With the housing business expecting to improve over the next few years, we can look forward to seeing legislation move towards home improvement contractors being more tightly licensed, especially when it comes to their contractor licensing bonds. One trend is that fewer and fewer states will allow a statewide home improvement contractors license. Most state boards are moving towards licensing for specific types of home improvement such as roofing, or making the licenses connected with a specific location or city.
Contractor Licensing Bonds Required
A good example of this is Iowa, which recently enacted legislation that would create a license and contractors licensing bonds requirement for sheet metal contractors. This will being these contractors into the fold with other home improvement contractor licensing requirements for the state. In Kansas they now require registration certification and a contractor licensing bond posting for anyone considering opening operations as a roofing contractor in the state.
In Oregon, contractors that assess home energy performance scores will need to have a contractors license and to obtain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000 in addition to fulfilling all the requirements of a home contractor for Oregon. In Texas and Oklahoma legislation was introduced to require roofing contractors to post surety bonds along with their new licensing requirements, but in both states the bill was fought and stopped.
More Surety Bond Changes
You can be sure that this is not the last you will hear about new contractor licensing bonds, however. In some states, the changes have been to remove surety bond requirements for licencing in related contractor businesses. For anyone that works as a radon mitigation or measurement professional in Kentucky, the surety bond requirements that were enacted last year have been revoked.
In addition, master plumbers and gas fitters in Alabama that were facing the possibility of new surety bond requirements for the coming year will be interested to hear that this bill has been defeated. The bill would have changed the current city and county bonds to a statewide bond. As noted earlier, that trend seems to be reversing itself as more and more states reject the concept of a statewide contractor surety bond requirement.
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Texas Auto Dealer BondsThe Lone Star State has always been fiercely independent and all about wide open spaces. With its abundance of long dusty roads as well as busy state freeways it is no surprise that a car dealership is a popular enterprise for the area. The regulations for a DMC surety bond as part of the licensing may seem pretty much a simple deal, but the requirements tied to it mean any dealership should know their regulations well when applying for an auto dealer surety bond along with their license.
Texas Auto Dealer Bond Requirements:
- $25,000 two year auto dealers surety bond
- Bond must be an original bond
- Forms must match exactly the approved samples provided
- Bond term begins on first day of the month and ends on last day of the month
- Bond must be signed by the dealer or the dealer’s authorized representative
- Bond must be signed by the bonding company or bonding agent
Texas Auto Dealer Surety Bond is good for:
- A motor vehicle dealer
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auction
- Mobility Vehicle Dealer
- Motorcycle Dealer, when not licensed as a franchised dealer with DMV
Oklahoma Auto Dealer BondsWith its population spread across a large rural area, many would think that there is little call for auto dealerships in Oklahoma, but they would be wrong. The Sooner State has a growing need for auto dealerships and BuySurety can provide license surety bonds for Oklahoma dealerships as well as in any of the other 50 states. The requirements for a motor vehicle dealer bond in Oklahoma are fairly easy to follow and don’t have the multiple layers that many states seem to have. Used Motor Vehicle Dealers are required to post a $15,000 Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond. The bond must expire on December 31st.
Kansas Auto Dealer Surety Bond RequirementsKansas is another of those states that has managed to keep their car dealership licensing requirements as well as their auto dealer surety bond regulations fairly simple. In Kansas both new and used car dealers are required to post a surety bond as part of their licensing for the auto dealership. The surety bond licensing amount for each type of dealership is the same.
- A $30,000 auto dealer surety bond is required for both new and used car dealerships at the time of licensing.
- Manufacturers, distributors and factory branches are exempt from providing this surety bond requirement.
- Salvage Dealers do not need to apply for or provide proof of a surety bond.
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Washington Fidelity Bond Legislature
Washington House Bill 1034 – Escrow AgentEscrow agents with the passage of Washington House Bill 1034 will be required to post a fidelity bond for $1 million that is connected to their licensure. This is an increase from the previous requirement of a permit or license surety bond for $200,000. The bond will cover each employee, officer or partner that is engaged in escrow transactions for the company and have a deductible of a maximum of $10,000. The bill was introduced to the House on January 04, 2013 and referred to the House Committee on Business & Financials Services. On January 21, 2013 it was passed to the Rules Committee for a second reading. If you are interested in reading the complete text to Washington House Bill 1034 as it now stands, please follow the link provided in this summary to the legislative site.
Oklahoma Fidelity Bond Legislature
Oklahoma House Bill 1884 – Real Estate Settlement AgentsOklahoma real estate settlement agencies will be required with the passage of Oklahoma House Bill 1884 to obtain blanket fidelity bonds that will run concurrent with their license term. These surety bonds will need to cover all settlement agents employed at the agency and be a minimum of $150,000 with a deductible under 15% of the bond penalty. This fidelity bond will provide coverage in the event of loss from employee dishonesty, defalcation or embezzlement. The coverage will include losses to the agency’s buyer, seller, lender and title insurance underwriter and the bond must be from a surety company that is authorized for the State of Oklahoma. Cancellation requires a 30 day notice from the bond company. The first reading of Oklahoma House Bill 1884 was on February 4, 2013 and it went to the Insurance Committee on February 5, 2013. For a look at the complete text of Oklahoma House Bill 1884 as it currently stands you can follow the link provided in this bill summary.
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Senate Bill No. 1475: Service Warranty AssociationsUpon Senate Bill 1475 going into law in the State of Oklahoma vehicle service warranty associations will have a new set of regulations regarding the requirements for specific financial documents including the posting of a surety bond. These new regulations will require the surety bond be posted for a minimum of 5% of the received gross premium minus the costs of paying claims for all sold service warranty contracts issued and currently in force in the state of Oklahoma. This bond amount must be at least $25,000 and is in addition to a required reserve account that must be funded as well. An insurance policy can be taken out in place of the surety bond and reserve account if the carrier and policy meet all the qualifications outlined in this bill. Senate Bill 1475 was enacted on April 25, 2012 and went into law on November 1, 2012. For a look at the complete text to Oklahoma Senate Bill 1475 please use the link to the legislative site provided.
House Bill No. 2967: Athlete AgentsThis Oklahoma House Bill makes changes to the Uniform Athletes Agents Act regarding the current requirement for agents of athletes posting of a Talent Agency Surety Bond. This new law will reduce the requirement from a $250,000 surety bond to a $50,000 surety bond. The change in the surety bond requirements was enacted on May 01, 2012 and went into law on November 1, 2012. For a look at the entire House Bill 2967, please follow the link we have provided.
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