Navy Military Spouse License Transfer Policy
If you get permanent change of station (PCS) orders and must pack up your home and move across the country, there are many considerations to make for your move. And for a Navy spouse, that could mean packing up a career along with the pots and pans. And for those in careers that require state-level licenses or certification, moving presents a set of challenges. Will the new state accept the spouse’s credentials or will they have to apply for a new license or certificate?
Fortunately, Navy spouses with professional licenses for state-regulated occupations may have options to transfer their licenses to the new state and get reimbursed by the federal government.
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–a federally mandated expansion/enhancement of existing “reciprocity” programs between the states making it easier for military spouses to relocate.
Thanks to these and other changes in federal policy, the U.S. Navy may reimburse the expenses related to licensure and/or recertification directly related to PCS moves.
Navy Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Policy
Military spouses who moved across state lines because of a PCS move on or after December 12, 2017 may qualify if they are listed on the sailor’s orders. The spouse must be “command sponsored” meaning the military has authorized the spouse to accompany the sailor to their new assignment.
The Navy will reimburse “qualified relicensing costs” associated with getting an identical or equivalent license in a new state. You may qualify for up to $1,000 per reimbursement which can include exam fees and registration fees.
Qualifying for the License Transfer Reimbursement
- The sailor must be reassigned. This may be “either as a PCS or permanent change of assignment from a permanent duty station (PDS) in one state to a PDS in another state” according to the Navy.
- The military spouse must be registered in DEERS and the sailor’s PCS or PCA orders must name the spouse.
- The spouse was “employed in a profession requiring certification at the PDS in a previous state”.
- The spouse must be required to obtain recertification in the new state.
- To claim this benefit after returning from an overseas assignment, “the license from the PDS State held prior to overseas assignment may be used if the new PDS is in the United States but in a different State” according to Navy.mil.
How to Apply For Navy Military Spouse License Transfer Reimbursement
To request this benefit, complete a Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Request Memorandum and Optional Form 1164 Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business (voucher) which must be completed digitally. You are asked to submit a “reimbursement package” which according to Navy.mil must include:
- Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Request Memorandum.
- Signed Optional Form 1164 Voucher
- Copy of current PCS orders
- Copy of the license from the previous state
- Copy of new license issued by the new state
- Copy of the receipts for the amount claimed
Scan and email the complete package to:
MyNavy Career Center (MNCC) at ASKMNCC.FCT@NAVY.MIL.
Things to Know About Transferring Licenses From State to State
This benefit is offered as reimbursement. You must obtain the transfer and pay for it first, then apply. You will not be approved or paid in advance.
Some states may have more strict transfer guidelines than others, and some states may require more credentialing for the same type of license than others. You may be required to take additional training or continuing education in your new state that you weren’t obligated to attend elsewhere. The U.S. Navy does not guarantee that all licenses will transfer in all situations.
To learn more, contact your Detailer, Senior Chief, or orderly room.
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.