Life just got a little easier for the tens of thousands of military spouses who work in a profession that requires a state license, including nurses, physical therapists, real estate agents, dental hygienists and so many more. Military spouses move from state to state often as they accompany their service member on assignment to military bases around the country and therefore need to transfer their license from state to state.
Yesterday in North Carolina, the Governor signed legislation marking North Carolina as the 26th state with measures in place to support military spouses transfer their licenses portability. This new legislation in North Carolina follows similar measures passed in Hawaii and South Carolina that support military spouse license portability in just the last few weeks.
The issue of military spouse license portability is not new – as an Army brat, I can remember friends of my parents going through the pain of transferring their licenses back in the 70’s and 80’s. And then in the 90’s and onward, I watched as my own friends went through the same challenge of license transfer when they moved to a new state. The process can often take months and can be a huge disincentive to work.
But no one in America has been able to move this issue for decades until the First Lady and Dr. Biden made military spouse license portability a signature issue of their Joining Forces initiative.
Back in February, the First Lady and Dr. Biden asked governors to pass legislation to reduce the financial and administrative strains that military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state. At the time, only 11 states had legislation on the books.
We’ve still got work to do, but with 26 states now having laws supporting America’s military spouses, we’re well on our way to meeting the 2014 goal!
Learn more about Joining Forces work to make it easier for military spouses to transfer licenses: