Looking to start working as a general contractor in New Mexico? It may be quite hot during the summer months, but the long-lasting warmth means plenty of construction opportunities year-round.
To operate in New Mexico, the first thing you’ll need is a general contractor license.
If you’re wondering how to get a general contractor license and start operating a general contracting business in New Mexico, here’s everything you need to know:
- Do you need a license to be a general contractor in New Mexico?
- How to get a general contractor license in New Mexico
- NM general contractor license requirements
- New Mexico general contractor license fees
- How to renew a New Mexico general contractor license
- General contractor license reciprocity
- Bond requirements for New Mexico general contractors
- Insurance requirements for New Mexico general contractors
Do you need a license to be a general contractor in New Mexico?
You’ll need to be licensed through the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (NMRLD) to work as a general contractor. This includes general construction work, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and LP gas.
There are harsh penalties if you don’t follow the rules. You’ll be forced to end your construction project, and you could face criminal charges of “unlicensed contracting.”
General contractor license classifications
There are hundreds of license classifications for general contractors in New Mexico. To find out which classification you are, you’ll need to fill out a classification determination request form and send it to New Mexico’s license management company, PSI.
How to get a general contractor license in New Mexico
The first step to getting your general contractor license in New Mexico is to determine the classification of the license or certification you need for your work.
Secondly, check with PSI to ensure the business name you want to use on your license is available.
Because the state won’t issue a license with the same or similar business name as on an existing license, you should get the name cleared before registering with the Secretary of State or applying for a tax ID number.
The last step is to submit your finished application, certificate and license fees. Here’s a list of what you need to include:
- Copy of valid qualifying party certificate (or a copy of your exam score report showing your passing scores on the exams needed for your classification)
- License bond
- Proof of Tax ID number issued by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
- If you’re a corporation, limited partnership or LLC, you’ll also need to provide proof of registration with the Secretary of State
- $30 application fee and $6 certificate fee (both of these are refundable)
- Self-addressed envelope large enough and with sufficient postage to return your application materials if your application is rejected. If your application is accepted, this envelope will be used to send your new license once it has been issued
New Mexico requires applications to be delivered by hand or mail. The address to submit your completed application is: PSI, 2820 Broadbent Pkwy NE, Suite E&F, Albuquerque, NM 87107.
NM general contractor license requirements
The general contractor license requirements include:
- 18 years of age
- Valid USA identification
- Social Security Number or ITIN #
- Not currently on probation or parole
You also need:
- Two or four years of journeyman-level experience (depending on your trade)
- To have passed a business law exam and trade exam through PSI
- Active contractor bond
- To be registered as a legal entity
New Mexico general contractor licensing fees
The fees for a general contractor license are:
- $300 per classification for GB02, GB98, GA98, GF98, EE98, and MM98
- $150 per classification for all other single classifications.
The good news is that the maximum fee for multiple classifications within a category is $300.
If you need a certificate to apply for a license, there are fees involved:
- Contractor License Certificate fee — $6 (per certificate)
- Contractor Qualifying Party Application fee — $30
- Contractor Qualifying Party Certificate fee — $6 (per certificate)
There is also a $30 fee for your contractor license application.
How to renew a New Mexico general contractor license
Your general contractor license is effective for three years. It expires on the last day of the month it was issued.
New Mexico will send you the forms needed to renew your license. You’ll need to submit:
- Renewal application. This needs to be signed, with any outdated information corrected. It also needs to be notarized.
- License renewal fee, payable to PSI
- Your valid code bond on file
- A self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage
If you don’t renew your license before it expires, you’ll get a license suspension notice 15 days later.
General contractor license reciprocity
The state doesn’t accept or recognize licenses from other states. All projects require a certified journeyman licensed in New Mexico.
Bond requirements for New Mexico general contractors
Any New Mexico contractor must post and maintain a $10,000 contractor license surety bond.
Insurance requirements for New Mexico general contractors
Accidents, injuries and property damage are fairly common in construction work, so it’s important to consider the right types of New Mexico business insurance to protect your business.
General Liability insurance
While New Mexico doesn’t have a statewide requirement for liability insurance, it’s definitely in your best interest to protect yourself and your business with a general liability policy. This type of insurance can help cover incidents involving third-party injuries or property damage.
Workers’ Compensation insurance
New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance can help cover costs when an employee gets injured at work. If you have a New Mexico general contractor license, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance, no matter how many employees you have.
Commercial Auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance can help cover liabilities for injuries or property damage if you or an employee is involved in an accident while driving for work.
How NEXT Insurance supports New Mexico general contractors
NEXT has you covered when you need to protect your business and get the general contractor insurance you need.
If you’re looking for an easy and quick way to get a certificate of insurance and apply for coverage, just hop on your computer or mobile device to access our online services.
When it comes to small business insurance in New Mexico, we specialize in coverage for construction professionals. We’ve helped thousands of contractors get the affordable insurance they need.
Which states require general contractor licenses? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.