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Posted on
August 11, 2023

Understanding the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Do you enjoy traveling and want to work in several states during your locum tenens career? The Interstate Medical Licensure compact lets doctors get more out of their license by allowing qualified physicians who wish to obtain a license in multiple states do so without the hassle of applying to each state. Let's take a closer look at the fundamentals of obtaining an Interstate Medical compact license physicians need to know.

What Is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)?

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is a voluntary agreement between participating states that allows physicians, who are licensed and residing in one compact state, to easily obtain medical licenses in other participating states in a streamlined and expedited process.

What states currently participate in the IMLC?

The IMLC currently exists in 38 states and 1 territory. Legislation to enact the IMLC has passed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Rhode Island as well as the District of Columbia.

IMLC Member States that serve as a state of principal license (SPL):

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

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

  • Connecticut
  • Vermont

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

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington DC

Legislation has been introduced to state legislatures:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • North Carolina

If you are interested in learning more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, and how it can help you in your locum tenens journey, contact us.

How does the IMLC help me?

The main advantage of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is that it expedites the process for multistate licensure. This expedited licensure makes it easier for physicians to participate in telemedicine, which has gained popularity among providers and patients since COVID-19. Not only does this allow more physicians to practice telemedicine, but the IMLC also makes it easier for physicians to accept locum tenens positions in over half the states in the US.

The Benefits of IMLC

The IMLC offers several benefits to both physicians and states. Here are some of them:

  • Increased Access to Healthcare: The IMLC allows physicians to more easily obtain licenses in multiple states. This potentially helps expand practice location opportunities.
  • Streamlined Licensing Process: Physicians who are licensed and residing in a compact state can obtain licenses in other participating states by submitting an application through the IMLC's online portal. The particular state board will then review the application, accept payment, and issue licensure.
  • Uniform Standards: Participating states have agreed to adopt uniform standards for physician eligibility and the licensing process. This helps ensure that physicians licensed in one state have comparable qualifications to those licensed in other participating states.

How can I participate in the IMLC?

One of the requirements to participate in the IMLC 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. Other requirements include:

  • You have a primary residence in that state
  • At least 25% of your practice occurs in that state
  • Your employer is located in the state
  • You list the state as your residence on federal income tax forms

There are also educational and credentialing requirements, as well as background check requirements that you must pass. You can find more information here.

How to Apply for IMLC

IMLC application begins with a review of a physician's qualifications by that physician's State of Principal License. If the physician meets all requirements, the State of Principal License issues a Letter of Qualification (LoQ) that certifies that the physician may participate in the IMLC. Then, physicians can then choose which states in the Compact they want to be licensed in. The chosen states issue a license once they have received the physician's formal LoQ.

When applying for an IMLC license, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

  • Determine your SPL by checking the requirements of the IMLC member state where you hold your primary medical license.
  • Check the eligibility requirements of the state(s) where you wish to obtain a license through the IMLC.
  • Complete the IMLC application and provide all required documentation through the IMLC's online portal.
  • Pay the application fee and any additional fees required by the state(s) where you are applying for a license.
  • Once issued, an LoQ is valid for 365 days

Note: The fees and processing times may vary depending on the state(s) where you are applying for a license. It is important to check the latest information and updates on the IMLC website and the websites of the participating states.

Tips for the IMLC

Applying for and obtaining an IMLC license is a rigorous process. Here are some tips for navigating the IMLC::

  • Determine if you qualify: Physicians must hold an active, unrestricted license in one of the participating states to be eligible for the IMLC.
  • Submit a complete application: Ensure all required documentation is included in your application, including verification of your medical education and residency training.
  • Understand state-specific requirements: Each state has its own requirements for licensure, even within the compact. Be sure to understand the specific requirements for each state you plan to practice in.
  • Stay current on updates: The IMLC is an evolving program, so it's important to stay up-to-date on any changes or updates to the process.

Get Help from Caliber

Caliber connects qualified healthcare professionals with the facilities that need them most. We use a specialty-focused recruitment approach to connect the right providers with the right hospitals and clinics. Whether it's a few extra shifts or full-time locums jobs, we provide a comprehensive range of assignments for our clients supported by a robust pool of healthcare staffing resources. If you're interested in locum tenens work, get in touch with Caliber today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a compact license MD?

A compact license MD is a physician who has obtained expedited state licenses through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

What is the difference between state license and compact license?

A state license allows a physician to practice within the specific state in which their license was issued. A compact license, also known as a multi-state license, is an expedited process for physicians to obtain those individual state licenses.

What states are not part of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact?

States that are not a part of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact include Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Oregon, North Carolina, and South Carolina. However, it's important to note that the list of states participating in the compact is subject to change, as new states may join the compact in the future.

What are examples of compact states?

Some states that are currently issuing licenses through the IMLC include Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin among many others.

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