Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC


  ( Heading of Division 1 amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 77. )

CHAPTER 1.5. Unlicensed Activity Enforcement [145 - 149]
  ( Chapter 1.5 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1135, Sec. 2. )


The Legislature finds and declares that:

(a) Unlicensed activity in the professions and vocations regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs is a threat to the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the State of California.

(b) The law enforcement agencies of the state should have sufficient, effective, and responsible means available to enforce the licensing laws of the state.

(c) The criminal sanction for unlicensed activity should be swift, effective, appropriate, and create a strong incentive to obtain a license.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1135, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)


(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of any code section listed in subdivision (c) is an infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and 19.7 of the Penal Code when either of the following applies:

(1) A complaint or a written notice to appear in court pursuant to Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code is filed in court charging the offense as an infraction unless the defendant, at the time he or she is arraigned, after being advised of his or her rights, elects to have the case proceed as a misdemeanor.

(2) The court, with the consent of the defendant and the prosecution, determines that the offense is an infraction in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant has been arraigned on an infraction complaint.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a violation of the code sections listed in subdivision (c) if the defendant has had his or her license, registration, or certificate previously revoked or suspended.

(c) The following sections require registration, licensure, certification, or other authorization in order to engage in certain businesses or professions regulated by this code:

(1) Section 2474.

(2) Sections 2052 and 2054.

(3) Section 2570.3.

(4) Section 2630.

(5) Section 2903.

(6) Section 3575.

(7) Section 3660.

(8) Sections 3760 and 3761.

(9) Section 4080.

(10) Section 4825.

(11) Section 4935.

(12) Section 4980.

(13) Section 4989.50.

(14) Section 4996.

(15) Section 4999.30.

(16) Section 5536.

(17) Section 6704.

(18) Section 6980.10.

(19) Section 7317.

(20) Section 7502 or 7592.

(21) Section 7520.

(22) Section 7617 or 7641.

(23) Subdivision (a) of Section 7872.

(24) Section 8016.

(25) Section 8505.

(26) Section 8725.

(27) Section 9681.

(28) Section 9840.

(29) Subdivision (c) of Section 9891.24.

(30) Section 19049.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a violation of any of the sections listed in subdivision (c), which is an infraction, is punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). No portion of the minimum fine may be suspended by the court unless as a condition of that suspension the defendant is required to submit proof of a current valid license, registration, or certificate for the profession or vocation that was the basis for his or her conviction.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 775, Sec. 4.5. (SB 798) Effective January 1, 2018.)


(a) Any employee designated by the director shall have the authority to issue a written notice to appear in court pursuant to Chapter 5c (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code. Employees so designated are not peace officers and are not entitled to safety member retirement benefits, as a result of such designation. The employee’s authority is limited to the issuance of written notices to appear for infraction violations of provisions of this code and only when the violation is committed in the presence of the employee.

(b) There shall be no civil liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, any person, acting pursuant to subdivision (a) and within the scope of his or her authority, for false arrest or false imprisonment arising out of any arrest which is lawful or which the person, at the time of such arrest, had reasonable cause to believe was lawful.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1135, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)


Any board, bureau, or commission within the department may, in addition to the administrative citation system authorized by Section 125.9, also establish, by regulation, a similar system for the issuance of an administrative citation to an unlicensed person who is acting in the capacity of a licensee or registrant under the jurisdiction of that board, bureau, or commission. The administrative citation system authorized by this section shall meet the requirements of Section 125.9 and may not be applied to an unlicensed person who is otherwise exempted from the provisions of the applicable licensing act. The establishment of an administrative citation system for unlicensed activity does not preclude the use of other enforcement statutes for unlicensed activities at the discretion of the board, bureau, or commission.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1135, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)


(a) If, upon investigation, an agency designated in Section 101 has probable cause to believe that a person is advertising with respect to the offering or performance of services, without being properly licensed by or registered with the agency to offer or perform those services, the agency may issue a citation under Section 148 containing an order of correction that requires the violator to do both of the following:

(1) Cease the unlawful advertising.

(2) Notify the telephone company furnishing services to the violator to disconnect the telephone service furnished to any telephone number contained in the unlawful advertising.

(b) This action is stayed if the person to whom a citation is issued under subdivision (a) notifies the agency in writing that he or she intends to contest the citation. The agency shall afford an opportunity for a hearing, as specified in Section 125.9.

(c) If the person to whom a citation and order of correction is issued under subdivision (a) fails to comply with the order of correction after that order is final, the agency shall inform the Public Utilities Commission of the violation and the Public Utilities Commission shall require the telephone corporation furnishing services to that person to disconnect the telephone service furnished to any telephone number contained in the unlawful advertising.

(d) The good faith compliance by a telephone corporation with an order of the Public Utilities Commission to terminate service issued pursuant to this section shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought against the telephone corporation arising from the termination of service.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 395, Sec. 2. (SB 1243) Effective January 1, 2015.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC