Contractor licenses are regulated in the state of Arizona, and this applies to everyone, regardless of whether the contractor is an individual or a business. The regulation surrounding the Arizona contractor license requirements are many and hard to keep track off, which is why we’ve put together this extensive guide on the topic.
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Arizona Contractor’s License Board
The issuance of these licenses is handled by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, which was established in 1931 by the Arizona Legislature. The Registrar not only screens contractor license applicants but they also probe contractor-related complaints and go after these contractors, both licensed and unlicensed, that are being complained about.
All relevant information regarding contractor licensing may be found at their official website, which is https://roc.az.gov. But if you want to go directly to their head office in Phoenix for your contractor-related concerns, you can find their office at 1700 W. Washington St. Suite 105, Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2812. You may also contact them through fax at (602) 542-1599 or phone at (602) 542-1525. The Registrar also has an office in Tucson, which is located at 400 W. Congress St., Ste. 212, Tucson, Arizona 85701-1353. The Tucson office may also be contacted at (520) 628-6345 or (520) 628-6588 for fax. The state’s Registrar of Contractors also has an office in Flagstaff, specifically at 2501 N 4th Street #22, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004-3701. However, you may only go to their Flagstaff office if you have an appointment. If you want to set an appointment to go to the Flagstaff office or have other concerns, you need to do so by calling the Registrar’s hotline at 1-877-692-9762 (or 1-877-MY-AZROC) or send them an email at [email protected].
Are you an out-of-state corporation who wishes to do contracting work in Arizona? If so, you also need to make sure that you are authorized to do business in the state. In order to do that, you have to obtain a certification that states that you are authorized to conduct business transactions anywhere in Arizona. You can get this letter by paying a filing fee of $175 to the Arizona Corporation Commission. If you need to personally make inquiries about this requirement, you need to go to their Corporations Division, which you can reach by phone at (602) 542-3026 and is headquartered at 1300 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Contractor License Classifications and Requirements in the State of Arizona
Is the contract of your project worth more than $750? If so, you need to get your contractor license. Each contractor license in Arizona is also classified depending on what kind of projects you are allowed to work on, which are:
- Residential – limited to working on residential properties and other similar dwellings. Residential contractors of all license types can not only work on standalone houses but also townhouses, cooperative buildings, condominiums, and apartments. But if you will be working on an apartment project, it must only be up to four units max. They can also work on appurtenances connected to or on any residential property, such as meters, sewer and utility line connections, and other related structural or mechanical systems,
- Commercial – can work on any other private or public building, structure, or property that cannot be considered as residential and regardless of size, and
- Dual license – allows contractors to work on both residential and commercial projects.
In particular, eight general license classifications exist for contractor licenses in Arizona. These licenses have assigned codes that reflect the specific classification of the license (in the form of a letter) plus the allowed scope of work (represented by a number or left blank). For example, a contractor that has an A-9 license is an engineering contractor that can work on commercial swimming pools. For a full explanation and scope of these licenses, you can check out https://roc.az.gov/license-classifications.
Engineering Contractor (Commercial)
Commercial engineering contractors are further classified into the following categories:
- General Engineering (A-) – the scope of this license allows the contractor to build or do maintenance works on various public projects and structures. Having this license also allows you do the same scope of work as those classified under the A-4 to A-19 licenses, but not those that can fall under the scope of the B-1, B-2, and B-3 licenses
- Drilling (A-4) – may do both horizontal and vertical drilling of wells and other activities in relation to it. It also allows a contractor to do well explorations, construct dry wells, install and do maintenance and repair works on equipment used in drilling activities
- Excavating, Grading, and Oil Surfacing (A-5) – a contractor can do any excavation work, excluding those that involve oil, water, and gas wells. It also covers incidental drilling and blasting in relation to the transport and modify earthen materials and the application of oil surfacing
- Piers and Foundations (A-7) – using materials such as rebars, post tension, concrete, etc., this license allows a contractor to do the installation of foundations and piers and do related work, such as pile driving, forming, and excavation
- Swimming Pools (A-9) – covers spas and swimming pools, as well as their safety equipment, cover, fencing, and other related accessories, in terms of installation and maintenance work. This license also covers work on service lines, wirings, piping and fittings, waste lines, backflow prevention equipment, and other pool and spa-related parts.
- Steel and Aluminum Erection (A-11) – contractors with this license may do maintenance and reinforcement work on structural and architectural aluminum and steel materials, as well as do the installation of these materials.
- Sewers, Drains, and Pipe Laying (A-12) – licensees may do work that involves drains and sewer access holes, leach lines, septic tanks, dry wells, including installing and repairing them. This license also covers the pipelaying work for gas and water lines, storm drains, sewers, and irrigations.
