November 11th, 2020
District of Columbia Master Electrician Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help contractors on District of Columbia (Washington D.C) Master Electrician bonds
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $175 for the required two year period
- Bond Amount:
- $1,000 for low voltage master electricians (49 volts or below)
- $2,000 for regular voltage master electricians (50 volts or higher)
- Who Needs It: All individuals seeking to obtain a master electrician or master electrician specialist license in the District of Columbia
- Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the master electrician fail to comply with licensing law
- Who Regulates Master Electrician in the District of Columbia: The District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
***This page focuses exclusively on the bond and licensing requirements for the Master Electrician Bond. For information on the DC Electrician Contractor Bond and Permits, view our Electrician Contractor Bond page.***
Code of the District of Columbia 47-2893.91 requires all master electricians operating in the District to obtain a license with the DCRA. The District of Columbia legislature enacted licensing laws and regulations to ensure that master electricians engage in ethical business practices.
In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the license law, master electricians must purchase and maintain either a $1,000 or $2,000 master electrician surety bond to be eligible for licensure. The bond must expire on November 30th of each odd year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc).
What is the Purpose of the District of Columbia Master Electrician Bond?
The District of Columbia requires master electricians to purchase the Master Electrician Bond as part of the application process for the Master Electrician License. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the master electrician fails to comply with the licensing regulations. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the master electrician breaks licensing laws.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a DC Master Electrician Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Washington D.C. Master Electrician/Master Electrician Specialist Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “contractor” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Master Electrician Bond?
Credit checks are not required for the DC Master Electrician Bond.
How Much Does the District of Columbia Master Electrician Bond Cost?
The $5,000 DC Master Electrician surety bond costs just $175 for the required two year period.
How Does the District of Columbia Define “Electrician”?
To paraphrase the Code of the District of Columbia 47-2853.91, an electrician is a person who installs, repairs, or works on electrical equipment for the purpose of the transmission, distribution, or use of electricity for power. Exceptions to this definition include persons who work on the following pieces of equipment:
- Platform lifts
- Stairway chair lifts
- Material lifts
- Automated people movers
How Do Electricians Apply for a License in Washington D.C.?
Electricians in D.C. must navigate several steps to secure their electrician license. Below are the general guidelines, but electricians should refer to the DCRA’s How to Apply page for details on the process.
In the District of Columbia, a contracting company can perform electrician services. Contractors will need to employ at least one individual with a Master Electrician License to be eligible to conduct business as an electrician company.
License Period – The District of Columbia electrician license expires on November 30 of every odd numbered year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc) regardless of the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date.
Step 1 – Determine the License Type
The District of Columbia has different classifications of the electrician license dependent on the applicant’s level of experience. The below table outlines the different classifications of the D.C. electrician license and the documentation that must be submitted with each classification:
|Classification||Experience Required||Documentation Required|
|Journeyman by Waiver||Apprenticeship Training Program||
|Journeyman by Exam||4 years||
Table 1 License Documentation and Experience Requirements
Step 2 – Determine the Bond Amount
Electricians operating in DC will have different bonding requirements based on the level of voltage their projects deal with. Below are the bond amounts based on voltage classes for the DC Electrician License:
- $1,000 Bond for Low Voltage – 49 volts or lower, this generally applies to audio/video and internet wiring work.
- $2,000 Bond for Regular Voltage – 50 volts or higher, this typically applies to jobs involving electrical outlets, light fixtures, etc
Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Master electricians will need to purchase and maintain either a $1,000 (low voltage) or $2,000 (regular voltage) master electrician surety bond. The bond must expire on November 30th of each odd numbered year (2021, 2023, etc).
Step 4 – Complete the Application
All electrician license applications should be submitted online through the DCRA’s licensing portal located here. Applicants will need to provide the following documentation with their application:
- A 2” x 2” passport style photograph
- Government issued identification (a drivers license or passport will suffice)
All work experience documentation listed for the applicant’s license class as outlined in Table 1.
Step 5 – Pay Fees
Applicants will need to pay the following application fee corresponding to their license type:
- Apprenticeship – $175
- Journeyman by waiver – $175
- Journeyman by exam – $260
- Master – $270
- Contractor – $185 (see our contractor page for more details on this license class)
Step 6 – Pass the Exam
Applicants applying for the Master or Journeyman by exam license will need to pass an exam administered by the DCRA. Applicants can schedule a date to take their exam here. The exam is open book and will be administered electronically at the following address:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Examination Unit, 1100 4th Street SW, Suite E500
Washington, DC 20024
How Do DC Master Electricians Renew Their License?
Master electricians operating in the District of Columbia can renew their license online through the DCRA’s licensing portal located here. Master electricians should also upload a copy of their renewal bond with the application.
The District of Columbia electrician license expires on November 30 of every odd numbered year (2021, 2023, 2025 etc) regardless of the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date.
How Do DC Master Electricians File Their Bond With The DCRA?
Master electricians should scan the completed bond form and submit it online through the DCRA’s licensing portal along with their license application. The master electrician bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the master electrician. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
- Date the bond goes into effect
- Bond type (master electrician or contractor)
- Date the bond expires
- Two witness signatures for the licensee
How Can DC Master Electricians Avoid Bond Claims?
To avoid claims on the Master Electrician Bond, master electricians must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
- Repair all property damage caused through the course of work
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Master Electricians in Washington DC?
DC does not require master electricians to obtain any form of liability insurance. Most reputable electricians will seek to obtain liability insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any form of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for DC Master Electricians?
The District of Columbia conveniently provides a public database to search for active master electricians in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for help developing a marketing piece.
What other Contractor License Bonds are Required in Washington DC?
Contractors in DC will need to obtain specific bonds correlating with their license type. Below are all the different contractor licensing bonds required by the District of Columbia: