Employment Law

Arizona's New Occupational Licensing Law

On August 27, 2019, House Bill (HB) 2569 took effect. Enacted this spring, HB 2569 changed the state law that governs how people who have an occupational or professional license or certification from another state may qualify to practice their occupation or profession here in Arizona. This article highlights the differences between what the law used to say and what it says now.

What did HB 2569 do?

HB 2569 altered Section (§) 32-4302 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), which is the state law that governs how people who have out-of-state occupational or professional licenses or certifications may qualify to practice their occupation or profession here in Arizona.

The changes to A.R.S. § 32-4302 made Arizona the first and only state in the country to recognize all out-of-state occupational and professional licenses and certifications.

So long as the out-of-state licensee or certificate-holder meets certain requirements, they may practice their occupation or profession here in Arizona without first having to satisfy any additional local requirements. The Office of the Governor of Arizona calls the result of this new system “universal licensing recognition.”

What did the law used to say?

Title 32 of the A.R.S. governs the licensing of a large number of occupations and professions in Arizona, including, among many others, architects, barbers, chiropractors, certified public accountants, cosmetologists, dentists, doctors, engineers, funeral directors, home inspectors, landscape designers, massage therapists, pharmacists, security guards, and realtors.

Before HB 2569 took effect, A.R.S. § 32-4302 said that if a person was married to an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States and was accompanying that active duty spouse on an official permanent change of station to a military installation located here in Arizona, then the Arizona board or other entity that regulates the profession or occupation of the non-military member spouse must issue a license or certificate to that person, permitting them to practice their profession or occupation here in Arizona, so long as each of the following requirements is met:

1. The person is currently licensed or certified in at least one other state in the occupation or profession applied for and at the same practice level and the license or certification is in good standing in all states in which the person holds a license or certification.

2. The person has been licensed or certified by another state for at least one year. If the person has been licensed or certified for fewer than five years, then the Arizona board or other regulating entity may require the person to practice under the direct supervision of a licensee or certificate holder in the practice area in this state.

3. When the person was licensed or certified by another state there were minimum education requirements and, if applicable, work experience and clinical supervision requirements in effect and the other state verifies that the person met those requirements in order to be licensed or certified in that state.

4. The person previously passed an examination required for the license or certification if required by the other state.

5. The person has not had a license or certificate revoked and has not voluntarily surrendered a license or certificate in any other state or country while under investigation for unprofessional conduct.

6. The person has not had discipline imposed by any other board or other regulating entity. If another jurisdiction has taken disciplinary action against the person, then the board or other regulating entity must determine if the cause for the action was corrected and the matter resolved. If the matter has not been resolved by that jurisdiction, then the Arizona board or other regulating entity may not issue or deny a license until the matter is resolved.

7. The person does not have a complaint, allegation, or investigation pending before another regulating entity in another state or country that relates to unprofessional conduct. If an applicant has any complaints, allegations or investigations pending, then the Arizona board or other regulating entity must suspend the application process and may not issue or deny a license to the applicant until the complaint, allegation, or investigation is resolved.

8. The person pays all applicable fees.

What does the law say now?

Before HB 2569 took effect, A.R.S. § 32-4302 required the Arizona boards or other entities that regulate various professions and occupations in this state to issue a license or certificate to the spouse of an active-duty military member who was permanently posted to an installation here in Arizona.

Now that HB 2569 is in effect, A.R.S. § 32-4302 requires the Arizona boards or other entities that regulate various professions and occupations in this state to issue a license or certificate to any person who establishes residence in Arizona and meets the eight requirements above, with two exceptions:

  • The second requirement (2. above) now says only that the person must have been licensed or certified by another state for at least one year.

It no longer states that if the person has been licensed or certified for fewer than five years, then the Arizona board or other regulating entity may require the person to practice under the direct supervision of a licensee or certificate holder in the practice area in this state. That requirement has been removed.

  • A new (ninth) requirement has been added:
  1. The person does not have a disqualifying criminal history as determined by the Arizona board or other regulating entity.

A.R.S. § 32-4302 also now contains two other new provisions:

  • An Arizona board or other regulating entity that requires an exam on Arizona-specific law as part of its licensing or certification program may require an out-of-state applicant to take and pass such an exam.
  • Any person who is licensed or certified pursuant to Title 32 of the A.R.S. is subject to the Arizona laws that regulate their occupation or profession in this state and also subject to the Arizona board or other entity that regulates the board’s or other entity’s jurisdiction.

For more information on how the changes to A.R.S § 32-4302 enacted by HB 2569 will impact a specific occupation or profession, please contact the Arizona board or other entity that regulates the occupation or profession.

Most such boards’ websites now provide detailed articles on the subject. For example, the Arizona Board of Nursing offers an FAQ section here: https://www.azbn.gov/news-and-events/faqs-for-nurses-about-hb2569-ars-ss-32-4302.

Sources and further reading

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 32-4302: https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/32/04302.htm

Cronkite News/Arizona PBS – “Arizona becomes the first state to recognize all out of state occupational licenses”: https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2019/04/10/license-bill

Office of the Arizona Governor – “Universal Licensing Recognition”: https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/universallicensingrecognition1_0.pdf

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