Painting helps protect buildings from weather damage while also providing aesthetic enhancements. Qualified professional painters and painting contractors are essential for ensuring high-quality results on residential and commercial painting projects. Alaska maintains licensing and insurance requirements to ensure painting contractors have proper qualifications and financial protections when operating. This comprehensive guide examines key licensing, bonding and insurance rules painters and painting contractors must follow to legally provide services in Alaska.

Overview of Licensed Painters in Alaska

The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing oversees licensing for painters and painting contractors. All painting contractors performing residential home improvements in Alaska must hold a professional license issued by the state. Alaska offers three main license types:

Specialty Painting Contractor

  • Authorized to perform painting services on commercial and residential structures within certain limits
  • May use no more than three contractor trades as defined under Alaska statutes
  • Examples trades include painting, drywall, carpentry

General Painting Contractor

  • Permitted to provide painting services on commercial buildings
  • Cannot perform painting work on residential buildings without residential endorsement

General Painting Contractor with Residential Endorsement

  • Authorized to provide painting services on unlimited commercial and residential buildings
  • Endorsement shows contractor meets extra training and education requirements

Specialty contractors have the most restrictive authorization while general contractors with residential endorsements have the broadest allowance for different structure types.

Eligibility Requirements for a Painting Contractor License

All applicants for new and renewed painting contractor licenses must meet essential eligibility standards established in Alaska statutes and regulations:


  • Must be at least 18 years old


  • Must carry complete business insurance that meets state requirements


  • Must post a surety bond or cash deposit based on license type


  • Must not have any revoked or suspended licenses


  • Must hold all necessary occupational licenses, certificates or registrations


  • General contractors with residential endorsement must complete 16-hour building science course and pass exam

Meeting the eligibility criteria is essential for establishing qualifications to hold a painting contractor license.

Exams Required for a Painting Contractor License

In additional to eligibility standards, painting contractor license applicants must pass three core examinations:

Business Exam

  • Covers basic business management concepts like taxes, contracts, finance

Trade Exam

  • Covers technical knowledge and codes for the contractor specialty

Alaska Law Exam

  • Covers state statutes and regulations relevant to contractors

Applicants for the residential endorsement must pass an additional exam focused on residential contractor requirements. All licensing exams are administered at approved testing centers. Study materials and classes to prepare for the tests are offered by private providers.

Fees for Painting Contractor Licenses

These fees apply to obtain and renew a painting contractor license in Alaska:

  • Application Fee: $200
  • License Fee: $150
  • Residential Endorsement Fee: $100
  • License Renewal Fee: $150 ($100 for residential endorsement)

The total fees for a new painting contractor license are $350. Renewal fees are assessed every two years on even calendar years. Fees are non-refundable and cannot be prorated if a license is inactive for part of a renewal period.

How to Obtain a New Alaska Painting Contractor License

Follow these key steps to obtain a new Alaska painting contractor license:

1. Determine Correct License Type

  • Assess scope of painting contracting work you plan to perform
  • Choose specialty, general or residential endorsement appropriately

2. Meet Eligibility Requirements

  • Obtain necessary occupational licenses, credentials, etc.
  • Secure required insurance coverage
  • Post appropriate license bond or cash deposit

3. Submit New License Application

  • Complete all required application forms accurately
  • Pay $200 application fee and $150 license fee (+$100 residential fee if applicable)

4. Pass Required Exams

  • Schedule and pass Business, Trade and Alaska Law exams
  • Pass residential endorsement exam if required

5. Fulfill License Review

  • Applications are reviewed within 10-15 days
  • Resolve any identified deficiencies or issues

6. Receive Painting Contractor License

  • If approved, the official license will be issued
  • License permits providing painting services in Alaska

Start to finish, expect the new painting contractor license process to take 2-6 weeks. Check application status using the state’s MY LICENSE online portal.

How to Renew an Alaska Painting Contractor License

The steps to renew an active Alaska painting contractor license include:

1. Complete Continuing Education

  • Earn 8 hours of continuing education before license expiration
  • Coursework must cover business management or trade topics

2. Maintain Bonding & Insurance

  • Keep surety bond or deposit current
  • Maintain required business insurance coverage

3. Submit Renewal Application

  • Complete renewal form and submit 60-90 days before expiration
  • Pay $150 renewal fee ($100 for residential endorsement)

4. License Issued

  • If approved, the renewed license will be provided
  • Renewed painting contractor license is valid for 2 more years

Online renewal through MY LICENSE is fastest. Allow 4-6 weeks for mailed paper renewals. Renewals cannot be expedited.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Painting Contractors

Alaska does not offer full reciprocal recognition of painting contractor licenses issued by other states. To obtain an Alaska painting contractor license, out-of-state applicants must pass all required exams and meet Alaska’s eligibility standards.

However, Alaska does allow license applicants to submit proof of completing substantially equivalent exam content for another state’s painting contractor license. If the prior exam work is approved, the applicant may have certain Alaska exam requirements waived. This can reduce steps for securing a new Alaska painting contractor license for out-of-state painters.

Bonding Requirements for Licensed Painters

All active painting contractors licensed in Alaska must carry a surety bond that provides financial protection to consumers:

  • Specialty Painting Contractors – $10,000 Bond
  • General Painting Contractors – $25,000 Bond
  • General Painting Contractors with Residential Endorsement – $20,000 Bond

Instead of a surety bond, painters may submit an equivalent cash deposit to the state.

The bond or cash deposit must remain continuously in effect and active during the entire multi-year term of the painting contractor’s license. Bonding or deposits cannot be canceled, refunded or released until three years after the license becomes inactive.

Proper bonding is essential for consumer protection when hiring a licensed painting contractor in Alaska.

Insurance Requirements for Licensed Painters

Painting contractors licensed in Alaska must also carry specific types and minimum amounts of general business insurance:

Property Damage Insurance

  • Minimum Coverage: $20,000

Personal Injury/Death Insurance

  • Injury or Death of One Person – Minimum Coverage: $50,000
  • Injury or Death of Multiple Persons – Minimum Coverage: $100,000

Like bonding, the insurance must continuously cover the full license period and match the business name provided on the painting contractor’s license application.

Insurance and bonding work together to help secure financial recourse if consumers experience problems with a licensed painting contractor.


Alaska painting contractor licenses establish important qualifications and protections for professional painters. Key steps painters must complete include:

  • Meeting all eligibility requirements
  • Passing required examinations
  • Maintaining proper bonding
  • Carrying adequate insurance
  • Renewing licenses every two years

Properly licensing painters also protects Alaska residents and businesses when hiring contractors for painting projects. Understanding Alaska’s painting contractor licensing, bonding and insurance requirements is vital for compliant operation.