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18VAC120-50

CHAPTER 50
REGULATIONS GOVERNING NATURAL GAS AUTOMOBILE MECHANICS AND TECHNICIANS

18VAC120-50-10

Part I
Definitions

18VAC120-50-10. Definitions.

A. Section 54.1-2355 of the Code of Virginia provides definitions of other terms and phrases as used in this chapter.

B. The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Address of record" means the mailing address designated by the certificate holder to receive notices and correspondence from the board or the board's agent.

"Advisory board" or "board" means the Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics and Technicians Advisory Board.

"Applicant" means an individual seeking certification who has submitted a fully executed application.

"Application" means a board prescribed form submitted with the appropriate fee and other required documentation, including, but not limited to, verification of formal vocational training, verification of experience, and documentation of other certifications and examinations.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Director" means the Director of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Formal vocational training" means courses in the trade administered at an accredited educational facility or formal training, approved by the director or his designee, conducted by trade associations, businesses, the military, correspondence schools, or other similar training organizations.

"Reciprocity" means a mutual agreement between the director and any other regulating body that accepts one or more of the eligibility criteria from that regulating body as having met the requirements of this chapter.

"Regulant" means a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant of any other regulatory programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction.

"Reinstatement" means the process and requirements through which an expired certificate can be restored to effectiveness after the expiration date has passed.

"Renewal" means the process and requirement for periodically approving a certification for another period of time.

18VAC120-50-20

18VAC120-50-20. Advisory board.

A. The Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics and Technicians Advisory Board shall exercise the authority delegated by the director consistent with subsection A of § 2.2-2100 of the Code of Virginia and shall advise the department on any matters relating to the certification of natural gas automobile mechanics and technicians in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

B. The advisory board shall consist of eight members appointed by the director as follows: two representatives of private businesses that utilize natural gas powered vehicles, one representative of a local government that utilizes natural gas vehicles, one representative of a municipal transit agency that uses natural gas vehicles, one certified natural gas automobile mechanic or technician, one representative of an approved natural gas automobile mechanic or technician training provider, and two citizen members. All members must be residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia. After the original appointments, all appointments shall be for terms of four years, except that appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired terms.

C. Each member shall serve a four-year term. No member shall serve more than two consecutive four-year terms.

D. The advisory board shall meet upon the call of the director, but at least once per year.

18VAC120-50-30

Part II
Application Procedures and Entry Requirements

18VAC120-50-30. Application procedures.

A. Every applicant seeking certification shall submit an application with the appropriate fee specified in 18VAC120-50-80. Application shall be made on forms provided by the department and shall contain the following information and documentation:

1. The full legal name of the applicant, a copy of a government-issued photo identification and verification that the applicant is at least 18 years old.

2. The applicant shall disclose his social security number or a control number issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with § 54.1-116 of the Code of Virginia.

3. The physical address of the applicant and, if it is going to be used as the address of record, a mailing address. A post office box, private mail box, or other mail service may be used as a mailing address, but not as the address of record.

4. Documentation of formal vocational training as required in 18VAC120-50-50 in a format approved by the director.

5. Documentation of experience, as required in 18VAC120-50-50 in a format approved by the director.

6. Each applicant shall disclose the following convictions in any jurisdiction:

a. All misdemeanor convictions within three years of the date of the application; and

b. All felony convictions at any time.

Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this subdivision. Individuals convicted in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall include a copy of their Central Criminal Records Exchange report that is no more than 90 days old. Individuals convicted outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall include a copy of their Central Criminal Records Exchange report and documentation of their out-of-state convictions from a source approved by the department.

7. Each applicant shall provide certified copies of all other licenses, certifications, or registrations held in any jurisdiction as a natural gas or alternative fuel vehicle mechanic or technician. Additionally, the applicant must provide documentation of any disciplinary action taken against any other license, certification, or registration.

B. By signing the application or submitting it electronically to the department, the applicant certifies that he has read and understands the statutes and regulations that govern the program.

C. The receipt of an application and the deposit of fees by the departmentdoes do ] not indicate approval of the application.

D. Applicants will be notified if their application is incomplete. Applicants who fail to complete the process within one year of the date the original application was received by the department must submit a new application and fee.

