Marine Corps Military Spouse License Transfer Policy
Marines who receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders know they must pack their belongings, move, and start living in a new location. That all by itself can be a challenge, but what about Marine spouses who have to transfer a career to the new location?
Military spouses with professional licenses for state-regulated occupations may have the option to transfer their licenses to the new state. They may also be reimbursed by the federal government under qualifying circumstances.
Federal laws passed at the end of 2022 made it easier to perform these transfers thanks to legislation requiring the states to accept military spouse licenses from other states.
You could view this as a federal enhancement of state reciprocity programs active prior to the new law; in any case, spouses may have it easier when trying to transfer a professional license when that transfer is directly related to a permanent change of station move.
Licensure Reimbursement Policy for Marine Corps Spouses
Marine Corps spouses of service members “of any rank” are eligible to apply, but applications must be for reimbursing license transfers associated with PCS moves. Transfers qualify when they are for the same type of license or its equivalent in the new location.
The Marine Corps offers to repay “qualified costs, ” including exam fees, registration fees, etc. There is no guarantee of reimbursement for expenses that fall outside these areas.
The maximum you can be repaid is $1,000 per PCS move. Some may have looked into this option in the past when the maximum was much lower ($500); from 2023 forward, the maximum amount is $1k.
How to Apply
You will need to gather documentation including:
- Copy of PCS orders
- Copy of spouse’s previous state license or certification
- Copy of new state license or certification
- A receipt showing the fees paid in the new state
Marine Corps spouses typically apply for reimbursement after obtaining the transfer.
Costs Not Covered by the Marine Corps Spouse Professional License Transfer Policy
The U.S. Marine Corps includes a specific 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
- Travel costs
Things to Know About Transferring Licenses From State to State
This benefit is normally offered as a reimbursement. Don’t assume the government will pay you or the appropriate agency in advance. In typical cases, you should start the transfer and pay for it first, then apply for reimbursement.
Some states may have more strict license transfer guidelines than the one you are leaving. Your “gaining state” may require more credentialing for the same type of license.
In order to successfully transfer a professional license to a new state, some may be required to take additional training or continuing education in the gaining state.
Some branches of service have listed specific end dates for their license transfer reimbursement policy. Others do not. In the case of the United States Marine Corps, at press time there is a set expiration date for this program. It officially ends in 2025.
About the author
Editor-in-Chief 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.