In 2023, the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry established a new website for individuals and businesses to apply, monitor and renew state licenses. The new system, called IMS, allows everything to be completed online, from permit pulling to license renewals. The information below is from the DOLI website and walks you through the process of registering and maintaining your own account, if you have not already done so.
If you have a trades or business license, you will now maintain and renew all licenses online instead of via regular mail. This includes Water Conditioning Master, Journeyworker, Registered Unlicensed individual, Plumbing, and Contractor (business) licenses. Businesses will now electronically submit applications for permits and plans for project review, as well as upload insurance and bond documents.
All applications for CEU courses will now be submitted online, as well. If your company is a CEU sponsor, you need to establish an account with your sponsor number prior to presenting any future classes. Specific instructions for CEU sponsors are available on the DOLI website.
Please take time now to set up your account with DOLI. This will give you ample time to check your CEU before your license expires. Follow the steps below to establish an account.
User access User access requires you to create an account in IMS using an email address and password. This allows for automated messages such as license renewal reminders, monitoring submitted applications, and submitting multiple applications with a single payments.
To create a user account: Visit IMS and select “Register as a New User” to create an account. You’ll receive a verification email to complete the validation process. If you don’t receive the email within 15 minutes, check your spam/junk folder. The verification link is valid until midnight the day of registration. If you do not validate your account by midnight, you will need to re-register your email address.
License and registration lookup
Quick search Find a license record using the “Quick Search” field in the upper left-hand corner of the iMS home screen. The field shows “Goto Record #.” Enter a full license or registration number in the field to search. License and registration numbers start with two characters and are followed by six digits.
Search license and registration holders If you do not know the full license registration number, or want to verify an individual’s or company’s license status, you may use the iMS search function. In the License and Registration tile, select “Search Licenses & Registrations.” Use the drop-down to select the search criteria. Select multiple search criteria with the green “add” icon (+).
Applications and renewals
New registration, exam or business application
Login with a user account or continue as a guest to access applications for new registrations, exams or business applications. New business license applications must include required forms.
License and registration renewal is available 60 days prior to the expiration date. To renew a license or registration, visit iMS and login with your account information or continue as a guest (found in the lower left corner).
You will receive an email notifying you when eligible to renew your license or registration. The email includes a link to your license/registration record in iMS. In addition to the email, you may also receive a reminder postcard from the department.
Personal registrations and licenses
Check continuing education
Search for the license or registration record (see License and registration lookup instructions above) to view check continuing education completion.
Search for the license or registration record (see License and registration lookup instructions above) to view work experience.
Exam applicants will receive an email once their application is approved. Follow the instructions in the email to schedule the exam in iMS.
Upload application and renewal documents
When applying or renewing, you are prompted to upload corresponding application documents. Options to upload include “Separate Files” or “Single File.”
If you are unable to upload forms during the application process or have additional forms to include after submitting your application or renewal, contact DOLI.
Communication from iMS
Business licenses will receive reminders about important events related to their license including expiration notices prior to the expiration of general liability, workers compensation and bond insurance policies. Notices will also be sent regarding notice of expiration of responsible individual or qualifying person, and if the responsible individual or qualifying person has not yet met their continuing education requirements.
MWQA Is Supported in 2022 Plumbing Board Interpretation
Minnesota Plumbing Board Oks Integral By-Passes
On July 19, 2022, the Minnesota Plumbing Board voted 8-0 that “integral by-pass appurtenances” meet Minnesota Plumbing Code. The State had been requiring by-passes to be remote from water conditioning equipment. Brian Soderholm of Water Control Corporation (and MWQA Board member) made the presentation to the Plumbing Board after having prepared and filing a formal “Request for Interpretation.”
The problem surfaced in October 2021 at the MWQA convention when the Department of Labor and Industry announced an interpretation of the new Plumbing Code to require remote by-passes. The audience was surprised, and many assumed that the interpretation would be revisited by the Department. A few metro area inspectors ran with the new interpretation, including St. Louis Park, Edina, Brooklyn Park, Blaine, and Maple Grove.