- Asphalt Paving (A-14) – not limited to the installation of asphalt and other similar fine grading on various surfaces, as this license also allows a contractor to do grading and excavation activities to adjust the height of current water valves, storm drains and drain gates, and sewer access holes and cleanouts, as long as it is necessary for a single project. Note that this license also includes the same scope of work of an A-15 license
- Seal Coating (A-15) – work scope includes surfaces covered by asphalt paving, in terms of the application of seal coating to them. It also allows contractors to paint marking symbols on them and do repair work on the surfaces that have cracks
- Waterworks (A-16) – centered on activities that allow water to be produced and distributed, such as excavations and other related concrete and electrical works. This license also includes the installation, use, and maintenance of equipment that allows water distribution and storage, and fencing
- Electrical and Transmission lines (A-17) – contractors classified under this license are permitted to work on transmission lines and do the setup and installation of tower lines, underground and guying systems, poles, communication and cellular towers, and street lighting on public right-of-ways. Having this license also allows a contractor to do the installation of electrical equipment under commercial electrical construction works.
- Swimming Pools, including Solar (A-19) – covers the same scope of an A-9 license but it also includes working on solar heating devices
General Commercial Contractor
Only two classifications are available for this category:
- General Commercial Contractor (B-1) – limited to working on structures that can house or enclose people, animals, and movable items, including the construction, repair, or modification of such structures. This license also covers contractors who will not do the actual construction work but will only oversee and manage the project directly or indirectly. However, this does not cover the same scope of work of A-, B-, and B-3 licenses.
- General Small Commercial Contractor (B-2) – commercial construction projects may be performed by contractors under this license, as long as the cost of the entire project, inclusive of labor and materials, does not exceed $2,000,000. This license has the same coverage as that of a B-1 license but it also does not allow the contractor to work on residential projects
For this category, six classifications are available. However, they cannot work on the residential property’s plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC, water wells, pools, and spas, unless specified:
- General Residential Contractor (B-) – can work on all types of residential properties, including as their appurtenances
- General Remodeling and Repair Contractor (B-3) – contractors with this classification are limited to doing repairs and remodeling work only on completed residential structures. This also includes the scope of an R-7 license, but not the scopes of A-, B-1, and B-2 licenses
- General Residential Engineering Contractor (B-4) – licensees can construct and repair various apparatus and accessories that are related or connected to residential buildings. This license also covers the scope of the old B-4R license category, as well as the B-5 and CR-21 license
- General Swimming Pool Contractor (B-5) – permitted to build and do maintenance work on residential swimming pools and spas only, as well as install pool barriers and utilities to the pool equipment from a point of service. This license also covers the scope of work of the old B-5R license classification
- General Swimming Pool Contractor, Including Solar (B-6) – contractors with this license are allowed to install solar heating devices, as well as make the necessary repairs, and do the work scope of the B-5 license
- Pre-Manufactured Spas and Hot Tubs (B-10) – allows a contractor to install hot tubs and spas on residential property, as well as do maintenance and repair work. This also includes installing the mandated pool barriers and utilities that connect to the spa equipment from a point of service
Specialty Residential Contractor
This category covers 41 different classifications, most of which are self-explanatory and enumerates the coverage of each license classification. It also covers installation and repair activities of the specific license classification, as well as those related to it:
- Acoustical Systems (R-1) – covers pre-manufactured acoustical systems only that are installed on ceilings or walls, but does not include working on mechanical and electrical systems
- Excavating, Grading, and Oil Surfacing (R-2) – same as the A-5 license but a contractor can only work on residential property
- Awnings, Canopies, Carports, and Patio Covers (R-3) – also permits a contractor to install concrete slabs and footings
- Boiler, Steamfitting, and Process Piping (R-4) – also covers the addition of new circuits to existing service or sub-panels
- Swimming Pool Service and Repair (R-6) – does not cover the complete replacement of the installed pebbles and plaster on pool decks and interiors and plumbing and electrical work (after the first electrical disconnection on the system)
- Carpentry (R-7)
- Floor Covering (R-8) – also includes the preparation of the surface where the floor coverings will be installed
- Concrete (R-9)
- Drywall (R-10) – includes ceiling grid systems that act as support
- Electrical (R-11)
- Elevators (R-12) – covers elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, orchestra and stage lifts, and moving ramps and walks
- Asphalt Paving (R-13) – such as concrete bumper and asphalt curbs, striping, and headers
- Fencing (R-14) – excludes the installation and maintenance works of retaining walls
- Blasting (R-15) – includes the creation of temporary barricades and shelters, in relation to the use of explosives for construction-related blasting activities
- Fire Protection Systems (R-16) – covers low voltage signaling systems as well
- Structural Steel and Aluminum (R-17) – also includes the reinforcement of steel, as well as their fabrication, cut, layout, and subsequent assembly in the field
- Hardscaping and Irrigation Systems (R-21) – not only covers the installation and maintenance works but also alterations to existing ones
- House Moving (R-22) – excludes building new foundations and connecting utilities
- Ornamental Metals (R-24) – does not cover the installation of stairs and fire escapes
- Masonry (R-31) – also includes the modification of reinforcing steel used in connection to masonry works
- Painting and Wall Covering License (R-34) – includes the surface preparations necessary for installation and painting
- Plastering (R-36) – covers the installation of bases used in coating various surfaces
- Plumbing, Including Solar (R-37) – has the same scope of work as that of the old R-37R and R-37R license classifications
- Signs (R-38) – also covers the necessary posts, electrical wirings, supports, and poles
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Including Solar (R-39) – includes the same work scope of the former R-39R license classification
- Insulation (R-40)
- Septic Tanks and Systems (R-41) – includes the installation, repair, and excavation of backfills, pipes, and compact soil in relation to the sewage systems
- Roofing (R-42) – includes weatherproofing and roof accessories installation. This license also allows a contractor to add skylights, as well as its replacement and that of up to 10% of the roof’s total substrate square footage, only if the substrate issues were discovered sometime after the start of the initial contract
- Sheet Metal (R-45)
- Ceramic, Plastic, and Metal Tile (R-48) – also includes the preparation of any surface where the various materials will be installed
- Drilling (R-53) – focuses on wells and includes exploratory drilling and test boring, as well as installing and repairing other related equipment and materials
- Water Conditioning Equipment (R-54) – also allows a contractor to do work that are related to the equipment, as well as do repairs and installation on fittings, pipes, concrete supports, electrical control panels (that need grounding devices and do not exceed 25 V), and valves
- Welding (R-56)
- Finish Carpentry (R-60) – specifically millwork
- Carpentry, Remodeling, and Repairs (R-61) – limited to contracts that do not cost more than $50,000 and excludes plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work
- Minor Home Improvements (R-62) – restricted to contracts not exceeding $5,000 and does not include structural work, as well as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems
- Appliances (R-63) – does not include work on plumbing, gas, and electrical lines
- Glazing (R-45) – includes the use of sealants, weatherproofing, adhesives, and caulking, in relation to the use of window film and treatments, glass products, and steel and aluminum glass holding members
- Low Voltage Communication Systems (R-67)
- Reinforcing Bar and Wire Mesh (R-70) – also includes post-tension
General Dual Engineering Contractor
Four classifications are available for this category, and these are:
- Dual Engineering (KA-) – combines the scope of the A- and B-4 licenses
- Dual Swimming Pool Contractor (KA-5) – covers the work scope of both A-9 and B-5 licenses
- Dual Swimming Pool Contractor Including Solar (KA-6) – has the same scope of work of both A-19 and B-6 licenses
- (KE) – under restriction of the Registrar
General Dual License Contractor
Only has three classifications available. However, any of these licenses, though broader in coverage, does not allow a contractor to do electrical, plumbing, HVAC, water well, and swimming pool and spa work:
- Dual Building Contractor (KB-1) – combination of the B- and B-1 licenses. This allows a contractor to do general contracting work, particularly construction and repairs in both residential and commercial buildings and structures, as well as the supervision of those projects.
- Dual Residential and Small Commercial (KB-2) – covers the scope of B- and B-2 licenses, which means that the contractor can do any general contracting work but only for commercial projects that cost $2,000,000 at maximum and any residential project
- (KO) – under restriction by the Registrar
Specialty Commercial Contracting
These licenses under this classification are the commercial licenses version of the specialty residential contracting licenses. This means that even the scope of their work is the same and they only differ in work setting and, in some cases, have additional scope that its counterpart does not cover. Only the differences will be mentioned on the list below. Note that there are also some licenses exclusive to both specialty residential and specialty commercial contracting:
- Acoustical Systems (C-1)
- Awnings, Canopies, Carports, and Patio Covers (C-3)
- Boilers, Steamfitting, and Process Piping (C-4)
- Swimming Pool Service and Repair (C-6) – includes the replacement of commercial pools and their accessories and other connected apparatus, as well as doing maintenance work on them
- Carpentry (C-7)
- Floor Covering (C-8)
- Concrete (C-9) – also covers activities that are construction-related, such as excavation, grading, trenching, and backfilling
- Drywall (C-10)
- Electrical (C-11) – excludes work on public right-of-ways and is limited to working on systems that do not exceed 600 V.
