Virginia Contractors Receive Free Digital Licenses for Secure, Contactless Verification

Permitting offices, inspectors, and the public can more safely verify licenses issued by Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) and Merit, the interoperable digital credentials ecosystem, have expanded their 2019 partnership to issue free digital versions of contractors’ licenses to thousands of professionals across the Commonwealth.

“We began working with Merit last year to digitize more than 100 license types across more than 40 professions for the first time, which was a meaningful, technology-forward initiative that had immediate value for our department and for our regulants,” said Mary Broz-Vaughan, Director of Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. “But what has really been highlighted during the current COVID-19 pandemic is that a merit or license on a smartphone is touchless. This is a game-changer for the many professions that require regular license checks – including the tens of thousands of contractors across Virginia.”

Overview of the digital license partnership between DPOR and Merit:

  1. Merit’s technology platform integrates directly with DPOR’s systems, ensuring that all license fields are updated on Merit in real-time.

  2. Digital versions of professional licenses, known as merits, are automatically sent to licensees.

  3. When a recipient receives a merit, they can activate it and manage it through any web browser, or on the go through Merit’s secure smartphone app, eliminating the need to carry a paper license.

  4. Local permitting offices, field inspectors, and members of the public can easily and contactlessly verify a digital license using Merit’s built-in sharing tools.

“It is exciting to see a great partner like Virginia’s DPOR offer even more professionals the digital, portable, verified credentials that we’ve been providing to other industries across the commonwealth,” said Merit COO, Jacob Orrin. “Merit is proud to work with Virginia’s contractors.”

“This ongoing collaboration with

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General Contractors Licenses and Requirements

Finding a good general contractor can be challenging. Fortunately, British Columbia’s Homeowner Protection Act is a set of laws and guidelines established by the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) to ensure builder credentials. These licensing requirements were developed in order to prevent the construction of unsafe or poorly constructed buildings. In British Columbia, provincial licensing is a requirement for many trades including residential building, building envelope renovations, gas piping, gas venting, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, sheet metal workers, plumbers, electricians, and gas fitters.

Residential Building

Builders responsible for constructing homes in BC must be a Licensed Residential Builder. These licensed professionals are also required to offer warranties covering the new building for up to 7 years. Moreover, under this license, contractors are responsible for all aspects of construction from permits to landscaping. It is also the responsibility of this contractor to ensure that all subcontractors are also licensed by the province.

Building Envelope Renovation

Contractors who remodel buildings without impacting structural elements are known as envelope renovators. These contractors are licensed similarly to residential building contractors, and they are also required to provide a warranty or insurance on the renovation. Similarly, these contractors must ensure licenses for subcontractors.

Gas Piping

Gas piping licenses are required for individuals who install and test gas piping. These professionals must have a sheet metal trades license and a certification of qualification. The certificate of qualification is a general certification for many trades.

Gas Venting License

This license allows professionals to repair, alter, and install venting for use in high pressure natural gas and propane applications.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics

These professionals install, maintain, and repair residential, industrial, and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning units. This requires a certification of qualification.

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal workers are certified to design, manufacture, install, erect, assemble, …

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