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Goldwater Helps New AZ Residents Learn How They Can Get Licensed to Work

February 19, 2021

Arizona continues to lead the nation in welcoming skilled workers to the state by enacting a new Goldwater Institute law that requires state licensing boards to notify people of their ability to obtain an occupational license upon moving to Arizona.

The law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey and sponsored by Senator Warren Petersen and Representative Travis Grantham, builds on Arizona’s first-in-the-nation universal recognition reform which mandates the issuance of an occupational or professional license to Arizona residents who have held the same license in another state for at least 12 months. If you’ve already obtained the license needed to your job in one state, you shouldn’t have to spend more time and more money just to keep practicing your profession in the Grand Canyon State.

Arizona’s universal recognition law has been extremely effective and has helped over 2,600 people bring their licenses to Arizona. Unfortunately, not everyone knows their rights—and that’s what the new law addresses. Under the just-signed law, occupational licensing boards must prominently print the following on all license applications, board websites, and other communications: “Pursuant to A.R.S. §32-4302, a person shall be granted an occupational or professional license if they have been licensed in another state for at least 12 months, the license is in the same discipline and at the same practice level, and who meet other conditions under that law.”

Occupational review boards regulate professional and occupational licenses in Arizona for dozens of trades, such as dentists, cosmetologists, accountants, and contractors, among others. These government entities control the ability of Arizonans to practice in their chosen field and can deny individuals entry into the occupation of their choice.

Good news travels quickly, and the benefits of Arizona’s universal recognition law are no exception. In 2020, thanks to Goldwater’s committed efforts, 10 more states followed Arizona’s lead and took action to break down barriers to work—and these states are now better poised for economic recovery.



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