- Elevators (C-12)
- Fencing (C-14) – also includes highway guard rails
- Blasting (C-15) – also covers mining and geological exploration
- Fire Protection Systems (C-16) – covers systems using chemicals, water, steam, or gas, as well as the necessary works for their installation and repair
- Hardscaping and Irrigation Systems (C-21) – does not cover misting systems and outdoor kitchens that are exposed or free-standing
- Ornamental Metals (C-24)
- Lightweight Partitions (C-27)
- Masonry (C-31)
- Painting and Wall Covering (C-34)
- Plastering (C-36)
- Plumbing (C-37) – limited to working within a property and also covers work on water-supply-related fixtures, piping, and appliances, as well as those for natural and manufactured gases and certain heating systems. Connections and lines of water, gas, and sewer systems can only be installed on private right-of-ways and cross easements, both public and private, but not intersect with them. Contractors are not allowed to use pipes that are bigger in size compared to the standard ones used when installing them across private property
- Signs (C-38)
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (C-39) – also covers work on the radiant type, “dry,” and “wet” heating systems and ventilation systems
- Insulation (C-40)
- Septic Tanks and Systems (C-41)
- Roofing (C-42)
- Sheet Metal (C-45)
- Ceramic, Plastic, and Metal Tile (C-48)
- Commercial, Industrial Refrigeration (C-49) – covers work on perishable and food refrigeration systems and other related cooling equipment, but it does not cover air conditioning used for comfort
- Water Well Drilling (C-53) – covers the creation of new water wells and the deepening and repair of existing ones, as well as taking photographs of the interiors and construction of fences but only if it is part of the initial contract
- Water Conditioning Equipment (C-54)
- Welding (C-56)
- Wrecking (C-57)
- Comfort Heating, Ventilating, Evaporative Cooling (C-58) – covers various comfort-oriented heating systems and allows a contractor to work on its related equipment
- Finish Carpentry (C-60)
- Carpentry, Remodeling, and Repairs (C-61)
- Appliances (C-63)
- Glazing (C-65)
- Low Voltage Communication Systems (C-67)
- Reinforcing Bar and Wire Mesh (C-70)
- Boilers, Steamfitting and Process Piping, Including Solar (C-74) – allows work on various heating systems, as well as their appurtenances. This also covers the addition of a new circuit to existing sub-panels and service panels, but not the creation of new sub-panels and service panels
- Plumbing Including Solar (C-77) – may work anywhere as long as it is inside the property and the connections or lines of sewers, gas, and water may only cross, not run parallel to, right-of-ways and public easements
- Solar Plumbing Liquid Systems Only (C-78) – limited to working on solar water heating systems, which includes direct or open loop, indirect or closed loop, and thermosyphon, that have operating temperatures of up to 200 ˚F and does not use air as a transfer medium. It also covers work on those for swimming pools
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Including Solar (C-79) – covers evaporative cooling, ventilation, refrigeration, and heating systems
Specialty Dual License
Licenses under this classification basically combine the work scope of the residential and commercial contractor licenses of the same scope:
- Acoustical Systems (CR-1) – combining the C-1 and R-1 licenses, it allows a contractor to work on pre-manufactured acoustical systems that can be installed on ceilings and walls of a commercial or residential property
- Excavating, Grading and Oil Surfacing (CR-2) – combines the scope of the A-5 and R-2 licenses, which excludes excavation of wells for oil, gas, or water
- Awnings, Canopies, Carport and Patio Covers (CR-3) – covering the C-3 and R-3 licenses, it allows a contractor to manufacture concrete slabs and footings that are necessary for the installation and repair of the following: paneled and screened enclosures that are not used for habitation and whose wall area is comprised of 60% screening material, door hoods, awnings of windows, canopies that are either connected to a structure or detached, skirting and flashing, fascia panels, patio and carport covers (constructed using plastic, fabric, metal or fiberglass), and independent storage units that are crafted using metal and measure up to 200 square feet only
- Boilers, Steamfitting, and Process Piping (CR-4) – as it covers both C-4 and R-4 licenses, a contractor with this license may do the installation, maintenance, and alteration in any residential or commercial property of various types of boilers and hot water and steam systems, as well as any of their related appurtenances and equipment, such as fittings, burners, chimney connections, water and fuel lines, electrical and pneumatic controls, etc. This license also allows a contractor to set up and connect a new circuit to the existing sub or service panels, but not the creation of new panels
- (CR-5) – under restriction by the Registrar
- Swimming Pool Service and Repair (CR-6) – combining the scope of the C-6 and R-6 licenses, a contractor is permitted to do maintenance works and even the replacement of swimming pools and their appurtenances. However, the replacement of pools is limited to those considered as commercial ones. This license also does not include plumbing and electrical work beyond the initial disconnection, as well as replacement of decks and pool interiors that are made up of pebble or plaster
- Carpentry (CR-7) – covers the C-7 and R-7 licenses, which involves millwork, metal studs, doors, or door frames, rough and finish carpentry, and windows, particularly their maintenance works and installation in both residential and commercial property
- Floor Covering (CR-8) – the combination of the C-8 and R-8 license allows a contractor to do the application of various floor materials, specifically wood, floor tile, carpet, linoleum, rubber, vinyl, concrete coating, and asphalt on the floors of any commercial or residential property. It also includes preparatory work on the surface where any of those materials will be placed
- Concrete (CR-9) – combines the C-9 and R-9 licenses, which allows a contractor to do concrete-related work, such as construction and repair works, in residential and commercial property. This license also covers equipment used in conjunction with concrete and concrete products
- Drywall (CR-10) – having the same scope of the C-10 and R-10 licenses, this license allows the contractor to build and maintain different types of walls, specifically steel wall partitions that are lightweight and bear no load, ceiling grid systems that support gypsum drywalls, tape and texture of wall boards, gypsum wall board, and partitions that are transferrable, in both commercial and residential property
- Electrical (CR-11) – with the combination of the C-11 and R-11 licenses, it allows a contractor to work on any electrical system in a residential property, including the setup and maintenance works, and on the electrical systems, wiring, and equipment of a commercial property that have a load not exceeding 600 V. When working on commercial property, a contractor may work on the overhead wirings used in street decorations and signs that can be found on public right-of-ways, but he or she may not do work on public right-of ways themselves. As long as it does not exceed 600 V, the contractor can also do the necessary modifications, setups, and repairs on underground electrical systems that are connected to private property.
