WASHINGTON (Jan. 6, 2020) – Nearly 30 percent of Americans must have an occupational license in order to work. Each specific license has a unique set of requirements, which makes it more difficult to get a job. Indeed, Georgia has the nation’s 14th most burdensome professional licensing regime, mandating—on average—the passage of two exams, over 460 days of costly education and experience, and $185 in fees.

In a new policy short from the R Street Institute, Director of State Government Affairs Marc Hyden and Director of Commercial Freedom Jarrett Dieterle find that recognizing out-of-state licenses for military spouses will help them get back to work and provide for their families, make it less likely they will seek taxpayer-funded assistance, and boost reenlistment rates.

The authors conclude by saying, “if they are, in fact, married to a servicemember who has been transferred and have a current occupational license in good standing, then Georgia ought not prevent [servicemembers’ spouses] from working. Rather, the state should remove licensing boards’ discretion over whether to recognize out-of-state licenses and allow military spouse licensure portability across state lines. Doing so would greatly benefit an untold number of Georgians and the operability of the United States military.”