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International Plumbing Code 2018 (IPC 2018)

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Appendix G Licensing Requirements

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Licensing requirements are established by Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code and summarized in this appendix. Licensing requirements serve to protect public health and safety and ensure compliance with applicable industry codes by establishing standards and enforcement procedures for contractors and tradespersons performing construction work in Philadelphia.

Section G101 Definitions

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G101.1 Definitions

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Notwithstanding the definitions set forth in Chapter 2 of this code, the following definitions apply to this Appendix.

CONTRACTOR. Any person, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other business entity that performs or offers to perform construction as defined in Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code. The term "contractor" includes subcontractors of any tier that perform construction as defined in Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code.

DEPARTMENT. The Department of Licenses & Inspections.

Section G102 General License Requirements

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G102.1 License Required

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A plumbing license is required to perform all activity regulated by this code:
  1. No person shall perform plumbing work unless that person possesses a license as a Master Plumber, journeyman plumber or apprentice plumber pursuant to the requirements of Section 9-1003 of the Philadelphia Code.

    Exception: A helper or laborer shall not be prohibited from performing ordinary unskilled labor (such as excavating, drilling, cleaning and moving) under the direction of a licensed plumber, nor shall any person be prohibited from performing minor plumbing repairs as defined in Chapter 2 of this code.
  2. No plumbing permit shall be issued without identifying the licensed Master Plumber(s) responsible for the work.
  3. No project owner, developer or other entity shall employ an unlicensed contractor to perform any activity regulated by this code.

G102.2 License Renewal

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Licenses shall be renewed annually upon payment of the required fee. No license shall be renewed without full compliance with the conditions set forth in Section 9-1003 of the Philadelphia Code.

Section G103 Master Plumber

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G103.1 Application Requirements

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Applications for any Contractor's license shall be made in a format established by the Department. No license shall be issued until the applicant:
  1. Provides the Department with a copy of the applicant's commercial activity license and tax identification number;
  2. Provides proof that the applicant has obtained the required insurance;
  3. Provides proof demonstrating that the applicant has been a duly registered apprentice plumber for not less than four years and a licensed journeyman plumber for at least one year;

    Exception: Applicants for Master Plumber who have not held Philadelphia licenses for apprentice plumber or journeyman plumber shall certify proof of equivalent experience establishing the required five years of plumbing construction experience, at least one year of which shall be at the journeyman level or its equivalent. Proof of such experience shall be in the form of one or more of the following:
    1. Tax records reflecting employment in the field of plumbing construction by a plumbing contractor licensed through a local or State jurisdiction.
    2. Proof of licensure in the field of plumbing construction through a local or State jurisdiction.
  4. Provides proof of successful completion within the previous year of an examination as determined by the Department;
  5. Complies with any additional requirements imposed by the Department by regulation;
  6. Complies with City tax obligations.

G103.2 Insurance Requirements

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All licensed Contractors shall maintain, at a minimum, the following types and amounts of insurance:
  1. Workers' compensation where applicable: statutory limits;
  2. Comprehensive general liability insurance: in an amount determined by the Law Department and the Risk Manager;
  3. Products and completed operations, and/or errors and omissions: in an amount determined by the Law Department and the Risk Manager; and
  4. Motor vehicle liability insurance: in an amount determined by the Risk Manager.

G1003.2.1 Current Insurance Limits

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The current insurance limits are as follows:
  • General liability—$500,000 per occurrence
  • Automobile liability insurance—$300,000
  • Worker's compensation:
    • $100,000 each accident
    • $100,000 each employee
    • $500,000 policy limit

G1003.2.2 Penalty

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Failure to maintain proper insurance, and to provide proof of continued coverage by submitting renewal certificates to the Department, will result in the revocation or non-renewal of the license.

G1003.2.3 Policy Changes

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The Contractor shall notify the Department of any change in a required insurance policy or cancellation thereof within five days of such change.

G103.3 Inactive License

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A Master Plumber may, upon application to the Department, be placed on an inactive master plumber list, provided he or she surrenders his or her current Master Plumber license, ceases to maintain a place of business for plumbing, removes all advertising directly or indirectly pertaining thereto, and applies for and receives a current annual license for journeyman plumber. A Master Plumber on the inactive list who wishes to regain active status as a licensed Master Plumber shall make application in a format determined by the Department, which shall grant such application when the applicant surrenders his or her current annual journeyman plumber license, establishes a bona fide business address, and pays the required fee for the current annual Master Plumber license.

Section G104 Journeyman Plumber

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G104.1 Application Requirements

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An application for a journeyman plumber's license shall be made in a format established by the Department. No license shall be issued until the applicant:
  1. Provides proof that the applicant has been a duly registered apprentice plumber for not less than four years in the form acceptable to the Department of such employment;

    Exception: Applicants for Master Plumber who have not held Philadelphia licenses for apprentice plumber or journeyman plumber shall certify proof of equivalent experience establishing the required four years of plumbing construction experience. Proof of such experience shall be in the form of one or more of the following:
    1. Tax records reflecting employment in the field of plumbing construction by a plumbing contractor licensed through a local or State jurisdiction.
    2. Proof of licensure in the field of plumbing construction through a local or State jurisdiction.
  2. Provides proof of successful completion of an examination as determined by the Department.

Section G105 Apprentice Plumber

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G105.1 Application Requirements

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An application for an apprentice plumber's license shall be made in a format established by the Department. No license shall be issued until the applicant:
  1. Provides certification of employment by a licensed Master Plumber;
  2. Provides proof of age. Apprentices must be at least sixteen years of age.

Section G106 Fees

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G106.1 Fee Schedule

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The annual license fee for plumbers shall be as follows:

Apprentice Plumber $25
Journeyman Plumber $100 and $25 non-refundable initial application fee
Master Plumber $200 and $150 non-refundable initial application fee

G106.2 Fee Revisions

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The Department is authorized to revise the fees established in this Section or adopt fees not otherwise provided for based upon the costs to administer and enforce the applicable license programs and services.

Section G107 Rules of Conduct

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G107.1 Required Conduct

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All contractors must comply with the following provisions as a condition of licensure:
  1. Every licensed contractor or tradesperson shall notify the Department in writing within ten days of any change in any of the information required to be submitted to the Department;
  2. A Contractor must secure all required permits prior to commencement of any construction;
  3. Contractors shall display their Contractor license number on the following:
    1. Advertisements;
    2. Contractor's stationery;
    3. Contractor's main place of business;
    4. Job sites;
    5. Proposals and Contracts; and
    6. Vehicles displaying the Contractor's business name which are used during the course of business.
  4. License numbers required to be displayed on vehicles must be in letters at least 2 inches (51 mm) in height and clearly visible.
  5. Contractors shall submit subcontractor-identifying information in accordance with the Contractor and Subcontractor Information provisions of Title 9.
  6. Contractors shall comply with all provisions of this code.
  7. Contractors shall correct any code violation cited by the Department as a result of such Contractor's work activity within the period for compliance specified in the notice from the Department.
  8. Contractors shall maintain complete financial and construction records (including plans) for each job performed, for four years after the completion of the job.

G107.2 Prohibited Conduct

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All contractors must comply with the following provisions as a condition of licensure:
  1. No Contractor shall deviate from or disregard in any material respect the plans and specifications approved by the Department, unless such change has been approved by the Department.
  2. No Contractor shall sell, transfer or permit another person to use the license assigned to the Contractor to secure permits or perform activity regulated by the Philadelphia Construction and Occupancy Code.
  3. No Contractor shall sell, transfer or otherwise allow another person or business entity to use a permit issued to the Contractor to perform construction work.
  4. No Contractor shall provide false information on any license or permit application filed with the Department.
  5. No Contractor shall employ an unlicensed subcontractor to perform any activity regulated under this Section.

G107.3 Contractor and Subcontractor Information

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All contractors must comply with the requirements for the submittal and posting of information set forth in Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code.

Section G108 License Suspension and Revocation; Other Remedies

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G108.1 Basis

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The Department may suspend or revoke any license granted for any of the following reasons, after an administrative hearing conducted after notice of the proposed suspension or revocation has been sent to the licensee:
  1. Fraud or deceit in obtaining or renewing a license or permit;
  2. Repeated failure to comply with the provisions of the Philadelphia Code;
  3. Failure to obtain or maintain the required insurance;
  4. Failure to pay any fine imposed for a violation of any provision of Title 9 or Title 4 of the Philadelphia Code within ten days of imposition by a final order from which all appeals have been exhausted;
  5. Failure to pay a tax or fee imposed in connection with the licensed activity;
  6. Repeated failure to secure required permits;
  7. Repeated failure to provide the Department with accurate cost estimates of construction activity on permit applications;
  8. Repeated failure to comply with violation notices issued by the Department;
  9. Removal or destruction of a stop work order;
  10. Conviction of a crime of fraud or dishonesty in connection with the licensed activity.

G108.2 Enforcement Action

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Enforcement action is prescribed by code under certain conditions:
  1. Where there has been a final determination that a contractor or subcontractor has violated the Contractor and Subcontractor Information provisions of Title 9 on at least two (2) occasions within one (1) year, the license issued to the contractor or subcontractor shall be revoked for a period of one (1) year, and the contractor or subcontractor shall be prohibited from obtaining any permits during that one (1) year period. For purposes of this section, a final determination refers to payment of the fine for a violation, a default or a final adjudication on the merits from which no timely direct appeal is available.
  2. The Department may refuse to issue permits to any Contractor who has failed to correct any outstanding code violations resulting from work performed under previously issued permits.
  3. License revocation for violations of Section G108.1, Item 10 above shall be for a period of five (5) years.

Section G109 Penalties

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G109.1 Penalties

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Penalties shall be assessed in accordance with Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code.
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