State cuts renewal fees for licenses

Fees on professional and occupational licenses in Colorado will be reduced by a total of more than $2 million over the next two years, according to the state division that manages licensing.

The Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations, a part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, announced that it’s reducing or maintaining all of its 66 renewal fees by implementing efficiency measures and reducing its operating expenses.

The division manages more than 50 regulatory programs for professions and occupations, including those for doctors, nurses, cosmetologists and electricians. The division licenses nearly 400,000 professionals in the state — about 15 percent of the workforce. The division is required by law to set licensing fees to cover the costs of regulation. Most fees cover a two-year license period.

The fee to renew a psychologist’s license, for example, dropped from $147 to $37, about a 75 percent reduction. Renewal fees for chiropractors were reduced 64 percent from $543 to $195. Registered nurses saw a smaller decrease of $5 to $87. 

“The division is leveraging our shared service model and more fully integrating new technology, which affects the bottom line,” said Lauren Larson, director of the division.

Last year, cost saving measures resulted in the division returning $250,000 in spending authority to the state. “Reducing licensing fees puts money back in the pockets of the nearly one in seven Colorado workers who are required to be licensed by the division,” Larson said.

“Licensing fees affect business costs and can be a barrier to market entry — whether someone is looking for a job or starting a business,” said Joe Neguse, executive director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies. “I applaud the work of the Division of Professions and Occupations in reducing costs to businesses and consumers.”