Online Applications Open for Additional State Medical Licenses

April 24, 2017 03:34 pm News Staff

Many primary care physicians who want to practice medicine in more than one state now have a faster way to apply for additional licenses.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact this month launched a webpage( where physicians can begin applying to become licensed in another state. The online application is the result of a five-year effort to create simplified interstate licensing standards.

The application process is open to physicians in the 18 states that have enacted legislation to participate in the compact. Seven other states and the District of Columbia have such legislation pending, according to data compiled by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).(

The compact will enable more physicians to provide care to patients in rural and underserved areas by enhancing license portability and facilitating telemedicine.

Physicians' applications for licenses in additional states are reviewed by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission in the state where they already have a license, and then the information is shared with the other compact member state or states where they want to be licensed.

To qualify for interstate licensure through the compact, physicians must meet nine eligibility( requirements that include passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States after no more than three attempts, holding an unrestricted medical license in a state participating in the compact, and having no history of a medical disciplinary action. The FSMB estimates that 80 percent of U.S. physicians would meet the requirements.

The application process includes a fingerprint scan that the state of principal licensure uses to conduct background checks, which take several weeks.

Applicants who are denied will receive a letter outlining the reason for disqualification.

Application costs range from $75 in Alabama and Wisconsin to $700 in Illinois, but average about $300.

Each medical license will still be issued by a state medical board, and any license obtained through the compact will have the same licensing parameters currently set by the state board.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, which is composed of two members from each participating state, serves as an information exchange between the physician's home state and the state where the application is being sent. The FSMB helped member states create the compact, but no single entity has authority over the institution.

Related AAFP News Coverage
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Goes Live
Creating Oversight Commission Is Next Step Toward Multistate Practice