Legislation on the Move for Mil Spouse License Portability

Mar 05 2012

Published by at 4:02 pm under Career,Joining Forces,Legislation

**Updated  04/11/2013.  For the full list of states click here

Joining Forces has set an ambitious goal to help military spouses.

In February Michelle Obama announced a goal to have legislation that supports license portability for military spouses passed in all 50 states by 2014.

Many states have already proposed legislation that would positively impact military spouses if signed into law. See where your state stands on this important issue.

  • Colorado: House Bill 1059
    Status: *** Update:  Signed by the Governor 06/08/2012
    Authorizes the spouses of those serving in the Armed Forces to practice a regulated profession, other than real estate, in Colorado for up to one year if they are licensed, registered, or certified to practice in another state.
  • Delaware: House Bill 238
    Status: ***Update: Signed by the Governor 05/28/2012
    Simplifies the process for a military spouse applying for reinstatement of a professional license or permit within two years of the license or permit lapsing.
    Would allow a military spouse to apply for a six-month temporary license or permit while the application for endorsement, or reciprocity, is processed. The spouse must hold an active license of good standing in another state or U.S. territory.
  • Hawaii: House Bill 2257
    Status: ***Update:  Signed by the Governor 07/12/2012

    Licensure by endorsement; experience requirements/temporary permits
  • Indiana: House Bill 1116/Senate Bill 1116
    Status: ***Update:  Signed by the Governor 03/14/2012Requires a state educational institution to adopt a policy to award educational credit to an individual who is enrolled in a state educational institution and successfully completes courses that: (1) are part of the individual’s military service; (2) meet the standards of the American Council on Education for awarding academic credit; and (3) meet the state educational institution’s role, scope, and mission.
    Provides that an occupational or professional licensure board shall issue a license, certificate, registration, or permit to a military service applicant, or military spouse, who meets certain requirements. Board may issue a temporary practice permit, or provisional license, while the military service applicant, or military spouse, is satisfying certain requirements as determined by the board.
  • Kansas 2178
    Status: ***Update:  Signed by the Governor 03/01/2012

    Non-resident military spouse shall be issued a license by endorsement when they hold an active out of state license.
  • Nebraska: LB 892
    Status: Introduced
    Provides for licensure, certification, or registration by military training and experience and endorsement for military applicants and spouses.
  • New York: AB 1332
    Status: Introduced
    Enacts the Military Spouse Act of 2011, which requires a workshop to investigate and report about licensing and the difficulties encountered by military spouses (Part A); authorizes the state to certify persons to teach who are not graduates of teacher education programs (Part B); adopts the interstate nursing licensure compact (Part C); and authorizes licensing of military spouses with out-of-state licenses in equivalent occupations (Part D).
  • North Carolina: House Bill 799
    Status: ***Update-Signed by the Governor 07/24/2012
    An act to allow for licensure by endorsement for military personnel and military
  • Ohio: Senate Bill 288
    Status: Introduced
    Provides military spouses with a non-renewable 6 month temporary license.
  • Oklahoma: House Bill 2690; Senate BI ll 1863
    Status: Updated:  HB 2690 Failed; Senate Bill 1863 Signed by Governor 05/08/12

    HB 2690-Professions and occupations; modifying various provisions regarding reciprocal licensure; requiring Board to issue license to certain applicants. Applies to: Occupational Therapist/Assistants, Physical Therapists, Pharmacists, and Dental Hygienists.
    SB1863-Expedite the licensure of military spouse applicants. In order to qualify, the military member must be on active duty within the state or claim permanent residency in the state for six months prior to assignment to active duty or during the period of active duty. The applicant must be certified in another state to perform those professional services and have left employment in another state to accompany the spouse on active duty. A temporary permit may be issued if the person needs to complete additional requirements not required in the previous state. SB 1863 would also  allow Oklahoma colleges, university and technology centers to provide academic credit to a military veteran, who was honorably discharged in the previous three years, for any applicable education, training and experience received through military duty that pertains to his or her area of study. The measure also instructs administrative bodies, state agency directors or officials with authority over professional licensure to accept qualifications received during military service and apply them toward licensure where applicable.
  • South Carolina: House Bill 3710
    Status: ***Update: Signed by the Governor 06/26/2012
    Allows for temporary licenses for the spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces.  All occupations except teaching.
  • Virginia: 937,346,and 543
    Status: ***Update:  Bill 937 Signed 04/04/2012; Bill 346 signed 03/10/2012; Bill 543 signed 04/18/2012
    Bill 937-Expedites the issuance of licenses for spouses of military service members. The bill provides for the issuance of a temporary permit under certain circumstances and limits to six months the duration of a temporary permit issued.
    Bill 346-Amends provisions governing the practice of nurse practitioners.
    Bill 543-Allows the Board of Nursing to issue a provisional license valid until July1, 2014, to any individual who meets the current requirements for certification as a massage therapist.
  • Wyoming: 74 and 132
    Status: ** Updated 3/11/2013Passed, signed 03/13/2013.
    Bill 74-Allows for temporary licenses for the spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces.  All occupations except for attorneys, physicians, and surgeons.
    Bill 132-An Act relating to the chiropractic licensing.  Provides for temporary licensure as specified.

