New Mexico general contractor license and insurance requirements

New Mexico general contractor license and insurance requirements

Courtney Westlake
By Courtney Westlake
Feb 1, 2024
7 min read

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 the state of New Mexico, you’ll first need a license. If you’re wondering how to get a general contractor license and start operating a general contracting business in New Mexico, our guide can help you. We’ll cover:

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 — specifically the Construction Industries Division (CID) — 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 determine 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.

Remember, be detailed when you are filling out the classification request form. For example, do you mainly want to build a niche in residential buildings or work broadly in general buildings? Will you have a specialty such as HVAC, electrical or roofing? State these things on your form.

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.

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.

After clearing a business name, submit your finished license 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, you’ll receive your new license in this envelope.

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 between $150 and $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.

New Mexico contractor license renewals

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

New Mexico contractors 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.

Learn more about general liability for contractors.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance can help cover costs when an employee gets injured at work. If you have three or more employees, you need to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Learn more about Workers’ Comp for construction workers.

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.

In New Mexico, it’s mandatory to have insurance to drive any motor vehicle. Minimum required for insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury of two or more persons
  • $10,000 for property damage

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.

Get started on an instant quote today.

Which states require general contractor licenses? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.

This information has been provided as a service. It is correct and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge; however, it is in no way intended to offer legal advice and you must always consult with local authorities before you make any business decisions. Regulations and requirements may change at any time.

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Courtney Westlake
About the author

Courtney Westlake is a writer and journalist with 10+ years of experience crafting content, specializing in B2B and financial writing. She's contributed to Stripe, HSBC, BigCommerce, Woman’s Day and the TODAY Show.

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