Section 215.5586(2)(c), Florida Statutes contemplates the Department will establish “qualifications and certification requirements for mitigation contractors,” and indicates the “program shall create a process in which contractors agree to ...  

    69J-7.004: Participating Contractors
    PURPOSE AND EFFECT: Section 215.5586(2)(c), Florida Statutes contemplates the Department will establish “qualifications and certification requirements for mitigation contractors,” and indicates the “program shall create a process in which contractors agree to participate and homeowners select from a list of participating contractors.” Subsection (6) of 215.5586, Florida Statutes provides rulemaking authority to adopt rules governing mitigation contractors. This rule establishes an application and qualification process for contractors to participate and be listed as participating contractors. The rule also incorporates a standard agreement form by which contractors may agree to participate.
    SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: Qualifications and procedures relating to contractors participating in the My Safe Florida Home Program.
    SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 215.5586(6) FS.
    LAW IMPLEMENTED: 215.5586 FS.
    THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, IS: Ellen Simon, Assistant General Counsel, Department of Financial Services, 200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)413-4270


    69J-7.004 Participating Contractors – Application and Participation Agreement.

    (1) Definitions.

    As used in this rule the following abbreviations and definitions apply:

    (a) “Applicant” means any person or entity applying to become a Participating Contractor.

    (b) “Contractor license” means a license that is issued by a government agency based on taking and passing a competency test and/or meeting certain experience requirements, as required by local or state authorities under applicable Florida statute or local ordinance. The phrase “contractor license” as used herein does not refer to business or occupational licenses that are obtained by paying a fee or tax. A business or occupational license is insufficient to qualify any entity as a Participating Contractor. Only contractor licenses issued by Florida state or local government authorities are acceptable for Participating Contractor status in the My Safe Florida Home program.

    (c) “CEI” means the Construction Estimating Institute, 5016 Calle Minorga, Sarasota, FL 34242, phone: 1(800)423-7058.

    (d) “Department” means the Florida Department of Financial Services.

    (e) “DBPR” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, operating under Chapter 455, Florida Statutes.

    (f) “FCILB” means the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board, operating under Chapter 489, Florida Statutes.

    (g) “FLASH” refers to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, 1427 East Piedmont Drive, Suite 2, Tallahassee, FL 32308.

    (h) “DBPR/FCILB license” refers to a contractor license issued by DBPR pursuant to authorization by the FCILB.

    (i) “MSFH program” means the My Safe Florida Home program created by Section 215.5586, Florida Statutes.

    (j) “Participating Contractor” means a contractor as contemplated by Section 215.5586(2)(c), Florida Statutes.

    (k) “Grant” refers to a grant under Section 215.5586(2), Florida Statutes.

    (2) Participating Contractor Categories.

    (a) Persons desiring to be a Participating Contractor in the My Safe Florida Home program under Section 215.5586(2)(c), Florida Statutes, shall apply to the Department of Financial Services in one of the three categories listed below.

    1. Category No. 1: INDIVIDUAL WITH DBPR/FCILB CONTRACTOR LICENSE. This applicant category is for an individual who will, in his or her own name, contract with homeowners, or who will contract with homeowners as a sole proprietor doing business under a fictitious name, and the work is to be performed under their certified or registered contractor license(s) issued by the DBPR/FCILB. See, Florida Statutes Section 489.119(1). (If the applicable DBPR/FCILB Contractor License has been issued to the applicant as an individual, regardless of whether it is a state-certified or state-registered license, this is the category the applicant must use, even if the applicant also has a local contractor’s license.).

    2. Category No. 2: ENTITY WITH A DBPR/FCILB CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY AS A CONTRACTING BUSINESS. This category is for a business entity (corporation, LLC, or partnership) which holds a Certificate of Authority to engage in contracting, issued by DBPR/FCILB. See, Florida Statutes Section 489.119(2).

    3. Category No. 3: LOCAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE. This applicant category is for a contractor (individual person or other entity) who does not have a DBPR/FCILB license and who will perform mitigation work under a contractor’s license issued by a Florida county or city contractor licensing board or other local authority.

    (b) References in this rule to “category” or “categories” means one or more of the three categories identified above, as the context requires, unless expressly indicated otherwise.

    (c) The information required to be provided to the Department by an applicant for Participating Contractor status will vary according to the category applied for by the applicant. The information required to be provided, and instructions specific to each category, are set forth in Department form DFS-I4-1808 (effective_______), entitled “Participating Contractor On-line Application Form.” Interested persons may apply to be a Participating Contractor by filling out the form on-line, at the Contractor’s section of the Department’s My Safe Florida Home website at

    (3) General matters.

    (a) Any decision by the Department to deny or terminate a person or entity’s status as a Participating Contractor is subject to hearing rights as may be provided under Section 120.569, Florida Statutes, and related provisions of Chapter 120. Florida Statutes.

    (b) To be a Participating Contractor, the applicant must hold in good standing a contractor’s license issued by the FCILB, or by a Florida city or Florida county contractor licensing board or authority. Loss of such required licensing shall be grounds for termination of status as a Participating Contractor.

    (c) An applicant possessing a state contractor’s license(s) issued by DBPR/FCILB, who or which has completed a Participating Contractor application in either category 1. or 2., does not need to complete an additional application under category 3, even if the applicant also holds a local contractor license that is not required to be registered with the FCILB.

    (d) An applicant cannot be approved as a Participating Contractor until the Department verifies that the applicant’s contractor’s license is valid and in good standing. Subsequent to application for Participating Contractor status, the Department will contact the licensing authority that issued that license to verify that said license was issued as indicated and is in good standing. An application submitted with inaccurate or incomplete information on the application may delay or prevent the applicant’s approval as a Participating Contractor.

    (e) The Department will terminate its Participation Agreement with a contractor in the following circumstances:

    1. The contractor’s licensure as a contractor is revoked or suspended by the contractor’s licensing authority.

    2. It is determined that the contractor made a material misrepresentation in their application to the Department for Participating Contractor status.

    3. Failure to comply with the applicable Florida workers’ compensation laws.

    4. Displaying incompetency or misconduct in the practice or course of contracting with homeowners.

    (f) Designation as a Participating Contractor does not eliminate, modify or expand the existing legal limitations relative to the types of work to be performed, or the geographical locations in which that work may be legally performed, under the Participating Contractor’s then existing contractor’s license(s).

    (g) All work to be performed and materials to be used by a Participating Contractor under a My Safe Florida Home grant must comply with the Participation Agreement. All applicants for Participating Contractor status must agree to the Participation Agreement as set forth in this rule.

    (h) The Department publicly lists all Participating Contractors on the Department’s My Safe Florida Home website, at contractorsListSectionasp. The Department lists only Participating Contractors on its website. The Department does not list on its website suppliers or manufacturers who are not also Participating Contractors.

    (i) The Department does not endorse or recommend individual Participating Contractors or products. Participating Contractors shall not advertise or otherwise represent that they or their business is endorsed or recommended by the My Safe Florida Home program, the Department, or the State of Florida. No Participating Contractor or other business may use the logo of the Department or the My Safe Florida Home program.

    (j) Upon approval, all Participating Contractors will be assigned a unique Participating Contractor number by the Department. This number can be found on the Department’s website list of Participating Contractors.

    (k) This rule does not apply to competitively bid contracts between the Department and Participating Contractors for work performed under grants to low income homeowners under Section 215.5586(2)(g), Florida Statutes.

    (l) After an application is submitted by the Participating Contractor applicant through the Department’s online system, the Department will review the application and verify contractor licensure data. The Department will then mail the applicant a letter, at the address of record shown in the applicable licensing authority’s records, which summarizes the information the applicant supplied, and indicates approval or denial of the application. Any approval is subject to successful completion of training required by this rule. Participating Contractor applicants approved subject to completion of required training, are not published as Participating Contractors on the Department’s list of Participating Contractors until they have successfully completed the training required by this rule.

    (m) Applicants or Participating Contractors who have questions about the Participating Contractor program, or want to change or delete their listing, should promptly email the Department to that effect at the following email address: The full name and phone number, and Participating Contractor file number if one has been assigned, must be provided.

