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'Is This License Really Necessary?'

30 March 2017  

Governor Ducey Takes New Step Toward Reducing Licensing In Arizona

“Justify the need for this license,” is the message that Governor Ducey is sending to State Regulatory boards.

Did you know that to hold a Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, you are required to be licensed? You even need a license to be a boxing or MMA announcer or timekeeper. Along with your license application, you’ll need to submit a form of identification, such as a drivers’s license or ID card (licenses from Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Washington are not acceptable, by the way), e-verification by Homeland Security, US birth certificate, passport or federal employment authorization. And don’t forget to submit all the fees that go with the license.

Do you want to be an engineer? Perhaps a land surveyor, a home inspector or an alarm agent? You’ll need a license from the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration for that. Barbers, acupuncturists, accountants, athletic trainers also need licensing. Fees for these licenses can easily run into the hundreds of dollars for the testing and the license. You will also probably have to be fingerprinted. You might need to provide professional recommendations. The licenses typically have to be renewed after a couple of years – for a fee, of course.

Here’s a list of the forms for a Landscape Architect:

That’s why Governor Ducey wants to know the requirements for each state license issued. If those requirements are found to be excessive, they will have to be justified on the basis of potential harm to individuals in the state.

Ducey’s Executive Order requires a full review and report for each type of license issued, including training requirements, continuing education, initial fees and renewal fees.

Government licensing requirements should be as limited as possible, according to Ducey. “Regulatory Boards serve one purpose and one purpose only – to protect the public from harm; …all other issues beyond that one purpose can and should be handled by the private market,” reads the Executive Order.

“The goal is to identify unnecessary and burdensome licensing,” Ducey’s press release states, contending that burdensome licensing requirements make it harder for Arizonans to find, keep and create jobs.

Part of this focus is also meant to help reduce inmate recidivism - are applicants with a criminal record being unnecessarily barred in a particular occupation based on character concerns? Boards will now be required to report how many applicants with criminal convictions were denied licensing in the last 5 years.

Here’s the press release:

New Executive Order Requires Regulatory Boards To Justify Barriers To Entry For Applicants For Workers

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed an executive order aimed at reducing Arizona's regulatory system by seeking information from state boards and commissions about overly burdensome licensing requirements. By requiring new information from these boards and commissions, the Governor's Office seeks to eliminate unnecessary barriers to entering the job market and to expand opportunities for Arizonans who want to work.

“We’ve made great strides in keeping Arizona the best state in the nation to find a job and expand a business,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m proud to take this new step toward modernizing our licensing system so that barriers to economic opportunity are a thing of the past. There is great value and purpose in work. Government should never stand in the way of someone’s efforts to start a new life or profession. Arizona always needs to stay ahead of the national curve—and that’s exactly what today’s executive order aims to do.”

The governor’s executive order requires a number of state boards and commissions to review all requirements for each type of license that they issue—and then report these requirements accordingly. If the licensing requirements are found to be excessive (compared to the national average for that license), the board will have to justify the regulation in question, specifically citing potential harm to individuals in our state.

The goal is to identify unnecessary and burdensome licensing requirements that are making it harder for Arizonans to find, keep, and create jobs.

In addition, in keeping with Governor Ducey’s efforts to reduce recidivism and help inmates acclimate to life after prison, the executive order requires these boards to report whether applicants with a criminal record are barred from being licensed in each occupation. Even if there is no bar, the boards will be required to report how many applicants with criminal convictions were denied due to character concerns each year for the past five years.

The following boards and commissions are subject to today’s executive order:

  • State Board of Accountancy
  • Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission
  • State Board of Acupuncture
  • State Board of Athletic Training
  • State Board of Barbers
  • State Board of Behavioral Health
  • State Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • State Board of Cosmetology
  • State Board of Dental Examiners
  • State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers
  • State Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Examiners
  • State Board of Massage Therapy
  • Arizona Medical Board
  • Naturopathic Physicians Board of Medical Examiners
  • State Board of Nursing
  • State Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers
  • State Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners
  • State Board of Dispensing Opticians
  • State Board of Optometry
  • State Board of Osteopathic Examiners
  • State Board of Pharmacy
  • State Board of Physical Therapy
  • State Board of Podiatry Examiners
  • State Board of Psychologist Examiners
  • State Board of Respiratory Care Examiners
  • State Board of Technical Registration
  • State Board of Veterinary Medical Examining.


Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.