California lawmakers pass bill for license reciprocity for military spouses

New state license reciprocity legislation was signed and passed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oct. 8, 2021, easing restrictions for veterans and spouses of California active-duty service members to actively practice certain professions or vocations.

The bill, AB 107, goes into effect July 1, 2023, and grants spouses whose out-of-state licensing is in good standing an “expedited, temporary authorization to practice while meeting state-specific requirements for a period of at least one year.”

The expansion includes all licenses under the Department of Consumer Affairs. This includes, but is not limited to, the boards for: accountancy, architecture, barbering/cosmetology, dental, engineers, medical, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physical assistant, psychology, veterinary, and real estate.

For military families, constantly moving to bases across state lines, spouse license reciprocity often poses a challenge. Military spouses seeking to continue their professional careers are often faced with state-specific vocational licensing requirements. In order to gain recertification or qualification, they can face costly and time-consuming processes from state-to-state.

California hosts more than 62,000 active-duty military spouses, the highest in the United States. Of that, it is estimated that 24 percent of military spouses seeking work cannot obtain work, 42 percent of those who are working are paid lower than their education and work experience levels, and 34 percent of military spouses are working in a field requiring an occupational license.

“California currently stands as the state with the highest active-duty service member population,” said Sandy Person, executive director of the Travis (AFB) Community Consortium. “We, the TCC, are thrilled that California’s signature legislation will now provide timely professional license portability to our highly skilled and phenomenal military spouses! We are grateful to all our communities, mayors, and defense organizations in voicing their faithful support.”

Interested applicants will need to meet the below requirements to be granted the temporary authorization from the Department of Consumer Affairs:

* Applicant must provide evidence they are a military spouse

* Hold a current, valid license for their profession

* Submit an affidavit conferring the above, validated by original licensing jurisdiction

* Never had license denied, revoked or suspended

* Never been disciplined by a licensing entity in another jurisdiction or subject of an unresolved complaint, review or issue

* Submit to a background check

* Must pass a California law and ethics exam as otherwise required by the board for the profession for which seeking licensure

“This was a good day for Team Travis,” said Simmons. “The military demands a lot from our spouses every day,” said Corey Simmons, 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, Calif “This bill not only enhances Airman and family resilience, but also strengthens our ability to retain talented Airmen.”

To read the bill in its entirety, visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB107

To learn more about eligible boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs, visit


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