18VAC120-50-40

18VAC120-50-40. General qualifications for certification.

Every applicant for certification as a certified natural gas automobile mechanic or technician shall meet the requirements and have the qualifications provided in this section.

1. The applicant shall be at least 18 years old.

2. Unless otherwise exempted, the applicant shall meet the current educational requirements by passing all required courses prior to the time the applicant sits for the examination and applies for certification.

3. Unless otherwise exempted, the applicant shall have passed the examination provided bythe ] department or by a testing organization acting on behalf of the department.

4. The applicant shall meet the experience requirements in 18VAC120-50-50.

5. In those instances where the applicant is required to take the certification examination, the applicant shall follow all rules established by the department or testing organization with regard to conduct at the examination. Such rules shall include all written instructions communicated prior to the examination date and all instructions communicated at the site, either written or oral, on the date of the examination. Failure to comply with all rules established by the department or the testing organization with regard to conduct at the examination shall be grounds for denial of the application and may result in the voiding of the examination or scores or both.

6. The applicant shall sign, as part of the application, a statement certifying that the applicant has read and understands Chapter 23.4 (§ 54.1-2355 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

7. The department may make further inquiries or investigations or require a personal interview with the applicant with respect to the qualification of the applicant to verify information and documentation, or to clarify information supplied.

8. In accordance with § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, each applicant shall disclose the following information:

a. All misdemeanor convictions within three years of the date of the application; and

b. All felony convictions during his lifetime.

Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this subdivision. The record of conviction received from a court shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of a conviction or finding of guilt. The department, at its discretion, may deny certification to any applicant in accordance with § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia.

9. The applicant shall report all suspensions, revocations, or surrender of a certificate or license that is connected with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for certification in Virginia. The director, at his discretion, may deny certification to any applicant based on prior suspensions, revocations, or surrender of certifications or licenses connected with disciplinary action by any jurisdiction.

18VAC120-50-50

18VAC120-50-50. Evidence of ability and proficiency.

A natural gas automobile mechanic or technician certificate shall be issued to an applicant who fulfills the requirements of 18VAC120-50-40 and one of the following:

1. One year of practical experience in the performance of services relating to the repair, conversion, or maintenance of motor vehicles that use, in whole or in part, natural gas as a fuel and successful completion of a training program approved by the director;

2. A current license as a professional engineer and one year of practical experience in the performance of services relating to the repair, conversion, or maintenance of motor vehicles that use, in whole or in part, natural gas as a fuel;

3. Successful completion of an apprenticeship program approved by the Virginia Apprenticeship Council or the U.S. Department of Labor, with a Dictionary of Occupational Title or Standard Industrial Classification identifier approved by the director, which includes a minimum of one year of practical experience in the performance of services relating to the repair, conversion, or maintenance of motor vehicles that use, in whole or in part, natural gas as a fuel; or

4. Three years of practical experience in the repair, conversion, or maintenance of motor vehicles that use, in whole or in part, natural gas as a fuel.

18VAC120-50-60

18VAC120-50-60. Qualifications for licensure by reciprocity or substantial equivalency.

Individuals certified or licensed as natural gas automobile mechanics or technicians by governing bodies located outside the Commonwealth of Virginia shall be in compliance with this chapter if the director has determined the certifying or licensing requirements to be substantially equivalent to the requirements in Virginia. In addition to the requirements set forth in 18VAC120-50-40, these individuals must meet the following requirements:

1. The applicant shall have received the natural gas automobile mechanic or technician certification by virtue of having passed in the jurisdiction of original certification or licensing a written or oral examination deemed to be substantially equivalent to the Virginia examination; and

2. The applicant shall be in good standing as a certified or licensed natural gas automobile mechanic or technician in every jurisdiction where certified or licensed, and the applicant shall not have had a certificate or license that has been suspended, revoked, or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for certification in Virginia.

18VAC120-50-70

18VAC120-50-70. Application denial.

The director may refuse initial certification due to an applicant's failure to comply with entry requirements or for any of the reasons the director may discipline a certified natural gas automobile mechanic or technician.

18VAC120-50-80

18VAC120-50-80. Application fees.

