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Compact License Expedites State Licensures

From the IMLC: The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) – commonly known as a Compact License – offers an expedited pathway to licensure for qualified physicians who wish to practice in multiple states. While making it easier for physicians to obtain licenses to practice in multiple states, the Compact strengthens public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information.

The Compact currently includes 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the Territory of Guam (see map below for participating states). Under this agreement licensed physicians can qualify to practice medicine across state lines within the Compact if they meet the agreed-upon eligibility requirements. Approximately 80% of physicians meet the criteria for licensure through the IMLC. (Interested in searching Physician/APP/CRNA jobs? Visit our job board.)

The application process is expedited by using the physician’s existing information previously submitted in their state of principal license (SPL). The SPL will verify the physician’s information and conduct a fresh background check. Once qualified, the physician may select any number of Compact states for which they desire to practice.

Do You Qualify?

To qualify for a Compact license, a physician must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a Compact Member State that is available to serve as an SPL (see map).

AND at least one item below must apply:

  • Your primary residence is in the SPL (State of Principal Licensure)
  • At least 25% of your practice of medicine occurs in the SPL
  • Your employer is located in the SPL
  • You use the SPL as your state of residence for U.S. federal income tax purposes

Additional Requirements:

  • Graduation from an accredited medical school or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory
  • Successful completion of ACGME or AOA accredited graduate medical education
  • Passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA, or equivalent in no more than three attempts
  • Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board
  • Must not have any history of disciplinary actions toward your medical license
  • Must not have any criminal history
  • Must not have any history of controlled substance actions toward your license
  • Must not currently be under investigation

To learn more, or to begin the application process, visit


FAQs for Physicians

Information below is from

Do physicians who use the Compact licensure process have to participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC)?
The Compact does not require a physician to participate in MOC at any stage, nor does it require or make mention of the need to participate in MOC as a licensure renewal requirement in any state. Board certification is only an eligibility factor at the initial entry point of participation in the Compact process.

How is a State of Principal License defined?
The “State of Principal License” -- or SPL -- is the Compact member state where a physician holds a license to practice medicine and which has been designated as such by the physician for purposes of registration and participation in the Compact. The SPL is a state in which a physician holds a full and unrestricted medical license. The SPL is also sometimes called a “home state” or “primary state of licensure.”

What does a physician need to do to get a license through the Compact?
Physicians who want to use the Compact to acquire licenses must apply for participation using They are asked to provide demographic and professional information and select a State of Principal License where they already have a license. The State of Principal License must be a state currently participating in the Compact.

Physicians are charged a non-refundable administrative fee when applying to participate in the Compact, and they must pay additional fees for each state in which they would like to be licensed. Physicians must also submit fingerprints to the designated criminal justice agency in their State of Principal License, so that a criminal background check can be conducted.

How much does it cost to participate in the Compact?
The cost to participate in the Compact is $700.00 PLUS the cost of a license(s) in any Compact state where a physician wants to practice. All fees are non-refundable.

Physicians should check their eligibility BEFORE applying.  If they are found to be ineligible after starting the application process, their application fee will not be refunded.  

What happens when a physician applies?
The physician’s State of Principal License reviews the physician’s application and qualifications, including conducting a criminal background check. If the physician meets all requirements, a formal Letter of Qualification is issued by the State of Principal License, indicating that the physician may participate in the Compact. The physician then selects the states within the Compact where he or she wishes to be licensed. These states, upon receiving the physician’s formal Letter of Qualification, issue a license.

After issuing a license to a physician who has received a Letter of Qualification for the Compact, the medical board that has issued the license may ask for additional, ancillary information to fulfill the requirements of their respective medical practice act and their operational requirements.  The license holder is required to comply with these requests, and failure to do so may result in action against the license by the issuing medical board.

What happens if a physician’s eligibility is not confirmed?
Physicians who apply but do not meet the requirements of the Compact may not participate and are notified via email. Physicians who are deemed ineligible and have questions should contact their State of Principal License.

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