We have this in parts of New York, not nyc. Basically as I understand it,if the homeowner passes a test, not sure if it is the same as my test. They are entitled to a permit to do their own wiring, good for one job on your own premisis only.
I am from NY also (Long Island) I have heard of such exams here but have not heard any details. I am quite sure that it is not as detailed as any Licensing exam. I am curious as to the depth of the questions involved and is the agency thus declaring the person to be competant for the task involved?
In British Columbia, Canada, a homeowner can pull a "homeowners" permit and do all the work themselves as long as it passes inspection. Ive also heard but its never been proven to me that an electrician in BC after completing their 2nd term of school, can apply to pull permits as a residential electrician, which entitles them services up to 200A single phase.
Bill; well up here in Vermont there is nothing required for single family construction. So half of the electrical biz around here is cleaning up someone else's mess, which is somewhat the frustrating half we could do without. Even if they had some sort of very basic electrical homeowners exam as you've mentioned, things would smooth out better.
So, you mean that the Homeowner would do a better job at it, or not be allowed to do it. I wasn't sure what you meant.
My parents are up in NH. I went up to wire the house a couple of years ago. The fire marshall there is the AHJ and said that as long as I was Licensed somewhere it wouldn't be a problem if I wanted to come up and do it.
I found several things interesting while I was there. At the supply house I wasn't able to buy copper SEU cable. (We can't use it in many areas down on LI) I learned from the Carpenters on the job that common practice was to tack cables perpendicular to ceiling joists and then fur out with 1 by 2s and hang the sheetrock, thereby putting the cable just below the depth of the finish. Down here, and by the NEC holes would have to be bored through the members. So, I guess that their Homeowners' test would be different than ours anyway.
single family dwellings do not need a permit or license here. The closest thing to an AHJ i have seen is a bank inspector. I don't imagine that will change anytime soon, so this "competency exam" sounds like a quick fix.