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Locum Tenens & the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

The  Interstate Medical Compact (IMLC) helps eligible physicians seamlessly acquire the licensing needed to practice across state lines

Physicians were previously required to apply for licensure in each state and wait up to nine months to receive a new state medical license. This benefit provides physicians with opportunities in new regions and underrepresented medical areas.


Expedited Licensure and Locum Tenens

The IMLC is currently an agreement between 29 states, the District of Columbia, territory of Guam – and growing.

This makes the process of experiencing a medical career alongside the rewards of being a locum tenen tangible. This expedites the process of securing physician licensure in multiple states. Expedited licensure not only cuts down on the time required to obtain a license, but it also simplifies the process by replacing cumbersome paperwork with a single online application.


Below is a list of U.S. States participating in the compact. You can continue to follow The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for updates as more states embark on this process.

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


*Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Vermont are not considered “States of Principal Licensure,” meaning you can’t enter into the compact through a CT, OK, or VT license, though you can get a license issued for these states through the compact once you’ve entered into the compact via another State of  Principal Licensure.


How does the Compact work?

In order to secure multiple state licenses, physicians must first meet mandated eligibility requirements. This includes full unrestricted licensure in one of the compact states and a state license that can be declared an SPL (State of Principal License). Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Graduate of an accredited medical school
  • Completion of an accredited training program
  • ABMS or AOA board certification

In addition to having a basic SPL status, a physician must meet the following other requirements:

  • 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
  • Have passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA, or equivalent in no more than three attempts for each component
  • Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board

Once a physician has determined his/her eligibility, an application can be submitted online at IMLCC.org. The online application requires a declaration of SPL and a list of the states where licensure is requested. Upon receipt of the application with the required fees

  1. The IMLC contacts the SPL for verification that eligibility requirements have been met
  2. The SPL then issues a letter of qualification to the IMLC
  3. The IMLC distributes the letter of qualification (LQ) to requested states of licensure and a full, unrestricted license is issued. The LQ is valid for 365 days


Expedited Licensure Eligibility Effect 

The IMLC is a game-changer for both physicians and medical facilities. By streamlining the licensing process, the Compact vastly broadens employment eligibility for locum physicians across multiple states. 


Hospitals and medical practices now have access to a broader pool of physicians to meet the needs of their patients. This provides an added level of expertise, especially in rural or underserved areas that may not typically have this advantage. 


Want to learn more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact? D&Y’s experienced team of licensing professionals can assist you through every step of the process.

Contact us for more information.


Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on 9/2021 and was updated on 1/2023.

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