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Obtaining a Contractor's License in Arizona
If you are looking to do work that requires a contractor’s license in Arizona, there are several requirements you must complete. Contractor applicants are required to submit a license application in addition to passing a statutes and rules exam as well as a trade exam specific to the type of work they perform.
We offer exam prep courses and reference materials for both the Arizona Contractors Statutes and Rules Exam as well as several trade exams, including the Nationally Accredited NASCLA Commercial Contractor Exam and the Arizona CR-69 Asphalt Paving Exam.
The application process can be tedious and is where many contractors lose time and get frustrated. Let us help you apply for a contractor’s license! We offer Application Fulfillment Services to help you keep on task and reach your goal of becoming a licensed contractor. Contractor Training Center is here to help you reach your goal of becoming a licensed contractor.
What You Can Expect From Us
There are 3 main steps in almost every state:
- Submit an application
- Pass a Business Law exam (In Arizona, this is called the Statutes and Rules exam)
- Pass a Technical exam
The purpose of the application is to register you in the state you're in. This is so they can tax you and confirm that you have verifiable experience. If you need help with this step of the process, we offer application assistance services.
The purpose of the Statutes and Rules exam is to make sure you understand the laws of operating a business in the state of Arizona. We offer exam prep courses for the Statutes and Rules exam here.
The purpose of the Technical exam is to make sure you have the skills and knowledge to do the types of work that you want to perform.
We supply the prep classes, books and the tabs necessary to pass the OPEN BOOK EXAMS. Tabbing and Highlighting the books is allowed and part of our Curriculum. We have an extremely high first-time pass rate on our exams. If you do not pass, we will give you the class again for free until you do.
For Arizona we teach several different courses, including the following:
- Arizona Contractor Statutes and Rules Exam, required of all contractor applicants
- NASCLA exam, a commercial trade exam accepted in Arizona and is currently accepted as a trade exam in 15 other states
- Arizona Asphalt Paving Exams, including the CR-69, A-14, and R-13 exams
Ready to learn more? Don’t hesitate to call us today! You can reach us at 888-585-7350 or at firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
Benefits of Having a Contractor's License in Arizona
Construction laws are different in every state, but in Arizona, you must hold a contractor's license to perform any work valued over $1,000.
If you perform work without a license, you risk subjecting yourself to fines and even criminal charges. Working without a license can be a class 1 misdemeanor, which can carry a maximum term of six months in the county jail and a maximum fine of $2,500 plus an 83% surcharge.
The main benefit that a contractor’s license offers is credibility: licensed contractors are regulated by the state and are held liable for their work, so consumers assume less risk when hiring a contractor that holds a license. You have a higher earning potential, as you can legally take on projects on a larger scale.
Increases Your Earning Potential
Without a license, you are only able to take on “handyman” type tasks under $1,000. These can be trivial in nature. With a license, you can perform much larger projects and increase your profit. People are often willing to pay more on the same project to a licensed contractor versus an unlicensed entity.
Gives You Credibility
It also helps gain credibility by earning your client’s trust. A contractor’s license means you passed many hurdles to get there. Clients know that. They’ll have greater trust in your capabilities and will be more likely to hire you.
Additionally, licensed contractors are regulated by the state/local government, allowing clients to assume less financial risk when hiring a contractor. Unlicensed contractors are not backed by state or local recovery funds, so the homeowner cannot receive this type of financial assistance if the job is not completed.
Without a license, you are only able to take on small tasks. Don't limit yourself to working odd jobs as you can get them. With an Arizona Contractor's License, you can work on large-scale projects and grow your business to a larger scale.
How to Get an Arizona Contractor's License
There are a few steps to follow before submitting a contractor license application in Arizona. Follow below to go from a handyman to a licensed contractor:
PICK UP NECESSARY MATERIALS
First, you’ll need to pick up a license application and exam application. You get this from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, a local office. You can also download and print these online. Picking the proper application in Arizona is a bit of an art form and must mirror how your business is registered with the state. (Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLC, or Corporation)
IDENTIFY A QUALIFYING PARTY
For the sake of this application, a qualifying party is someone with the necessary knowledge, experience, and skills (as defined under A.R.S. § 32-1122(E)).
This can be a sole proprietorship, a member of a partnership, a member of an LLC, a corporate officer or an employee of a contracting business.
MEET MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR EXAMINATION WITH EXPERIENCE
Next, you must have four years or more of contracting experience to be eligible for a license. You also must pass the Arizona Contractor Statutes and Rules Examination and the Trade Exam. This is true unless you are eligible for a waiver of this portion.
You may be eligible for credit here if you are a foreman, supervisor, journeyman, or contractor. You can check to see if you meet these qualifications by viewing Arizona’s License Classification Requirements (RC-L-206B).
PASS THE EXAM
Once you meet the minimum requirements for the exam, you must take and pass both with a 70 percent or higher rate. Registration for these exams is available at all times through PSI's online portal.
