Can Contractors Work in Different States?

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If you are a contractor, you may have wondered if it is possible to work in different states. The answer to this question is yes – but there are some things you need to know about contractor license reciprocity first. In this blog post, we will discuss what reciprocity means, what benefits it offers contractors, and which states offer it. We will also provide information on what you need to do to get licensed in another state and start working construction there.  


Reciprocity is an agreement between two states that allows contractors to work in both states without having to obtain a new license. This can be beneficial for contractors who want to work in multiple states, as it saves time and money by getting licensed in each state individually.


There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering working in another state under reciprocity, however. First, you will need to make sure that your home state has a reciprocity agreement with the state you wish to work in. Second, you will need to meet all the requirements for licensure in both states – this includes passing any exams or tests that may be required. Finally, it is important to remember that reciprocity agreements can change at any time, so you will need to stay up-to-date on the latest information.


At present, there are 34 states that have reciprocity agreements in place for construction contractors. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. If you are a contractor who is licensed in one of these states, you may be able to work in another state without having to obtain a new license. However, it is important to remember that you need to meet all of the requirements for licensure in both states – including passing any exams or tests that may be required.



In addition to state-specific requirements, you may also need to pass a national exam in order to obtain a contractor’s license in another state. The National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies (NACSLA) offers two exams that are commonly required for licensure: the Business and Law Exam and the Trade Exam. The Business and Law Exam is a multiple-choice exam that covers business management and law for contractors. The Trade Exam is a hands-on exam that tests your knowledge of the construction trade. If you’ve already passed these exams, it will be like a head start in getting a reciprocal license in


The International Code Council (ICC) offers exams for a variety of construction trades, including Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing. If you are interested in working in another state, you may need to take one of these exams to obtain your license. The good news is that many states accept scores from ICC exams – so if you have already taken an ICC exam, you may not need to take another one. However, it is important to check with the state you wish to work in to see if they accept ICC scores before assuming that you will not need to take an additional exam.

Do Your Homework

If you are a contractor who is interested in working in another state, we encourage you to research the requirements for licensure and see if reciprocity is right for you. For everything you need to know about licensing in your state, exam prep, and reciprocity information, see our At Home Prep: Contractor Licensing Guide. Working in another state can be a great way to expand your business and reach new customers, but it is important to make sure that you are properly licensed and prepared to meet the requirements of licensure in both states. At Home Prep wants to help you stay up-to-date on all things construction and trade licensing and exams. Check our blog and social media (@homeprep) frequently!
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