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General Contractor Licensing in New Mexico

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According to the Construction Industries Licensing Act, all General Contractors are required to hold a license before bidding on or engaging in work on construction projects in the State of New Mexico.  Licenses are issued by the Regulation & Licensing Department’s Construction Industries Division (CID), with the help of PSI Services, Inc.  The CID protects the consumer in New Mexico by making sure that all contractors meet a list of requirements before they are issued a license.

All General Contracting businesses in the State of New Mexico are required to employ a qualifying party who has work experience in the license classification that the business is applying for.  All businesses are also required to prove financial responsibility and hold the proper insurance and bonding.  The qualifying party is also responsible for taking and passing a qualifying examination.  The CID holds a contract with PSI Services Inc. to review applications and administer the exam.

*In addition to General Contractors, all plumbing, electrical, mechanical and LP gas contractors are also required to hold a license from the CID.  

License Classifications in New Mexico

The CID offers hundreds of different license classifications to contractors.  Each classification is represented by a letter and number.  General Contractors are likely to choose from one of the General Construction Classifications, such as:

  • Residential Building Contractor License- GB-2
  • General Building Contractors- GB-98
  • Building Specialties Contractor- GS-1 through GS-30

To view the list of classifications and read about the scope of work that each classification is allowed to perform, please visit:

http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/parts/title14/14.006.0006.htm

A list of classifications is also found in the New Mexico Administrative Code Book.  Copies of this book are available by visiting:

http://www.rld.state.nm.us/cid

OR

By calling the CID at:

505-827-7030

If the contractor is unsure which license classification they should apply for, they can fill out and submit a Classification Determination Request Form.  PSI will then help the contractor decide which classification best suites their business.  For a copy of this form, click the link below:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/PSI_CLASSIFICATION_DETERMINATION_REQUEST.pdf

*The Classification Determination Request Form does not substitute any of the other licensing steps.  It is simply a tool to help contractors determine the classification for which they should apply.  

Process to Obtain a General Contractors License in New Mexico

  1. All applicants must be at least 17 years of age
  2. All business entities must employ a qualifying party who meets the work experience and examination requirements of the CID.  Sole Proprietors may act as their own qualifying party, as long as they meet the requirements
  3. The qualifying party must have at least 2 to 4 years of full-time work experience in the classification they are applying for.  The work experience requirement varies by classification
  4. The qualifying party must obtain a Qualifying Party Certificate and authorization to take the exam
  5. The qualifying party must take and pass the Business & Law and Trade examination for their license classification
  6. All businesses must hold proper bonding, tax registration, authorization from the New Mexico Secretary of State and worker’s compensation insurance
  7. Contractors must complete and submit the license application, along with all required documents and fees to the CID

Work Experience Requirement

Before a contractor may begin the process of applying for a New Mexico General Contractors license, they must first meet the CID’s work experience requirement.  All contractors must be at least 17 years of age and have between 2 and 4 years of work experience in the license classification for which they are applying.  The person who meets the work experience requirement is known as the qualifying party.  If the business owner themselves does not meet the experience requirement, they may choose someone within their company who meets the requirement to act as the qualifying party.

The exact number of work experience years required depends on the license classification.  For example:

  • General Building Contractors- GB-98- must have at least 4 years or 8,000 full-time hours, of work experience in the field of building contracting and construction.
  • Residential Building Contractors- GB-2- must have 2 years or 4,000 hours of full-time work experience in the field of residential building and construction
  • Building Specialty Contractors- GS-1 through GS-30- must have 2 years or 4,000 hours of full-time work experience in their specialty building trade, such as framing, masonry or roofing, etc.

All work experiences must be within the past 10 years in order to count toward the requirement.  Work experiences must also be verifiable.  In some cases, education and vocational training may count towards part of the required work experience if it was completed at an accredited college, university or vocational program.  For more information, contact PSI at:

877-663-9267

The qualifying party as well as someone with first-hand knowledge, who witnessed the qualifying party’s performance is responsible for filling out an experience affidavit to verify the work experience.  The work experience affidavit is part of the Qualifying Party Certificate Application.

Obtaining a Qualifying Party Certificate

In order to get authorization from the CID and PSI to take the exam, all qualifying parties must obtain certification by verifying their work experiences and submitting a New Mexico Application for Qualifying Party Certificate.  For a copy of the application, click the link below:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/CID_QPA.pdf

Obtaining a qualifying party certificate is the first step toward a General Contractor license in New Mexico.  Complete the qualifying party certificate application and work experience affidavits provided in the packet.  Be sure to read the entire packet and follow all directions.

