Military Spouse Licensing Act: Latest Updates on SCRA Benefits for Spouses

If you’re part of a military family, you’re likely familiar with SCRA benefits for spouses. But did you know another vital piece of legislation affects active duty service members and their families? The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act is a game-changer for military families frequently relocating due to active duty assignments. It enables spouses to more easily transfer their professional licenses from one state to another, significantly expanding their employment opportunities.

The act addresses the challenges military spouses often face when their family is relocated, making it easier for them to continue in their chosen careers. Keeping up to date with this law and its latest developments is essential for maximizing career stability and growth amidst the constant relocations that come with military life.

S.1084 or the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act

What Is the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act?

The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act or S.1084 is a federal law that provides the validity of professional licenses of service members and spouses when relocated because of military orders. This legislation allows spouses’ professional licenses in good standing to be deemed applicable to a similar scope of practice.

Announced in April 2021, this law’s protections are an amendment to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This law has allowed military spouses who move interstate to utilize their occupational licenses despite where it was issued. Moreover, this federal law requires states to acknowledge the validity of the previous licensing authority.

It should be highlighted that this law excludes law practice and medical licenses. The most popular licenses include the following:

  • Cosmetologist
  • Massage therapist
  • Nursing
  • Paramedic
  • Pharmacist
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Social Worker

Eligibility Criteria for Licensure Relief

These are the requirements for licensure relief eligibility:

  • Covered professional license
  • Copy of the military order that states the need for relocation
  • Good standing with the licensing authority that issued the previous license

Active duty servicemembers

Impact of the Act on Military Spouses

This new law has allowed military spouses to apply for more employment opportunities that may have been out of reach because of an active duty service member’s deployment order. This increase in employment opportunities can boost their confidence in moving to other states.

It can also reduce the financial burdens military families may face when they move to a different state because of military orders. There are fewer barriers to employment, granting them the opportunity to better care for their families, professional development, and career growth.

Because of this federal law, spouses won’t have to change professions because their licenses wouldn’t have been valid in the new state where they currently reside. This means they can apply for better job positions that fit their experience and credentials.

Most significantly, this law can improve the quality of life of military families. Military spouses won’t have to find alternatives to provide for their families because their professional licenses are recognized in their state.

Recent Developments in the Military Spouse Licensing Act

As of July 2023, President Biden signed legislation that mandates interstate license transfer standards for spouses. This was accomplished assuming the law would be implemented within a reasonable time after passage.

Likewise, the Justice Department announced formal reminders to state governments. This move encourages states to move forward with recent DoD license transfer policies for military spouses associated with permanent change of station moves. For state-specific legislation, you may visit the Department of Labor’s website.

Updated SCRA Benefits for Spouses

These new developments have fortified the protections granted by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Because of these updates, it’s become more accessible for families to become financially capable of providing for their families.

Technically, the current SCRA protections remain unchanged. However, the ability of families to meet financial obligations improves because of spouses’ employment options. They won’t find it too challenging to apply for another job because of interstate movement.

Military personnel on active duty

Overcoming Challenges: Practical Tips for Military Spouses

While the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act lowers the barrier to work opportunities for military spouses, they may still face challenges when they move because of active duty orders. This law was introduced in 2021, and not all military families may be aware that transferring occupational licenses is now possible. The biggest roadblock is awareness of this new federal law.

In response to this potential issue, military families should stay updated on all the benefits they’re entitled to. There should be more awareness campaigns so families know what to do to have more job opportunities when they move.

Another hindrance may be companies’ and institutions’ refusal to accept the professional license of a military spouse. If this happens, that spouse can seek help from the Department of Defense or seek the counsel of a military lawyer.

Once a service member gets word that they’ll have to move because of active duty orders, their spouses should prepare for all the possible state requirements, documentation, and exam preparations.

Future Prospects: Potential Enhancements and Expansion

The Biden administration is steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the lives of active duty service members and their families. It comes as no surprise that there have been amendments to the Licensing Relief Act since it was enacted in 2021.

While there are no formal updates to the law yet, it is likely that the benefits spouses enjoy will increase further. The barriers to seeking work because of active duty obligations will be lower, and more families will be able to lead the lives they deserve.

Resources And Support For Military Spouses

The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act isn’t the only support military spouses can take advantage of. They can use various resources to cope with the challenges of being part of military families.

For example, Military OneSource offers practical and proven information and connects spouses with experts to lead their best lives. Another excellent resource is the Military Health System. This institution provides peer support for military spouses.

There are plenty of online platforms like social media support groups for military spouses to seek help from people who understand what they’re going through. Connecting with other spouses who experience the same challenges may give them the confidence to pursue different job opportunities when they move due to military orders.

Moreover, there may be local military communities in the state the family will be moving to. These people can provide first-hand insight into navigating through the challenges of moving to that state as well as applying for new jobs.

Conclusion: Empowering Military Spouses Through Licensing Freedom

employment opportunities for military spouses

Having to move yourself and your family can be challenging for anyone. This new law allows military families to seek employment that suits their background and experience. It also gives them confidence that they can still pursue their professional careers even if they move elsewhere. Moreover, the recent developments in the law provide spouses an incentive to apply for more job opportunities.

Thus, more institutions must recognize the laws that protect military families. It’s not only the service member who must sacrifice for the country. Their families are affected, too. This is why they must be given the support they deserve.

Members of the military community need to be aware of their rights, including the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Knowledge is power, and everyone can lead better lives knowing their rights.


What are the SCRA benefits for spouses?

SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) offers various benefits to spouses of active-duty service members. These include protections against contract termination and eviction from personal property. One significant advantage is the reduction of interest rates on debts, easing financial burdens for military families. These benefits aim to provide stability and financial relief to spouses affected by the active-duty obligations of their partners.

What is the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act of 2023?

The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act of 2023 is a crucial legislation designed to assist spouses of military personnel. It allows for the easier transfer of occupational licenses between states, provided that the move was mandated by military orders. This facilitates greater employment opportunities for military spouses, who often face career interruptions due to frequent relocations.

What benefits do military spouses receive?

Military spouses are entitled to a range of benefits designed to support family well-being and career development. These benefits include healthcare coverage, military discounts, and access to commissaries and exchanges for day-to-day needs. Additionally, spouses can receive assistance in achieving their educational and career aspirations, further enhancing their quality of life. These provisions aim to ease the challenges that come with being part of a military family.

Did the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act pass?

Yes, the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act was successfully passed. Initially introduced in April 2021, President Joe Biden signed it into law on January 5, 2023. Further amendments to the legislation were announced in July 2023, aiming to refine and extend its benefits. This law represents a significant step in facilitating employment opportunities for military spouses who often face challenges due to frequent relocations.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.