- Elevators (CR-12) – follows the scope of the C-12 and R-12 licenses, which allows a contractor to do the maintenance works and the set-up of the following in a residential or commercial building: escalators, elevators, dumbwaiters, lifts on orchestras and stages, and ramps and walks that move
- Fencing (CR-14) – the combination of the C-14 and R-14 license permits a contractor to do the install and maintenance work of fences only and not the retaining walls. Fences covered include automatic gates, fences constructed using wood, cement block, and metal, guards for animals (like cattles) and on highways, and electrical fences that are U.L.-approved and use low voltage that do not exceed 100 W and 25 V
- Blasting (CR-15) – covers the scope of the C-15 and R-15 licenses, which indicates that a contractor may use various explosives and devices for such in doing demolitions, excavations, mining, explorations for geological purposes, and in relation to construction activities. This also covers the formation of temporary barricades, shelters, and other similar structures that can be used in these activities
- Fire Protection Systems (CR-16) – with the coverage of the C-16 and R-16 licenses, this license lets a contractor set-up and do maintenance work on fire prevention and protection systems, including as those that use chemicals, steam, gas, or water. This also covers any equipment that are connected to these systems, as well as systems used in workplaces, such as protection systems for restaurant hoods, sprinklers, pressure tanks and those used in storage, and fire pumps. Also covered by this license are pressurized chemicals and air compressors, inert gases that are bottled, controls that are electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulic, conducting system tests and flushing, and the application of different substances that can prevent freezing or corrosion of any equipment or apparatus, among others
- Steel and Aluminum Erection (CR-17) – combines the A-11 and R-17 licenses, which allows a contractor to work with aluminum materials and structural steel and their modification using different materials
- Hardscaping and Irrigation Systems (CR-21) – has the scope of the C-21 and R-21 licenses that lets a contractor do various kinds of work on residential and commercial irrigation systems, as well as hardscaping. It covers work, specifically the set-up, alteration, and maintenance work, on the following (from the finish grade): fences, screens, and decorative walls that are as far as six feet at maximum, wooden decks that have a maximum height of 29 inches, and retaining walls that are up to three feet high from the lower elevation. Contractors can also work on concrete partition walls, open-type driveways, walkways, and patios, landscape lighting that are considered low voltage, outdoor misting systems of residential property, freestanding water features, barbecues, fire pits, or fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens that are left exposed and detached from a residential building. Certain electrical, plumbing, and gas work may only be done on fireplaces and standalone fire pits and barbeques, but not for others. Note that this license also does not allow a contractor to build new rooms and pools, coat the pool decks, blasting and perimeter fencing activities, and work on outdoor kitchens that are covered and concrete driveways
- Ornamental Metals (CR-24) – not covering work on stairs and fire escapes, this license combines the scope of the C-24 and R-24 licenses, which allows the contractor to modify, service, or install various ornamental metals that are not used for structural purposes
- Machinery (CR-29) – under the restriction of the Registrar
- Masonry (CR-31) – combines the C-31 and R-31 licenses that deal with installation and repair of the following in any residential or commercial structure: marble and stone, adobe and brick, masonry and those products that do not contain mortar, concrete forms that are insulating, and slate. This license also allows the contractor to work with reinforcing steel in relation to masonry work, by means of caulking, welding, grouting, sand blasting, cleaning, parge, tuckpointing, and mortar washing
- Painting and Wall Covering (CR-34) – combines the C-34 and R-34 licenses, which means that a contractor can paint on walls and apply different types of wall coverings, as well as do retouches and repairs. A contractor can also prepare the surface of the walls where the paint or wall covering will be applied on
- Plastering (C-36) – with the scope of the C-36 and R-36 licenses, this lets a contractor cover various surfaces with mixes of acoustical plaster, mixtures of sand, cement, gypsum plaster, and interiors of pools (excluding tiles) using sprays or trowels. This also covers the formation of required metal grid systems and studs, laths, and different bases needed for plastering activities
- Plumbing (CR-37) – covers residential and commercial gas, sewer, and water plumbing systems, including those for hot water and cooling systems in commercial properties, that are within the scope of the C-37 and R-37 licenses, as well as the former R-37R classification. A contractor can also do the installation and maintenance works of the fixtures, equipment, and piping that are connected to the water and sewage systems, as well as those that involve both natural and manufactured gases, in a commercial property. This license also covers the installation of gas, water, and sewer lines to the nearest public supply or disposal point from the property, as long as they cross private or public easements or are located in right-of-ways or private easements. However, this does not let the contractor install pipes that run parallel to the main lines in right-of-ways or public easements. This also includes doing solar-related work on residential properties.
