NGA Letter on Professional Licensure Reciprocity

March 27, 2018

The Honorable Mark T. Esper
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101

The Honorable Richard V. Spencer
Secretary of the Navy
1051 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1051

The Honorable Heather Wilson
Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670

Dear Secretary Esper, Secretary Spencer and Secretary Wilson,

Thank you for your letter regarding efforts related to reciprocity of professional licenses for military families. As commanders-in-chief of their respective National Guards, governors are keenly interested in addressing the challenges military members and their families face daily.

The National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council on State Governments, is currently working on a project to assess state licensing policies and practices. This work is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

The three-year project will work to identify licensing criteria for 34 occupations across 55 states and territories to ensure that existing and new licensing requirements are not overly broad, burdensome or restrictive and do not created unnecessary barriers to labor market entry. We will also look to identify ways to improve the portability and reciprocity provisions for selected occupations across state lines. The goal is to enhance the portability of occupational licenses, which hopefully will address the concerns put forward in your February letter.

The project also focuses on reducing barriers and increasing portability for several target populations, including veterans and military spouses. We are preparing a report on state strategies to address licensing challenges for veterans and military spouses that will be released in the summer. The Department of Defense currently also participates on our panel of experts to help inform the work of this project. We encourage the Department to continue to proactively put forward data and recommendations and we look forward to continued collaboration with you on this project.

If you have any questions regarding these efforts, please reach out to NGA Legislative Director Mary Catherine Ott ( ; 202.719.2867) for more information.


Scott Pattison
Executive Director
National Governors Association

To view the full letter, click here.