The qualifying party is required to fill out the “applicant” portion of the work experience affidavit.  Someone with first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s work must fill out the “affiant” section.  The “affiant” section may not be completed by the qualifying party or business owner.  The following people are appropriate choices to fill out the “affiant” section:

  • Current or previous employer
  • Foreman or supervisor who observed the qualifying party’s work
  • Another contractor (other than the business owner/applicant)

Use as many work experience affidavits as necessary to illustrate the qualifying party’s experience.  A separate affidavit is needed for each work experience listed.  A work experience affidavit is also required for each license classification the general contracting business intends to apply for.  The affiant’s signature must be notarized.

There is a $30, non-refundable application fee for the qualifying party certificate.  There is also a $6 certificate fee for each license classification.  Fees must be submitted as two separate payments, in the form of check or money order, made out to “PSI.”

Submit the completed, notarized application and experience affidavits along with the application and certificate fee to PSI.  PSI also requests that applicants include a self-addressed stamped envelope in case there is a need for additional information, or if the application is rejected.

It is important that the person verifying the qualifying party’s work experience provide as much detail as possible.  More detail is better than too little detail, to avoid rejected applications.

Mail or submit the application, documents and fees in-person to:

PSI
2301 Yale Blvd.  S.E.
Ste C-4
Albuquerque, NM 87106

*PSI does not accept faxed or emailed certificate applications.  

For questions, call PSI at:

877-663-9267

Once PSI has reviewed and verified the work experiences and accepted the application, they will issue an approval notice, letting the qualifying party know that they are authorized to take the exam.  Along with the approval notice they will also send the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin.

The qualifying party will have 6 months from the time their application is accepted to take the exam.  If the qualifying party does not register for and take the exam within the 6 month period, their certificate application is withdrawn, and they must complete the process over again, including paying the fees.

The Examination

Once PSI has determined that the qualifying party is eligible to take the exam, they will send all the information needed to register and prepare for the test, including the Candidate Information Bulletin.  To view a copy of the bulletin, click the link below:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/displayBulletinContractor_206.pdf

All qualifying parties are required to take and pass the Business & Law exam, as well as a Trade exam for their license classification.  The exams are multiple choice, open-book, computer-based tests.

In some cases, the CID allows the qualifying party to take a Business & Law course in place of the Business & Law exam.  For more information, call PSI at:

877-663-9267

To view a list of approved Business & Law courses, please visit:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/B_L_APPROVED_COURSES.pdf

The Candidate Information Bulletin contains the exam registration form, a list of suggested study materials and references, as well as sample test questions.  Be sure to review the entire bulletin.

Applicants may register for the exam ONE of the following ways:

  • Online- go to the PSI website and follow the link for new user registration: www.psiexams.com
  • By Phone- call PSI and use their automated system 24 hours a day.  Representative are standing by to assist callers during regular business hours:
    (800) 733-9267
  • Fax- when registering by fax, allow 4 business days for processing.  Fax the registration form and payment information to:
    (702) 932-2666.
  • By mail: allow approximately 2 weeks for processing when submitting the exam registration form by mail.  Complete the exam registration form from the Candidate Information Bulletin.  Mail the registration form and payment to:

PSI Licensure: Certification
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121

The cost to take the Business & Law Exam is $68.88.  The cost to take the trade exam varies, depending on the chosen classification.  However, the General Building trade exam cost is $134.53.  All exam fees are non-refundable.

PSI accepts payments in the form of:

  • Cashier’s Check or Money Order may payable to “PSI”
  • Visa or Mastercard when applying online or by phone or fax

Once PSI accepts the exam registration, it is the applicant’s responsibility to call PSI to schedule their exam once they have registered.   To schedule an exam, call PSI at:  (800) 733-9267

Testing Centers are located in:

  • Santa Fe
  • Albuquerque
  • Las Cruces
  • Farmington
  • Roswell

On the day of the test, examinees should arrive at least 30 minutes for before their scheduled test to allow time for check-in.  They are also required to bring 2 forms of identification:

  1. A government issued photo id with the examinee’s signature; such as a driver’s license or passport
  2. Another form of identification with the examinee’s name and signature; such as a credit card or debit card.

Qualifying parties are required to pass the exam with a minimum score of 75%.  The exam scores appear on the computer screen at the end of the test.  The qualifying party will also receive a printout of their scores.  If the qualifying party does not pass on the first try, the qualifying party must wait 30 days and register again.

Exams scores are valid for 1 year.  The General Contracting business will have one year from the date the qualifying party passes the exam to complete the application process.

