“With military spouses, the main issue is that licenses don’t transfer easily across state lines,” said Shoshana Weissmann, an analyst who works on occupational licensing reform for R Street, a public policy think tank in Washington.

“What you need is for licenses to transfer quickly, but there’s another problem: Not every state licenses everything,” she said.

Some spouses are in career fields with loose regulations in one state and more stringent licensing requirements after a transfer. Getting states to harmonize licensing standards or honor the vocational license of a military spouse after a move has proved difficult.

“This has to be up to the states now and getting them interested,” Ms. Weissmann said. “They just don’t understand how much this affects people. It’s a small amount of the population, but it matters.”

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