26 States Support Military Spouse Career Portability

A lot can happen in six months—in February 2012, only 11 states supported the portability of a military spouse’s professional license. By August, we have support from 26 states and counting! As exciting as this news may be, does this mean a military spouse who teaches will be able to move to the next duty station and walk right into a job? Not exactly.

For decades, we have shared your frustration of maintaining a career as you follow your service member from one duty station to the next. Do you have experience moving your professional credential? See how your experience stacks up with a joint Department of Defense and Department of Treasury Report and a recent National Military Family Association Spouse Credentialing survey.

The legislation isn’t the same everywhere you go, which means license portability will vary from profession to profession and from state to state. It is important for military spouses with professional licenses to become familiar with the licensing legislation in the state where they would like to work.

There are three main categories of state-specific legislation that supports career portability: endorsements, temporary licensure, or expedite review procedures. A license by endorsement—meaning a new state will recognize the credentials a spouse already holds from another state is helpful, but might not be a cure all, as there could be other additional requirements for the spouse to meet before they can be licensed in a new state. Additional requirements don’t necessarily mean you can’t start working, though. A temporary license allows a military spouse with an up-to-date license from another state to begin work in a new state while completing the state-specific requirements. The licensing process can be a lengthy, but you could cut through some of the red tape by asking for an expedited review of your credentials. In fact, some states will fast-track the review of a military spouse’s application.

Because this legislation is new, military spouses are encouraged contact their state licensing board early and inquire about the process for a military spouse to become licensed.

Want to see how your state adds up? Review our 50-state licensing chart.

Have you applied for a license using the new legislation? We want to hear from you! Your voice helps ensure the process works smoothly for other military spouses. Send us an email at Info@MilitaryFamily.org. Include your name, the state where you were previously licensed, the state you have or will obtain new license, and a brief description of how the new legislation impacted you. We look forward to sharing your experiences with other military spouses!

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