DOD aims to expedite licensing process for military spouses

As a military spouse, transferring an occupational license from one state to another when your partner is reassigned can be an onerous task, so the Department of Defense is asking states to chip in and help address the problem.

The short duration of military assignments when moving to another state and the lengthy re-licensing processes for occupations such as nurses, teachers and attorneys, discourages some spouses from seeking relicensure after a move, causing them to quit an occupation or causing families to leave the military.

A new report,“Military Spouse Licensure: State Best Practices and Strategies for Achieving Reciprocity,” examines where state’s stand on licensure requirements, looks at efforts that did not work and suggests ones that would.

“The department encourages states to engage in immediate actions to fully implement military spouse licensure laws, near-term actions to at least attain a baseline of getting military spouses a license in 30 days based on minimal documentation, and long-term solutions for reciprocity through compacts,” the report states.

For the report, from 2011 to 2016, DOD worked with all 50 States on expediting the licensure process, and 39 states enacted some form of relief, 42 enacted laws for temporary licensure, and 31 States enacted laws for expedited application procedures, but concluded that many of the efforts were insufficient and more work needs to be done.

Better efforts would make licensure immediately attainable, achievable within the near-term, or obtainable in the long-term and create a pathway towards granting military spouses “reciprocity,” according to the report.

However, the true definition of reciprocity varies by state, and the responsibility of relicensure ultimately is up to the state.

“How fast these actions and solutions can be approved and implemented is up to the states,” the report concludes…”

Read the full report  here.

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Mike Causey Columnist
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst