Section 455.213, Florida Statutes 2008
455.213 General licensing provisions.--
(1) Any person desiring to be licensed shall apply to the department in writing. The application for licensure shall be made on a form prepared and furnished by the department and include the applicant's social security number. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department is the sole authority for determining the contents of any documents to be submitted for initial licensure and licensure renewal. Such documents may contain information including, as appropriate: demographics, education, work history, personal background, criminal history, finances, business information, complaints, inspections, investigations, discipline, bonding, signature notarization, photographs, performance periods, reciprocity, local government approvals, supporting documentation, periodic reporting requirements, fingerprint requirements, continuing education requirements, and ongoing education monitoring. The application shall be supplemented as needed to reflect any material change in any circumstance or condition stated in the application which takes place between the initial filing of the application and the final grant or denial of the license and which might affect the decision of the department. In order to further the economic development goals of the state, and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the department may enter into an agreement with the county tax collector for the purpose of appointing the county tax collector as the department's agent to accept applications for licenses and applications for renewals of licenses. The agreement must specify the time within which the tax collector must forward any applications and accompanying application fees to the department. In cases where a person applies or schedules directly with a national examination organization or examination vendor to take an examination required for licensure, any organization- or vendor-related fees associated with the examination may be paid directly to the organization or vendor.
(2) Before the issuance of any license, the department may charge an initial license fee as determined by rule of the applicable board or, if no such board exists, by rule of the department. Upon receipt of the appropriate license fee, except as provided in subsection (3), the department shall issue a license to any person certified by the appropriate board, or its designee, or the department when there is no board, as having met the applicable requirements imposed by law or rule. However, an applicant who is not otherwise qualified for licensure is not entitled to licensure solely based on a passing score on a required examination.
(3) The board, or the department when there is no board, may refuse to issue an initial license to any applicant who is under investigation or prosecution in any jurisdiction for an action that would constitute a violation of this chapter or the professional practice acts administered by the department and the boards, until such time as the investigation or prosecution is complete.
(4) When any administrative law judge conducts a hearing pursuant to the provisions of chapter 120 with respect to the issuance of a license by the department, the administrative law judge shall submit his or her recommended order to the appropriate board, which shall thereupon issue a final order. The applicant for a license may appeal the final order of the board in accordance with the provisions of chapter 120.
(5) A privilege against civil liability is hereby granted to any witness for any information furnished by the witness in any proceeding pursuant to this section, unless the witness acted in bad faith or with malice in providing such information.
(6) Any board that currently requires continuing education for renewal of a license shall adopt rules to establish the criteria for continuing education courses. The rules may provide that up to a maximum of 25 percent of the required continuing education hours can be fulfilled by the performance of pro bono services to the indigent or to underserved populations or in areas of critical need within the state where the licensee practices. The board, or the department when there is no board, must require that any pro bono services be approved in advance in order to receive credit for continuing education under this section. The standard for determining indigency shall be that recognized by the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines produced by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The rules may provide for approval by the board, or the department when there is no board, that a part of the continuing education hours can be fulfilled by performing research in critical need areas or for training leading to advanced professional certification. The board, or the department when there is no board, may make rules to define underserved and critical need areas. The department shall adopt rules for the administration of continuing education requirements adopted by the boards or the department when there is no board.
(7) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, any elected official who is licensed pursuant to any practice act within the purview of this chapter may hold employment for compensation with any public agency concurrent with such public service. Such dual service shall be disclosed according to any disclosure required by applicable law.
(8) In any instance in which a licensee or applicant to the department is required to be in compliance with a particular provision by, on, or before a certain date, and if that date occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, then the licensee or applicant is deemed to be in compliance with the specific date requirement if the required action occurs on the first succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
(9) Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement and use by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and as otherwise provided by law.
(10) For any profession requiring fingerprints as part of the registration, certification, or licensure process or for any profession requiring a criminal history record check to determine good moral character, a fingerprint card containing the fingerprints of the applicant must accompany all applications for registration, certification, or licensure. The fingerprint card shall be forwarded to the Division of Criminal Justice Information Systems within the Department of Law Enforcement for purposes of processing the fingerprint card to determine if the applicant has a criminal history record. The fingerprint card shall also be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of processing the fingerprint card to determine if the applicant has a criminal history record. The information obtained by the processing of the fingerprint card by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be sent to the department for the purpose of determining if the applicant is statutorily qualified for registration, certification, or licensure.
(11) Any submission required to be in writing may otherwise be required by the department to be made by electronic means. The department is authorized to contract with private vendors, or enter into interagency agreements, to collect electronic fingerprints where fingerprints are required for registration, certification, or the licensure process or where criminal history record checks are required.
History.--s. 5, ch. 79-36; s. 29, ch. 81-302; s. 9, ch. 83-329; s. 7, ch. 84-203; s. 30, ch. 85-175; s. 3, ch. 86-287; s. 1, ch. 89-162; s. 67, ch. 89-374; s. 1, ch. 91-137; s. 10, ch. 91-220; s. 43, ch. 92-33; ss. 13, 76, ch. 92-149; s. 23, ch. 93-129; ss. 1, 4, ch. 96-309; s. 208, ch. 96-410; s. 1078, ch. 97-103; s. 63, ch. 97-170; s. 1, ch. 97-228; s. 10, ch. 97-261; s. 53, ch. 97-278; s. 2, ch. 98-166; s. 37, ch. 98-397; s. 139, ch. 99-251; s. 26, ch. 2000-160; s. 1, ch. 2001-269; s. 9, ch. 2001-278; s. 1, ch. 2007-86.