A. All fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. The date on which the fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the fee has been submitted within the time requirements of this chapter. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

B. Fees are as follows:

 

Fee Type

Fee Amount

When Due

 

Original certification application

$150

Upon submission of the application

 

Expedited application - application will be reviewed within two business days

$250 plus application fee

Upon submission of the application

C. The fee for examination or re-examination is subject to contracted charges by an outside vendor. These contracts are competitively negotiated and bargained for in compliance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). The board may adjust the fee charged to candidates in accordance with these contracts.

18VAC120-50-90

18VAC120-50-90. Renewal and reinstatement fees.

A. All fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. The date on which the fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the fee has been submitted within the time requirements of this chapter. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

B. Fees are as follows:

 

Fee Type

Fee Amount

When Due

 

Certification renewal

$100

Within 60 days of, but no later than, the expiration date of the certification

 

Certification reinstatement

$150 - includes renewal fee

Within one year of the expiration date of the certification

18VAC120-50-100

18VAC120-50-100. Certificate fees.

A. All fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. The date on which the fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the fee has been submitted within time requirements set forth in this chapter. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

B. Fees are as follows:

 

Fee Type

Fee Amount

When Due

 

Wall certificate

$40

Upon submission of the request for a wall certificate

 

Duplicate pocket certification card

First request within same licensing period - $0
Second request within same licensing period - $25
Third or subsequent request within five years - $50

Upon submission of the request for a duplicate pocket certification card

C. Third and subsequent requests for duplicate certification pocket cards or wall certificates may result in the director initiating an investigation to determine if a violation has occurred.

18VAC120-50-110

Part III
Renewal and Reinstatement

18VAC120-50-110. Renewal.

A. Certifications issued under this chapter shall expire two years from the last day of the month in which they were issued.

B. The department will mail a renewal notice to the regulant at the last known mailing address of record. Failure to receive this notice shall not relieve the regulant of the obligation to renew.

C. Regulants may renew their certifications up to 60 days prior to the expiration date by submitting the fee specified in 18VAC120-50-90. If the regulant fails to receive the renewal notice, a copy of the certification pocket card or wall certification may be submitted with the required fee as an application for renewal.

D. By renewing the certification the regulant is attesting continued compliance with Part IV (Standards of Conduct and Practice, 18VAC120-50-140 et seq. ]) of this chapter.

E. The director may deny renewal of a certification card for the same reasons that he may refuse initial issuance or that he may discipline a regulant. The regulant has a right to appeal any such action by the director under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

F. Failure to timely pay any monetary penalty, reimbursement of cost, or other fee assessed by consent order or final order shall result in delaying or withholding services provided by the department, such as, but not limited to, renewal, reinstatement, processing of a new application, or examination administration.

18VAC120-50-120

18VAC120-50-120. Reinstatement.

A. Should the department fail to receive the renewal application or fees by the expiration date, the regulant will be required to apply for reinstatement of the certification.

B. The date on which the reinstatement fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the certification is reinstated or a new application is required.

C. In order to ensure that certification holders are qualified to practice as certified natural gas automobile mechanics and technicians, no reinstatement will be permitted once one year from the expiration date has passed. After that date, the applicant must apply for a new certification and meet the then current entry requirements, including the successful completion of the examination.

D. Any person who holds himself out as a certified natural gas automobile mechanic or technician, without the appropriate certification, may be subject to prosecution under Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

E. The director may deny reinstatement of a certification for the same reasons that he may refuse initial issuance or that he may discipline a regulant. The regulant has a right to appeal any such action by the director under the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

F. Failure to timely pay any monetary penalty, reimbursement of cost, or other fee assessed by consent order or final order shall result in delaying or withholding services provided by the department, such as, but not limited to, renewal, reinstatement, processing of a new application, or examination administration.

18VAC120-50-130

18VAC120-50-130. Status of regulant during the period prior to reinstatement.

A. When a regulant is reinstated, the individual shall continue to have the same certificate number and shall be assigned an expiration date two years from the previous expiration date.

B. A regulant who reinstates his certification shall be regarded as having been continuously certified without interruption. Therefore, the regulant shall remain under the disciplinary authority of the board during this entire period and may be held accountable for activities during this period. Nothing in this chapter shall divest the director of the authority to discipline a regulant for a violation of the law or regulations during the period of certification.

