Sunrise and sunset review processes enable states to address burdensome or out-of-date occupational licensing requirements. According to a 2015 White House report on Occupational Licensing, sunrise and sunset review is an important way for legislators and regulators to consider the merits of licensure and its effects on public health and safety, provider supply, administrative costs, and the price of goods and services.

A sunrise review occurs before a law is enacted. Proponents of licensure who want to regulate must outline the potential impacts, costs and benefits of occupational licensing. Lawmakers then review the information as they consider whether to enact further licensing requirements.

Once a law is in place, sunset review enables a state board, commission or agency to periodically review occupational licensing requirements to ensure the law is maintaining a proper balance between protecting health and safety and not being overly burdensome.

According to NCSL, fourteen states have sunrise processes and thirty-six states have a sunset process for evaluating existing occupational licensing laws.