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State law fast-tracks military members for professional licenses

A total of 275 military service members and their spouses were quickly licensed to begin working in 2020 thanks to a law passed by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville. Stuart sponsored House Bill 1652, which fast-tracks the professional licensing process for military families who relocate to Illinois by requiring that their completed applications be reviewed within 60 days.

“Military families don’t always have a ton of time to plan their move to a new place,” said Stuart. “I’d heard firsthand from families at Scott Air Force Base that they were losing out on income while waiting to transfer their professional license from another state, which led me to think about ways to make their transition smoother. I’m happy to see the effectiveness of this program and hope to see its continued success in the coming year.”

Passed in 2019, Stuart’s House Bill 1652 requires the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to publish an annual report on the expedited licensure program for service members and spouses. According to the Department, 275 military applications sought professional licensure last year, and the average initial review time of applications was between one and three business days. The full report for calendar year 2020 is available here.

“My goal with this legislation was to ease some of the career turbulence military families experience when moving from place to place,” said Stuart. “It looks to have been implemented successfully, as the recent report from IDFPR shows considerable effort on their part to quickly license qualified service members and their spouses to work and make a living.”

In 2020, 140 military applicants contacted the Department seeking to become licensed professionals in Illinois. Additionally, 135 military spouse applicants contacted the Department, bringing the total to 275. The average initial review time of an application is currently 1-3 business days.

Another sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville, right, said, “Our military families have already made great sacrifices to protect our freedoms. Providing them with the resources they need to start their careers in Illinois is the least we could do,” Belt said. “When a military family relocates to Illinois, it’s crucial that we make their transition as easy as possible.”

This story was updated to include comments from Sen. Belt.



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