This section primarily covers the Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license requirements which is required in many counties to perform work on a project where the cost is less than $25,000. The LLE license is issued to the individual passing the LLE trade exam. Before applying for an LLE license, check with the local code enforcement to make sure this license is accepted for obtaining permits for inspections. An LLE cannot advertise as a "contractor" without having a contractor's license. For those installing HVAC equipment, a licensed electrician is required to perform the electrical portion and to obtain permits for inspections.
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Electrical work is licensed at various levels in Tennessee (State and Local). The need for a state LLE license is based upon the following:
A state Contractor's with an electrical (CE) classification (comparable to a "Master Electrician") is required to perform projects $25,000 or more. The LLE exam is not reciprocal with other states electrical license exam. The Division of Fire Prevention adopts codes and their law covers electrical installations and inspections for LLE's in some local governments. The electrical law may be reviewed at T.C.A. 68-102-150 at: LexisLaw Publications (see Tennessee section).
Who needs an Limited License Electrician (LLE) License?
The following describes each electrical license:
1. Contractor - Electrical License (CE)
If you perform electrical work where the total cost is $25,000 or more, there is no need to apply for a state LLE license and you would need to obtain a "Contractor's" license with a CE license classification. This state contractor's license is required for electrical work as a prime (general) and also by subcontractors, where the total cost is $25,000 or more (includes materials and labor). The "CE" electrical classification is accepted statewide, and additional exams are not required in each county or municipality. However, you must adhere to their local permit, licensing rules and inspections within their jurisdiction and pay local fees. Contractors with a "CE" classification are acceptable in lieu of a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license to obtain local license, permits and inspections. Click onto "Contractor" for licensing steps, exam reciprocity and other information. This state electrical contractor's license is comparable to a "Master's" electrical license (which is typically a license at the local government level). In addition to the CE classification designated on the state license, a monetary limit is also designated.
2. Local Licenses (City/County from each municipality) and Business
The local license is required regardless of the amount of the project in areas where there is a codes office. This type of licensing is referred to as journeyman/master, etc. Every jurisdiction is different, and you must adhere to their local requirements. If you have a state contractors CE license, you will not be required to take their local electrical exam, but will need to pay their fees. Click onto local government for their contact information. Check with local government before obtaining a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license to ensure it is acceptable.
You may also need to obtain a local "Business" tax license in each city or county where you plan to do business and/or a federal employee ID number. Check with State's Department of Revenue for local business tax licenses.
3. Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE)
This state license is only required for electricians where the total cost is LESS THAN $25,000 (projects cannot be split into phases to circumvent the law), and if electrician is working in a municipality where there is not a local license agency for inspections; the Division of Fire Protection performs these inspections. Always check with local government to see if they accept the LLE or if they have an exam requirement. A contractor’s license with a CE classification is exempt from the state LLE license; but not exempt from local license permits or inspections. (The LLE license is NOT considered a "Contractor's" license.)
To make sure of the type of license needed for projects less than $25,000, you must check with the local government, where you plan to work, for their local licensing, permit and inspection requirements. Some may require you to take their electrical exam, unless you have a CE contractor's license. The LLE is not accepted where the local jurisdiction has their own licensing and inspections already in place.
NOTICE: An individual licensed with an LLE license cannot use the term "Contractor"
Again, those who work in counties/cities having a codes office which performs their own inspections (such as Davidson/Nashville, Hamilton County , City of Chattanooga, Shelby/Memphis, Knox, Knoxville, etc.), licensing and testing, the LLE is not accepted. Please contact your local codes for their requirements.
See the Division of Fire Prevention's website for counties and cities accepting the LLE.
LIMITED LICENSED ELECTRICIAN (LLE) - LICENSE PROCESS
After reviewing the information on all types of electrical licensing, see the LLE application package to obtain this license to perform electrical work less than $25,000 in certain municipalities:
The LLE (Limited Licensed Electrician) Licensing Package
LLE (State) Application [pdf]
LLE Exam - Candidate Information Bulletin [pdf] (Registration, Rules, and Study Guide Information)
In order to obtain the Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license, the LLE trade exam is required. Submit a copy of your passing exam score with your completed LLE License Application, with the two year license fee of $50.00. These license applications may be approved by the Board staff and are not required for full Board approval, unless there is a felony conviction or complaint.
Please allow 5 to 7 business days for the Board office to receive your application. If you hand deliver or express mail, these must be delivered to the Cashier's Office located at our mailing address and it takes approximately two (2) days for the application to be validated and forwarded to our office. The Board office cannot accept fees at their physical location. To check the receipt or issuance of the license, you may check at the "License Search" of the website at: http://verify.tn.gov/
Download Applications and Forms Here:
*Be sure to change address prior to renewing license!
