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Transferring Your Professional License: What's Involved?

Moving across the country – or around the world – can be a great adventure. Here's some help for making sure your licenses and certifications travel with you during your next move.

Your service branch will help reimburse licensure costs that come up when you PCS. Plus, the Department of Defense’s Defense-State Liaison Office and Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program worked to streamline state licensing procedures to make it easier for military spouses to find a job.

About spouse licensure reimbursement policies

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act allows each service branch to reimburse spouses up to $500 for relicensure and certification costs resulting from relocations or PCS moves that cross U.S. state lines.

Click on your sponsoring service branch below for details on how to apply for your reimbursement.

Army spouse licensure reimbursement policy add
Marine Corps spouse licensure reimbursement policy add
Navy spouse licensure reimbursement policy add
Air Force spouse licensure reimbursement policy add
Coast Guard spouse licensure reimbursement policy add

About state-sponsored reciprocal agreements

This map shows you which individual states support transfer of licenses, what options the state has in place for licensing and permits, and links to government boards and agencies.

Depending on your work, state-sponsored reciprocal agreements can help reduce or eliminate the relicensing process in your new state. If the process turns out to be lengthy or costly, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Your state's employment office can offer more details.

Transferring your teaching license

Licensing requirements for teachers vary by state, but some states will issue a provisional license if you have a license from another state.

Health care professions

Other occupations

Licensing overseas

In some occupations, your state-issued license — no matter where it's from — is valid for government and contracting jobs. To learn more about transferring certifications overseas, check with that installation's hiring authority.

More tips for transferring certifications

The Department of Defense is committed to making it easier for military spouses to find and follow a meaningful career.

  • Find information about the progress of licensing issues that affect military spouses in your state on the Defense-State Liaison Office’s website, Military State Policy Source. DSLO partners with state policymakers and leaders to help reduce or eliminate licensing barriers for military spouses as they move with the military.
  • Connect with other military spouses on the Blue Star Networks to share professional information and get the scoop on state licensing requirements.
  • Identify occupations with good job portability. Search for open positions with hundreds of employers committed to hiring military spouses through the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search on MySECO.
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