Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act Intended to Cut Unemployment Rate Among Military Spouses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced her support for legislation to make it easier for military spouses with valid professional licenses to continue their careers in the state where their spouse is serving on military orders.

Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).  

“Mississippi is a welcoming duty station for servicemembers and their working spouses,” Hyde-Smith said.  “A national standard for recognizing the occupational licenses of military spouses across state lines would have many potential benefits.  It would help improve military family life, add to the economy, and, importantly, allow a military spouse to fulfill their career goals.”

In announcing its “Military Spouse Licensure:  State Best Practices and Strategies for Achieving Reciprocity” report in February, the Department of Defense indicated military spouses face a 24 percent unemployment rate, which is driven by the mobile military life and new professional licensure requirements associated with interstate moves.

S.4608 would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to require states to recognize occupational licenses of servicemembers’ spouses from one state to the next for servicemembers who move across state lines because of a Permanent Change of Station order.  

The SCRA already provides protections involving rental agreements, civil judicial proceedings, installment contracts, and credit card and mortgage interest rates for active duty servicemembers and their families.

Additional cosponsors include:  Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).