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Obtaining and Maintaining Multi-State Licensure

We’ve invited Kathleen Shannon to discuss the process of pursuing multi-state licensure for licensed behavioral health professionals. 

With the advent of telehealth, there are more and more possibilities for practicing in various areas. Some providers may have a particular niche with a demand for services. For others, continuity of care is essential. For example, Kathleen Shannon noted that when the pandemic started and some people had to move out of state, there were issues with providers not being able to continue care because they lacked licensure in the particular state. Ms. Shannon notes that complications arise as different states have varying regulations and requirements for licensure.

Although this can be complicated, Kathleen Shannon noted there are things clinicians can do to manage this; in particular, she assists people with licensure in multiple states. She works with licensed counselors in particular. 

First, there are the financial realities of this process. Kathleen Shannon noted that it could cost around 13,000 dollars to set up licensing in all states and about 10,000 per year to maintain. However, many counselors may only seek licensure in a few states and not all of them. 

Next, she advises taking both national counseling exams as they meet the examination requirements for all states and jurisdictions. She also recommends keeping all graduate school syllabi and practicum and internship hours, as the state licensing department may request this information. Many states will waive such requirements for those who have been licensed for more than five years. Most of all, staying on top of paperwork and checking in on the application is imperative. She advised keeping applications on paper and sending them via certified mail, which ensures the licensing office received the information. 

One of the biggest challenges that can arise in this process is when a counselor is required to retake the licensing exam, especially for those who have been out of school for many years. For this predicament, she recommends these websites offering test preparation support:

Kathleen Shannon also notes that some states have reciprocity with other states, which will only increase as various professions pursue interstate compacts. She said it is helpful to look into uniformity across the states that are part of the compact. 

Last, Kathleen Shannon encourages anyone interested to contact her for assistance in pursuing and maintaining multi-state licensure.

For assistance with your telehealth services, contact us (Telehealth Certification Institute LLC) and review our resources.


Kathleen B. Shannon is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina. When she noticed that most of her clients were relocating back to their home states during the pandemic, she realized that there needed to be a place where a counselor could get information in one place on how to obtain and maintain licensure in every US State and Jurisdiction. She also realized the need to help telehealth providers comply with current rules and regulations for licensure and practice. Kathleen helps counselors pursue multi-state licensure through her company, LPC License Info. You can find Kathleen here.

Written by: Megan O’Laughlin