New licensing system, changes coming to Electrical Code, stormwater permit changes coming this summer 

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has a new licensing system. 

All online applications and renewals for business and personal building and trades licenses and registrations moved to a new platform, effective May 8. The new platform, iMS, is an online software that supports plan review, permitting, licensing and enforcement case management. 

This switch will impact multiple aspects of the licensing and renewal process, according to DLI. 

The improved application and renewal workflow for business and personal licenses and registrations, including Construction Contractor Registrations, will reduce the incidences of duplicate or unintended applications and minimizes common application problems. 

Users will see a reduction in the time to review submitted applications due to automated workflow improvements. 

Continuing education credits are applied as soon as they are reported by course providers. 

Certain personal licenses renew automatically when license fees are paid and continuing education requirements are met. 

2023 National Electrical Code 

The 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC) will soon take effect in Minnesota, and several changes from the coming update will impact the industry. 

All kitchen receptacles must be GFCI, regardless of how far from a water source they may be. 

GFCI requirements have been expanded to include all clothes dryers, countertop-mounted cooking equipment, wall-mounted ovens and microwaves. All cord- and plug-connected appliances in kitchens must be GFCI protected. 

Kitchen islands will see the most noticeable change from the homeowner’s perspective. Receptacles on kitchen islands must be pop-up receptacles installed on the countertop surface. Side receptacle placement is no longer allowed. 

While the code is not yet in effect, builders are hearing from buyers whose homes will be permitted later this summer that they are unhappy with at least one change. 

“Builders are already reporting that buyers are rather frustrated with the pop-up receptacle change,” said Nick Erickson, senior director of housing policy for Housing First Minnesota. 

The 2023 NEC goes into effect July 1. 

Stormwater permit changes coming 

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) solicited stakeholders for feedback on changes to the Construction Stormwater General Permit, which is updated every five years. 

Builders and developers can expect to see a copy of the final 2023 Construction Stormwater General Permit soon, which was not available at the time of printing. 

While the updated permit is not yet available and may not be ready before the July 31 expiration date of the current permit, there will be no changes needed for projects that are issued a permit before Aug. 1, 2023, according to MPCA staff. 

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