Carpenters in Arizona provide vital construction services for both residential and commercial projects across the state. However, in order to legally operate as a carpenter, proper licensing and insurance coverage is required. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of the licensing and insurance requirements for carpenters in Arizona.

Licensed Carpenters in Arizona

In Arizona, anyone providing carpenter services must hold a valid contractor’s license issued by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). The ROC offers several different classification licenses that cover the various types of carpentry work that can be performed:

R-7 Carpentry License

The R-7 Carpentry license covers general carpentry work and is one of the most common license types held by carpenters in the state. The R-7 classification allows licence holders to provide the following carpentry services for residential projects:

  • Rough carpentry – This involves the preliminary building stages such as framing, roofing, siding installation, and fastening sub-flooring.
  • Finish carpentry – This covers the final trim stage including crown molding, baseboards, railings, stairs, mantles, and cabinetry.
  • Hardware – Installation and repair of door hinges, door knobs, latches, and drawer glides.
  • Millwork – Manufacturing of doors, windows, molding, trim, and decorative woodwork.
  • Metal studs – Installation of metal wall studs and framing.
  • Metal doors/door frames – Installation and repair of metal doors, metal door jambs, and metal frames.
  • Windows – Installation and repair of windows made of various materials.

This license allows carpenters to provide a wide range of carpentry services for residential construction, renovations, remodeling, and repair projects. The work can encompass everything from structural framework to finishing touches.

R-60 Finish Carpentry License

For carpenters that specialize specifically in finish carpentry work, they may obtain the R-60 Finish Carpentry license instead of the more comprehensive R-7 license. The R-60 license focuses on the specialty finish carpentry trades including:

  • Cabinets – Installation and repair of kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and other cabinets.
  • Countertops – Installation and repair of granite, quartz, laminate, tile, concrete, and other countertop materials.
  • Case sash – Trimming out window and door openings.
  • Door trim – Installation of door casing, jambs, and moldings.
  • Metal doors – Installation and repair of metal doors.
  • Automatic door closers – Installation and repair of door closer devices.
  • Wood flooring – Installation and repair of wood, laminate, and engineered flooring.

This license allows carpenters to provide specialty finish work like intricate trim, custom built-ins, and specialty wood flooring. It focuses more on the fine detail work involved at the end stage of construction projects.

R-61 Carpentry, Remodeling and Repairs License

For carpenters primarily involved in remodeling and repair work on existing residential structures and homes, the R-61 Carpentry, Remodeling and Repairs license is most applicable. This license covers general remodeling, additions, replacements, and repairs including:

  • Room additions like sunrooms, attached garages, or second story add-ons
  • Bathroom and kitchen remodels
  • Replacement of flooring, cabinets, countertops, and fixtures
  • Repair of worn or damaged carpentry like walls, trim, railings, stairs, siding, roofing, and decks
  • Upgrades like new exterior doors and windows

This license allows carpenters to provide remodeling and repair services to update, refresh, and fix up existing residential buildings and structures. Cosmetic improvements, renovations, restoration work, and general maintenance all fall under this license’s scope.

Having the proper license ensures carpenters meet the minimum standards for knowledge and experience mandated by the state of Arizona. It also provides accountability and recourse options for consumers that hire licensed carpenters for their projects.

Requirements for a Carpenter’s License

To obtain a carpenter’s license in Arizona, applicants must meet eligibility requirements and complete the license application process through the Registrar of Contractors.

Eligibility Requirements

At minimum, the following criteria must be met to be eligible for a carpenter’s license in Arizona:

  • A Qualifying Party: This is someone who will serve as the primary licence holder and must have the necessary carpentry experience. They will be actively involved in the day-to-day carpentry work of the business. This person’s experience will count toward the minimum requirements. In a small operation, the qualifying party is often the business owner. For larger companies, it may be a head carpenter or project manager.
  • Minimum Experience: Proof of experience must be shown to meet ROC requirements for each license type:
    • R-7 Carpentry – 4 years of documented experience including serving as supervisor, foreman, or manager on 7 completed new construction projects and participation in 8 maintenance or repair projects
    • R-60 Finish Carpentry – No mandated experience requirement
    • R-61 Carpentry, Remodeling and Repair – 4 years of documented experience including participation in 15 maintenance, repair, remodeling, or small addition projects
  • Exams: A passing score must be achieved on the Business Management exam (must be completed by the qualifying party) and the applicable carpentry exam (must be completed by the qualifying party). Exams are computer-based and administered at PSI test centers located throughout Arizona.
  • Bond: A $2,000 – $10,000 surety bond must be obtained in the business name and proof submitted with the application. Bond amounts vary based on the license type.
  • Fees: All licensing fees set forth by the Arizona ROC must be paid, which includes the application fee, license fee, and recovery fund assessment. Total fees range from $560 – $1,060.
  • Legal Entity: A business entity must be legally established and registered with the Arizona Secretary of State or Arizona Corporation Commission, such as a LLC or corporation. Partnerships must register with the Secretary of State.

Meeting all of these eligibility criteria is essential for candidates to successfully obtain an Arizona carpentry contractor’s license. It ensures applicants have the carpentry project experience, business knowledge, and financial capability required for licensure.

Applying for a License

Once a carpentry license applicant has confirmed they meet the eligibility requirements, they can complete the application process through the Arizona ROC. Below are the steps involved:

  1. Complete Exams: The qualifying party must pass the Business Management exam and the applicable carpentry exam. Exams are computer-based and administered at PSI test centers located throughout the state. Practice exams are available through PSI for prep.
  2. Submit Background Check: The qualifying party and all other individuals named on the business application must complete an Arizona fingerprint background check and submit the payment transaction receipt. Background checks are conducted by the ROC.
  3. Establish Legal Entity: Form a LLC, corporation, or partnership as required for the desired business structure. Obtain paperwork from the Secretary of State or Corporation Commission showing the entity is properly registered and in good standing.
  4. Obtain Bond: Acquire a license bond for the minimum amount dictated by the license type. Bond forms must be completed in the full legal name of the business. Bonds can be obtained from any surety bond company licensed in Arizona.
  5. Prepare Application: Complete the ROC’s contractor license application form including all required supporting documents. Application forms can be found on the Registrar of Contractors website.
  6. Pay Fees: Submit payment at the time of application to cover the license fee, application fee, and recovery fund assessment. Fees range from $560 – $1,060 depending on license type.
  7. Submit to ROC: Applications can be submitted through the ROC’s online portal, mailed to the ROC office, or hand delivered to the ROC office in Phoenix.
  8. License Issued: If approved and no application deficiencies are identified, the ROC will issue the contractor’s license within 7-14 business days. Contractors can then legally bid, contract, and perform carpentry work in Arizona.

Completing each step fully and accurately ensures the best chance for prompt approval. The ROC also offers free application assistance seminars. Obtaining an Arizona contractor’s license requires dedication to the process but opens up business opportunities.

Renewing a Carpenter’s License

In order to maintain an active carpentry contractor’s license, the following renewal requirements must be met every two years in Arizona:

  • Update Company Info: Verify all company information such as addresses is current with the ROC. Update anything that may have changed.
  • Complete CE Hours: The qualifying party must finish 8 hours of continuing education coursework approved by the Registrar of Contractors. This helps build ongoing knowledge.
  • Send Renewal Forms: Renewal affidavits are mailed to license holders by the ROC. Completed renewal paperwork must be returned along with all supporting documents.
  • Pay Renewal Fees: A $450 renewal fee must be submitted which covers the license for a 2 year period. Late fees apply if renewal is not completed by the expiration date.
  • Obtain Bond: An updated license bond form must be completed and proof submitted to the ROC. Bond renewal is required every 2 years.
  • Conduct Background Check: The qualifying party must complete an Arizona fingerprint background check every 4 years and provide the ROC with a payment transaction receipt as proof.

