Motivated by his desire to reach back to the military, Governor Scott, a Navy veteran, has held quarterly Base Commander Meeting with our Generals and Admirals who lead our various military bases located in the State of Florida. These are not photo-ops, but detailed discussions between our Governor and our military leaders in order to learn about problems and solve them. Over the course of the past seven meetings, issues have been raised and solutions have been found.
In line with his vision, Governor Scott has asked each state agency to develop programs which will aid our military members and their spouses during their time in Florida. For DBPR, this means helping them obtain professional licenses and encouraging them to remain in Florida to build a career or business once their military obligation has been completed. Please allow me to share what DBPR has done in turning the Governor’s vision into concrete actions for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
First, last year, the Governor signed into law a bill which grants the Department the ability to waive the initial licensing fee, the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity fee for any honorable discharged veterans who applies for a state professional license within three years of leaving the Armed Forces.
Next, any active military personnel who have a Florida professional license can also apply for Military Exemption Status with the Department. In sum, any licensees who are absent from the state on active duty and are not practicing their profession or vocation in the private sector for profit are exempt from all license renewal requirements. This exemption lasts for the duration of active duty while absent from the state of Florida and for six months following honorable discharge. By requesting this status, military licensees may prevent their license from progressing to ‘null and void’ status.
Finally, it is also important for us to take care of our military spouses. Through the Department, the spouse of an active duty member stationed in Florida may be issued a temporary license to practice a profession in the state after relocating to Florida. This temporary license, issued based on the professional license they held in their home state, is valid for six months and helps these dedicated families start a new life in Florida as seamlessly as possible.
Governor Scott knows first hand the sacrifices that our military makes each day to our nation. With this in mind, DBPR is doing its small part in showing that Florida cares and support them and their families. If you know an active duty member or a veteran, spread the word about these programs so that they can take advantage of the opportunities.
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