AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A FRAMEWORK FOR THE VOLUNTARY REGISTRATION OF INDIVIDUALS IN THE PROFESSION OF INTERIOR DESIGN AND TO ALLOW REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGNERS TO OBTAIN PERMITS FROM LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
Enacts GS Chapter 93F, Interior Design. Sets forth the act's purpose and defined terms. Defines the practice of interior design to include: programming, planning, predesign, analysis, and conceptual design; interior nonstructural element alteration or interior nonstructural element construction and related interior technical submissions; preparation of a physical plan of space within a proposed or existing building or structure; reviewing analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting building codes, fire codes, accessibility standards or other state and federal laws, regulations, and standards applicable to interior technical submissions; and rendering of designs, plans, drawings, specifications, contract documents, or other interior technical submissions and the administration of interior construction and contracts relating to nonstructural elements in interior alteration or construction of a proposed or existing building or structure. Specifies exclusions, including making changes or additions to foundations and other primary structural framing members or seismic systems, or opening in roofs, exterior walls, or load-bearing and shear walls.
Establishes requirements for registration as an interior designer, including being of good moral character, passing the exam administered by the Council of Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), proof of general liability insurance, and payment of the $100 application fee. Provides that registration or renewal is valid for two years. Requires registrants to apply for renewal no earlier than 10 weeks prior to registration expiration. Requires proof of completion of at least 30 hours of continuing education, as specified, payment of a $50 renewal fee, and proof of general liability insurance along with a sign renewal application.
Provides for reciprocity with licensed, certified, or registered interior designers of other states meeting specified criteria, including payment of an additional $50 reciprocal registration fee and demonstration of familiarity with the State Building Code.
Identifies grounds for registration denial, suspension, or revocation, including conviction of or pleading guilty or no contest to a crime that indicates the person is unfit or incompetent to practice, or that the person has deceived or defrauded the public. Allows for reinstatement after any disciplinary action imposed. Allows any person to file a charge of unprofessional conduct or other misconduct in violation of the Chapter with the Department of Insurance (Department) to trigger a hearing unless the Department dismisses the charge as unfounded or trivial. Requires the Department to notify the registrant and the person who filed the complaint of the Department's decision and reasoning. Authorizes the Department to access a penalty of no more than $1,000 for a violation, with the clear proceeds remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. Sets forth factors the Department must consider before imposing and assessing a penalty. Directs the Department to establish a schedule of civil penalties for violations of the Chapter and Department rules. Also authorizes the Department to charge costs of disciplinary hearings to the registrant.
Makes the following a Class 2 misdemeanor: (1) affixing a registrant's signature or seal to any interior technical submissions without permission; (2) using or attempting to use an expired, inactive, suspended, or revoked registration or seal; (3) using or attempting to use the registration of seal of another; (4) impersonating another registrant; (5) obtaining or attempting to obtain a registration by fraud; and (6) making any willfully false oath or affirmation in any matter or proceeding where oath or affirmation is required by the Chapter.
Provides for injunction of illegal practices.
Provides for authority of the registrant to sign and seal interior technical submissions for the purpose of obtaining requisite permits for an interior alteration or construction project, so long as the submissions are within the scope of the practice of interior design. Details requirements of the seal itself, created and granted by the Department, as well as its use. Restricts use to interior technical submissions for which the registrant is competent to perform. Prohibits affixing the seal to submissions that were not prepared by or under the registrant's supervision and control, except such interior technical submissions that were prepared by or under the supervision and control of another registrant, or a partner or officer of a registered business who is a registrant with professional knowledge of the content of the interior technical submissions with responsibility over their adequacy that are prepared by or under the supervision and control of a registrant who is in the regular employment of the business entity.
Grants the Department the power and duty to issue registration certificates, adopt administrative rules, prescribe individually identifiable seals, and take disciplinary action as appropriate.
Specifies that the Chapter does not require registration for activities traditionally performed by an interior designer or other design professional, including planning, design, and implementation of kitchen and bath spaces. Clarifies that the Chapter does not prevent or restrict other licensed practices, services, or activities. Clarifies that a registration under this Chapter does not authorize a registrant to practice architecture or engineering.
Amends GS 153A-357 and GS 160A-417 to provide for plans submitted for county or city permits prepared by registered interior designers. Also amends both statutes to prohibit both counties and cities from withholding issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy which is otherwise eligible to be issued in order to compel completion of work for a separate permit or compliance with land use regulations unless the county or city reasonably determines the existence of a public safety issue directly related to the issuance of the building permit or certificate of occupancy (previously, each statute only prohibited its respective entity).
Directs the Department to report to the specified NCGA committee on the progress of the Chapter's administration by February 1, 2020.
Effective October 1, 2019.