Felony Convictions / Complaints / Judgements
A felony conviction does not automatically preclude someone from licensing, however, it does require the Board's approval. If you have been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction (Tennessee or any state), you must attach a statement explaining the details of the conviction, supply a copy of the charging document, the disposition and proof of any sentence or court order, and release of probation. Before a license is granted to anyone with a conviction, the Board requires review of the criminal background documents for the complete criminal history and timeline. In addition, if you have had disciplinary action against another professional license or a complaint history you may be required to appear before the Board which meets at least six (6) times annually.
The Board is charged with protecting the safety and welfare of the public and they will judge each individual case on it's own merit. The law requires disclosure of felonies, as well as any court litigation and judgements. A license is not automatically denied due to judgements and convictions, however, failure to disclose is a violation of law and a civil penalty may be assessed for not providing true and correct information, such as the license also being denied or revoked. Consumers or licensees may report known violations to the Board anonymously.
Review the LLE License Law, Rules and Regulation
It is very important to ensure you are knowledgeable with the license laws, rules and regulations. These laws are covered in both the Contractor's law and the Division of Fire Prevention's law. These may be reviewed from our website at the "Laws, Rules and Regulations". Failing to be familiar with the law could cause violations affecting your license. For example, Limited Licensed Electricians (LLE) licensees cannot use the term or advertise as a "Contractor". Never allow another individual to use your license (considered aiding in unlicensed activity). If you perform work in an area regulated by another state agency (such as the Alarm Systems Board), be sure to obtain their required licenses. In addition, a LLE licensee cannot perform work where the total electrical on a project or contract is $25,000 or more; contracts cannot be split into phases to circumvent the contractor licensing law. If you want to be licensed to perform projects $25,000 or more, you'll need to obtain a "Contractor's" license with a CE (electrical) classification. Also, be sure to notify the Board's office of any change in mailing address. When using a P.O. Box for mail, you must also supply a physical address.
Always check with the local municipality for permits and inspections, as well as, for their own electrical license requirements. In areas where there is not a codes office, the state's Fire Marshal performs inspections.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
Our Board issues licenses for "Contractor's" with a HVAC (CMC-C) classification, however, a state license to perform HVAC work is only required if the project is $25,000 or more. Always check with local government for their licenses, permits and inspections, as each jurisdiction may require a HVAC license and permits, regardless of the amount. Those licensed as a CMC-C contractor are not required to re-test with local government.
For HVAC projects less than $25,000, a licensed electrician is required to perform the electrical wiring and hook ups for HVAC installation; see Rule 0780-02-01-.04 (2) (a).
LLE Renewal Tips
If a license is expired 90 days or more, you cannot renew and must submit a license application for reinstatement with a fee of $80.00 ($50.00 renewal fee and $30.00 late penalty fee). Note: Electrical Registration holders, prior to 1999, were allowed to apply for a license in 2000 without taking an electrical exam. However, if you never took the LLE trade exam and the license has since lapsed more than 90 days, you will be required to take the LLE exam or you may apply for a wavier by completing the waiver of exam request form to have the Board review at their next regularly scheduled meeting (see "Calendar"). Those applications which are complete with exam results attached, experience form, and a copy of identification, such as a driver's license, may be reinstated prior to the Board meeting.
Address changes are not processed from the renewal forms unless online renewal. It is best to fax, e-mail or mail in the address change. State mail is not forwarded, therefore, you may not receive the renewed certificate if issued prior to the change.
Electrical Installation Law (Division of Fire Prevention, TCA 68-102)
Electrical Installation Rules (Division of Fire Prevention - See SOS Publications)
>>New! Exam Code Book Updates (Eff. March 15th)
Fire Marshal (Electrical Section of the Law - TCA 68, Part 102)
Reinstatement of Expired LLE License (Expired 90 days or more)
>>Renewal Form for LLE (Expired less than 90 days)
>>Online Renewal (Expired less than 90 days)
>>Reinstatement of Expired LLE (More than 90 days, see new "Application" process)
State Inspections (Division of Fire Prevention/Fire Marshal)
For more information, you may contact the LLE section at 1-800-544-7693 or (615) 253-2144. A 40-question exam is required and the license application fee is $50.00 for two years. LLE's cannot advertise or use the term "Contractor" unless they hold a contractor's license. See important guidelines for taking books into the open book exam.
To register online for the exam, go to: http://candidate.psiexams.com/
For information regarding small, minority or woman owned businesses, check with the Governor's Office of Diversity Enterprise!
Notice: The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is committed to principles of equal access and affirmation action. Contact the EEO or ADA Coordinator at (615) 741-6500.
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