Most therapists or licensed professional counselors (LPCs) are only licensed and thus work in just one state. But as telehealth continues to grow more popular thanks to the pandemic, the idea of being licensed in another state, otherwise known as “license by endorsement” becomes more popular. If your client moves from California to Florida, you can still work with him if you obtain a Florida license. Furthermore, those living on the border of a state may want to get the license of the other, nearby state to attract further business.
The good news is that you do not necessarily have to live in another state to obtain that state’s license. By following the right procedures, you can get another license instead of transferring your LPC license and start practicing within other states either physically or online. While every state is somewhat different, here are some of the key factors to consider.
As noted above, people have different reasons for wanting to get an out-of-state license. Different reasons should have different approaches.
First, keep in mind that it can take months to get a license from another state. Consequently, you should realize that you may not be able to retain a client if they or you move to another state. If you still want such a thing to be done, you should start the licensing process well before the move. There are also costs such as filing fees or continued education which you may have to complete.
It should be noted that getting new licenses has become somewhat easier over the past year, as some states have loosened medical regulations as part of a COVID response. But by knowing why you need an out-of-state license, you can figure out what exact approach you need to take.
Different States, Different Rules
Unfortunately, every state’s “license by endorsement” policy is somewhat different. But there are a few simple commonalities.
First, you will need to fill out an application, which can usually be found in your state’s department of health website (here is the one from my state of Virginia.) The application will require various documents such as your transcripts and license verification. For this reason, even if you do not plan on getting a license soon, you should always keep such documents on hand. You may also try to reach out to past professors or supervisors for written endorsements.
After that, you may have to take specific courses relating to your state, and then finish filling and notarizing the paperwork. Once that is completed, you will wait. Delays may be possible, and you may have to submit additional information. The only thing you can do after applying is be patient.
Getting that out-of-state license is usually more accessible than your first one, but it still can be difficult and is not for everyone. For example, it may be less suitable for those less willing to telework. But it also can represent a major chance to expand your counseling career, and so should be strongly considered.