PASS A BACKGROUND CHECK
Then, the applicant and the qualifying party must both complete and pass a criminal background check. This can be done on the Registrar of Contractor’s website. See the Licensing Background Check page.
CREATE A LEGAL BUSINESS ENTITY
You will only receive an Arizona contractor's license if you are a legal entity. You must have registered through the state’s Corporation Commission. If you need resources, the Arizona Corporation Commission provides resources for starting eligible entities on their website.
FILE A BOND
Next, the applicant needs to file a Contractor’s Bond for the amount required by the Board. The amount required will vary based on the kind of license the individual is applying for and the total gross volume of projects the applicant has completed. This bond can be a surety bond or cash bond. Alternatively, it can be in the form of a CD from any Arizona-operating bank.
PAY YOUR FEES
You will now have to pay the fees necessary to cover a 2-year time period. The amount will vary based on your license classification, but you should expect to spend anywhere between $500 and $1100.
SUBMIT AN ID
The applicant and qualifying party will both need to submit a copy of their ID (government-issued only) along with their application. You may use either a passport or a valid driver’s license.
SEND IN THE APPLICATION
Once you complete all of the above steps, you should submit all components to the below address via mail:
Registrar of Contractors
P.O. Box 6748
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748
You can also submit the application in person at the below address:
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812
The last thing that the State of Arizona requires is that you purchase workers’ compensation insurance. This is for any employees that you may have, considering the dangerous nature of the work.
How to Get a Handyman License in Arizona
Handymen are licensed in Arizona similarly to any other type of contractor. Generally, if labor and materials exceed $1,000 OR a permit is required (regardless of the price of labor and materials), then a license is required. Please read the Arizona Revised Statutes on "Persons not required to be licensed; penalties; applicability" ARS §32-1121
PREPARING FOR THE CONTRACTOR’S EXAM
Preparing for the exam should be something you take seriously, but it also shouldn’t consume your life. We offer the study resources you need to pass the exam the first time.
Our priority is getting you set up with the proper materials you need to study. This includes things like tabs for your exam books to keep things straight. We give practice tests so you get a feel for the real thing.
You should expect to spend about a week preparing for the exam. This includes both class instruction and independent study time.
CONTRACTOR EXAM PREP FROM CONTRACTOR TRAINING CENTER
We have a few different offerings for those looking to get the proper training to pass an Arizona Contractor’s exam on the first try. These include:
In addition to these Arizona-only exams, we also offer prep courses to become NASCLA accredited. The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) offers an exam that certifies those who pass it with a license in multiple states, including Arizona.
If you are interested in getting certified in multiple different states or foresee a move to a new state in the future, this might help streamline the process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Once you are granted an Arizona contractor’s license, it will be valid for 2 years. Every two years, you will need to pay a renewal fee and update your information to ensure it stays accurate.
Yes! An Arizona general contractor license has reciprocity agreements with California, Nevada, and Utah. Additionally, trade experience or another state’s contractors license may qualify as necessary experience needed to waive the license exam. This will be determined on a case by case basis.
Anyone coming to Arizona under this reciprocity agreement will still need to pass the Arizona Contractor Statutes and Rules exam, as it references Arizona-specific laws and information. Applicants will also need to fulfill other requirements as well.
The NASCLA license eliminates the need to pass the trade exam for commercial construction in the accepting states. Additionally, 11 of the accepting states allow NASCLA licensees to perform residential construction without additional testing.
Other requirements, including the SRE (Statutes and Rules Examination) in the state of Arizona, must be met. You will still need to apply for a license in any of the accepting states to hold a license. However, you will not need to take the trade exam and may supply your NASCLA exam transcripts instead.
NASCLA accepting states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, Tennessee, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
If you want to get certified in any of these other states as well, taking and passing the NASCLA exam can help to simplify the process.
At this time, Arizona does not require continuing education for contractors after initial licensure.
You can find the application at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website.
Candidates must wait 30 days before retaking the examination they did not pass.
Candidates are allowed 3 attempts to pass each examination. Attempting the test a 4th and subsequent time, there is then a 90 day waiting period between schedules.
You can take the exam at any PSI Testing Location.
Arizona locations are listed below:
Northern Arizona University Du Bois Building 64,
Room 140 306 E. Pine Knoll Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Glendale-Arizona Flight Training Center
Glendale Airport 6799 N Glen Harbor Blvd
Glendale, AZ 85307
The test center is in the Arizona Flight Training Center.
PHOENIX - MIDTOWN
5727 N. 7th Street, Suite 301
Phoenix, AZ 85014
Mill Avenue Business Center
40 W. Baseline Road, Suite 221
Tempe, AZ 85283
2601 N. Campbell Avenue, Suite 201-3
Tucson, AZ 85719
Additionally, PSI has examination centers in many other regions across the United States. You may take this examination at any of these locations. Once you have paid for the examination, enter your zip code and a list of the testing sites closest to you will appear