Arrow right icon Back to resources

Let's talk.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
By submitting your information via this form, you agree that you may be contacted by a member of our team via SMS, MMS, email, or phone as outlined in our privacy policy.
check mark icon

Thank you,

We appreciate you contacting us. A consultant will be reaching out to you shortly to discuss this job opportunity. You can also get in touch with us directly by calling 954.618.5296.

Arrow right icon Back to resources

How state licensing works for locum tenens

Exploring new opportunities may require obtaining new licenses. Don't worry, Weatherby Healthcare has you covered! Weatherby has dedicated locum tenens license personnel who will make it a breeze — taking care of the hardest parts such as the license application fees, verification fees, delivery fees for the application, and verifications to be sent to the licensing board. In addition, Weatherby has well-established relationships with most medical boards and expertise on subjects like IMLC, which can help make the process of getting your locum tenens medical license more efficient.

No matter where you’re employed, keeping your documents and records accessible and organized is a best practice that can make career moves easier. For the licensing process, you’ll need to organize the following:

  • Original education and specialty board certificates. State boards typically require proof of education, transcripts, exam scores, and documentation of training directly from the original source rather than the applicant.

  • Work history. Boards want to see a summary of all activities in chronological order from medical school on, including accounting for any gaps longer than 30 days.

  • Malpractice summaries and court documents. These forms should include a personal notarized statement of the claim and your involvement in the patient’s care, along with court documents including the complaint, answer to the complaint, dismissal, and settlement or judgment.

  • Recent color passport photo. Most applications require these photos be on photo paper and no more than six months old; black-and-white photos or copies will not be accepted. If you don’t have a current photo, visit your city hall, a local post office, or even a copy shop such as FedEx to have one taken.

  • Explanations for any adverse events in provider history. If you have experienced any of the following, you will be required to give an explanation and provide supporting documents:

  1. Actions on another license

  2. Probation or non-completion of a medical school or postgraduate training program

  3. Substance dependency

  4. Medical condition

  5. Criminal history

It’s important to note that having faced any of these issues does not necessarily disqualify you from receiving licensure, especially if you can properly document and explain your history.

Although your unique circumstances will affect the licensing time, the most important thing to know is that each medical board has different processing times that can make or break the job you want, if you’re not careful. So, it’s important to keep up with related requests from your locums agency — they are looking to ensure you get your license as soon as possible. In short, the factors effecting licensing times include:

  • The state you are applying for a license in, ranging from 3 weeks to over 30, depending on the state

  • If you’re seeking a license in your State of Principal License (SPL), ranging from 1.5 weeks to 9 weeks

  • If you're looking to join the IMLC, renew your compact license, or get licensed in other IMLC states, ranging from <1 week to 3 weeks

  • If you’re working a government assignment, such as VA hospitals, which typically accept all state licenses

  • The agency you’re working with, some agencies are more knowledgeable and organized than others

Another thing that will impact the length of this process is your due diligence and honesty. Ensure you’re fully completing forms, never guessing on dates, and fully disclosing all disciplinary actions.  

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLC) was introduced as a way to make licensing less arduous. Your Weatherby Healthcare team can help you take advantage of this program, but in short, the IMLC provides expedited licensure for other states if your primary license is in one of the participating states.

Here’s a few quick facts on the IMLC:

  • The IMLC creates another pathway for licensure

  • The IMLC does not otherwise change a state’s existing Medical Practice Act

  • The IMLC adopts a uniform and stringent standard for licensure

  • The IMLC affirms that the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time of the physician-patient encounter

  • Upon licensure via the IMLC, the physician will be under the jurisdiction of the medical board in the state where the patient is located

Wondering if your state is a part of the compact? Check it out here.

Most of the United States is a part of the IMLC, making it a big advantage to your licensing responsibilities, if you qualify. Your Weatherby Healthcare team can help evaluate if you do. Some of the requirements include:

  1. You must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a state that is a member of the compact and a State of Principle Licensure (SPL).

  2. Additionally, at least one of the below requirements must apply:

    1. Your primary residence is in the SPL

    2. At least 25% of your practice of medicine occurs in the SPL

    3. Your employer is located in the SPL

    4. You use the SLP as your state of residence for U.S. federal income tax purposes

    5. However, if you’re only planning on practicing in one state, whether that be for a permanent position or locum tenens work, the IMLC may not make sense for you. 

In addition to having basic SPL status, there are several general eligibility requirements you must adhere to: 

  • Have graduated from an accredited medical school or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory 

  • Have successfully completed ACGME- or AOA-accredited graduate medical education (GME) 

  • Have passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA, or equivalent in no more than three attempts for each component. PLEASE NOTE: Passing the Canadian Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, or LMCC, DOES NOT meet this requirement 

  • Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board 

In addition, you must: 

  • Not have any history of disciplinary actions toward your medical license 

  • Not have any criminal history 

  • Not have any history of controlled substance actions toward your medical license 

  • Not currently be under investigation 

Another consideration is that once you’ve verified your State of Principle Licensure, that letter of qualification to enroll within the additional compact states is only valid for one year. This means there are application renewal fees every year. If you are working with Weatherby, however, we can help walk you through the process and cover any fees. 

Obtaining state licensing for your locum tenens positions is a crucial step in making the role you want a reality, getting started is easy with help from an expert consultant. 

Visit the blog.

View all blog posts

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact providing expedited licensure in 39 states in 2024

Read more

4 things you need to know about getting licensed in a new state

Read more

Top locum tenens agencies: 6 companies to consider

Read more