This article is enacted to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public as well as public and private property by assuring the competence of those who perform electrical work through licensure by the state fire marshal of the state fire commission.
As used in this article:
(a) "Apprentice electrician" means a person with interest in and an aptitude for performing electrical work but who alone is not capable of performing electrical work unless directly supervised by a higher license classification.
(b) "Electrical contractor" means a person, firm or corporation who engages in the business of electrical work and employs master electricians, journeyman electricians, apprentice electricians or other related workers for the construction, alteration or repair of any electrical wiring, equipment or systems as defined in the scope of the national electric code.
(c) "Electrical work" means the installation of wires, conduits, apparatus, fixtures, other appliances, equipment or systems for transmitting, carrying, controlling or using electricity as defined in the scope of the national electric code.
(d) "Journeyman electrician" means a person qualified by at least four years of electrical work experience to do any work installing wires, conduits, apparatus, equipment, fixtures and other appliances, provided that this classification is not authorized to design electrical systems.
(e) "License" means a valid and current certificate of competency issued by the state fire marshal.
(f) "Master electrician" means a person with at least five years of electrical work experience, including experience in all phases of electrical wiring and installation, who is competent to design electrical systems, and to instruct and supervise the electrical work of journeyman electricians, apprentice electricians, and other related workers.
(g) "Specialty electrician" means a person qualified to perform electrical work in a limited or specialized area.
(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, a journeyman or master electrician license may be issued for a person who is a former resident of this state, who formerly held an electrician's license issued by this state, who has obtained an equivalent electrician license from another state, and who returns to this state as a permanent resident, without requiring the person to meet the application or examination requirements that would otherwise be imposed on the person by the requirements of this article when the issuance of the license is permitted by legislative rules promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.
(2) The state fire marshal shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to provide for the licensing of electricians with equivalent qualifications described in subdivision (1) of this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the legislative rules described in this subsection may not be filed as emergency rules.
(b) The state fire marshal shall issue the appropriate class of license upon a finding that the applicant possesses the qualifications for the class of license to be issued.
(c) The state fire marshal shall propose rules for legislative approval regarding qualifications for testing, issuance of licenses, and renewal in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(d) To the extent that other jurisdictions provide for the licensing of electricians, the state fire marshal may grant the same or equivalent classification of license without written examination upon satisfactory proof furnished to the state fire marshal that the qualifications of the applicant are equal to the qualifications required by this article and upon payment of the required fee: Provided, That as a condition to reciprocity, the other jurisdictions must extend to licensed electricians of this state, the same or equivalent classification.
(e) In addition to any other information required, the applicant's social security number shall be recorded on any application for a license submitted pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) The state fire marshal shall prepare and arrange for the receipt of applications from those who intend to perform electrical work in the state of West Virginia. Such application shall be sufficiently detailed to enable the state fire marshal to determine the presence or absence of an applicant's qualifications for a license of a particular class. The state fire marshal may require applicants to supply affidavits or other documents attesting to the applicant's qualifications from past employers, other electricians, engineers and others with knowledge of the applicant's qualifications. The state fire marshal may make such other inquiries as he or she considers necessary to determine the qualifications of the applicant. An applicant expressly consents to such inquiries by the state fire marshal by his or her application.
An electrician previously licensed by the State Fire Marshal who did not renew his or her electrician's license may renew the license without retesting within three years of the date of the last renewal: Provided, That the electrician's license had not been revoked and that the applicant pays double the current fee if his or her license has been lapsed for two renewal periods, or triple the current fee if his or her license has been lapsed for three renewal periods.
(b) The state fire marshal may upon complaint or upon his or her own inquiry and, after notice to the licensee, suspend or revoke a licensee's license if:
(1) The license was granted upon an application or documents supporting such application which materially misstated the terms of the applicant's qualifications or experience;
(2) The licensee subscribed or vouched for a material misstatement by an applicant;
(3) The licensee incompetently or unsafely performs electrical work;
(4) The licensee violated any statute of the state of West Virginia, any rule lawfully promulgated by an agency of the state of West Virginia or any ordinance of any municipality or county of the state of West Virginia which protects the consumer or public against unfair, unsafe, unlawful or improper business practices; or
(5) The licensee fails to comply with any rule of the state fire marshal promulgated to fulfill his responsibilities under this article.
(c) Any person aggrieved by an order or decision of the state fire marshal under this article is entitled to judicial review as provided by section eighteen, article three of this chapter and by chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
Each day during which such electrical work is performed without the required license or while in noncompliance with any of the provisions of this article, after official notice that such work is unlawful, is a separate offense.
Any electrical work performed by a person, firm or corporation which is determined by the state fire marshal to constitute a safety or health hazard to members of the public or any electrical work of an extensive nature being performed by any person without the required license or otherwise in noncompliance with the requirements of this article or contrary to an order or rule promulgated lawfully by the state fire marshal, is subject to being issued a citation or a civil action in the name of the state in the circuit court of the county where such work is being performed for an injunction against such person, firm or corporation, enjoining such work or violation. A circuit court by mandatory or prohibitory injunction may compel compliance with the provisions of this article, with the lawful orders of the state fire marshal and with any final decision of the state fire marshal or state fire commission. The state fire marshal shall be represented in all such proceedings by the attorney general or his assistants.
After the effective date of this article no municipality, local government or county may require any license or other evidence of competence as an electrician from any person, firm or corporation who or which holds a valid and current license issued pursuant to this article, as a condition precedent to permission for the performance of electrical work in such municipality, local government jurisdiction or county.