Allen County, Indiana – Monday, January 1, 2024, the Allen County Building Department debuts a new license renewal system that will allow building contractors to accomplish their annual license renewals from the comfort of home, their pickup truck, or worksite.
According to Allen County Building Commissioner, Joseph Hutter, “We have 100,000 licensed individuals in Allen County right now and we have added 1,000+ new licenses this year alone.” All contractors and sub-contractors who work in the county must be licensed and registered by the Allen County Building Department. The growing number of contractors means a growing number of licenses to be processed by Hutter’s team.
“In the past, all contractors renewed their licenses from January through April and May. Those 100,000+ submissions created a backlog of work for our staff. Plus, contractors had to stop in the office or mail the complete the forms, then we would have to mail their renewed documents back to them. This new license renewal system will save the county thousands of dollars, but also boost contractor productivity as they will not have to take time out of their day to come in person.”
On December 14, 2023, the department mailed a 4-page letter to thousands of contractors and construction companies. The letter outlined the new process for 2024. Not only will licensing be done online via the Citizen Access Portal, but the actual completion and payment of licenses will be stretched throughout the entire year. Much like vehicle registration renewal at the BMV, individuals and companies will renew and pay in a specific month of the year based on the first letter of their last name. Hutter stressed, “This change is going to be a completely different way of thinking and planning for contractors.” He shared that if people submit their renewal and renewal funds before their prospective month, their money will be returned to them as the Building Department does not have a trust account to hold checks or money orders.
The Building Department reports directly to the Allen County Board of Commissioners that oversees operations and the budget for the department. In a joint statement, the commissioners praised the new automated license renewal system and the effort involved in its preparation and launch next week, “We want to recognize Building Department staff and the IT Department for the months of work on the front end that they invested to get this new program up and running.”
“There will be kinks to work out and an adjustment period for contractors as they navigate the renewal system and the new payment schedule. However, this new technology will create efficiencies not just for our staff but for the community. Job valuation indicators show that the volume of work in this industry will only continue to rise in the coming months and years.”
Contractors looking for a copy of the letter that was mailed or a link to the Citizen Access Portal can find that information on the Allen County Building Department webpage. Individuals without internet access may still come to the office to complete their license renewals, in their prospective month. The Building Department is located in Citizens Square at 200 East Berry Street, Ste. 180, Fort Wayne.