There are more than 600,000 military spouses in the United States, and one way the U.S. Department of Labor honors their sacrifices is by supporting smooth career transitions through the employment resources we provide and by encouraging occupational licensing reform.
Frequent moves across state lines – every 2.5 years on average – are especially challenging for military spouses who work in fields that require occupational licenses because a license earned in one state may not be accepted in another.
A new report from the Department of Labor sheds light on just how complicated state requirements for recognizing out-of-state licenses are. Every state except Connecticut has passed laws recognizing military spouses’ licenses; however, these laws vary dramatically.
The report found 21 states have enacted military spouse license recognition statutes that provide a categorical right to interstate license recognition. Twenty-eight states have relatively weak military spouse license recognition statutes; for example, some exclude certain occupations or require equivalence between two states’ curriculum.
For a full explanation of the varying state laws on military spouse license recognition, read the report here. Military spouses also can visit veterans.gov/milspouses for a user-friendly map that outlines these state requirements and resources to help navigate career transitions.
The Department will continue to work with state and local officials to recognize the skills military spouses bring to the workforce and encourage the states to eliminate barriers when it comes to licensing – a common-sense solution that benefits both military families and our economy.