When is it nessecary to obtain a permit and who would you ask ?I have done jobs were each trade would have to have a permit.And jobs were one permit covered all aspects. I am doing a remodel were the owner hired a handyman (nonlicensed)as the prime builder and they have no permit.
In NJ you are allowed to change up to 5 devices (receptacles, switches, light fixture,etc.) before a permit is needed. You can replace ballasts and bulbs all you want. All of this is considered "minor repairs". However, you need a permit to change a receptacle into a GFCI type. The only people in NJ who are allowed to do electrical work are licensed electrical contractors, with business permits or the homeowner who lives in the house that is a one family dwelling and that family is his/hers.
Personally, I would like all work to require a permit and inspection or for no work to need either. But neither will ever happen.
I don't see a difference in one electrictian who spends a 5 days doing one house and needs a permit or another electrictian who does the same amount and type of work but spreads it over twenty houses and 10 days and does not need permits for any of the jobs.
Permit work takes at least 2 trips for an electrictian. The first trip to do the work and the second to watch the inspection. You cannot charge reasonable rates for this much effort. (Around here you call for the inspection when the work is done and the inspection takes place SOMETIME the next day.)
Sparky - you are in CA - CA Contractos State License Board is at www.cslb.ca.gov - this site has EVERYTHING you need to know about CA contractor requirements - I'll expand on your question just a little bit. 1. You must be a licensed contractor if you do more than $500 in work (this $500 includes materials/fixtures). 2. If you do work in a residence you MUST also be a certified (through the state contractor board) Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). 3. Almost any work done requires a permit (to answer your original question). Check with the local jurisdiction but technically you need a permit to replace a defective light switch. I just worked on a home that was completely rennovated - new roof, new stucco, new water heater, new kitchen, gas and water lines moved, all new windows/doors throughout, carpet, paint....I was the ONLY licensed contractor on the job! Really pissed me off, but I did tell tell the other tradesmen that if I even found one of their fingerprints on any of my electrical work I'd be calling in the state contractor board.