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Military Spouse Benefits: Get Reimbursed for Licensure When You PCS

If your career requires a professional license or certification, your service branch can help reimburse costs that come up when you PCS. The military services continue to support military spouse employment by offering up to $500 in licensure and certification costs resulting from relocations or military moves that cross U.S. state lines.

About spouse licensure reimbursement policies

The specific policy and reimbursement procedures vary by service branch. Each service branch may offer up to $500 in reimbursement per move for spouses who move across state lines due to a PCS and want to hold the same license or certification in their new location. Spouses of both active-duty and Reserve Component service members are eligible for this benefit as long as their members are serving on active duty. The following is an overview of how each branch handles reimbursement. Follow the included links for more information.

  • Army: The Army defines “qualified relicensing costs” as any fees or costs associated with getting the same or similar license in a new state that a spouse held at their previous location. You can apply for reimbursement after getting your new license or certification. Commanders will assign local officers to approve documents and eligibility status. Once approved, the reimbursement will transfer to a soldier’s direct deposit account within 10 working days. You’ll need:
    • Standard Form 1034, “Public Voucher for Purchases and Services Other Than Personal”
    • Copy of PCS orders
    • Copy of spouse’s previous state license or certification that was valid at the previous station
    • Copy of new state license or certification
    • Proof of fee payment
    • Copy of marriage certificate

    See the Army’s announcement of the policy and more details about the reimbursement process.
  • Marine Corps: The Marine Corps defines “qualified relicensing/recertification costs” as any required exam costs or registration fees set by the new state, so the spouse can continue working in their current profession. You can apply for reimbursement after getting your new license or certification. Bring the required documentation to your local on-base Personnel Administration Office or Center. You’ll need:
    • Copy of PCS orders
    • Copy of spouse’s previous state license or certification that was valid at the previous station
    • Copy of new state license or certification
    • Receipt showing the fees paid in the new state

    See the Marine Corps’ announcement of the policy and more details about the reimbursement process.
  • Navy: The Navy defines “qualified relicensing costs” as any fees or costs associated with getting the same or similar license in a new state that a spouse held at their previous location. This includes exam and registration fees. You can apply for reimbursement after getting your new license or certification. You’ll need:
    • Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Request Memorandum
    • Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business voucher
    • Copy of PCS/PCA orders
    • Copy of spouse’s previous state license or certification that was valid at the previous station, or proof of employment in that profession if a license was not required in the previous state
    • Copy of new state license or certification
    • Copy of receipt for relicensing and/or recertification fees

    See steps for filing a claim for more about the process. Also see the Navy’s announcement of the policy, along with eligibility information and how to apply.
  • Air Force: The Air Force defines “qualified relicensing costs” as any required exam costs or registration fees set by the new state so the spouse can keep working in their current profession. You can apply for reimbursement after getting your new license or certification. Bring the required documents to your local servicing finance office. There, staff can walk you through the other required forms. You’ll need:
    • Copy of PCS/PCA orders
    • Copy of spouse’s previous state occupational license or certification
    • Paid receipt showing the new state’s relicensure fees

    See the Air Force’s announcement of the policy, along with answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Coast Guard: The Coast Guard defines “qualified relicensing costs” as any fees or costs associated with getting the same or similar license in a new state that a spouse held at their previous location. You can apply for reimbursement after getting your new license or certification. You’ll need:
    • Claim for Members for Expenditures on Official Business voucher
    • Copy of current PCS orders
    • Copy of new state license and/or certifications
    • Copy of receipt for relicensing and/or recertification fees

    See License and Certification Reimbursement for Spouses to learn more about the process.

    If you have questions on licensure or certification, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to speak with a SECO career coach or use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website for additional guidance. You can also visit the Department of Labor Military Spouse License Recognition Map for up-to-date legislation and licensure information for your specific state.

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