Written by Kacie Goff
If you want to work as a construction contractor in the state of New Mexico, you’ll need a license. That regulation includes New Mexico contractors who perform construction, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and LP gas work. If you’re not sure if your specific work requires a license, you can read through the state’s Construction Industries Licensing Act, NMSA 1978, Section 60-13-3. If you’re doing any of the work outlined in that section, you’re legally required to get your New Mexico contractor license.
Don’t worry. We’ve created this guide to teach you everything you need to know to navigate this process with ease. Here’s a quick overview showing you how to get your New Mexico contractor license.
First things first, you need to figure out which type of license you need. State code outlines quite a few different license classifications. Head to the code we just linked and scroll down to section 18.104.22.168 to see the list of various general construction classifications. Note the name of the classification that best fits the work you plan to do (e.g., GA-2, GB-98).
If you’re not sure which type of license you need, you can submit this Classification Determination Request form. It gets returned to you with information about the license type that’s right for you.
Once you know your license type, it’s time to become a qualifying party (QP). PSI, which oversees the New Mexico contractor licensing process, has a bulletin on how to become a QP with the QP application attached at the end. Complete your application and get it notarized. Then, submit it along with the $36 fee so you can get the state-approval you need to take any required exams (more on that next).
Historically, the New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID) required QPs who want to become licensed contractors to pass two exams: one in business and law and one that focused on their specific license type. Fortunately, if taking tests stress you out, you now have the option to skip the business and law exam and instead complete a CID-approved course on the topic. What’s more, while you can take your course in-person, you also have the option to take your course online so you can finish it at your pace.
After you complete your business and law course, use this PSI webpage to learn more about the additional exam you need to take based on your license classification. Once you input your details, it will open a page telling you how long your exam will be and how much it will cost to take it. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a button where you can download your candidate bulletin to help you prep for your test. At the bottom, there’s a “Sign in or Create an Account” button. Use that to make your account and sign up for your test.
Once you complete your business and law course and pass your classification-specific exam, you’re ready to fill out your New Mexico contractor license application. Carefully read the how-tos, paying special attention to Step Three on that first page. It lays out everything you need to include in your application for it to get CID approval. Be ready to take extra steps in order to complete your application, like securing a bond and getting your New Mexico tax ID number. Also, make sure you pay the right fee for your classification type plus the $30 application fee and $6 certificate fee.
Once you get your packet ready, you can mail it in or submit it in person at:
2820 Broadbent Pkwy NE, Suite E&F
Assuming your application is accepted, the CID mails your New Mexico contractor license to you in the self-addressed envelope you included in your application packet. Once you get it, your license is good for three years. Make sure you stay on top of renewal to keep your license current and keep yourself legally working in the state of New Mexico.