Preparing to Submit an Application

Once the qualifying party has received their certificate, and successfully passed the examination, it is time for the business to apply for their license.  For a copy of the license application, please visit:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/CID_Contractor_application.pdf

Be sure to read and follow all instructions in the application packet.  Complete the application entirely.  The CID does not accept applications with missing or incomplete information.  Prior to submitting the application, the business is required to complete the following steps and gather the following documents:

  • All businesses must check with PSI to determine if their business name is available.  The CID and State of New Mexico requires that the contractor have a unique business name, and that the name accurately describe the contractor’s business practices.  Be sure that the business name is available before registering for a tax ID number.  For more information, call PSI at:
    877-663-9267
  • All businesses must register and obtain a tax ID number from the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.  A copy of the current tax ID number showing an official stamp or registration must be submitted along with the licensing application.  For more information, call the Taxation and Revenue Department at:

    505-827-0700

  • All businesses including sole proprietors, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations must be authorized to conduct business in the State of New Mexico.  They must register with the New Mexico Secretary of State.  A copy of the current registration must be submitted with the license application.  The name on the registration and application must match exactly  For more information, call:

    505-827-3600

  • All businesses must submit proof of worker’s compensation insurance along with their application.  The only business that is exempt from holding worker’s compensation is a sole proprietor who is acting as their own qualifying party.  For more information, contact the Worker’s Compensation Administration at:

    505-841-6000

  • All businesses must show financial responsibility by posting a surety bond or cash deposit.  Submit proof of the bond or deposit along with the application.  The bond or deposit amount will determine the size of the project that contractors are allowed to work on.
  • Submit a copy of the qualifying party certificate and exam scores or course certificate, along with the application.  This indicates that the qualifying party has met the requirements and passed the exam.
  • Submit a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the application.  This envelope is used to mail out the contractor’s license if approved, or rejection letter, if rejected.

Once the contractor has gone through all the appropriate steps and gathered all the needed documentation, they may submit their license application and fees.

Submitting an Application

There is a $30 application fee, as well as a $6 fee per certificate that must be submitted with the application.  There is a $300 license fee for every major license classification.  There is a $150 fee for all sub-classifications.  To determine the contractor’s exact license fee amount, call PSI at:

877-663-9267

The license fee and application fee should be submitted as two separate payments.  Payments are accepted in the form of check or money order, made payable to “PSI.”

Applications, documents and fees may be submitted by-mail or in-person to the following locations:

PSI
2301 Yale Blvd.  S.E.
Ste C-4
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Construction Industries Division
2550 Cerillos Road
3rd Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87504

Construction Industries Division
5200 Oakland Avenue NE
Suite C-4
Albuquerque, NM 87113

Construction Industries Division
505 S Main Street
Loretto Town Center
Suite 150
Las Cruces, NM 88004

*The CID recommends submitting the application in-person, when possible, to ensure that all documents and the application are complete.  This avoids rejections and delays in the licensing process. PSI does not accept faxed or emailed certificate applications.  

For further questions about obtaining a General Contractor’s license in New Mexico, contact the CID at:

505-476-4700

Once PSI or the CID has reviewed and accepted the application, the contractor will receive their license in the mail, via the United State Postal Service (USPS).  Once the contractor receives their license, they are only allowed to contract and perform work in the classification for which they are licensed.

How Long is a New Mexico General Contractor License Valid?

General Contractor licenses in the State of New Mexico are good for a period of 3 years.  Licenses expire on the last day of the month that they were issued. Contractors are responsible for maintaining their license and keeping all insurance and bonds up-to-date while their license remains active.  Be sure to notify the CID immediately if there are any changes in the business information, personnel or structure.

All license renewal forms are due at least 30 days before the license is set to expire to allow time for processing.  The contractor and the qualifying party are required to sign the renewal form.

If the license is allowed to expire, the contractor will face penalty fees upon renewal.  All license expired past 90 days are cancelled, and the contractor will have to start the application process all over again.

To obtain a copy of the license renewal form and instruction packet, please visit:

https://public.psiexams.com/pdf/Contractor_License_Renewal_Form.pdf

Be sure to read and follow all directions in the renewal packet.

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$30 plus $6 per certificate Qualifying Party Application and Certificate Fee Upon submitting the qualifying party certificate application
$68.88 Cost to take the Business & Law Portion of the Exam Upon registering for the exam
$134.53 or fee varies Cost to take the General Building Trade Exam.  Fees vary for other trade exam classifications Upon registering for the exam
$30 plus $6 per certificate Contractor License Application Fee Upon submitting the contractor license application
$150 to $300 Contractor License Fee Upon submitting the contractor license application
Varies- applicable renewal fee Renewing a Contractor License Every three years upon submitting the license renewal application