First off, welcome to the forum!
Now don't take anything below this personally! Just figuratively speaking / venting to the same list of questions. (As if you didn't ask them, because you do not deserve the hostility that follows. This is for the imaginary person out there.)
If your father or anyone else can testify for you, and your brothers hours.... Go ahead and take the test! Sorting material in your garage could count for 300 hours. It's not like they check anyway!
One correction in the numbers you mentioned above.... There are only 14,000 Certified in the state, out of the 27,000 authorized exams, and some of those are multiple certifications. i.e. General and FLS, etc. So that number may be lower.
By the time its enforced, you might be an old man anyway. And if they enforce it 6 months from now you won't be alone. There will be many other people scrambing to get into "Approved Apprenticeship Programs" that do not exist in any form to handle the change. And what will the other 70,000+ plus elctricians out there who haven't applied do? For that matter, what will happen to the billions of dollars in construction projects happening now state-wide? Do you think those 14,000 guys are going to do the work of seven men? (Seeing that they can only supervise one apprentice each, I guess there will be 28,000 electrical workers state-wide.) Everything in the state will wait? Of course it will be post-poned.
Please excuse my crass additude about the subject, but its a sore subject with myself and a few others around here, who will chime in soon.