas construction industry will be stretched to its limits. Significant aid will have to come from firms outside of Texas, but in construction, licensure is often required. For jobs that will require licensure, it’s important to know whether these licensure requirements will be lifted or otherwise affected by the state of affairs in Texas.
It will also be incredibly important for those performing construction work to understand Texas’ lien and notice requirements. In the aftermath of disasters, there’s an opportunity for mutual benefit. Property owners can receive the work they desperately need, and construction businesses can help the community rebuild while also enjoying a boost in business. However, where construction goes, payment disputes are sure to follow. Considering Texas has the toughest lien laws in the country, those heading to the Lone Star State must take special precaution when preserving their right to payment.
So far, licensure requirements have not been affected much, but that could very well change in the coming days and weeks. Recovering from Hurricane Harvey will require all hands on deck, so it’s completely foreseeable that licensing requirements could be relaxed.
Even without waivers, Texas is easier than most states when it comes to licensing, so many of the hurdles that often come with interstate construction work will not be present. However, licensing requirements could be present at the city or county level.
In any event, it’s important to know when licenses will be required. The Texas licensing website is the ultimate guide on this topic, but here are some areas to keep in mind while recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Keep in mind that Texas does not require licensing for general contractors or roofers at the state level.
Tow Trucks, Operators, and VSFs
Emergency licenses are available for tow truck operators aiding in the relief of Hurricane Harvey. Emergency licenses are only valid for 90 days from August 27, 2017 and are non-renewable and non-convertible. They may only be used for disaster relief in these affected areas:
Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, Sabine, San Patricio, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy, and Wilson.
All tow truck operators must be licensed. However, the emergency licensure requirements vary greatly depending on the type of work.
Incident Management Tow Operator License:
The IM License allows a driver to perform incident management towing, private property towing and consent towing.
Private Property Tow Operator License:
The Private Property License allows private property towing and consent towing.
Consent Tow Operator License:
The Consent Towing License only authorizes consent towing.
To acquire either an Incident Management License or a Private Property License, a driver must already be a licensed tow truck operator. For a Consent Tow Operator License, a driver must apply here and: hold a valid US driver’s license, pass a background check, and pay the $100 fee.
Here’s more information.
At this point, there has been no emergency waiver of licensure requirements. However, it’s easy for Louisiana electricians to gain Texas licensure.
In order to apply for Texas licensure, licensed Louisiana electricians must complete this form, pay a $45 fee, provide a copy of their Louisiana license, and produce a letter of good standing with Louisiana. The same qualifications apply for North Carolina electricians, but electricians from other states will not benefit from Texas’ reciprocity agreement.
Lien and Notice Requirements
Those headed to Texas to perform construction work need to know Texas lien law. Lien and notice requirements are kind of our thing here at levelset, but Texas especially. That’s why we’ve produced extensive information on Texas construction notices and, more recently, a comprehensive guide to filing a Texas mechanics lien. Beyond that, we’ve also got an informative Texas Construction Payment Resources center where everything from lien law, prompt payment, Texas Little Miller Act, and FAQs on all the above. If Texas lien and notice laws are in play, we’ve got your back.
The construction effort will be crucial while recovering from Hurricane Harvey. As contractors, subs, and laborers flock to Texas, it’s imperative that licensing requirements are adhered to and that lien and notice laws are followed. Otherwise, they might be subject to penalty, or worse, lose their rights to payment.