Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: February 23, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Governor Glenn Youngkin Praises Passage of Agency Legislation Aimed at Expanding Worker Freedom

Universal license recognition adopted for 85 different occupations

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today praised legislation that makes it easier for experienced, skilled and already licensed out-of-state professionals to join Virginia’s workforce. The legislation, patroned by Senator Ryan McDougle (SB 1213) and Delegate Will Morefield (HB 2180), creates universal license recognition for 85 occupations licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). 

“This is a major victory for the Commonwealth as we continue growing Virginia’s workforce. It provides Virginia an advantage in competing with other states for workers and business investment,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “My administration has worked tirelessly, and we’ve been successful in bringing thousands of Virginians off the sidelines and back into the workforce. But what I hear from businesses of all sizes, large and small, is they need more, they need more workers. Universal license recognition will assist in resolving worker shortages while at the same time benefiting consumers through reduced costs of goods and services.” 

With occupational licensing requirements varying by state, the free and open movement of workers from state to state is complicated and burdensome. Experienced skilled workers already licensed in another state are often faced with time-consuming, costly, and unnecessary procedural hurdles like repeating training or re-taking tests. These barriers to entering the workforce discourage workers from coming to Virginia to fill in-demand jobs as well as starting and growing businesses. Universal license recognition allows out-of-state workers in good standing and with at least three years of equivalent licensed experience to continue their careers in Virginia without needless or costly delays.  

“Restrictions on licensing across states create unnecessary barriers to opportunity. It is important for the Commonwealth to recognize the hard work and professional experience of individuals who want to continue their careers here in Virginia,” said Senator Ryan McDougle. 

“A universal licensure system ensures a level playing field, allowing an individual to move to any zip code in the Commonwealth and have access to quality jobs and opportunities,” said Delegate Will Morefield. 

“We are focused and committed to building Virginia’s workforce,” said Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater. “If an individual was trained, passed an exam, and licensed in another state and has successfully worked in their field for three-years without a complaint, they can get licensed in Virginia without having to complete additional training or testing to prove they can do a job they’ve already shown they can safely do. Over 4,000 skilled workers from other states will benefit from this legislation which is critical to filling in-demand jobs in our Commonwealth.”   

The universal license recognition legislation will apply to all individual licenses regulated by DPOR with the exception of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, and landscape architects.  

DPOR is an executive branch agency that oversees 18 regulatory boards and programs. DPOR issues professional licenses, certificates or registration in the least intrusive, least burdensome and most efficient way to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

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