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Licensure - How to Apply for Your License
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How to Apply for Your License

Licensure can seem daunting and hard to navigate, but the process is actually rather straightforward. If you follow the steps below, you will be well on your way to obtaining your license.

All licenses in Michigan are regulated and issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Check out their website here.

Check out this easy step-by-step Licensure Checklist.

Step 1. Learn and Understand the License Requirements

All applicants interested in obtaining their license need to first know and understand the requirements that the Social Work Licensure Act sets for each level of license.

Step 2. Apply for Your Limited License

Once you determine that you have met the educational requirement for licensure, you can apply for your Limited License. In order to accrue hours toward the experience requirements for a full license, individuals must hold a limited license.

All licenses in Michigan are regulated and issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Check out their website and apply for your license here.

Limited Licenses are issued for one year and may be renewed a maximum of 6 times.

Step 3. Complete the Required Experience, Supervision, and Exam

Once you have obtained your Limited License, you need to start accruing the experience and supervision that is required for the full license. Limited Licensees are required to obtain 4,000 hours of experience and 100 hours of supervision under a Licensed Master's Social Worker (LMSW). Limited Licensees are able to accrue experience at a maximum of 40 hours per week and a minimum of 16 hours per week. At 40 hours per week (full-time status), Limited Licensees will reach the required 4,000 hours in 2 years.

During the time that Limited Licensees are obtaining experience and supervision, they must also pass the exam required for their level of license. Information on the how to register for the exam will be sent by the Bureau of Health Professions to Limited Licensees shortly after they apply and receive their Limited License.

Step 4. Apply for Your Full License

Once an Limited Licensee obtains the 4,000 hours of work experience, 100 hours of supervision, and successfully passes the required exam, they can apply for their full license.

Full Licenses are issued for three years. In order to renew your license, individuals must complete 45 hours of Continuing Education (CE) during their three-year license cycle.

Re-licensure and Re-registration

The Social Work Licensure Act allows an LBSW or LMSW who lets their license lapse to get the license reinstated by submitting the appropriate application and fee with documentation that he or she completed 45 hours of approved continuing education within three years immediately preceding the application for licensure.  If the individual were registered or licensed in any other state(s), he or she would have to submit documentation that the registration or license was unrestricted and in good standing when he or she applied for licensure in Michigan.

A social service technician credential can be reinstated under the following conditions:

  • Lapsed less than three years – submit a completed application form with the required fee.
  • Lapsed more than three years – submit application form, fee, and documentation proving the applicant has received an offer of employment in the practice of social service work at an agency recognized by the Board of Social Work.

To apply for re-licensure, please complete the application found here.

Still Have Questions?

If you have questions about licensure, including how to apply for your license, the status of your application, details about your license, or any other license issue, you need to contact the Bureau of Health Professions in the Michigan Department of Community Health. To reach this office, please call 517-335-0918 or email

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