To ensure state licensing laws do not unfairly restrict the mobility of licensed workers, states have adopted various forms of reciprocity, licensure compacts or universal licensing.

Licensing reciprocity enables a licensee in one state to work in another state. Whether or not a state accepts a license from another state may depend upon the training, testing and length of licensure in licensee’s home state.

According to the Council of State Governments, over 40 states and territories have adopted occupational licensure compacts for various occupations. The compacts create reciprocal professional licensing practices between states, while ensuring the quality and safety of services.

Universal licensing allows an individual licensed in another state to receive a comparable license upon moving to a state if they meet certain criteria. For example, Arizona recently enacted a universal licensing recognition law whereby Arizona's licensing boards will recognize out-of-state occupational licenses for people who have been licensed in their profession for at least one year, are in good standing in all states where they are licensed, pay applicable fees, and meet all residency, testing, and background check requirements.

Contact the state you are applying to in order to inquire about their current application process.