Posted on
May 31, 2023

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact States Map Guide

Do you enjoy traveling and want to work in several states during your locum tenens career? The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) makes it easier to do so by simplifying the licensing process throughout the US.

The IMLC is an agreement among participating US states to streamline the licensing process for physicians who want to travel and work in different areas. This compact offers a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who qualify, so it is easier for them to provide care around the country. In turn, this compact increases access to healthcare and extends the reach of physicians.

To participate, qualified physicians may apply for this licensure through the IMLC. Approved physicians can then practice medicine (including telemedicine) in all participating compact member states.

How does the IMLC help me?

The main benefit of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is that it expedites the process for multistate licensure. You’ll save time since you won’t have to apply to each state board for permission to practice medicine there. You can move with more agility should the need or desire arise. Physicians are also allowed to apply to practice in more than one state at the same time. Each state has its rules, statutes, and regulations that physicians must comply with.

Telemedicine has gained popularity among providers and patients since COVID-19. This new demand has opened a significant pathway for doctors to be more flexible with their schedules and work locations, which is even easier due to the IMLC.

It’s vital to our health system that medical providers can go where they need to while providing optimal patient care. With IMLC, physicians can accept telemedicine work in other compact member states.

How can I participate in the IMLC?

Another requirement of locum tenens work is you must be licensed in one of the states of principal license (SPL). The state of your principal license is usually your home state or wherever you received your license. Other requirements include:

  • You have a primary residence in that compact member state
  • At least 25% of your practice occurs in that state
  • Your employer is located in the state
  • You use the state as your residence for federal income tax purposes
  • Graduate medical education from an accredited and approved institution
  • No record of active disciplinary action
  • Not currently under investigation
  • No criminal history
  • No history of controlled substance actions against their medical license

Other medical licensing examination requirements may include approval for credentials earned at an international education program and fingerprint-based criminal background checks. Every physician must pass each component of additional criteria to qualify. Check out our guide on multi-state licensing made easy for additional criteria and locum tenens tips.

Steps for applying

The approval rating for compact licensing is around 90%. The process can be relevantly fast, and you could hold your new license within a few weeks. Here are the general steps for completing the process:

1. Verify that you are eligible. You can view the Compact preliminary requirements for more information.

2. Visit the IMLC homepage and select the Apply tab.

3. Select your SPL. The state must be a participating compact member state.

4. Complete the short application.

5. Pay the application fee. You will be prompted to make a nonrefundable payment of $700. You’ll receive an email containing your receipt.

6. Complete fingerprinting. Once the SPL has your application, you will be contacted to complete the fingerprint-based background check instructions. The background check will be sent to federal authorities. You must complete the fingerprinting within 60 days of receiving instructions. The entire process may take weeks for your SPL to finish.

a. If you qualify, you’ll receive a Letter of Qualification (LOQ)

b. If you do not qualify, you will be notified by email

7. Pay relevant state-license fees.

8. You should receive your license within a few days.

9. Fulfill any additional information requests: The issuing state medical board may request more information to fulfill state requirements. License holders are required to comply with these requests to maintain their licenses.

What states currently participate in the IMLC?

There are currently 27 compact states and one territory. Legislation to enact the IMLC has passed in two other states, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, as well as the District of Columbia. You can view the IMLC states map here.

IMLC Compact Member States that serve as a State of Principal License:

The IMLC defines the state of principal license (SPL) as where the physician was issued their unrestricted medicine license. The physician designates it at the time of registration to the Compact. It is often referred to as the home state or primary state.

The following are compact states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Washington

IMLC Member States that are not a state of principal license (SPL):

  • Georgia
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont

States in which IMLC legislation has passed, but implementation has been delayed:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Kentucky
  • District of Columbia

Legislation has been introduced to state legislatures:

  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina

If you are interested in learning more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and more locum tenens tips from locum tenens experts, contact us.


Do physicians with Compact licensure have to also participate in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC)?

No, the IMLC does not require physicians to participate in MOC. The primary eligibility factor is board certification upon entry into the licensure Compact.

What determines the State of Principle License?

The IMLC defines the state of principal license (SPL) as where the physician was issued their unrestricted medicine license. The physician designates it at registration to the nurse licensure Compact. It is often referred to as the home state or primary state.

How much does it cost to participate in the IMLC?

The application fee for the nursing licensure Compact is $700, and the license cost is in the compact member state where the physician would like to practice. Then there are renewal fees once the Letter of Qualification expires. Ensuring you meet the minimum requirements before applying would be beneficial, as fees are non-refundable. For more information, review Compact state's initial participation fees.

When does a Letter of Qualification expire?

The Letter of Qualification (LOQ) expires 365 days after it has been issued.

Share this article: