The CSLB AIU Vortex continues to spin. And it’s not a pretty sight!

I received an email from one of my readers today and wanted to share it with you. Our conversation went as follows.

cslb aiu vortexMy fiancé has been undergoing the investigation process with the AIU and it’s looking as though they are going to deny his application. His prior employer has cooperated fully with the investigator but they seem to only want w-2s, paycheck stubs, and so forth. I was wondering if you had any knowledge or experience with the appeal process. How long does it take and so forth? Also, can you recommend any lawyers that have experience with this process? If we plan to go that route.

I replied:

Yes, the joys of dealing with the CSLB and the AIU. Did they allow you to submit any other forms of experience verification?

In the last year, I haven’t heard of anyone going thru the appeal process. The CSLB says it can take 4-6 months. I don’t have a referral at the ready, but I can ask my contacts if they have an atty referral for the appeal process.

She replied:

Yes, they gave their basic cookie cutter letter stating that we could send in invoices and estimates and materials receipts and so forth. Once we sent that paperwork in, they contacted my fiancé’s prior employer and sent him a paper to fill out verifying work experience and pay. After all that, the investigator said that the information was not enough and that he needed verifiable documents such as w-2’s, pay check stubs, and time cards. I have reviewed the CSLB’s website and found proof that if the employer verifies then that should be enough but I’m not sure if they are just forcing these investigators only to ask for w-2’s. If it turns out that the application does get denied, we are definitely thinking of appealing. It has been a long process and it seems pointless to give up now.

I replied:

The CSLB staff has said publically that they’d prefer to receive pay stubs, w-2’s, etc. So for them to deny an applicant that provides those docs is wrong. Did he provide a minimum of 4 yrs of pay stubs? Is the employer a contractor holding the same classification being applied for?

If he provided 4 yrs + of pay stubs, and the contractor completed their form and he verified the experience as true and correct, the CSLB has no valid reason to deny the app.

Have you considered contacting your State Assembly member or State Senator? They will contact the CSLB on your behalf. If you can show proof that the CSLB is not following their published guidelines, you might not have to go thru the appeal process.

She replied:

We actually did not send any pay stubs. My fiancé was working for cash. We tried to find copies of checks but the bank could not go back that far. He provided 4 years of invoices and estimates that he completed. And yes, his prior employer holds a C-10 license which is the same one my fiancé has applied for.

I have been tracking the CSLB and the way they only want w-2’s and pay check stubs, but it seems unfair for those applicants that are paid cash.

I replied:

They have put such a huge emphasis on pay stubs and w-2’s. So he was or wasn’t employed by the C10 contractor? If he was paid in cash, then I’d assume the contractor didn’t have workers comp? The burden of proof should be on the contractor. If the CSLB sends him an official state form asking him to verify the experience, and he does, then that should be that.


Bottom line… The Contractors State License Board and the AIU vortex insist on asking every (critical classification) applicant for pay stubs, w-2’s, etc. Especially from people who are submitting self-employed experience. I know there is nothing in the regulations that allows the CSLB to do the things they are doing, the problem is, how to stop them. Well… I actually prepared an extremely well written two page complaint against the CSLB to be filed with the Department of Consumer Affairs. The problem here is what would the backlash be to me and my business? Being a former CSLB application technician, they may play dirty pool with me and my clients. That is something I cannot afford. Perhaps someone will hire an attorney that will latch onto the CSLB and the AIU like dog with a new bone.


  1. My old CA license number is 347414… I have lived and operated in Texas for the last decade and kept my license inactive until last year when I did not renew. Now I would like to reinstate the license, but they said it is not eligible. My website will confirm that I am an active Texas contractor.. can you help me renew the license and have the test waved. I would like to have it done before I move back to CA if possible.

    • Hello Rex,

      I don’t know why they would tell you that it’s not eligible. The license has only been expired for less than two years. I’m going to the CSLB this afternoon and would be happy to pick up the renewal for you. If you’re going to renew it “active” you’ll need to purchase a license bond.

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