Are You Ready to Wear a Badge?

John G. Swanson
August 21, 2013
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

A new law will soon go into effect in New Jersey requiring home improvement contractors to wear a state-issued ID badge at all times.  According to an article on the Remodeling Magazine website, the law is designed to help protect homeowners from scam artists in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The badge must be worn on the upper left torso of the contractor "whenever the contractor is performing, or engaging, or attempting to engage, in the business of making or selling home improvements," the law states. The ID shall include a color photograph of the contractor's face, the contractor's name, the contractor's registration number, and the name of the contractor's business, displayed in a manner that will be plainly visible. A contractor will need to  obtain a new identification badge at least once every six years.

What do you think of such state requirements for contractors?  That's our poll question of the week.  And, of course, we'd like to hear what you think. Are state IDs an effective tool against fly-by-night contractors? Do they create too much red tape? Should window and door dealers have any particular concerns? Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Survey Results as of 08/26/2013 :

State-required ID badges for contractors are likely to have:

Little effect one way or the other on the window and door business

  

 

48%

 

A positive impact on the window and door business

  

 

40%

 

A negative impact on the window and door business

  

 

12%

 

Nearly half of our respondents see state ID badges having little impact on the window and door business, while about 40 percent see some potential good.  Comments we received were less enthusiastic about the New Jersey post-Sandy requirements.    

Comments

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After hurricane Sandy, hundreds of properties were ruined. I guess some would want to rebuild their home while others would probably buy a new one. However, regardless of their decision, their budget will truly be one of their issues. I suggest to weigh the pros and cons first and also look for various options. If you wanna know more, visit http://www.advancedlistings.ca for home improvements and home owning tips.

This sounds like another way for the state to make money. How much will this cost? Would I have to have every one of my employees get one too? Our license is supposed to be displayed on our vehicles as well as all our advertising including our vehicles and business cards and contracts. It is very easy to check with the state to see if a contractor is registered. There is just too much government regulation. I feel sorry for the homeowners who were fleeced but they need to do their due diligence.

I agree completely with the previous comments. How is a new law going to keep those who already disobey the law from ignoring this one. All this will do is create another business for forgers to make a different kind of fake ID. If homeowners are not willing to take the time to research a contractor, then they deserve to get taken advantage of. Maybe they should pass a law that requires every one who hires a contractor to get 3 references on that contractor before they pay them to do the work. Unfortunately laws can't fix stupid. But they sure do a great job of defining stupid.

I am in total agreement with the last comment. This is just one more way for the government to levy a tax on the backs of the working people. Honestly who is going to enforce this? At some point consumers have to take responsibility for their actions which means checking multiple references to make sure they are dealing with reputable contractors. It is not that difficult nor does it take an inordinate amount of time. Local home builder and contractor associations are the first starting point and that information is available to anyone. When people take this initiative then the scam artists get weeded out!

As an afterthought to my previous comment, I wish to add that our local newspapers, and T.V. stations, constantly report an increased number of home invasions in our area. One of the common denominators in gaining access to private homes (to commit crime), seems to be that the perpetrators wear photo identification badges falsely depicting themselves as Gas Company or Water Department employees. Most often, they show up in pairs. While one distracts the homeowners, the other steals their valuables. If this "supposed safeguard" (having employees wear photo I.D.'s), doesn't always work in other commercial endeavors, what makes folks think it will work in the home improvement industry?

This requirement will be just another worthless piece of governmental intrusion destined to become abused, and then un-enforceable the day the law takes effect. It's just another attempt to make "by the book" contractors jump through hoops.

In this age of identity theft, any teenager, or college freshman will tell you how to obtain a fake I.D. enabling them to participate in underage drinking.

Reputable contractors have nothing to fear. Our reputations and recognition in our respective communities do more for us than any mandatory name tag can ever hope to accomplish.