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Enhanced Military Spouse Licensure Portability


Key Message

Military spouses are disproportionately affected by state-specific licensure requirements that can cause delays and gaps in employment. States can streamline state licensing processes for relocating military spouses by providing them with a license within 30 days with minimal initial paperwork.


From 2011-16, states enacted legislation to modify licensing for military spouses. But many of these new laws did not do enough. Many provisions included “substantial equivalency” evaluations that require military spouses to continue to submit transcripts, test scores and training hours — along with previous licenses and work experience. States are continuing to make improvements to achieve reciprocity using a variety of approaches, which can be considered on a continuum.


The annual percentage of the military spouse population that moves across state lines is 14.5% — compared to 1.1% for civilian spouses. Up to 34% of military spouses in the labor force are required to be fully licensed; and of those spouses, 19% experience challenges maintaining their licenses.

State Policymakers

If you are a state policymaker, request more information.