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December 10, 1998

L&I offers construction contractor database on web

TUMWATER - Consumers who want to build a house or remodel now can check the Internet to see if their prospective contractor is operating legally in Washington State.

No fee or password is required. It can be found on the Internet at /contractors

"We are very pleased to be able to offer this service through our web site," said Gary Moore, director of the Department of Labor & Industries. "Information that was previously available only on paper or by a telephone call during business hours can now be accessed online virtually around the clock, seven days a week."

Washington law requires that contractors register with L&I. Registration verifies that the firm is bonded and insured and meets other requirements for doing business as a contractor in the state. The law is in place to help protect consumers from fraudulent business practices by unscrupulous contractors.

The contractor registration database is updated nightly. Users can look up a contractor by business name, owner's name, registration number, uniform business identifier or by city and find out the status of the contractor's registration. It shows bonding information and indicates whether there has been any complaint activity on record with county court systems. The database also can be used to verify the certification of individual plumbers and electricians.

Moore said he expects the service to also be useful to contractors who need the information when hiring sub-contractors. It will also be useful to building officials, who are required to verify a contractor's registration prior to issuing a building permit.

Labor & Industries developed the applications in conjunction with the state Department of Information Services' Access Washington project. Access Washington, is a new web site that offers easy access to state information and services.

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