- Signs (CR-38) – a combination of the C-38 and R-38 licenses, this lets the contractor install and maintenance work not only on displays, signs, and flagpoles, but also the electrical wirings and posts, poles, or any other similar support structures. This also covers paintwork on those structures
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (CR-39) – combines the C-39, R-39, and the former R-39R licenses, which allows the contractor to install heating, ventilation, evaporative cooling, and air conditioning systems designed for comfort and refrigeration systems for both residential and commercial property, as well as the related solar equipment but only for residential structures. In commercial properties, the contractor may work on “wet”, radiant, and “dry” evaporative cooling system types, with the wet systems including baseboard convectors, and hot water and steam coils and boilers, and dry systems like space heaters and fired furnaces, as well as eon equipment that work with ventilation systems. The contractor may also install new circuits to the panels of residential and commercial structures, particularly the sub and service panels, but they are not allowed to create new panels.
- Insulation (CR-40) – covering the C-40 and R-40 licenses, a contractor can use materials that are considered as insulating and insulation protecting, as well as architectural acoustical materials that are pre-formed, for insulation in commercial and residential structures.
- Septic Tanks and Systems (CR-41) – combines the scope of the C-41 and R-41 licenses, which lets the contractor do pipework and excavation work in connection to the installation and servicing of leaching fields, septic tanks, and aerobic digesters. This also includes working on backfills and compact soil
- Roofing (CR-42) – this license, which covers the C-42 and R-42 licenses, allows the contractor to set up, install, and do maintenance and servicing works on roofs and their related accessories, like gravel stops, valleys, flashings, and sheet metal. Only the following types are permitted to be installed by the contractor: slate, roof tile and insulation, urethane foam, shingles, coatings on roof decks or above it, and metal roofing systems. Weatherproofing can also be applied by the contractor using materials common to the work, such as tar, asphaltum, glass fabric, felt, flax, or pitch. This license also lets the contractor replace existing skylights or install new ones on the roof, as well as lift equipment and apparatus considered as HVAC to let them do their roofing work properly. A contractor may only do roof substrate replacement for up to 10% of its square footage if the substrate issues were discovered once the work has already commenced.
- Sheet Metal (CR-45) – covers the work scope of the C-45 and R-45 licenses, which allow the contractor to work on different types of sheet metals and those that require it
- Ceramic, Plastic and Metal Tile (CR-48) – combines the C-48 and R-48 licenses and this lets the contractor not only install the tiles in any commercial or residential structure but also do preparatory work on the surface where they will be installed, as well as install tub enclosures and shower doors if it is included in the contract. The tiles that may be used are: paver, ceramic, terrazzo, clay, stone and quarry like slate and marble, ordinary and glass mosaic, faience, plastic, and metal
- Water Well Drilling (CR-53) – having the scope of the C-53 and R-53 licenses lets the contractor build wells, as well as install related equipment, or deepen existing ones and do any other related work, such as repairs, exploratory drillings, and test boring. But when using test pumps, the horsepower must not be more than 5 HP. The inside of the wells on commercial property may also be photographed by the contractor using the appropriate equipment for it. The contractor is also permitted to construct fences within the perimeter and concrete pump bases that measure up to 50 square feet in commercial property.
- Water Conditioning Equipment (CR-54) – combines the C-54 and R-54 licenses, which deals with exchange tanks, equipment for water conditioning, and indirect waste pipes, including related accessories, in terms of their installation and maintenance works, in both commercial and residential property. This also includes grading, trenching, and backfilling
- Welding (CR-56) – combination of the C-56 and R-56 licenses
- Wrecking (CR-57) – covers the C-57 and R-57 licenses
- Comfort Heating, Ventilating, Evaporative Cooling (CR-58) – combines the former R-39R and C-58 licenses
- Finish Carpentry (CR-60) – millwork-oriented work, covered by the C-60 and R-60 licenses, can be done by the contractor in residential and commercial structures. This includes the construction of doors using metal, door trims, and door closers that are automatic, cabinets and countertops, wood floorings, and case sash
- Carpentry, Remodeling and Repairs (CR-61) – applicable to residential and commercial projects that cost a maximum of $50,000 in terms of materials and labor, this license is a combination of the C-61 and R-61 licenses and lets the contractor do general contractor work, such as maintenance and servicing work, alterations and remodels, replacements, and additions to already completed structures. However, this does not cover work in the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC trade, which needs to be worked on by a licensed contractor of that particular trade
- Reinforcing Bar and Wire Mesh (CR-62) – discontinued and has been changed to the CR-70 license
- Appliances (CR-63) – combines the C-63 and R-63 licenses
- Glazing (CR-65) – covers the C-65 and R-65 licenses, which focuses on glass and window treatments
- Seal Coating (CR-66) – follows the scope of the A-15 and R-13 licenses, which is oriented towards residential paved areas constructed using asphalt and the application of seal coating to those surfaces in a commercial setting
- Low Voltage Communication Systems (CR-67) – covers the work of C-67 and R-67 licenses, which includes the construction of antenna towers
- Asphalt Paving (CR-69) – combines the A-14, A-15, and R-13 licenses, which authorizes the contractor to install paved areas, including the placement of concrete and asphalt bumper curbs, striping, and headers, and do maintenance work on them in both residential and commercial properties. Contractors can also use fine grading and apply them on public spaces, such as streets, tracks, courts, play areas, highways, and various driveways. A contractor may also do grading and excavation work in order to raise the height of sewage and drainage facilities and equipment, such as sewer cleanouts and access holes, drain gates, and storm drains, if this is required to complete the project. Seal coating may also be applied by the contractor on the surfaces covered in asphalt
- Reinforcing Bar and Wire Mesh (CR-70) – replaces the CR-62 license and covers the C-70 and R-70 licenses
- Boilers, Steamfitting and Processpiping, Including Solar (CR-74) – covers the scope of the C-74 and R-4 licenses, which deals with work on boilers and hot water and steam systems, as well as any connected equipment
- Plumbing Including Solar (CR-77) – combination of the C-77 and R-37 licenses
- Solar Plumbing Liquid Systems Only (CR-78) – combination of the C-78 and former R-37R license
- Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Including Solar (CR-79) – covers the C-79 and R-39 license, which involves working on heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and cooling systems for comfort, as well as their connection with solar equipment
- Sewers, Drains and Pipe Laying (CR-80) – includes the A-12 and former R-37R licenses
How to Get a Contractor’s License and the Advantages of Getting One
Contractors, regardless of classification being applied for, follow the same process in order to obtain their respective licenses in Arizona. Licenses, no matter the classification, are valid for two years and are renewable. The following apply to all contractors:
- Individuals or sole proprietors, corporations, or limited liability companies must employ someone that has the necessary learnings, experience, and abilities who will serve as the qualifying party for the application. This person, as well as all those indicated in the application, must be 18 years old and above.
