Frequently Asked Questions (Rev. 4/2021)

How do I obtain a license or certificate in Maryland? Click on the tab at the top of the homepage for the area of certification/licensure in which you are interested, e.g. Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, etc. You will find information on the educational and experiential requirements for licensure/certification and the applicable instructions and forms.

What is the process for obtaining a license or certificate from the Board?

In general, the procedure for obtaining a license or certificate is as follows (please check your particular area of licensure/certification for more details):

  1. Complete and submit the application including all required documentation and the applicable fee. Please note that incomplete or illegible applications may be returned 
  2. The Board reviews the completed application to verify that all educational and/or experiential requirements have been met.

    Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received (with the exception of certain military personnel and their spouses).  Please keep this in mind if your current credential is about to expire and you will be applying for a different credential under the ​Board. The Board cannot expedite the application review based solely on the fact that your current license is about to expire. Please allow enough time for processing so that your current license/certificate does not expire while you await the new credential. Submit all transfer applications at least 60 days before the expiration date.

  3. If all of the educational requirements have been met, the Board will notify you, in writing, that you have been approved to sit for the national exam. If any of the requirements have not been met, the Board will notify you, in writing, of any deficiencies.

  4. It is your responsibility to register and take the exams in accordance with the instructions contained in the approval letter from the Board. Once you have passed the necessary exams, submit your scores to the Board. After the Board receives your exam scores, and verifies that all other requirements have been met (e.g. criminal history records check has been obtained and reviewed), the Board will notify you, in writing, that you may submit the licensing fee.

  5. Upon receipt of the licensing fee, the Board will print and mail a license/certificate to your address of record and enter your information in the electronic licensing verification system. Please note that after July 1, 2019, the Board will no longer print paper licenses or certificates. All verification data will be available on our verification site.

How long does it take to receive a license/certificate once I apply?

The length of time between application and licensure can depend on many factors. If your application is missing required documentation, coursework, clinical hours, a photo, notary, etc., your application will be delayed. Your application will also be delayed if you are missing certain courses/clinical hours, do not pass the exam(s), or if there are issues with your criminal history background information.

Due to the volume of application the Board receives daily, the application review process can take 30 to 60 days. Once your application is reviewed, you will receive correspondence from the Board, via email and/or postal mail, regarding the next steps. After you've pass the exam(s) and submit the licensing fee, you can expect to receive your licensure information via email within 7-10 business days.

Can I take the national exam and/or Maryland Law Assessment before I submit an application to the Board?

Some national testing organizations may allow individuals to sit for the national exam under certain circumstances without Board approval. Please check with the appropriate organization for your area of licensure. Otherwise, you must submit an application to the Board and obtain Board approval to sit the national exam. You may take the Maryland Law Assessment (MLA) before prior to submitting your application, please click here to register and take the MLA.

When does my license or certificate expire?

Graduate licenses and certificates expire two years from the date of issuance. Clinical licenses expire January 31st annually. The Board will send a renewal notification to clinical  by mail and email to the addresses on record. However, it is your responsibility to renew your license/certificate in a timely manner. You cannot practice on an expired license or certificate. Graduate licensees and Alcohol and Drug Trainees do not renew online, but rather submit a paper extension/ renewal using the forms from the website.

How can I determine if my coursework and/or clinical hours meet the requirements for licensure/certification?

Due to the volume of applications received by the Board and the number of different credential issued, Board staff cannot evaluate coursework and/or experience hours via phone or email.

Please complete and submit a Pre-Application Course/Experience Evaluation (form is on the website). You will receive a written response from the Board regarding your qualifications. This is the most efficient and reliable way to receive a formal response from the Board.