Practice mobility became a reality for members of the United States military and their spouses on January 6, 2023, when a license portability provision of the Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022 was signed into law. The new law provides license reciprocity to military members and spouses who move because of a change of duty station.
Military families are disproportionately affected by the need to obtain a old license when moving to a new state. According to Karen Jowers in an article in Military Times, more than 132,000 spouses practice professions that require licensing. This highly mobile group is more likely than other groups to belong to a licensed profession. The new law is expected to reduce the financial burden on military members and spouses and speed their ability to join the workforce in the new location.
To take advantage of the provision, the licensee must:
- Hold a license in good standing with a similar scope of practice
- Abide the rules of the new jurisdiction’s licensing authority
- Have actively used the license during the two years preceding the relocation
ASWB has been partnering with the Council of State Governments to develop social work compact language to be enacted by state legislatures beginning this year. If successful, practice mobility will become available to many U.S. social workers beyond the ranks of military members and spouses.