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How to Verify a Professional's License in Savannah?
Savannah has specific requirements that professionals must adhere to before bidding to perform any service for the city's residents. One of such requirements is obtaining a professional license. The licensure of professionals in Savannah is handled at the state level by 42 licensing boards, with some licensing boards overseeing one or more professions. For example, the Georgia Board of Geologists licenses geologists, while the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors licenses residential contractors and general contractors. Although various licensing boards handle the licensure of professionals, the Professional Licensing Board Division (PLBD) of Georgia's Secretary of State's Office maintains a record of licensed professionals across the state. Therefore, you can confirm a Savannah professional's license through this division's PLBD license verification portal or by contacting it at (404) 424-9966.
Another requirement for professionals in Savannah is the procurement of permits where necessary. The city requires some professionals to procure the relevant permits before bidding to perform certain jobs. For example, construction professionals are required to procure one or more construction or building permits before executing any home improvement or construction work in the city. Building permits are generally issued by the city's Department of Development Services (DDS). Although some queries regarding permits are addressed under the DDS' FAQ section for building permits, further inquiries can be directed to the DDS at (912) 644-7784.
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Savannah is governed by the City Council, which comprises the City Mayor, elected representatives of each city district, and other city officials. The city is divided into ten districts, and each of the city's neighborhoods is under one of these districts. The city's district maps help residents find out which district their neighborhood falls under. Generally, the City Council does not issue home improvement or construction permits, as this is one of the primary responsibilities of the city's Department of Development Services. However, in performing its governance duties, the City Council develops policies and plans for the city's development. For instance, in May 2021, the City Council approved the construction of a parking lot near the city's Savannah Arena. The Savannah Arena is a proposed multi-purpose building still undergoing construction. The Arena is expected to be an event center and also house meeting rooms and suites, amongst other things. Similarly, in September 2021, the City Council approved the annexation of 20 acres of land and zoning adjustment to develop the Rockingham Farms Industrial Park.
The Savannah's 311 Department is the one-stop contact office for information on the city's services. To file a professional or unfair business complaint, you can contact this department for assistance by calling 311 or (912) 651-6565. Additionally, you can file a professional or unfair business complaint with the Georgia State Consumer Protection Division by calling (404) 651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123. Complaints can also be filed with the Consumer Protection Division online. If a business's practices or professional's actions involve fraud or any illegal conduct, you can also file a complaint with the Savannah Police Department by contacting (912) 651-6675.
You should note that filing an unfair business or professional complaint does not guarantee you will be reimbursed for any inconveniences or costs you incurred due to the business's or professional's wrong actions. If you seek reimbursement, you should sue the business or professional at an appropriate court. Such suits are usually initiated at the Chatham County Magistrate Court, which handles civil cases with claims not exceeding $15,000. It is also advisable that you hire the services of a competent attorney before suing the business or professional.