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Economic Liberty Task Force roundtable about professional licensing

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Moving can be daunting, but for millions of Americans, the biggest relocation challenge might be related to their jobs: getting a professional license in a new state. The obstacles aren’t just paperwork and fees. Licensing requirements often vary from state to state so you might have to take additional courses or get specialized on-the-job experience – even if you’ve been working in the same profession for years. Military spouses face these challenges a lot, probably more than the average civilian does. Many military spouses move their households – and upend their careers – every two to three years, according to the National Military Family Association. In fact, the military community is now in the middle of PCS season – that time of year when certain servicemembers pack up and move with their families to a new permanent change of station.

That’s why the FTC’s Economic Liberty Task Force will host a free public roundtable on July 27 in Washington, DC. It will bring together experts to discuss options for streamlining licensing across state lines, such as agreements between states and the ability to take your license with you easily from state to state. Want to share your experience – positive and negative – with moving and getting licensed in a different state? Submit comments online and include “License Portability” in the subject line.

Watch for updates on Twitter at #EconLibertyFTC. (We’ll also be live tweeting the roundtable at #EconLibertyFTC.)


Never so true as in the Medical profession. Not only does the Physician/Surgeon (also, Nurses and ancillary med personnel) have to get a license in every state, but for every hospital also. If it's a Gov't hospital even MORE paperwork required. I counted 100 pages to be filled out for my husband for the Govt' hospital ALONE. And WHY can't there be just one of those for ALL Gov't medical positions?? After all, the fingerprints aren't going to suddenly change or the Educational History, etc. It usually takes 2 to 3 months at the very least to get licensed for these Temporary (sometimes Permanent) jobs to be OK'd.


From an Economic Development Stand Point we wouldn't have to worry about not having Professional Human Capital Available when needed anywhere in the United States if there was Reciprocity between States Legislators and Cohesive Legislation Backing up the States from Federal Legislators.

"Lets Do It"

This was my problem with moving to Texas and California. Everyone knows that if you're a Psychologist or a therapist of any professional degrees especially in the psychotherapy profession, regardless of how many years of private practice one has experienced; and updated extra seminars and conferences that we are required to attend yearly- if one moves to California, to date, it is required to take course requirements for two years before one is able to take the licensing exam all over again. I know of countless individuals who have decided to not have insurance contracts, and they still attend to the required yearly seminars and/or conferences, as the individuals I know accept this mandate with the opportunity for continued education. The fact that one is expected to do that is absolutely necessary for any health care provider, and one has ethics, grateful for the opportunity for learning more ways to be helpful for our patients.
The licensing issue is not so much important than the continued education, and I personally agree that it is a dishonorable aspect of the numerous professional organizations to make money from those practitioners who have paid more money toward their education and the initial licensing process than most individuals could imagine. I am grateful for your writing about this situation. Thank you.

Not being able to teach in various states, since teachers had a certificate in Louisiana occurred to many certified educators looking for employment after Hurricane Katrina. Thanks for being advocates for all workers.

With Common Core Standards being adopted in over 40 states, the teaching license should be able to pass across state lines without a 5-6 month paper flow delay. Due to the nature of the school year, this delay can cause a teacher to wait for full time employment eligibility for a year. Thanks for shedding light on this issue. It is interesting to see how licensure impacts many different professionals across the nation.

I never realized how difficult it is for Military and their spouses when they move. At the very least, the spouse should be exempt from having to submit reams of paperwork and additional schooling to continue their career. Especially if they are nurses or teachers - two of the most needed, unappreciated, and underpaid professionals in this country!

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