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September 17, 2018

Military Spouse Employment Licensing

Welcome to Utah! We are glad you are moving to the state and hope you find your time here to be one of the most personally and professionally rewarding assignments with the military.

The State of Utah is committed to making your employment transition as seamless as possible. To that end, Utah passed a law in the 2018 General Session that expanded the exemption for military and military spouses stationed in Utah from needing a State of Utah issued occupational or professional license to be employed in the state – provided you maintain a valid license in another state. This exemption is one of the first of its kind in the country, and supports the services’ priority of making military spouse careers more portable, profitable, and fulfilling.

For source documentation and code language:

The military and spouse exemption applies to virtually all professions in Utah including:

The 80+ professions regulated by the Department of Commerce Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing (DOPL).

For additional info from DOPL:

The K-12 teaching profession is administered by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).

Note: in addition to the licensing exemption, USBE has implemented an expedited review/processing procedures for military spouses as well as more liberal reciprocity requirements of all out of state license transfers.

For additional info on UBOE:
Follow the “Out-of-State (OOS) License” link/application.

Some practical information of note:

As a new law, information and implementation details can take time to get to every hiring organization, HR office, and hiring manager. You are encouraged to be your own advocate. If you enter a hiring situation where the employer is not aware of this exemption, please provide them a copy of the linked Memorandum.

Some spouses may still find it advantageous to get a State of Utah issued license even if the exemption might not require it. Certain employment funding sources might still require a local license. Additionally, it might be easier or less expensive to maintain a license locally. Please evaluate your personal circumstances and know you retain the ability to get a Utah issued license.

One industry not covered by this exemption is the insurance industry (due to fraud and enforcement issues). There is seamless licensing reciprocity and no license fee for military and spouses. For additional info:

Also note that this law only provides exemptions for State of Utah issued licenses. It does not change the license requirement for private entities not regulated by State law (Utah State Bar, for example).

This law is not a hiring preference program. Employers still have their choice of applicants, but it permits them to hire qualified military and military spouses with their out-of-state license.

If you or they have any questions or issues with the implementation or applicability of the Utah law, please feel free to reach out to our office: 801-326-2372