Alarm licensing interest floods Minn.

The outpouring preceeds a new law for new licensing
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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Although Minnesota’s Alarm & Communication Contractors License is scheduled to expire at the end of April and be replaced with a new law, its termination may be delayed because so many people are showing interest in taking the A&C exam.

According to John Schultz, executive secretary of the Minnesota Board of Electricity, the agency is receiving more than 100 applications per day for the A&C exam.

By taking the A&C exam now, those who pass it and pay a $30 application fee can convert that license into the new license without needing to take another exam or meet other requirements.

“It’s a window of opportunity,” said Schultz. “Because of the change in law there is an opportunity for people to do work that would have been required to be done by a journeyman or master electrician.”

Schultz said since the beginning of August, when the first phase of the new law went into effect, the agency has received more than 6,000 applications.

“What’s happening is that every low voltage company, regardless of what business they do, are having all their technicians take it,” said Russ Ernst, immediate past president of the Minnesota Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. “The state expects they’ll have 7,000 taking the test.”

To accommodate those interested, Schultz said the state will likely extend the April 30 deadline for taking the A&C exam.

Ernst said a new legislative initiative, that he characterized as a clean-up bill, is now underway. If passed, it would extend the A&C exam deadline to June 30.