The concept was a shock to attendees of the October 2021 MWQA conference when it was presented by the Department of Labor & Industry. The presentation created several questions, and many assumed that the interpretation was in error. None in attendance had heard the concept previously proposed, and the idea was again presented at a Minnesota Building Officials conference in January 2022. Officials at that meeting were also surprised and asked many questions. Some expressed reservations about the need and cost.
DOLI’s interpretation was that the Code requires a water conditioner to be “serviced or removed” without shutting off the water. And background notes from the time of the code revision include a note saying, “as necessary for repair or replacement.” “Serviced” as used in code and “replacement” as used in the notes, taken together, require that a by-pass allow replacement at a future date with a different size or manufacturer of conditioner according to the Department.
The change in code language was last minute, in January 2019, as Minnesota Plumbing Code 2020 was being finalized. It was included with six other clean-up items. The change seemed appropriate because it was found that there was no by-pass requirement in Code for residential water conditioning since the UPC code was introduced in 2015! If anyone at the Department intended the language to require remote by-passes, they are nowhere to be found. The idea to require remote by-passes was developed after the Code was published, according to the Department.
Normally when a Code revision is suggested, professional engineers in the Department weigh in. The Plumbing Board gets a draft in advance. Suppliers are often notified and there is public notice through regular Plumbing Board announcements and attorneys review the language. Good ideas take forever. The remote by-pass idea came out of the blue during our October 2021 MWQA meeting.
The implementation was equally unusual. While the presentation was made to MWQA in October and to statewide plumbing officials in January, there was no significant education or training period. The municipalities that choose to implement the remote by-pass idea did so only after reviewing existing installations. In every case reported to MWQA, the installer was told after the installation was complete that he or she had to return to the location, disconnect the water conditioner and reinstall it.
Thankfully, cool heads prevailed. Government works when you make the effort. The Plumbing Board voted 8-0 to allow “integral by-pass appurtenances.” If your dealership encounters any issues with bypass regulations, please contact MWQA for assistance.
Chloride Reduction Program for Non-Residential Softening Continues with MPCA
MWQA is working with Bolton & Menk and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to continue keeping waterways in several Minnesota communities clear of chloride contamination. Water softening is one source of chloride contaminating Minnesota’s freshwater ecosystems, especially those that are connected to wastewater treatment facilities. There’s no economical way to remove chloride from a community’s wastewater, so the best practice for these situations is limiting chloride use at the source.
Initially the program included the communities of Altura, Avon, and Medina. Commercial, industrial, or non-residential facilities that had a water softener could be eligible to optimize equipment and minimize chloride pollution! Commercial and industrial businesses in other Minnesota cities may now be eligible for free or reduced softening system optimizations through MWQA, as well as recommendations and assistance with improvements or replacements. Cost-share funding for qualifying chloride reduction opportunities is available through MPCA and the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment.
Additional communities now have similar programs. Among those are Marshall, Worthington, and Carver County.
Contact the MWQA if you are interested, or to find out if your community has such a program.
This project is made possible through funding from the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Guide to Developing a Local Water Softener Rebate Program
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has a document available on their website that assists communities in establishing a softener optimization rebate program.
Softener optimization will not only save salt, it also helps reduce chlorides, which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life. Although a large percentage of chlorides come from road salt that makes its way into rivers, streams and lakes, chlorides also come from water softener salt, which is discharged to the sanitary sewer and ends up at the treatment plant. Treatment plants are designed to remove solids and break down organic wastes, but chlorides cannot be removed by all treatment processes. Therefore, softeners must be adjusted, or optimized, to reach maximum salt efficiency.
Traditional time-clock softeners do not allow for adjustment based upon water usage. They regenerate on a schedule, whether water is used or not. Newer on-demand softeners regenerate only when needed, and can be optimized using settings based upon water hardness and additional properties of your water.