JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Military spouses who are undergoing a permanent change of station, or PCS, and whose jobs require an occupational license, face several challenges and obstacles when trying to renew or transfer their license to the new state.
Through the Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition program, spouses now have options that support continuity of work which and allow states to accept or expedite licenses or authorize temporary licenses.
The program is part of a U.S. Department of Labor initiative to reduce employment barriers and enhance career opportunities for military spouses, who can experience employment gaps and costly interruptions in their career trajectory, according to the Department of Labor website.
Yazmine Gutierrez, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center work/life consultant, said many states, including Texas, provide options for military spouses whose career fields require occupational licenses to work.
Gutierrez said those options include having the occupational license the military spouse obtained in their previous state transferred and recognized in the state they are PCSing to.
“This program allows spouses a transferability of skills and employment,” Gutierrez said. “It gives spouses the ability to maintain a portable career in their chosen career field, and ultimately, continued gainful employment.”
Gutierrez said JBSA M&FRCs can provide assistance to servicemembers and spouses to put the required documentation together to obtain reimbursement for any fees incurred for state occupational licensing and recertification.
Spouses, depending on eligibility and branch of service, may be reimbursed for up to $1,000 in occupational state licensing and recertification fees due to a PCS through the Licensure Reimbursement Program.
To receive reimbursement, military spouses must file within 24 months of the date of PCS and must provide other relevant documentation, including copies of receipts for licensing and recertification fees, a copy of the occupational license, and a copy of the PCS orders.
“The JBSA Military & Family Readiness Centers can assist spouses and servicemembers by reviewing their claim package and supporting documents to make sure the package is complete prior to filing with Finance,” Gutierrez said. “We’re here to help during this whole process.”
In addition, information and resources about the Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition Options program are at https://www.veterans.gov/milspouses. The website includes an interactive map where users can click on a state to view information on each state’s licensing procedures and requirements for specific career fields, including licensing boards.
For information on the Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition Options program, contact JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC at 210-221-2705, JBSA-Lackland M&FRC at 210-671-3722, or JBSA-Randolph M&FRC at 210-652-5321, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.