MOAA works closely with the Department of Defense State Liaison office to find and promote solutions at the state level. Our Councils and Chapters have been successful advocates on the state level for military spouse license portability.

Have you been affected by license portability? Share your story here.

Continue to follow MOAA Spouse as we track this important issue. Sign up for our Spouse E-Newsletter and “like” us on Facebook.

Karen serves as a Deputy Director, Government Relations (Military Family Issues)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Legislation on the Move for Mil Spouse License Portability”

  1. Jennifer Romanowiczon 28 Jun 2012 at 8:27 am

    I am a physical therapist who has transferred with my O5 CG husband 7 times. The problem that I have with the many license transfers is the repeated assosiated costs. I wish there could be a way to waive or at least discount the fees involved with endorsing my license from state to state. At the minimum, PTs have to pay each of their old states, plus the new state, plus the original testing center to transfer the information required for every endorsement. The cost grows more and more with each transfer!

  2. Elleon 28 Jun 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I agree with Jennifer on the escalating cost of frequent PCS related licensure. When we headed to a one year school I maintained licensure in Virginia as we would return there after school, plus paid for licensing in the school state. At one point I moved to my 5th state and paid each previous state for records to be submitted, as well as licensing exam fees for original testing and the 5th state’s partial testing they required, AND my college proof of having graduated. Total cost… $800 before I could start working.

  3. Narichica Handyon 30 Jul 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I am a military wife and a veteran. I have an active out-of-state of
    license from the state of Texas. I am currently trying to get my license in Kansas where my husband is attending ILE. My application is currently in the review process. I was pretty much told the law does not apply to me since my training was done through alternative teaching program(Region 12). I feel that since I hold a valid teaching license from Texas, it should not matter that I did not go the traditional route. The end goal was the same. My school was accredited throught the state of Texas. Also, I used my GI Bill to pay for my training. The state of Kansas does not think my program rigorous enough. Thus, I am going through a review board to see if they will grant me a license to teach. Can you please provide some feedback on what the Kansas law really means?

  4. Karenon 31 Jul 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Because each state’s licensing requirements are unique, I posed your question to the State of Kansas Department of Education, Teacher Licensure. According to the Teacher Licensure Division, Kansas will accept training from comparable programs. If the program is not comparable, an applicant will need to go through the appeal process. I was told there was an interim license you can apply for called an “Interim Alternative License”. Once granted, this will allow you to be employed will you are working through the appeal process. I have e-mailed you a contact name and number in Kansas in case you have additional questions.

  5. Cassandra Beltonon 08 Mar 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to share~

    Spouse Branch of Service – United States Army

    My Profession – Special Education Teacher – (Out of State License)

    I have applied in New Jersey under the new legislation.

    Most importantly, I learned about the new legislation from a career counselor within MilitaryOneSource. One I was informed, it was as if my feet had hit the ground running. I was able to obtain information about the current NJ legislation for military spouses who are educators.

    In a moments notice, I connected with the New Jersey Senate Education Committee along with Senator Greenstein/Senator Beach and I was able to testify on behalf of Bill A2892 as it reads

    -” Allows certain military spouses with out-of-State teaching license to receive temporary instructional certificate in New Jersey.”

    As of Feb 21, 2013 the bill is at the 2nd Reading in the Senate

    The Timeline – New Jersey
    5/14/2012 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee
    6/14/2012 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
    6/21/2012 Passed by the Assembly (78-0-0)
    6/25/2012 Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Education Committee
    2/21/2013 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading

    I am staying contact with the committee and with the Senators as it moves forward for the next step.

    It does look promising for this new legislation to be approved. (God Willing)

    Overall, my experience of testifying and gaining information regarding the new legislation was quite positive, insightful and empowering. I never in a million years thought I would be speaking on such an important issue.

  6. Karenon 08 Mar 2013 at 1:50 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your experience. And, THANK YOU for advocating on behalf of other military spouses. It is so importatn to be infomred, to take action, and to speak up! Your voice makes a difference!

  7. Shaleena Thomassonon 03 Feb 2015 at 12:50 pm

    It’s 2015 and most states are unaware of any such legislature, including Georgia which is where i’m located at Ft Benning. How can we better assist our Military Spouses with license portability? We have several newly licensed RNs from other states who can not work in Georgia.. Any advisement would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.