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In dealing with a licensing board it is essential to keep in mind that the board deals with multiple inquiries, demands and applicants on any given day, so a response to your inquiry may not be as timely as you would like. This is not to say that your issue is not important, but that there are many issues brought to a licensing board that are equally important and some of which demand a licensing board’s immediate attention.
Start the process by reading the laws and rules for licensure in the state in which you hope to be licensed. Doing so will help you know whether you have met all of the requirements for licensure. It is your responsibility to make sure all requirements have been met and that the licensing board has proper documentation of your completion of those requirements.
It might be of benefit to you to contact the licensing board in the state in which you hope to be licensed long before you are ready to apply, in order to make sure you are on the right path. It is better to know sooner rather than later if you are not meeting all of the legal requirements for licensure in that state or to clarify any questions you might have.
If you are calling or emailing with regard to an application for licensure, it is important to ensure that you have submitted all the necessary documentation and fees for the application prior to asking questions about your particular application status. The vast majority of the time, when the process seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time, it is because the licensing board does not have all the information from you that is legally required for it to make a decision. Most licensing boards will also provide you with information about the status of the process of your application with regard to any documentation that may remain outstanding before a final review can occur.
Be aware of any deadlines and promptly notify the licensing board of any delays in obtaining documents.
Ensure that the licensing board has your current contact information on record at all times. Licensing boards typically require formal written notification of a change of address. A piece of correspondence with a different mailing address does not constitute official notification of an address change.
Remember that the licensing board must act in accordance with governing legislation and regulations/bylaws, as well as policy. If you receive a response that is unfavorable regarding your application, ask if there is a process of formal appeal that you may access if it is not already provided in the communication that you receive from the licensing board. It is important at these times to recognize that the licensing board is required to apply its statutes and regulations/rules equally and fairly.
Be aware that the primary responsibility of a regulatory body is to protect the interests of the public and not to advocate for the individual practitioner or the profession. The licensing board works to ensure that the services provided by licensed/registered practitioners are ethical, competent and consistent with acceptable standards. To that extent, boards will assist you as much as possible in going through the application process and in understanding applicable provisions of statutes and regulations/rules related to practice in the jurisdiction.
Note that the licensure process for foreign-trained applicants may differ from those trained in the U.S. More information for foreign-trained applicants can be found HERE.
When possible submit your questions in writing via email or standard mail. This allows the licensing board to provide you with a considered written response and minimizes misunderstanding which sometimes can occur in telephone conversations. Note that some licensing boards require communication in writing.
Recognize that various members of the licensing board staff are able to respond to your questions. It is normally better not to insist on speaking directly to the Administrator/Registrar because it may be some time before that person is available to respond to you. Staff are well-versed in the issues/questions relating to licensure and will consult with the appropriate resource(s) in the event if required.
Do not leave a message with or send emails to multiple staff, since staff will not know when another staff member has responded to your issue.
When leaving a message by voicemail or sending an email, provide as much information as possible. If a staff member is unable to reach you when returning your call, a detailed answer may be possible via voicemail if all of your information is provided in your original communication to the licensing board. Responses to issues related to an application for licensure are usually responded to in a timely, but not necessarily immediate, manner.
The Multi-Discipline Licensure Resource Project is is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant Number H7FRH37567-01-00 for Coronavirus Licensure Portability Grant Program. Any information, content, or conclusions on this website are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.