Provisions regulating contractors were first enacted in 1931. See Laws 1931, Chapter 102. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-1101 through 32-1188.
The Registrar of Contractors (ROC) was established to license and regulate residential and commercial contractors. The Registrar is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the Governor. In order to obtain a license, an applicant must have a certain level of experience, pass a written examination, post a bond and pay a license fee. The applicant may be required to submit fingerprints for a criminal records check. The ROC is required to maintain a complete indexed record of licensed contractors in the state as well as applications and licenses issued, renewed, terminated, cancelled, revoked or suspended. The ROC also investigates complaints against contractors and is authorized to suspend or revoke a license, conduct hearings, issue citations and assess civil penalties.
The ROC administers the Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund which pays claims to homeowners who have been financially harmed by a licensed contractor. The Fund is financed by contractor-paid assessments collected at the time licenses are issued or renewed. www.azauditor.gov
Ninety percent of revenues collected from examination and licensing of contractors are deposited into the Registrar of Contractors Fund, to be used for administrative purposes. The remaining ten percent is deposited into the state general fund.
Laws 1931, Chapter 102 established regulations for the business of contracting. The measure established licensing requirements, outlined the application and renewal process, established an application fee of $25 and created the Contractors’ License Fund. The Governor appointed a contractor as the Registrar. The Registrar was required to post a $5,000 bond and was paid $10 per day, not to exceed 200 days in any fiscal year. The measure outlined record keeping requirements and authorized the Registrar to conduct investigations, suspend or cancel a license, conduct hearings and assess penalties.
Laws 1933, Chapter 104 deleted the limit on the number of days the Registrar could work in a year. The measure also outlined procedures related to license revocation, notice, hearings, administrative oaths, and subpoenas.
Laws 1951, Chapter 55 repealed and rewrote contracting statutes. The measure repealed Article 8, Chapter 67, Arizona Code of 1939 (the law originally enacted in 1931 and amended in 1933).
Laws 1955, Chapter 81 modified requirements and qualifications to obtain a contractor’s license and required a contractor to obtain a surety bond. The amount of the bond varied, depending on the type of contracting license.
Laws 1959, Chapter 122 required the Registrar to provide a notice of proposed rule change and a copy of the draft rule to trade associations who file a written request to receive such a notice.
Laws 1964, Chapter 24 authorized the Registrar to apply to the Superior Court for injunctive relief for a restraining order, a preliminary injunction or a permanent injunction.
Laws 1975, Chapter 113 was an omnibus measure that made multiple changes to ROC statutes.
Laws 1978, Chapter 37 abolished the Contractors’ License Fund. Unexpended and unencumbered funds reverted to the state general fund. Conditional language stated the reversion would occur as long as the $1.1million appropriation made for fiscal year 1977-1978 remained available to the ROC. See also Laws 1977, Chapter 150, Section 1, subdivision 33. Note: The Fund was reestablished in 1993.
Laws 1979, Chapter 87 authorized ROC to approve a request by a licensee to inactivate a current license for period of one, two or three years. The holder of an inactive license was prohibited from practicing as a contractor until the license was reactivated.
A second measure enacted in 1979 established qualifications and licensing requirements for solar contractors who install, alter or repair solar devices. The measure also included solar energy tax incentives, exemptions and credits. See Laws 1979, Chapter 146
Laws 1981, Chapter 221 made numerous changes to contractor statutes relating to the Registrar’s powers and duties; licensing requirements; bonding; and disciplinary actions. The measure established the Contractors’ Recovery Fund and the Contractors’ Recovery Fund Board. The Board consisted of the Registrar and four other members. The measure also preempted licensing of contractors by cities, towns and counties.
In addition, the measure contained a purpose statement which read: “The legislature finds that regulation of the commercial and industrial construction business, including public works, by the registrar of contractors agency is not necessary for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare and that it is in the public interest to deregulate such business. It is the purpose and intent of the legislature to continue the Registrar of Contractors agency…providing for the continued licensing, bonding and regulation of contractors engaged in residential construction. It is the further purpose of the legislature to provide improved protection for owners and lessees of property who contract for the construction or alteration of residential structures by establishing the Contractors’ Recovery Fund and the Contractors’ Recovery Fund Board.” Note: This section was repealed by Laws 1986, Chapter 318.
Laws 1983, Chapter 149 changed the maximum amount of recovery from the Contractors’ Recovery Fund from $5,000 to $15,000. A second measure enacted in 1983 added residential swimming pool contractors to the category of general contracting, requiring licensure. See Laws 1983, Chapter 228.
