Operating a handyman business legally in New Mexico requires meeting proper licensing and insurance requirements mandated by the state. This comprehensive guide provides handymen with extensive details on licensing, steps to obtain and renew a license, reciprocity, bonding and insurance, and other key compliance information.

Introduction to Licensed Handymen in New Mexico

New Mexico law requires handymen to acquire either a handyman certificate or contractor’s license to perform handyman work within the state. The type of license depends primarily on the handyman’s anticipated gross annual earnings from their services.

A handyman certificate allows individuals to perform minor repairs and simple maintenance tasks while earning up to $7,200 per year. Handymen who expect to earn more than this amount, or who will work on major renovations, repairs or construction projects, must apply for and obtain a contractor’s license instead.

Gaining a full understanding of New Mexico’s licensing requirements for handymen is essential for operating legally and avoiding penalties. This extensive guide provides handymen with the key licensing requirements, procedures for obtaining and renewing a license, reciprocity rules, bonding and insurance needs, and other compliance regulations to follow in New Mexico.

Handyman License Types and Requirements in New Mexico

To legally work as a handyman in New Mexico, individuals must meet licensing requirements based on their gross annual earnings and scope of work:

Handyman Certificate

  • For handymen earning $7,200 or less annually
  • Allows work on minor repairs and general maintenance
  • No eligibility requirements
  • $15 application fee
  • No exams or pre-approval required
  • Submit registration form and pay fee to get certificate

Contractor’s License

  • Required for handymen earning over $7,200 annually
  • Also required for major renovations, repairs, or construction work
  • Two license classes:
  • GB-2 Residential Building – 2 years experience
  • GB-98 General Building – 4 years experience
  • $36 application fee
  • Must pass trade exam and business/law exam
  • Proof of $10,000+ bond required

Meeting the requirements for the appropriate license class is crucial for establishing legal compliance as a handyman in New Mexico. The next sections provide details on obtaining a new license and renewing an existing handyman license.

Step-by-Step Process for Obtaining a New Handyman License in New Mexico

Follow these key steps to acquire either a handyman certificate or contractor’s license as a new applicant in New Mexico:

1. Determine the Appropriate License Type

  • Handyman Certificate if gross annual earnings will be $7,200 or less
  • Contractor’s License for earnings above $7,200 or major renovation/repair work

2. Verify Your Eligibility for the License Type

  • Handyman Certificate has no eligibility requirements
  • Contractor’s License requires meeting experience requirements:
  • GB-2 Residential Building: 2 years hands-on experience
  • GB-98 General Building: 4 years hands-on experience

3. Complete and Submit the License Application

  • Handyman Certificate application available from the Construction Industries Division
  • Contractor’s License application available from PSI Exam Services
  • Include non-refundable application fee:
  • Handyman Certificate: $15 application fee
  • Contractor’s License: $36 application fee

4. Fulfill Testing Requirements (Contractor’s License Only)

  • Must pass CID-administered trade exam based on license class
  • Also must pass Business and Law exam
  • Exams administered by PSI Exam Services

5. Obtain a License Bond

  • All handymen must obtain $10,000+ license bond
  • Shows financial responsibility and protects consumers
  • Must get bond from authorized surety company

6. Acquire Required Insurance Coverage

  • Workers’ compensation insurance required
  • Must meet New Mexico’s minimum coverage requirements
  • Proof of active coverage required for licensing

7. Submit Remaining Requirements for License Approval

  • New Mexico CRS tax registration
  • Any other required documents per application

8. Maintain Legal Compliance Upon Approval

  • Operate within scope of license
  • Renew license annually with required fees
  • Contractor’s License requires 14 hours continuing education

Completing this full application process allows new handymen to legally provide services in New Mexico.

What is Required to Renew a Handyman License in New Mexico?

Handymen must renew their New Mexico license annually to maintain active licensing status:

  • All handyman licenses expire 1 year after issuance date
  • Online license renewal available 30-60 days prior to expiration
  • Late renewals face escalating penalty fees
  • Renewal steps include:

1. Review Your Expiration Date

  • Licenses expire 1 year after issuance
  • Renewal window opens 30-60 days prior

2. Complete the License Renewal Application

  • Submit application through online portal
  • Includes renewal fee based on license type

3. Provide Proof of Active Insurance

  • Must have valid workers’ compensation coverage
  • Meet state minimum requirements

4. Contractor’s License Only: Fulfill Continuing Education

  • Requires 14 hours of approved continuing education
  • Course topics related to building codes, rules, etc.

5. Pay Renewal Fees

  • Handyman Certificate: $15 renewal fee
  • Contractor’s License fees range from $100-$350

6. Receive Renewed Handyman License

  • Renewal processed within 24 hours if application complete
  • Renewed license issued through online portal

7. Maintain Legal Compliance

  • Operate within scope of renewed license
  • Begin renewal process again before next expiration

Meeting renewal requirements is essential for handymen to maintain active licensing in New Mexico year after year.

Does New Mexico Offer Reciprocity for Handymen Licensed in Other States?

No, New Mexico does not offer full handyman license reciprocity with other states. Key facts about reciprocity include:

  • No reciprocity agreements for handyman certificates
  • No waiver of requirements for out-of-state handyman license holders
  • Prior licensure does not exempt applicants from meeting New Mexico’s requirements
  • Reciprocity offered for contractor’s licenses only if strict requirements are met

Handymen holding active licenses in other states must complete New Mexico’s full application process to obtain a handyman certificate or contractor’s license. There are no exemptions or waivers based on possessing a license from another state.

Bond Requirements for Licensed Handymen in New Mexico

All licensed handymen in New Mexico, whether holding a handyman certificate or contractor’s license, must provide proof of a valid license bond when applying:

  • Active $10,000+ license bond is required
  • Bond must be obtained from an authorized surety company
  • Offers financial consumer protection against violations
  • Lapses in bond coverage can lead to license suspension

Maintaining an active license bond with sufficient coverage is mandatory for compliance. Bond requirements apply to both new licenses and renewals.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Licensed Handymen in New Mexico?

New Mexico requires all licensed handymen to carry valid workers’ compensation insurance:

  • Provides coverage for injuries to the handyman and any employees
  • Required for both handyman certificate and contractor’s license holders
  • Proof of active coverage must be submitted
  • Policy must meet New Mexico’s minimum requirements
  • Allows legal handyman work while reducing liability

Having active workers’ compensation insurance is essential for legal compliance as a New Mexico handyman. Licensed individuals must submit proof of coverage and maintain a policy that meets minimum state requirements.

Conclusion: Key Takeaways for New Mexico Handymen

In summary, the key licensing and compliance takeaways for handymen in New Mexico include:

  • Must obtain handyman certificate or contractor’s license based on earnings
  • Certificate for under $7,200/year earnings; license for over
  • Testing, experience required for contractor’s license applicants
  • No reciprocity; must fulfill all New Mexico requirements
  • Active $10,000 bond and workers’ comp insurance mandated
  • Renewals include fees and continuing education requirements
  • Non-compliance results in penalties, suspension, or revocation

Meeting New Mexico’s licensing and insurance requirements allows handymen to operate legally and focus on serving customers. Following the application, bonding, insurance, and renewal processes helps avoid significant fines or loss of licensure. This guide provides handymen with the information needed to establish proper compliance in New Mexico.