- All listed persons, which includes owners and those who have controlling shares amounting to 25% of the company, partners, qualifying parties, those part of a limited liability company, directors, and officers, have the responsibility in terms of contracting work of the business
- Limited liability companies and corporations are required to be registered and in good standing with the state’s Corporation Commission.
- Those who must apply for a contractor license include subcontractors and consultants that will oversee or manage a project
- Upon issuance of the contractor license, this will be under the ownership of the business, not the listed qualifying party
- Unless qualified for a waiver, applicants must take the respective qualifying exams for their trade. This waiver does not apply for the business exam
You must do the following to apply for a contractor license in Arizona:
- Name your business’s qualifying party who will be the representative throughout the license application process
- Meet the requirements in terms of years and level of experience, which you can find a full list here: https://roc.az.gov/sites/default/files/files/2017_License_Classification_Requirements.pdf. This list also indicates the exams required to be taken for the different license classifications
- Register with the https://candidate.psiexams.com/registration/displayagencylicenses_home.jsp and get a score of 70% and up on the required business management, trade, and solar exams, unless you are exempted from taking it. All qualifying parties are required to take the business management exam, but not all need to sit in for the trade and solar exams
- Both the qualifying party and applicant must undergo background checks. They are required to present evidence of this by including copies of their proof of payment, which is their transaction receipt, in the application packet
- If applicable, a legal entity must be created and then registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission
- Provide the required license bond and include evidence of your payment in your application packet, as well as copies of identification of both the applicant and qualifying party that have been issued by the government. The bonds required will depend on the type of license and the gross volume of the work. You may check https://roc.az.gov/bond-information for a full list of the bond fees.
- Make payment for all the fees required for the license. Arizona requires that contractors pay the application, examination, and license fees, as well as the recovery fund assessment required for certain licenses. Every exam costs $56 and the examination fees are directly paid to PSI Exams Online. The following are the total fees required to be paid by applicants for new licenses, excluding the examination fees: $780 for General Commercial Contractors, $580 for Specialty Commercial Contractors, $870 for General Residential Contractors, $720 for Specialty Residential Contractors, $1,050 for General Dual Contractors, and $850 for Specialty Dual Contractors
- Completely fill out the application form, as well as the other required forms, and insert this in your application packet, which must be submitted to the Registrar of Contractors at P.O. Box 6748, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748 by mail or have it delivered to the following address: 1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 105, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812. These forms may be found at https://roc.az.gov/forms.
Why You Should Go and Get Yourself Licensed
Arizona’s Registrar of Contractors is strict when it comes to issuing licenses, and even more so when it comes to going after unlicensed contractors. This is because part of the mandate of the Registrar is to do investigative work on contractors being complained on, both licensed and unlicensed. With the exception of those under the state’s “handyman exception,” which covers contractors who work on certain projects considered minor or casual that have a total cost not exceeding $1,000, any unlicensed contractor will be subjected to fines, or even sentencing for repeat offenders. Fines for unlicensed contractors do not go lower than $1,000 and they may be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which may lead to you being jailed for up to six months.
The state even has legislation regarding unlicensed contractors, which you can read for yourself at https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=http://www.azleg.gov/ars/32/01121.htm. Not only that, the state also has a wall of shame of sorts for contractors that are unlicensed and have been caught by the Registrar. You can view this online database at https://www.azroc.gov/roc/unlicensedviolations.html and the most wanted list of unlicensed contractors at https://roc.az.gov/roc-wanted. You don’t want to belong to any of these lists, do you?