18VAC120-50-140

Part IV
Standards of Conduct and Practice

18VAC120-50-140. Grounds for disciplinary action.

The director may place a regulant on probation; impose a monetary penalty; or revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a certification when the regulant has been found to have violated or cooperated with others in violating any provisions of this chapter or Chapter 23.4 (§ 54.1-2355 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

18VAC120-50-150

18VAC120-50-150. Maintenance of certification.

A. Any change of address shall be reported within 30 days of the change on a form provided by the department. The department shall not be responsible for the regulant's failure to receive notices or correspondence due to the regulant's failure to report a change of address. A post office box, private mail box, or other mailing service address alone is not acceptable as an address of record.

B. Any name change of the regulant shall be reported within 30 days of the change on a form provided by the department. The department shall not be responsible for the regulant's failure to receive notices or correspondence due to the regulant's failure to report a name change.

18VAC120-50-160

18VAC120-50-160. Transfer of certification prohibited.

No certification issued by the director shall be assigned or otherwise transferred.

18VAC120-50-170

18VAC120-50-170. Prohibited acts.

A. All complaints against certified natural gas automobile mechanics and technicians may be filed with the department at any time during business hours, pursuant to subdivision A 8 of § 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

B. The following acts are prohibited:

1. Failing in any material way to comply with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.) or Chapter 23.4 (§ 54.1-2355 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or the regulations of the department;

2. Furnishing substantially inaccurate or incomplete information to the department in obtaining, renewing, reinstating, or maintaining a certification;

3. Negligence or incompetence in the practice of alternative fuel vehicle repair, conversion, or maintenance;

4. Misconduct in the practice of alternative fuel vehicle repair, conversion, or maintenance;

5. Failing to respond to an agent of the department or providing false, misleading, or incomplete information to an investigator seeking information in the investigation of a complaint filed with the department against the regulant or failing or refusing to claim certified mail sent to the regulant's address of record shall constitute a violation of this regulation;

6. Making any misrepresentation or making a false promise that might influence, persuade, or induce;

7. Assisting another to violate any provision of Chapter 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.) or Chapter 23.4 (§ 54.1-2355 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter; or combining or conspiring with or acting as agent, partner, or associate for another to do so;

8. Allowing one's certification to be used by another;

9. After initial certification, being convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication in any jurisdiction, of any felony or of any misdemeanor, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time of appeal having elapsed. Any plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this subdivision. The record of a conviction received from a court shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of a conviction or finding of guilt;

10. Failing to inform the department in writing within 30 days that the regulant has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or was convicted and found guilty of any felony or of a misdemeanor; and

11. Failing to ensure that all work performed on natural gas fuel vehicles is consistent with the requirements set forth by the department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, the National Fire Protection Agency 52: Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code, or other applicable authority as determined by the director.

18VAC120-50-180

Part V
Education Providers and Training Requirements

18VAC120-50-180. Requirements for formal vocational training providers, instructor qualifications, and course requirements.

A. The director is responsible for reviewing applications from education providers seeking board approval. Provider and course applications must be submitted by the department's established deadlines.

B. The course provider shall submit an application for course approval in a format approved by the director. The application shall include, but is not limited to:

1. The name of the provider;

2. Provider contact person, address, and telephone number;

3. Contact hours for each course submitted for approval;

4. Schedule of courses, if established, including dates, time, and locations;

5. Instructor information, including name, certification number, if applicable, and a list of other appropriate trade designations;

6. Course and material fees for each course offered; and

7. A syllabus for each course submitted for approval.

C. Each applicant for approval as an instructor for an approved formal vocational training provider shall have one of the following qualifications:

1. A Natural Gas Automobile Mechanic or Technician Certification issued by the director, or a comparable certification as determined by the director, and two consecutive years of discipline-free experience immediately prior to application; or

2. A minimum of three years of active experience in the subject matter being taught. Such applicants shall teach only in the area of their expertise and will be required to furnish proof of their expertise that is satisfactory to the director.

D. Approval of formal vocation training courses shall expire three years from the year in which the approval was issued, as indicated on the approval document. At the end of the three years, the course provider shall submit a new application to be approved by the director.

