Prime Consultant - Licensing and Other Requirements

Obtaining licensing, registration, insurance and prequalification are critical first steps. This tab discusses a number of requirements necessary to begin seeking work from ADOT.

Licensing and Registration

Before seeking work with ADOT, you need to have the proper licensing, permits, and registration.


All companies working with ADOT are required to carry certain types of insurance. The specific type of insurance and coverage and limits required may vary depending on your type of business as well as the size and type of contract you wish to bid. ADOT will require the winning contractor or consultant to submit proof of insurance (usually done by submitting a certificate of insurance will accompanying endorsements).

Here are some common types of insurance that would be required on an ADOT contract:

Workers’ Compensation Insurance — this type of insurance covers medical expenses and at least some lost wages if employees of the business are hurt on the job or become sick as a result of their work.

General Liability Insurance — this type of insurance protects you in case an employee, subcontractor or client claims they were injured or their property was damaged by you or someone in your employ.

Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance — this type of liability insurance functions much the same as private auto insurance, but applies to any vehicle owned or leased by your Business. This includes both large commercial vehicles and small vehicles such as cars used for company business.

Professional Liability Insurance — this type of liability insurance, also sometimes called errors and omissions insurance, provides defense, investigation, and settlement cost for claims or alleged negligence against Professional advice and service-providing individuals and businesses.

Property Insurance — this type of insurance provides financial reimbursement (up to the set limit) to the owner or renter of a structure and its content.

Product Liability Insurance — this type of insurance protects manufacturers, distributors and retailers from financial loss if their product causes injury or bodily harm to a user or client.

For more specific information, see the ECS Insurance Requirements section of the ADOT website.


Before your firm can propose on any ADOT design-related contract as a prime consultant, you must submit an application for prequalification and have it approved. Prequalification applications may be filed at any time, but it may take up to ten days for a submitted prequalification application to be approved.  Subconsultants are not required to complete the prequalification process, but are encouraged to do so because some prime consultants are more likely to invite your firm to participate as a subconsultant on a project if your firm is prequalified with ADOT.

ADOT begins a new prequalification period every two years, and firms that submit a prequalification application during that time will be prequalified for that period. The current prequalification period began January 1st, 2016 and will end on December 31st, 2017; a new two-year period will begin on January 1st, 2018.

Consultant prequalification is done online using ECS’s electronic Contract Management System (eCMS). It requires a AZ UTRACS registration number to get started. You can obtain an AZ UTRACS registration number on the AZ UTRACS website if you do not already have one.

The prequalification application includes

  • general information about the business, its officers and locations.
  • information about the types of work your firm is qualified to perform.
  • information about registration and licenses for your firm and employees.
  • information about past projects your firm has worked on.
  • financial information and a financial statement dated within 15 months of the application.
  • a copy of your firm’s affirmative action and disadvantaged business enterprise policy affirming your intention not to discriminate.
  • a document showing or describing your firm’s organizational structure including any parent companies, subsidiaries or affiliates, or a statement made to the effect that your firm is not related to any other firms in any manner.
  • a transmittal letter certifying that you are applying for prequalification and that all of the information you have submitted is true and accurate.

For additional documents and to start your prequalification application, see the consultant prequalification web page.

Upon submitting your prequalification application, the Engineering Consultants Section (ECS) will evaluate it and inform you of their decision within ten days. If your prequalification application is denied, you will receive an explanation as to why and you may be able to remedy the situation.

Non-Procurement Debarment and Suspension

Debarment and suspension procedures are intended to prevent waste, abuse and fraud. Debarment and suspension procedures are used to prevent an individual or firm from doing business with the federal or state government, and are enacted if there is adequate evidence that the individual or firm has a history of acting in bad faith.

Essentially, the prime consultant and all subconsultants must certify that they are in fact eligible to enter into a contract with ADOT. If the prime or any subconsultant is unable to do so, they may submit a written explanation to ECS.

For more information on suspension and debarment, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation website.

Pre-award Audit

All firms, both prime and subconsultants, are subject to pre-award audits. Financial documentation for the audits must be submitted within two weeks of receiving notice that your SOQ has been selected. In general, this information is provided as evidence that your firm is financially healthy and capable of taking on the project, and that your cost proposal accurately reflects your firm’s anticipated costs.

Largely, this means they must submit a completed audit questionnaire, which can be found in the Audit and Analysis section of the ADOT website.

In cases where the pre-award audit led to disagreement between the consultant and the Office of Audit and Analysis, ADOT has escalation guidelines to help resolve the dispute. You can find the Pre-Award and Incurred Cost Audit Escalation Guidelines on the Engineering Consultants Policies, Procedures and FAQ page.


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