Claims Adjuster, What Type of Licensing do you Need?

Find out what license claims adjusters need.

Claims Adjuster, Do You Need a Designated Home State or a Resident License?

As you contemplate becoming a claims adjuster, you need to know: What type of claims will you want to handle? Are you interested in working for a company or do you want to become an Independent Adjuster? Where are you going to gain experience? Do you have a mentor in mind? In order to handle claims, which license(s) do you need? Many adjusters are unsure about the licensing process. More specifically, in terms of whether they need a resident license and a DHS.

What does DHS stand for?

Designated Home State.

How can a DHS license help claims adjusters?

If an adjuster lives in a non-licensing state, they will apply for a DHS license. States that do not currently license their adjusters are: Colorado, DC, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

With a Designated Home State license, there are several states in which you may easily obtain an adjuster license without having to pass the exam. Without that Designated Home State license, you would otherwise need to test for all licensing states.

One of our favorite sites for the most up-to-date information about claims adjuster licensing is They have numerous resources on licensing and reciprocity.

What is a Resident License for?

If you live in a state that offers a license for claims adjusters (i.e. not one of the states listed above), you must apply for and pass an exam in order to adjust claims in the state you live in. If you live in Arizona for example, then you must get an Arizona license prior to applying for any non-resident licenses.

READ THIS NEXT: Independent Insurance Adjuster vs. Claims Adjuster: What’s the Difference?

Which states offer licensing for resident claims adjusters?

Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii.

Can I choose a DHS for my claims adjuster license instead?

No. If an individual resides in Arizona and wants to become an adjuster, they cannot skip the licensing process offered in Arizona by designating Texas (for example) as their home state.  

If you’re on assignment with TheBestIRS and have questions about your licenses or need assistance, our Compliance Department will be happy to help. Send us an email and we will contact you shortly.

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By TheBestIRS Blog

TheBestIRS Blog is focused on providing helpful content to all job seekers, specifically those looking to further their career in the claims and insurance industry, as well as employers who are seeking to add to their teams in temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct hire roles.


  1. Good afternoon-
    I have worked on the contractor side of wind/hail and some water for a number of years in various areas around the country. I am proficient in Xactimate, other than Sketch as I have generally used Eagleview or Roofsnap for my measurements. Yes, I also use a tape. I have written many Xactimates for adjusters from a number of Insurance Companies. I will be taking the Xactimate Cert 1 to begin with and the others as time moves forward.
    I have had success in my business yet I’m looking to make a change to the Adjuster side of the business. I live in Louisville Ky and am starting to take my courses for my Home State License. What kind of experience should I be focusing on gaining as I move forward? I know how to adjust a claim and write scopes. Of course there is more to it than that such as Policy Interpretation which I need more time in that area. With my current level of experience should I plan it being 3 years before I am actually being deployed as an Outside Adjuster, or with my experience plan on a much shorter time frame?

    Brian W

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