Licensing for Military Members and Spouses


To All Military Members and Families,

The Florida Department of Health is committed to honoring veterans, members of the military and their families. We are sensitive to the many challenges active duty military families face when required by service to relocate. One challenge you should not face is obtaining a health care license to practice your profession.

Florida now offers two license programs to assist active duty members of the Armed Forces and their spouses. The first is related to exemption from license renewal requirements; the second provides temporary license provisions for spouses of active duty members of the Armed Forces. Additionally, waiver of licensing fees is available for honorably discharged military veterans.

As a former Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, I know firsthand the sacrifices you make on behalf of our country. We will do everything within our power to make your licensure experience one that reflects our gratitude for your service.

Sincerely,

John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS
State Surgeon General

Dr. John H. Armstrong

State Surgeon General
John H. Armstrong

Military on Active Duty

Renewal Exemption

If you are an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who held a Florida license as a health care practitioner that was in good standing and you were entitled to practice or engage in your profession prior to you joining the armed forces, you may be eligible to be exempt from certain licensure requirements. If exempt, you would not be required to renew your license, pay fees, update your address or perform any other licensure maintenance act. The exemption would extend the duration of your active duty service and for a period of six months after discharge. This license does not permit you to practice your profession in the private sector for profit.

To receive an exemption from the renewal requirements, you will be asked to mail a copy of your orders which provides the beginning and end date of your current enlistment to:

Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C-10
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3260

If you are a Commissioned Officer, you may provide a letter from your commanding officer that reflects the length of your contract with a beginning and end date to fulfill this requirement.

Upon return to civilian life, you will be asked to submit a copy of your DD-214 form to department to change your license status from a Military Active status license to a Clear Active status license.

Area of Critical Need

In 2010, the Florida Legislature expanded the eligibility criteria for a physician seeking licensure limited to Areas of Critical Need. Section 458.315, Florida Statutes, expands the licensure eligibility criteria, which required licensure in another jurisdiction, by adding an additional option for applicants not currently licensed in another jurisdiction but with 10 years of honorable military service. For experienced military physicians who might not qualify for or are not interested in applying for a full Florida license to practice medicine, this law provides the opportunity to serve Florida patients in those areas where health care is most needed.

Military Spouses

Temporary License for Military Spouse 

Valid for one year: Non-renewable

As a spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States you may be issued a temporary license to practice your health care profession in Florida. The purpose of s. 456.024(3), Florida Statutes, was to allow the spouse of an active duty military member who is assigned to a duty station in Florida the opportunity to work in his/her respective profession. If the spouse desires to practice beyond the expiration of the “temporary license,” we recommend beginning the regular licensing application process as soon as possible. A temporary military spouse license is valid for one year.

To qualify for a temporary license, your spouse must be on active duty and assigned to a duty station in Florida and you must hold a valid license as a health care professional in another state, the District of Columbia, any United States territory or possession, or a foreign jurisdiction.

Application Requirements:

  • Download a printable application
  • Pay required fees as indicated on the application
  • Proof of marriage to an active duty member of the Armed Forces – a copy of your military dependent ID card can serve as proof.
  • Proof of the spouse’s active duty assignment in Florida  - a copy of your spouse’s military orders that reflect an active duty assignment in Florida
  • Proof of current and valid licensure to practice the desired profession in another state
  • National Practitioner Data Bank Report http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/
  • Effective January 1, 2013, applicants for initial licensure must use a LiveScan service provider to submit a set of fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for the purpose of conducting a search for any Florida and national criminal history records that may pertain to applicant. The results of the search will be returned to the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse and made available to the Department for consideration during the licensure process. The fingerprints submitted by the applicant will be retained by FDLE and the Clearinghouse. All costs for conducting a criminal history background screening are borne by the applicant.It is important to use the correct Originating Agency Identification (ORI) when submitting fingerprints. If you do not provide an ORI number or if you provide an incorrect ORI number to the service provider, the board office will not receive your fingerprint results, so it is extremely important to use the correct ORI when having your fingerprints scanned.Applicants can use any FDLE approved LiveScan service provider to submit their fingerprints. The applicant is fully responsible for selecting the service provider and ensuring the results are reported to the Department.  If you are applying for initial licensure after December 15, 2012, You must print this form and take it with you to a Livescan service provider. For more information, FAQs, and a list of all approved Livescan service providers please visit the Department’s website.
  • Proof the applicant is otherwise qualified to receive a full license in the profession or is eligible to take the Florida licensure examination for that profession.  To demonstrate eligibility the applicant must complete the full licensure application for the profession and submit all supporting documentation required by that application (with the exception of fees or other documentation that may be duplicative).  The full licensure application may be obtained by using the dropdown list above.

Renewal Exemption

A spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States may be exempt from all license renewal requirements as long as the licensee is absent from the state because of his/her spouse’s active duty assignment.

To receive an exemption from the renewal requirements, mail a copy of your spouse’s orders which provides the beginning and end date of their current enlistment to:

Department of Health
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin C-10
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3260

If your spouse is a Commissioned Officer, you may provide a letter from his/her commanding officer that reflects the length of their contract with a beginning and end date to fulfill this requirement.

Upon your spouse returning to civilian life, you will be asked to submit a copy of their DD-214 form to department to change your license status from a Military Active status license to a Clear Active status license.  For more information on these provisions, please call the department’s Customer Contact Center at (850) 488-0595.

Veterans

Military Veteran Fee Waiver

In 2013, the Florida Legislature amended section 456.013, Florida Statutes, authorizing the Department of Health (DOH) to waive the initial licensing fee, the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity fee for military veterans who apply for a health care practitioner license. The application must be submitted within 24 months after honorable discharge from any branch of the United States Armed Forces.

General Information

  • The initial license fee, initial application fee and initial unlicensed activity fee will be waived for veterans returning from service, provided the veteran applies for licensure within 24 months of being honorably discharged.
  • This waiver does not include examination fees.

Application Requirements

  • The applicant must have served in a branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  • The applicant must have been honorably discharged in the past 24 months prior to the date of application.
  • The applicant must provide a DD-214 or NGB-22 form as proof of honorable discharge.
  • The Military Veteran Fee Waiver Request must be submitted with your application for licensure.

Veteran Fee Waiver How to Apply

OR

  • Complete the Military Veteran Fee Waiver Request Form and mail your completed application, documentation and application for licensure to the Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, P.O. Box 6330, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6330.

Reimbursement for Veterans’ Professional Examination Costs

The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs will reimburse eligible applicants for the cost of licensing and certification examinations, not to exceed $2,000 per test. These licensing and certification examinations must be generally deemed necessary to pursue a trade or profession. Please see http://www.fdva.org/saa/LiCert.asp for potential reimbursement for examination cost(s).

More Helpful Links

Military personnel, military spouses and veterans of our armed services can also find helpful information at:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs

Workforce Florida

Enterprise Florida

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation