Professionals working without a license is common practice

DENVER -- The Department of Regulatory Agencies is warning professionals to not let their license expire.

There are dozens of professions in Colorado that require a license.

“We see it from doctors expiring to plumbers expiring to electricians, so it's across all of those different professions," said Ofelia Duran with DORA.

A tipster said there were unlicensed workers at Central Nails in Littleton.

"I’m here to see Ruby today," a producer said.

The cosmetologist gave her a pedicure even though she has not been licensed since 2010.

After trying to talk to Ruby, she and four other workers walked out the back.

This isn’t the first time the FOX31 Problem Solvers have seen this issue.

In 2012, dentists whose licenses were suspended or revoked were uncovered, but they were still seeing patients.

And in 2015, dozens of hair, nail and waxing salons across Colorado had fallen off the state’s radar. They were operating without a license or shop registration, which means no salon inspections.

Insurance and health companies will not cover professionals with gaps in their licenses. Patients potentially harmed by an unlicensed worker have no recourse.

Workers practicing without a license are subject to disciplinary action, including fines and probationary periods.

Last year, DORA issued discipline in more than 100 cases involving professionals with expired licenses.

"I think we need to collect the data on what does that look like and possibly get stake holders involved from these regulated professions to find solutions," Duran said.

Central Nails has a current shop registration. The manager said she could prove everyone working was licensed.

After showing the manager a license that said March 31, 2010 was the last time a worker had a license that wasn't expired, no one produced a license.

DORA issued a cease and desist until Ruby gets a license.

License periods run between one and three years, and many licenses require continued education.