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Military Spouses Get a Hand

Delaware Online - May 28, 2012, By NICHOLE DOBO, The News Journal

New law eases professional certification

A bill signed Monday by Gov. Jack Markell is aimed at making it easier for military families to make the transition if they move to Delaware.

The legislation allows spouses of active-duty military members to get a provisional license in their field of work – such as dental hygienist or hairdresser – as they work through the process of gaining Delaware credentials.

House Bill 238 was signed by Markell after he welcomed homecoming troops in Harrington. The bill was written by Rep. Darryl M. Scott, who grew up in a military family. There have been several notable supporters of this type of legislation, including the U.S. Department of Defense. The law has been championed by first lady Michele Obama and Jill Biden.

When a military family moves around often it can be hard on two-career families. The spouse sometimes has to wait months to gain professional certification in a new state.

“Delaware is helping to make the transition as easy as possible,” Scott said.

Spouses may now apply for a six-month provisional license or permit when they arrive in Delaware, which is meant to help them speed up the job hunt as they work toward certification in Delaware. The spouse must have an active license in good standing in another state or U.S. territory to qualify for the program.

James Collins, Delaware’s deputy secretary of state, said he’s worked with several spouses as they work to gain certification in Delaware after moving to Dover Air Force Base. An Air Force veteran himself, Collins said he’s glad that Delaware will be better able to assist spouses through the new program.

Collins remembers working with a military spouse who came to Delaware after her husband served abroad. She wasn’t able to practice as a dental hygienist, her trade, in the foreign country, and when she moved to Delaware she faced the additional hurdle of regaining her license. With some guidance from the state on the regulations she was eventually able to get certified, but the new law will speed up the process, Collins said.

“When it is needed it will be great,” he said.

Contact Nichole Dobo at 324-2281 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . On Twitter @Nichole Dobo.


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