November 4, 2021

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Heather Tahler

How To Become A Licensed Therapist In Florida (By License Type)

This week, we are bringing you advice about one of the most common questions our practitioners ask: how do I get licensed in another state?

This week, we are bringing you advice about one of the most common questions our practitioners ask: how do I get licensed in another state?

While this guide offers a deeper look into how you can expand into Florida specifically, many of its principles can be applied to any state you are interested in.

Some self-disclosure on why I am writing this post: I am a psychologist who currently holds 6 state licenses. I have found greater freedom in my practice through “crossing state lines” and I wanted to share some of what I have learned during the process. Wherever you are in the process of licensing in multiple states, I hope this is helpful for you!

Why would I want to get licensed in another state?

This is a great question. With the growth of teletherapy, many practitioners are feeling unrestricted by state borders or having a physical office space. Here are some other benefits of getting licensed in another state:

  • Opening your panel to new patients
  • If you have a niche specialty area, you can reach more patients
  • You could help support underserved states
  • Time zones may work in your favor. For example, if you are a morning person you could see people on the west coast before their work day begins to fill your morning spots.

While the positive aspects of multiple licenses show through, there can be some negatives as well. There is an additional cost to be licensed in multiple states as each state has their own renewal and license fees. In addition, different states may have their own CE requirements. More on that in the next section.

General advice for multi-state licensure

It is wonderful that you are considering licensure in another state. In addition to patience (each state has their own timeline) I recommend the following to make the process as smooth as possible:

Review the requirements first

Before submitting any paperwork, do an overview of the requirements so you feel ready. How many training hours do they require? Do you need to take a class in order to apply? Do you need letters of recommendations? Is there a jurisprudence exam? It is best to have an overview of the process before diving into the details. This also helps you get started on any materials or requests you need in advance.

Know your budget

Most states have an application fee and additional fees for jurisprudence exams. There may also be added costs for transcripts, notaries, and other application requirements. It is best to go through and total up the added expenses so you know what you can afford. If you have access to an accountant, it may be worthwhile inquiring if these fees could be a tax deduction.

Stay organized

I have found most states require multiple pieces of documentation. It helped me to have a folder on my computer and a spreadsheet to track when things were sent, and to save copies of forms that were notarized or filled out. This is also helpful when following up with the boards about your application.

Know the continuing education (CE) requirements for each state.

Make a spreadsheet to help you keep track and stay organized. You can also use a service such as CE Broker if you prefer.

Try to aim for CEs that meet multiple state requirements when possible. For example, I have 3 states which require hours in laws/ethics. I try to get these courses done at the same time so I can use them for all 3 states.

Pay attention to the licensure type.

Some states have waivers for telehealth, others have separate applications for supervisors.

Make sure you read all the options and find the one that is best for you. When in doubt, reach out to the board.

How to get licensed in Florida by license type

With 50 states in the US, why Florida?

For one thing, MyWellbeing is live in Florida, so you can potentially increase your matches and clients by licensing in Florida without having to do too much else beyond our platform. Moreover, more and more people are relocating to Florida, whether they are young adults getting started in the tech scene, opening a new local office for their existing org, moving to be with family, or retiring, so there are increasing opportunities to work with a growing volume of individuals in Florida.

Below, are specific instructions broken down by license type:

Telehealth Practice (includes all mental health licensure types):

  • This license type is designated for those licensed outside of Florida and who only wish to practice teletherapy. FYI, this was an emergency measure during COVID and may be subject to change at the state’s discretion.
  • Website with additional information: https://www.flhealthsource.gov/telehealth/
  • Cost: $0. Currently there is no cost to register as an out-of-state provider. This does not include verification costs from your home state.
  • Step 1) Complete form via PDF or online portal. Information includes: social security number, education, and proof of malpractice insurance.
  • Step 2) Mail in verification of license from your current state board
  • Step 3) After review your license will be issued.

Psychologists:

  • Board website: https://floridaspsychology.gov/licensing/
  • Cost: $420 not accounting transcript, score, or license transfer fees
  • Step 1)  Determine your licensure type. With examination means you need to take the EPPP, examination waiver means you have already passed the EPPP. There is a telehealth type intended only for those who wish to provide telehealth services.
  • Step 2) Fill out initial paperwork through the online portal. This includes permission for a background check, address, social security number, and information about your education.
  • Step 3) Send accompanying documents: official transcripts, EPPP information, verification of other state licensures, and training verification forms
  • Step 4) Once this is collected and approved by the board you will be approved to sit for the Florida Jurors Prudence exam. This is in person at a testing facility (you do not have to fly to Florida, you can take the exam in your home state). Study materials are provided by the board.
  • Step 5) Once you pass the test, the board will receive that information and grant your license.

Licensed Social Worker

  • Board website: https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/
  • Cost: $180 not accounting transcript, score, or or license transfer fees
  • Step 1) Fill out initial paperwork through the online portal. This includes permission for a background check, address, social security number, and information about your education.
  • Step 2) Send accompanying documents: official transcripts, verification of experience form, license verifications from other states (if applicable), scores from ASWB exam.
  • Step 3) complete required coursework: laws and rules course, HIV/AIDS course, domestic violence.
  • Step 4) After you are informed of license approval, you can practice.

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Board website: https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/
  • Cost: $180 not accounting transcript, score, or or license transfer fees
  • Step 1) Fill out initial paperwork through the online portal. This includes permission for a background check, address, social security number, and information about your education.
  • Step 2) Send accompanying documents: official transcripts, documentation of supervised experience, license verification (if applicable), and AMFTRB exam score.
  • Step 3) complete required coursework: laws and rules course, HIV/AIDS course, domestic violence.
  • Step 4) After you are informed of license approval, you can practice.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

  • Board website: https://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/
  • Cost: $180 not accounting transcript, score, or or license transfer fees
  • Step 1) Fill out initial paperwork through the online portal. This includes permission for a background check, address, social security number, and information about your education.
  • Step 2) Send accompanying documents: official transcripts, documentation of supervised experience, NCMHCE exam score, and license verification (if applicable).
  • Step 3) complete required coursework: laws and rules course, HIV/AIDS course, domestic violence
  • Step 4) After you are informed of license approval, you can practice.

I hope this was helpful information as you expand your practice to another state. While the course work, paperwork, etc. may seem daunting at first, you can move at your own pace.

Getting the license is a one-time cost of your time, but serving additional clients and opening yourself up to fuller panels can be very rewarding in the long-term. Good Luck!

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About the author

Dr. Tahler is the Clinical Director of MyWellbeing. She is a licensed clinical health psychologist with a passion for healthcare equity and integrated healthcare, increasing access and inclusivity of mental health, and utilizing technology for the benefits of clients and practitioners. She currently resides in the pacific northwest. If you would like to learn more please visit the MyWellbeing "about us” page.