How to Get Your New Mexico Contractor License

by Kacie Goff on 2019-07-02 9:00am

About Kacie Goff

If you’re going to be doing construction-related contracting for money in the state of New Mexico, you need to do so under a contractor’s license. Most people work under someone else’s (i.e. their employer’s) license in the early years of their career. But if you’re ready to set out on your own, you can secure your own New Mexico contractor license. 

And don’t worry. Getting your contractor’s license in New Mexico is fairly straightforward. Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know. 

Determine what type of New Mexico contractor’s license you need

The first step toward getting your NM contractor’s license is figuring out which type you need. There are quite a few different New Mexico construction industries and each requires specialized knowledge. You wouldn’t want your plumber installing wiring, after all. 

Make sure you get the right type of license for the work you plan to perform. You can see the full list of classifications here. Finding the classification that pertains to your work will make it easier to ensure you take the right testing to get the type of New Mexico contractor license you need. 

Not sure which classification fits you? You can submit this Classification Determination Form for guidance. 

Become a Qualifying Party

Before you can earn your New Mexico contractor license, you first need to show you qualify for it. You do this by submitting a signed, notarized work experience verification form and a signed, notarized Qualifying Party application. You need to have sufficient experience in one of the following categories to become a qualifying party:

You need two years (4,000 hours) of: 

  • Residential Building (GB-2) and Building Specialties (GS-1 through GS-34)
  • Asphalt Bitumen and Concrete Construction (GA-1 through GA-5)
  • Fixed Works (GF-1 through GF-9)
  • Residential Wiring (ER-1) and Electrical Specialties (ES-1 through ES-10)
  • Mechanical Specialties (MS-3 and MS-6)

Or you need four years (8,000 hours) of:  

  • General Building (GB-98)
  • Asphalt Bitumen and Concrete Construction (GA98)
  • Fixed Works (GF-98)
  • Electrical- Residential and Commercial (EE-98)
  • Electrical Distribution Systems (EL-1)
  • Mechanical (MM-98)
  • Plumbing (MM-1)
  • Natural Gas Fitting (MM-2)
  • HVAC (MM-3)
  • Process Piping (MM-4)
  • Fire Sprinklers (MS-12)
  • Dry Chemical Fire Protection (MS-14)

Once you have both forms complete, send them in along with your payment. You’ll need to pay $30 for your application, along with a $6 fee for each classification type. 

When your qualifying party application is accepted, you’ll get an approval notice. Then, you’ll be able to schedule the exams you need to take. 

Pass the necessary exams

Next up are some tests. Every person seeking a NM contractor’s license needs to complete two exams: a Business & Law exam and a trade specific exam. The trade specific exam will align with the classification you determined for yourself earlier. You’ll need to get 75% of the exam questions right to pass. Not a great test taker? There is an option to complete a New Mexico Construction Industries Division approved online Business & Law Course in lieu of the Business & Law exam. 

Get your logistics in order

You’re almost there! You’ll need a few additional things to get your contractor’s license in New Mexico, including a $10,000 Consumer Protection Code Bond to prove your financial responsibility, a current New Mexico Tax ID number, and proof that your business has been registered with the New Mexico Secretary of State if you’re a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company. 

Gather up those final details and you’re ready to submit your application.

Submit your New Mexico contractor license application

Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to submit your New Mexico Application for Contractor License. Make sure you follow all the instructions on the first two pages (there are some surprising ones, like including a large envelope) and submit the appropriate fees for your license type. 


If your application is approved, you’ll get your New Mexico contractor’s license returned to you in the mail and you can legally start bidding on jobs.