E. The course provider must establish and maintain a record for each student. The record shall include the student's name and address; social security number or a control number issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles; the course name and clock hours attended; and the course syllabus or outline, the nameor names ] of the instructor, the date of successful completion, and the board's course code. Records shall be available for inspection during normal business hours by authorized representatives of the board. Providers must maintain all student and class records for a minimum of five years.

F. The course provider must provide each student with a certificate of course completion or other documentation that the student may use as proof of course completion. Such documentation shall contain the hours of credit completed. Fifty contact minutes shall equal one credit hour. No credit shall be awarded for partial credit hours or partial completion of the course.

G. The course provider certifies that the laws, regulations, and industry practices that will be taught or utilized in the course are up-to-date and that subsequent changes in the laws, regulations, or industry practices will be incorporated into the course curriculum as they occur.

18VAC120-50-190

18VAC120-50-190. Educational provider and course approval fees.

A. All fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. The date on which the fee is received by the department or its agent will determine whether the fee has been submitted within the time requirements of this chapter. Checks or money orders shall be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

B. Fees are as follows:

 

Fee Type

Fee Amount

When Due

 

Formal education provider approval initial application fee

$190

Upon submission of the school application

 

Course approval application fee

$190

Upon submission of the course application

18VAC120-50-200

18VAC120-50-200. Posting formal education provider certificate of approval.

Copies of formal education provider certificates of approval must be available at the location a course is taught.

18VAC120-50-210

18VAC120-50-210. Termination of approval.

The director may withdraw approval of any formal vocational provider or course for any of the following reasons:

1. The provider, instructors, courses, or subjects no longer meet the standards established by the director.

2. The provider or instructor solicits information from any person for the purpose of discovering past examination questions or questions that may be used in future examinations.

3. The provider or instructor distributes to any person copies of examination questions or otherwise communicates to any person examination questions without receiving the prior written approval of the owner to distribute or communicate those questions.

4. The provider, through an agent or otherwise, advertises its services in a fraudulent, deceptive, or misrepresentative manner.

5. Officials, instructors, or designees of the provider sit for the natural gas automobile technician or mechanic certification examination for any purpose other than to obtain a certification.

6. The provider or instructor fails to allow any agent of the board access to facilities or records to conduct a review or audit of the approved courses, student records, or course materials.

7. The provider fails to submit an electronic roster of students completing a course within seven business days in a method and in a format approved by the department.

18VAC120-50-220

18VAC120-50-220. Course content.

A. The following shall be included in the course that shall not have less than 24 classroom hours, of which four hours are hands on training:

1. Conversions, repairs, and maintenance.

2. Safety.

3. National Fire Protection Agency 52: Vehicular Gaseous Fuel System Code.

4. Principles of natural gas.

5. Natural gas fuel line safety and inspection.

6. Natural gas fuel container mounting.

7. Fundamentals of natural gas engines.

8. Practical lab.

B. Courses shall be taught in a classroom environment. No online courses or correspondence courses shall be approved.

18VAC120-50-230

18VAC120-50-230. Reporting changes.

Any change in the information provided in subsection B of 18VAC120-50-180 must be reported to the director within 30 days of the change with the exception of changes in the schedule of courses, which must be reported within 10 days of the change. Failure to report the changes as required may result in the withdrawal of approval of the course provider by the director.

18VAC120-50-9998

FORMS (18VAC120-50)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics or Technicians Certification Application A505-2310CERT-v1 (rev. 2/2016)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics or Technicians Experience Verification Form A505-2310EXP-v3 (rev. 2/2015)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics or Technicians Training Provider Approval Application A505-2330SCHL-v1 (rev. 2/2015)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics or Technicians Education Course Approval Application A505-2331CRS-v1 (rev. 2/2016)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics or Technicians Certification Application, A505-2310CERT-v1 (rev. 5/2016)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics and Technicians Experience Verification Form, A505-2310CNG_EXP-v3 (rev. 5/2016)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics and Technicians Training Provider Approval Application A505-2330SCHL-v1 (rev. 5/2016)

Natural Gas Automobile Mechanics and Technicians Education Course Approval Application A505-2331CRS-v1 (rev. 5/2016) ]

Address Change Form, A406-ACHG-v5 (rev. 6/2015)

Name Change Form, A406-NAMECHG-v4 (rev. 6/2015)