Meeting these renewal requirements is essential for licensed carpenters to maintain an active status. If a license expires, contractors must cease operations until the renewal steps have been completed. Extensions are granted in limited circumstances only. Staying vigilant on renewals helps avoid disruptions.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Carpenters

For carpenters already holding an active contractor’s license in another state, Arizona does provide license reciprocity options under certain circumstances. This allows qualified carpenters licensed elsewhere to obtain an equivalent Arizona license without completing all standard testing and application requirements.

Arizona has official license reciprocity agreements established with California, Nevada, and Utah. To be eligible for reciprocity, carpenters must:

  • Have an equivalent active carpenter’s license from CA, NV, or UT
  • Pass the Arizona Registrar of Contractor Statutes & Rules exam
  • Pay all Arizona licensing fees

Carpenters that are licensed in other states beyond the pre-approved reciprocity list may still qualify but will need to take the full required Arizona contractor exams. However, they can submit an Exam Waiver Request form to the ROC requesting equivalent credit for exams passed in other states.

Leveraging reciprocity can help licensed out-of-state carpenters transition into operating in Arizona more quickly. However, confirming that all Arizona licensing steps are fully completed is still vital for compliant contracting in the state.

Surety Bond Requirements

An important requirement for Arizona carpenter contractors is carrying an active license bond. Surety bonds provide financial protection to consumers in the event a contractor performs substandard work or fails to fulfill professional obligations. The Arizona ROC mandates the following minimum bond amounts based on license type:

  • R-7 Carpentry License – $4,000
  • R-60 Finish Carpentry License – $2,000
  • R-61 Carpentry, Remodeling and Repairs License – $4,000

Bonds must be obtained in the full legal name of the contracting business. Annual renewal requires an updated bond form be completed and submitted to the Registrar of Contractors to maintain an active status.

If a consumer has a claim against a bonded contractor, they can file a claim with the surety bond company to try to recover financial losses up to the bond amount. This provides a remedy option without having to go through lengthy legal proceedings.

Carpenters can obtain license bonds from any surety bond company authorized to provide contractor bonds in Arizona. The Registrar of Contractors maintains a list of approved bonding companies on its website. Qualifying for a bond will include providing business and personal financial and credit information.

Maintaining the mandated bond minimum serves to protect a carpenter’s business interests as well as providing recourse for damaged consumers. Bond claims or payouts can also impact the ability to secure bonds in the future.

Insurance Requirements

Beyond bonding requirements, the state of Arizona also mandates all licensed carpenter contractors carry adequate general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

General Liability Insurance

This important coverage helps protect carpentry businesses from third party claims alleging bodily injury or property damage. For example, if an employee accidentally damages a client’s property while performing work, the client could file a claim under the carpenter’s general liability policy. Typical recommended general liability limits are:

  • $500,000 per occurrence
  • $1,000,000 aggregate policy limit

Policies can also be extended through endorsements to include completed operations coverage. This covers claims reported after a project has been completed.

Certificates of liability insurance may be required from carpenter contractors as proof of active coverage when bidding jobs, pulled permits, or entering contracts.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees that become injured while working. Per Arizona law, businesses must carry this coverage from the time they hire their first employee.

Arizona is a monopolistic state for workers’ compensation, so policies can only be obtained through the state’s Industrial Commission. Premiums are based on employee job classifications and claims history.

Maintaining proper insurance helps protect carpenter businesses from major liability exposures. Consumers should also verify contractors have active insurance before allowing work to be performed on their property.


Arizona has implemented thoughtful licensing and insurance requirements to advance consumer protection while setting standards for legitimate carpentry contractors. By following the proper steps to obtain and renew a carpenter license, carry a mandated bond, and secure the right insurance policies, carpenters can operate legally, safely, and ethically across the state. Although paperwork and fees are involved, compliance helps carpenters establish trust and credibility with clients seeking qualified remodeling, repair and construction services.