Laws 1985, Chapter 334 eliminated the Contractors’ Recovery Fund Board. A second measure enacted that year required the ROC to adopt rules regarding permitted uses and standards of use for non-restricted use pesticides by licensed landscape contractors, incidental to their contracting work. The ROC was required to consult with the Structural Pest Control Board prior to adopting the rules. Note: This was the first in what would be a series of enactments related to pesticide use by contractors. In 1993 the requirement was deleted. See Laws 1985, Chapter 368; Laws 1988, Chapter 348; and Laws 1993, Chapter 234.
Laws 1987, Chapter 241 required the ROC to work with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Industrial Commission and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to prepare an asbestos educational pamphlet explaining the health hazards associated with asbestos contact. The pamphlets are required to be distributed with each contractor’s license and license renewal. Legislation enacted in 1990 allowed a contractor to stop work, without penalty, if the contractor encountered hazardous substances or material. The provision was amended and renumbered in 2000 as A.R.S. §32-1129.03. See Laws 1990, Chapter 314 and Laws 2000, Chapter 233.
Laws 1992, Chapter 165 modified ROC authority regarding injunctive relief, civil penalties, citations, request for judgment and waiver of a civil penalty.
Laws 1993, Chapter 116 established the Registrar of Contractors’ Fund and provided for staggered implementation over three fiscal years, from 1994 to 1996. A second measure enacted in 1993 eliminated references to pesticide use by landscape contractors, made conforming changes to Structural Pest Control statutes, and established a process for claims against a contractor for termite damage. See Laws 1993, Chapter 234, sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9.
Laws 2003, Chapter 139 authorized an informal dispute resolution process, allowing the Registrar to assist in resolving disputes before a written complaint is filed. The measure included other modifications to ROC responsibilities and the administration of the Contractors’ Recovery Fund.
Laws 2005, Chapter 194 expanded the informal dispute resolution process, enacted in 2003, with respect to inspections, timing and notice.
A second measure enacted in 2005 required the Registrar to maintain a list of individuals who were convicted of contracting without a license. The list must be published on the ROC website. See Laws 2005, Chapter 199.
Laws 2010, Chapter 337 modified and expanded requirements relating to progress payments, substantial completion, final completion and payment for construction contracts.
Laws 2011, Chapter 250 established an arbitration process to address written complaints filed with the Registrar and outlined requirements for notice, hearings, orders, and compliance.
Laws 2017, Chapter 159 established confidentiality requirements for information provided by an applicant or licensee.
Laws 2019, Chapter 145 was an omnibus measure that modified provisions relating to the Registrar’s powers and duties; the Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund; licensing requirements; written complaints; and progress payments. In addition, Section 49 of the measure included a legislative findings clause relating to the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in S.K. Builders, Inc. v. Smith (2 CA-CV 2018-0008, filed January 29, 2019).
- Arizona Code Annotated, 1939. 1952 Supplement, Sections 67-2301 through 67-2326.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-1101 through 32-1188
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R4-9-101 through R4-9-131
- Session Laws
- Laws 1931, Chapter 102
- Laws 1933, Chapter 104
- Laws 1951, Chapter 55
- Laws 1955, Chapter 81
- Laws 1959, Chapter 122
- Laws 1964, Chapter 24
- Laws 1975, Chapter 113
- Laws 1977, Chapter 150
- Laws 1978, Chapter 37
- Laws 1979, Chapter 87 and Chapter 146
- Laws 1981, Chapter 221
- Laws 1983, Chapter 149 and Chapter 228
- Laws 1985, Chapter 334 and Chapter 368
- Laws 1986, Chapter 318
- Laws 1987, Chapter 241
- Laws 1988, Chapter 348
- Laws 1990, Chapter 314
- Laws 1992, Chapter 165
- Laws 1993, Chapter 116 and Chapter 234
- Laws 2000, Chapter 233
- Laws 2003, Chapter 139
- Laws 2005, Chapter 194 and Chapter 199
- Laws 2010, Chapter 337
- Laws 2011, Chapter 250
- Laws 2017, Chapter 159
- Laws 2019, Chapter 145
- Arizona Registrar of Contractors: https://roc.az.gov/
- Performance Audit and Sunset Review of the Registrar of Contractors. Arizona Auditor General Report No. 13-04. July 2013. www.azauditor.gov
- Residential Contractors’ Recovery Fund June 30, 2018 Financial Report
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
Record Group 027 – Registrar of Contractors