Texas HHS Now Recognizes Certain Out-Of-State Occupational Licenses Of Military Spouses

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services is recognizing out-of-state occupational licenses for spouses of military service members so that families moving to Texas can start work quickly.

“As part of our dedication to service members and their families, we are creating a pathway that offers spouses of service men and women an opportunity to get to work as soon as possible if they already meet the necessary requirements in Texas,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “This will give military families a head-start as they establish themselves in our great state.”

Under S.B. 1200, passed by the 86th Legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, military spouses can conduct business or hold an occupation in Texas for up to three years without an occupational license issued by the State of Texas. This change only applies to spouses who are licensed and in good standing in another state that has licensing standards substantially equivalent to those in Texas.

“Military families stationed in Texas shouldn’t be kept waiting on an income because of bureaucratic red tape and burdensome state licensing requirements,” said Sen. Donna Campbell, who co-authored the legislation. “The Support for Military Spouses Act ensures that if the spouse of a service member has a valid occupational license from another state that they can begin to work in their field immediately. This is a win-win for our workforce and our military families.”

The new rules apply to a variety of occupations licensed or administered by HHS, including social work, emergency medical services, child care administration, nurse aides, family and marriage therapy, asbestos and lead inspection, nursing facility administration, counseling, and industrial radiography.

“Our military families are the backbone of our force and are unequal in their support of our troops. SB 1200 can make the transition less stressful on military families transferring to a new duty station in Texas and benefits military spouses of all components of the US Armed Forces,” said Major General Tracy Norris, The Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department.

To qualify, military spouses will first need to notify HHS about their intent to practice in Texas. They will also need to submit a copy of their military ID card and proof of their Texas residency. After HHS verifies the information and the spouse’s occupational license in another state, HHS will send a confirmation letter to the spouse. After receiving the letter, the military spouse can practice their business or occupation for up to three years without a Texas license.

“Enabling spouses the opportunity to use their occupational licenses directly benefits the economic well-being of our future Texas veterans,” said Al Cantu, Chairman of the Texas Veterans Commission. “This is one of the many ways Texas supports those in the Armed Forces and our veterans.”

HHS is accepting out-of-state occupational licenses in good standing and that are substantially equivalent to Texas licensing requirements. The goal is to allow military spouses to work quickly and also ensure the health and safety of the people they serve.

For more information, please visit the out-of-state occupational licenses of military spouses page.

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