License Reciprocity for Oklahoma HVAC Contractors

Written by Kacie Goff

Getting a mechanical HVAC license in Oklahoma requires a fair bit of work. That might leave you wondering if your license would be valid anywhere else, giving you more bang for your figurative buck.

Similarly, if you’re moving to Oklahoma from another state in which you hold an HVAC license, you might be curious if there’s some sort of reciprocity agreement. That would allow you to get your HVAC license without all of the work of passing the mechanical exam

Long story short, if you want to know which Oklahoma HVAC license reciprocity agreements might apply to you, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s find out. 

Reciprocity agreements (or lack thereof) with other states

The Oklahoma Administrative Codes have a specific section that outlines mechanical license reciprocity, as do the 2014 Oklahoma Statutes. That would make you think that Oklahoma had a reciprocity agreement in place with at least one other state. 

Actually, though, they don’t. While they have everything outlined to make a reciprocity agreement work, the state codes and statutes specifically require that “a written reciprocity agreement exists between the applicant's state and Oklahoma for the license the applicant is seeking.” And as of yet, no such agreement exists.

That’s bad news for your plans to carry your HVAC tradesman license across state lines. But there are still a couple of options you can explore here.  

Where a license from another state can help

While you won’t be a shoo-in for a mechanical HVAC/R license through a reciprocity agreement, your out-of-state license can still help. 

The Oklahoma mechanical license specifically calls for three years of mechanical experience. In Oklahoma, you need to be a registered apprentice to rack up the required hours. But on the mechanical license application, the Construction Industries Board (CIB) specifically says it will count “experience lawfully obtained according to any applicable federal or state laws.” 

That means that if you worked for three+ years as an HVAC tradesman with proper licensure in another state, you should already meet Oklahoma’s experience requirement. 

The temporary journeyman license

If you’re a licensed HVAC tradesman in another state, you might have an opportunity to get a temporary journeyman mechanical license. If the Governor declares a state of emergency after a disaster that destroys living space, the CIB can issue nonrenewable mechanical journeyman licenses to licensed mechanical journeymen from other states. 

There’s a catch here, though. You still need to go through all of the work of getting your Oklahoma HVAC license, save meeting the years-of-experience requirement. Within ten days of starting work in the state, you need to submit the license application (it’s a pretty simple one-page document) and $25 to sit for the mechanical exam. Then, you need to take and pass the exam the very next time the CIB offers it. At that point, you also need to pay a $50 fee for your temporary journeyman license. 

If you’re a licensed HVAC tradesman in the Sooner State, you’ll likely need to go through the licensing process in any other state if you move. Since your Oklahoma HVAC license can’t travel with you, you’re probably going to want to keep it active while you’re here. Don’t forget, that means complete six hours of continuing education every few years.