District of Columbia Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
November 11th, 2020
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help contractors on District of Columbia (Washington D.C) Designated Master Plumber/Gas Fitting bonds
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: $175 for the required two year period
- Bond Amount: $5,000
- Who Needs It: All master plumbers/gas fitters operating in the District of Columbia
- Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the master plumber/gas fitter fail to comply with licensing law
- Who Regulates Master Plumbers/Gas Fitters in the District of Columbia: The District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
***This page focuses exclusively on the bond and licensing requirements for a Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond. For information on the Plumber/Gas Fitting Contractor Bond and Permits, view our Plumbing/Gas Fitting Contractor Bond page.***
Code of the District of Columbia 47-2853.122 requires all master plumbers/gas fitters operating in the District to obtain a license with the DCRA. The District of Columbia legislature enacted licensing laws and regulations to ensure that master plumbers/gas fitters engage in ethical business practices.
In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the license law, master plumbers/gas fitters must purchase and maintain a $5,000 designated master plumber/gas fitter surety bond to be eligible for licensure. The bond must expire on March 31st of each even year (2020, 2022, 2024, etc.).
What is the Purpose of the DC Designated Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond?
The District of Columbia requires master plumbers/gas fitters to purchase a Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond as part of the application process for licensure. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the plumber or gas fitter fails to comply with the licensing regulations. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the master plumber/gas fitter breaks licensing laws.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a DC Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Washington D.C. Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “contractor” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensure that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Designated Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond?
Credit checks are not required for the DC Plumber and Gas Fitter bond.
How Much Does the District of Columbia Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond Cost?
The $5,000 DC Master Plumber/Gas Fitter surety bond costs just $175 for the required two-year period.
How Does the District of Columbia Define “Plumber”?
To paraphrase the Code of the District of Columbia 47-2853.121, a plumber is any person who installs or services plumbing fixtures, connects or repairs any system of drainage, or excavates public or private property for the purpose of connecting underground structures.
How Does the District of Columbia Define “Gas Fitter”?
To paraphrase the Code of the District of Columbia 47-2853.121, a gas fitter is any person who installs or services any nonindustrial gasoline appliance, who introduces or maintains a gas supply through any pipe, who ventilates any gas supply through a pipe, or who excavates public or private property for the purpose of connecting any service pipes.
How Do Plumbers and Gas Fitters Apply for a License in Washington D.C.?
Plumbers and Gas Fitters in D.C. must navigate several steps to secure their plumbing/gas fitting license. Below are the general guidelines, but plumbers/gas fitters should refer to the DCRA’s How to Apply page for details on the process.
In the District of Columbia, a contracting company can perform plumbing and gas fitting services. Contractors will need to employ at least one individual with a Master Plumbing/Gas Fitting License to be eligible to conduct plumbing and gas fitting business.
License Period – The District of Columbia plumber/gas fitter license expires on March 31 of every even-numbered year (2020, 2022, 2024, etc.) regardless of the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date.
Step 1 – Determine the License Type
The District of Columbia has different classifications of the plumbing/gas fitting license dependent on the applicant’s level of experience. The below table outlines the different classifications of the D.C. plumbing/gas fitting license and the documentation that must be submitted with each classification:
|Classification||Experience Required||Documentation Required|
|Journeyman by waiver||Apprenticeship training program||
|Journeyman by exam||4 years||
Table 1 License Documentation Requirement
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Master plumbers/gas fitters will need to purchase and maintain a $5,000 designated master plumber/gas fitter surety bond. The bond must run concurrently with the license and expire on March 31st of each even-numbered year (2020, 2022, etc).
The contractor company will need to purchase and maintain a separate plumbing/gas fitting contractor surety bond.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
All plumbing/gas fitting license applications should be submitted online through the DCRA’s licensing portal located here. Applicants will need to provide the following documentation with their application:
- A 2” x 2” passport-style photograph
- Government-issued identification (a drivers license or passport will suffice)
- All work experience documentation listed for the applicant’s license class as outlined in Table 1.
Step 4 – Pay Fees
Applicants will need to pay the following application fee corresponding to their license type:
- Apprenticeship – $175
- Journeyman by waiver – $175
- Journeyman by exam – $260
- Master – $270
- Contractor – $185 (see our contractor page for more details on this license class)
Step 5 – Pass the Exam
Applicants applying for the Master or Journeyman by exam license will need to pass an exam administered by the DCRA. Applicants can schedule a date to take their exam here. The exam is open book and will be administered electronically at the following address:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Examination Unit, 1100 4th Street SW, Suite E500
Washington, DC 20024
How Does a D.C. Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Renew Their License?
Master plumbers/gas fitters operating in the District of Columbia can renew their license online through the DCRA’s licensing portal located here. Designated masters should also upload a copy of their renewal bond with the application.
The District of Columbia master plumbing/gas fitting license expires on March 31 of every even-numbered year (2020, 2022, 2024, etc) regardless of the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date.
How Do DC Master Plumbers/Gas Fitters File Their Bond With The DCRA?
Master plumbers/gas fitters should scan the completed bond form and submit it online through the DCRA’s licensing portal along with their license application. The master plumber/gas fitter bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the plumber/gas fitter. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- The legal name of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
- Date the bond goes into effect
- Bond type (master plumber or contractor)
- Date the bond expires
- Two witness signatures for the licensee
How Can DC Designated Masters Avoid Bond Claims?
To avoid claims on the Master Plumber/Gas Fitter Bond, master plumbers/gas fitters must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
- Repair all property damage caused through the course of work
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Contractors in Washington DC?
DC does not require master plumbers/gas fitters to obtain any form of liability insurance. Most reputable plumbers/gas fitters will seek to obtain liability insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any form of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for DC Plumbers and Gas Fitters?
The District of Columbia conveniently provides a public database to search for active master plumbers/gas fitters in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources.
What other Contractor License Bonds are Required in Washington DC?
Contractors in DC will need to obtain specific bonds correlating with their license type. Below are all the different contractor licensing bonds required by the District of Columbia: