Coast Guard Spouse Professional License Transfer Policy
Coast Guard members with permanent change of station (PCS) orders have to pack up their belongings, move to the new assignment, and continue to serve in the Coast Guard in the new location.
Married couples face an additional challenge–how does a Coast Guard spouse move their career across the country?
Spouses with professional licenses for state-regulated occupations may have the option to transfer their licenses to the new state and be compensated by the DoD for doing so.
Federal laws passed in 2022 make it easier to perform these transfers thanks to legislation requiring the states to accept military spouse licenses from other states.
Some view this change in policy as a federal “enhancement” of existing state license reciprocity programs. Military spouses may have an easier time transferring a professional license but it is important to remember that these transfers may be reimbursed only during a permanent change of station move.
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Coast Guard Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Policy
Spouses of service members “of any rank” may be eligible to apply, and typically such transfers qualify when they are for the same type of license or its equivalent.
The U.S. Coast Guard will reimburse the servicemember for expenses related to transferring the credentials, including “any required exam costs or registration fees set by the new state so the spouse can keep working in their current profession”.
Up to $1,000 in reimbursement is offered per move.
Documents You Need To Apply For A Spouse License Transfer
- Copy of PCS orders or equivalent
- Copy of spouse’s previous state occupational license or certification
- Paid receipt showing the new state fees
- Claim for Members for Expenditures on Official Business voucher
Apply for reimbursement after the new state license or certification arrives. Contact your command support staff or finance office to learn where to submit your application as it is typically submitted via e-mail.
>>Learn about Spouse and dependent military benefits
Costs Not Covered by the Coast Guard Spouse License Transfer Policy
U.S. Coast Guard policy for this program includes a list of expenses that cannot be repaid under this program They include, but may not be limited to:
- Costs not associated with PCS moves;
- Expenses related to failed attempts to obtain relicensure;
- License transfer costs associated with separation or retirement orders;
- Reimbursement is not authorized for “moves upon accession” or the Career Intermission Program.
Things to Know About Transferring Licenses From State to State
This benefit is a reimbursement. It is not paid in advance. You should expect to pay for the transfer up front then file the paperwork to be reimbursed.
Your gaining or losing state may have different license transfer guidelines than others. The “gaining state” may require more credentialing for the same type of license, or it may not have as many requirements depending on circumstances.
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About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.