    (4) Information Published on the Department’s Online Participating Contractor List.

    (a) Upon approval as a Participating Contractor and satisfaction of applicable training requirements specified in this rule, the Participating Contractor applicant will be included in the Department’s online list of Participating Contractors. Information submitted in association with the Participating Contractor’s application will be included in that online list, and potential customers will be able to view the following information:

    1. The business name of the Participating Contractor (it is the Participating Contractor’s responsibility to assure that the business name complies with any applicable licensing and fictitious name laws).

    2. The Participating Contractor’s website address, if any.

    3. The Participating Contractor’s telephone number(s).

    4. The Participating Contractor’s street address(es).

    (5) Training.

    (a) Prior to being accepted as a Participating Contractor, the contractor must complete the specialized training described in this subsection. The training must be successfully completed by the natural person holding the contractor ‘s license shown on the Participating Contractor application form. Completion of the training by another natural person in the company does not satisfy the training requirement. There are two options, 1. and 2., below, for successfully completing the required training:

    1. A. Free online courses offered by the “Construction Estimating Institute” (CEI). To proceed by this route, the Participating Contractor must go to the CEI website at and enter the Participating Contractor’s business name and contractor license number. The Participating Contractor must successfully complete the course entitled “How Hurricanes Damage Homes,” which includes an overview of the My Safe Florida Home program. The Participating Contractor must also complete at least one other free CEI course from among the following three courses. The choice of course should be selected in accordance with the type of improvements the Participating Contractor plans to perform for participating homeowners.

    (I) Strengthening Roofs.

    (II) Protecting Openings (Windows, Doors and Garage Doors).

    (III)   Bracing Gable Ends.

    b. At the end of each CEI online training course, the Participating Contractor must successfully complete a short, online test. The Participating Contractor must receive at least a 90% grade on the test in order to successfully complete the course. If the Participating Contractor receives less than a 90% grade, the Participating Contractor may immediately retake the test, or review the training material and take it at a later time.

    c. Upon successful completion of the online CEI training, an email notification will be sent by CEI to the My Safe Florida Home program confirming the Participating Contractor’s successful completion of the training.

    2. If the Participating Contractor has completed the Blueprint for Safety Retrofit – an Introduction, DBPR/FCILB Course Number 0005849 provided by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), at any time since Jan. 1. 2000, the Participating Contractor will be deemed to have satisfied the training requirement.

    (b) The applicant must indicate on its application form whether the applicant has already obtained the required training from one of the two approved sources.

    (c) If the applicant has not completed the required training, the applicant may nevertheless submit its application, but will not be approved as a Participating Contractor until:

    1. The Construction Estimating Institute (CEI) emails the Department confirmation that the applicant has completed the CEI training (the CEI will automatically email confirmation to the Department as soon as the applicant takes and passes the required tests with a score of at least 90% correct); or

    2. The applicant submits to the Department proof of having successfully completed the FLASH Blueprint for Safety course by providing the certificate of completion issued by the course provider, or records provided by the DBPR/FCILB) to: My Safe Florida Home Program, Attention: Participating Contractor Coordinator, Larson Building 5th floor, 200 East Gaines St., Tallahassee FL 32399.

    (6) Background Questions. An affirmative answer to any question in the “Background Questions” section of the Participating Contractor online application (form DFS-I4-1808 (effective_______)), does not mean that the applicant is automatically barred from serving as a Participating Contractor, but an affirmative answer will require further inquiry by the Department before the applicant can be approved as a Participating Contractor. Any initial decision by the Department denying an application to the Participating Contractor program is subject to the provisions of Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

    (7) Participation Agreement. As a condition of being a Participating Contractor, all Participating Contractor applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of the “Participation Agreement” that is part of form DFS-I4-1808 (effective_______).

    (8) There is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference Department form DFS-I4-1808 (effective_______), entitled “Participating Contractor On-line Application Form.” Said form shall be used by interested persons to apply for Participating Contractor status, and sets forth the information required to be provided and instructions specific to each category of Participating Contractor applicant.

    Specific Authority 215.5586(6) FS. Law implemented 215.5586(2)(g) FS. History–New_________.