One of the challenges military spouses face with employment is their spouse’s career has them moving to a new location every few years. This can make it difficult to have a career in general. But another challenge military spouses have faced in the past is getting licensed so they can continue their career in a new location. It always adds another layer of complication. Many people do not realize the work, money, and time that is required to get licensed in a new state. Normally, people get licensed and continue to work in that state until they retire. But that isn’t the case for military spouses. To help military families, President Biden just signed a provision into law that will allow military spouses the ability to transfer their license when they move to a new state due to a PCS.

3 Advantages from Recent Legislation Change

This new legislation is a game changer for military spouses. Now, they can transfer their license instead of going through the process of getting a new license each time they move. Here are three advantages for military spouses.

1. Time

One of the biggest benefits this change gives military spouses is the advantage of time. Getting a new license is often a time-intensive process, as well as, a costly process. Giving military spouses the ability to transfer their licenses means they no longer have to wait for a new license before they can work at their new assignment.

Military spouses have had to spend their own time and effort to go through each state’s requirements to be licensed. They also have to spend time waiting for approval from the state. Some licensing processes are quicker than others. But any time required to wait for a license is time they can’t be working. And with a military spouse moving at regular intervals, any amount of time not working while waiting for a license is too long.

2. Income

With the portability legislation in place, they can start working once they arrive at their new location with just a simple transfer of their license. With the waiting game over, it reduces the financial strain on military households that depend on income from both spouses. This transitional period was often difficult for military families who relied on their spouse’s income to help cover the gap between the military pay and the standard of living they were accustomed to. There are a lot of financial considerations when making moves. The sooner paychecks are rolling in, the smoother family life is for everyone.

3. The next generation of spouses

This new law also allows more opportunities for future military spouses. Before I became a freelance writer, I had my Professional Engineering license in Ohio. I knew that if I wanted to continue in the field of engineering, each time we moved, I would need to go through the process of gaining a new license. It was one of the reasons I chose not to continue in engineering.

Giving military spouses the opportunity to gain a license and not have to worry about where the military will move them next allows more military spouses to choose careers that require licenses. Often these careers mean higher salaries and therefore more opportunities for military spouses. Defense officials have estimated that approximately 132,000 (39%) employed active military spouses have careers requiring licenses with this new open door that number is expected to continue to grow.

It is exciting news to see the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act passage. It also opens the door to the next step of how this legislation will be implemented. But it is a big win for military spouses who have advocated for years to make this change a reality.

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Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.