The Importance of Hiring a Contractor with a License
Horror stories involving unlicensed contractors are quite common and as a homeowner, you do not want to experience that headache. Imagine having to hire a contractor for your contract worth $1,500 but eventually requiring you to shell out an additional $4,000 just to do repairs on the less than stellar job done by the unlicensed contractor. This scenario is common for those homeowners who were willing to take the risk of hiring unlicensed contractors, believing that they would be able to save money by doing so. Very rare are the times when a homeowner does indeed save money by doing so. Unfortunately, the risks far outweigh the possible benefits.
Fortunately, Arizona penalizes those unlicensed contractors who would be caught. Despite this, however, it still does not really benefit the homeowner. This is because it generally takes a very long time before court-mandated refunds, whether a fraction of it or in full, may be received by the homeowner. We’re talking about years, on average.
While some contractors aren’t required to obtain their licenses for certain projects that do not amount to $1,000, you still need to err on the side of caution and go for licensed contractors. Save yourself the headache and the unnecessary expenses. Many homeowners learned their lesson the hard way.
Arizona Contractor License Search & Lookup
The Registrar of Contractors of the state maintains an online database where anyone can verify the licenses of contractors. You may check the status of the license of a contractor at https://roc.az.gov/contractor-search. The state also has a Posting List that has the names of all contractors that are currently licensed in the state. This can be accessed at https://roc.az.gov/posting-list.
Biggest Cities and Towns
Are you a contractor who wishes to work somewhere in Arizona? Fortunately, the contractor licenses issued at the state-level by the Registrar of Contractors is generally recognized throughout the different cities and towns of the state. This means that if you got your license anywhere in Arizona, you can do contracting work in any other city or town as well, even in the biggest ones like Mesa, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Scottsdale. However, you still need to check with the town or city government for any other requirements that you need to submit before doing any contractor work in their area, aside from your Arizona-issued contractor license, of course.
Contractor license exceptions generally apply to the different cities and towns, in accordance to the Arizona Revised Statutes, specifically those covered by 32-1121A. If the exception applies to you, you need to fill out the application form for exemption and submit it to the city or town government.
City of Phoenix
If you plan to do any contracting work in the city of Phoenix, you should know that their rule is that any contractor that will work on a single-family dwelling contract, as well as on a commercial contract, that amounts to more than $750 is required to be licensed. This is instead of the $1000 contract cost minimum threshold set by the state. You can learn more about this ruling at https://www.phoenix.gov/pddsite/Documents/TRT/dsd_trt_pdf_00371.pdf#search=contractor%20license.
City of Mesa
While subcontractors are required by the state to obtain their contractor licenses as well, it is a different story when it comes to taxation in the city of Mesa. This is because only the contractors, and not subcontractors, are required to pay taxes in the city. You can check this for more information: https://www.mesaaz.gov/business/tax-audit/tax-information/transaction-privilege-tax/construction-contracting.
However, contractors are still required to register with the city before doing any contracting work. If you will be doing any contracting work here, make sure to register first through this website: https://www.mesaaz.gov/business/fire-prevention/contractor-registration. Contractor registrations in this city are handled by the city’s Fire and Medical Department.
City of Scottsdale
Contractors, before they can work in any of the city of Scottsdale’s Housing Rehabilitation Programs, must first submit their application to the city. If you plan to work on any of their three programs for it, you can download the application form at https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/Social+Services/housing/Contractor+Application.pdf. Even if you get approval, you need to apply for this program each year.
Town of Gilbert
Before you can work as a contractor in the town of Gilbert, you also need to register with their Fire Prevention Division, in accordance to their laws. You can register online at https://www.gilbertaz.gov/departments/fire-and-rescue/fire-prevention/contractor-registration.
Contractor License Reciprocity
Fortunately, Arizona has license reciprocity agreements with some other states, specifically Utah, Nevada, and California. This means that if you are issued a contractor license in Arizona, you can get the same type of license or its equivalent in the reciprocal state without having the need to fulfill every single requirement for applicants who want to obtain a contractor license there, including passing the required trade exams. However, contractors issued licenses in any of those three states are still required to take the Business Management exam of Arizona.
You can find the requirements for contractors who want to be licensed using the reciprocity agreement, per state, below:
- Utah – your experience in the trade in either Utah or Arizona must be equal to the amount required by the other state. You can refer to https://dopl.utah.gov/licensing/contractor_reciprocate_charts.html for the complete list of contractor license classifications conversion between Utah and Arizona. You also need to fulfill Utah’s bond requirement.
- Nevada – you may be exempted from taking the trade exams if you have a valid license issued in Arizona, but plumbing and electrical contractors still need to take their trade exams in Nevada to get their license in that state. Nevada also requires that you present proof that you were issued your Arizona contractor license and this has been valid for at least the last five years out of seven.
- California – despite having your license bond in Arizona, you still need to show proof that you have a license bond in California worth $15,000. You may be granted an examination waiver for both states but you still need to take California’s Business Law exam before you may be granted a license. You can also check the list of reciprocal license classifications between Arizona and California at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Contractors/Applicants/Reciprocity/Reciprocal_Classifications_List.aspx.