Unfortunately, you do NOT have a legal cause to fight the "delinquent fee." The State Licensing Board REQUIRES that certain information be included in a renewal, including the signature of the appropriate person(s). If the information is not completed, the Board will reject the application. The Board will keep your application fee money and charge you the $180.00 delinquency fee. The delinquent fee CANNOT be waived.
Below is a link to the requirements for renewing a contractor license. You will note that the signature IS required to make an application "acceptable."http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/MaintainLicense/CompletingYourRenewalApplication.asp
Also, below please find the consequences for not renewing your license (or not having an "acceptable".
If you have been working on any jobs after your license expired, you can Petition for Retroactive Renewal. However, even if your Petition is granted, you STILL must pay the delinquency fee. The requirements for a Retroactive Petition are outlined in the above link. If you have been working on any jobs, you SHOULD file a Petition for Retroactive Renewal. If you don't and the customer sues you for any reason or files a Complaint against you with the State, you will be deemed to have been working without a license. That could be disastrous for you. So, the sooner you take care of renewing your license by paying the delinquent fee, the sooner your license will be valid.
I wish that I could have provided you with a more favorable response. However, the law is clear. It would not be fair to you, and would be unethical of me, to give you an answer because it is one "that you wanted to hear."
I do hope that you find this information useful. I will have to research your question regarding any federal law. I'll get back with an answer for you asap.
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