Below is a story from the State House News Service.
MASS. HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS CAN NOW REGISTER, PAY ONLINE
By Colin Young
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, AUG. 23, 2016....Home improvement contractors in Massachusetts can for the first time register online with the state business regulation office and pay for their licenses with a credit card, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation announced Tuesday.
An online registration portal is open for first-time registrants and online registration renewal is expected to be offered through the portal sometime this fall, OCA said.
The state's home improvement contractor law requires contractors to register with OCA prior to conducting any "reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal, or demolition, or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing owner occupied building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units."
State officials said they are hopeful the ability to register online will encourage more contractors to comply with the law rather than work on homes without registering.
"In the more than twenty years since this requirement became law, contractors haven't been able to register online. I believe this was a contributing factor to the low compliance rates of the past," Undersecretary John Chapman said in a statement. "This portal, along with the ability to pay required fees by credit card, are significant steps toward reaching our goal of a fully compliant industry."
Contractors registering with the state do not have to take or pass an exam, but must pay a $100 registration fee that goes into a state-run fund that compensates consumers in the event of a dispute between a homeowner and a contractor.
That registration fee can now be paid online thanks to a bill (H 4022) that passed the Legislature unanimously earlier this session and was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in May.
The bill allows contractors to pay their registration fee with a credit card and requires the contractor to pay any credit card transaction fees the state might incur.
"It's not going to cost the commonwealth anything and if it makes it easier, it will certainly help some of these small business people," bill sponsor Rep. John Scibak of South Hadley said when the House passed his bill in February.
The new online registration form for home improvement contractors can be found at OCA's website.