Author: C.C. Gallagher
Military families are 10 times more likely to move across state lines when compared to their civilian
counterparts. This mobile lifestyle can create barriers to meaningful and sustainable employment
opportunities. Between frequent relocations, striving to enter, re-enter or remain in the workforce,
maintaining the household, and supporting the community you live in, there is no denying that military
spouses live a unique life and make extreme sacrifices every day.
Thankfully, many states have recognized that the highly mobile military lifestyle can create barriers to
consistent employment for spouses in licensed occupations. There are laws in place that require or
encourage licensing boards to grant military spouses expedited applications, temporary licenses, and/or
license reciprocity. Significant advances have been made across the country to ensure military spouses
can pursue their careers no matter how many times they relocate.
As the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season is upon us, here are four steps for licensed military
spouses and spouses interested in licensed occupations. More information about these steps can be found
in the License Recognition for Military Spouses Resource Guide.
STEP 1: Learn about license recognition options by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s map at
https://www.veterans.gov/MilSpouses. Hover over each state to learn about the specific laws and
resources offered to military spouses who work in licensed occupations.
STEP 2: Explore occupation-specific guidance by visiting Military OneSource. Many states have joined
interstate reciprocity agreements for certain occupations. These agreements allow licensees to practice in
multiple states more easily.
STEP 3: Find Your Licensing Board by visiting CareerOneStop License Finder. The CareerOneStop
License Finder provides state-specific information about occupational licenses required, such as the
license name, description, and issuing agency contact information.
STEP 4: Contact your Licensing Board. Start by following any specific instructions for military spouses that
may be posted on the licensing board’s website. If you still have questions after visiting the website,
contact the licensing board using the tips in the License Recognition for Military Spouses Resource Guide.
You have worked hard to earn your professional license and credentials. Understanding how to navigate
these requirements and resources will ensure that you are set up for success prior to your next relocation.
To learn more about military spouse license recognition, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s
military spouse website at: https://www.veterans.gov/MilSpouses.