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How to Verify a Professional's License in Bakersfield?

The California Department of Consumer Affairs issues occupational licenses to more than 200 categories of qualified professionals in the City of Bakersfield through different boards and bureaus. Licensing typically means that a professional has met certain requirements applicable to a specific trade, and it is your responsibility to verify the licensing status of professionals in Bakersfield before engaging their services. You can perform this task online via the Department of Consumer Affairs' DCA license search webpage.

In addition to verifying the licensing status of the professionals that you intend to work with, it is also your responsibility to make sure that all necessary permits required for the project are obtained before any work is started. For example, the City of Bakersfield issues ministerial permits for residential and commercial construction-related projects through the Building Division of its Development Services Department. You can contact this division at (661) 326-3720 to make inquiries concerning its permit-issuing procedures. You should also consider contacting the neighborhood groups and associations in your area of residence to get any additional location-specific information that may be relevant to your intended project.

Do Bakersfield Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, neighborhood groups and associations in Bakersfield are not authorized to issue building or construction-related permits to residents of the city. Various types of neighborhood groups and associations, such as homeowners associations and neighborhood watch groups, are created by Bakersfield residents for different purposes and they typically collaborate with authorities like the City Council and the Bakersfield Police Department to achieve their respective purposes. These usually range from improving livability and home security to providing the residents of their respective neighborhoods with networking opportunities and information about available city resources and services. In November 2020, a lawsuit filed by collective of Bakersfield residents known as the Citizens for the Preservation of R-1 Zones resulted in the city council temporarily restricting its recent urban hen ordinance. Similarly, in August 2021, Stay Focused Ministries collaborated with several community partners and neighborhood groups to organize a free back-to-school festival for kids in the area.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Bakersfield?

The Kern County District Attorney's Office investigates and litigates violations of business regulations in the City of Bakersfield, and it handles a variety of civil and criminal cases, including matters that involve consumer protection and unfair business practices. You can file complaints with this office by completing and mailing a signed and dated Consumer Complaint Form to:

  • Kern County District Attorney
  • Consumer Fraud Unit
  • Justice Building
  • 1215 Truxtun Avenue
  • Bakersfield, California 93301

When this office receives a complaint, the first step it takes is review to it and refer it to an appropriate investigative agency if necessary. You can direct your queries concerning the complaint submission, review, and referral process to phone numbers (661) 868-2340 and (661) 868-2042.

Note that the Kern County Office is a prosecutorial agency and it cannot help you seek personal remedies, neither can it give you legal advice. If you wish to get your money returned or seek other forms of restitution, you should retain an attorney's services and take legal action. You can get referrals on attorneys in Bakersfield through the Kern County Bar Association's member directory. If the amount of money in question does not exceed $10,000, then you can also consider filing a claim at the Smalls Claims Division of the Kern County Superior Court located at:

  • 1415 Truxtun Avenue
  • Bakersfield, CA 93301
  • Phone: (661) 868-7204

Note that small claims courts are informal courts that aim to resolve minor civil matters quickly and inexpensively and you will not be allowed to have an attorney present during your court proceedings. Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to get legal advice before your hearing. You can also get free assistance on small claims court proceedings by contacting the Kern County Small Claims Advisor at (661) 868-2532. However, this office offers its services to interested parties on a first-come, first-serve basis, and as such, you may not get your matter attended to immediately.

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