ND Seal ND Board of Social Work Examiners

Initial Application for LMSW (Master's Level)

Please read this page carefully before completing the application to avoid delays in your licensure process. 

In order to be approved to take the license examination, you must submit the following items:

  • Application for Licensure;
  • $25 non-refundable application fee;
  • copy of your transcript showing you have graduated or are currently in your last term and are eligible to graduate
  • you may have your faculty advisor submit the Faculty Advisor Reference Form indicating you are eligible to graduate in good standing.
  • Before 8/1/2019, this level was known as the LCSW level and may still be reflected as such on some forms and information as we work to update them. The new LCSW level is now the clinical and independent practice level. 

Once the NDBSWE office receives these three items, you will be approved to take the Masters examination.  A letter of approval will be mailed to you with the information to contact ASWB, the testing agency.  Included with your approval letter will be fingerprint cards and two forms you will be required to complete and submit with the appropriate fee to begin the criminal history background check process.  You may submit the background check documents at any time, you do not have to wait to take the exam first.  YOU WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE BACKGROUND CHECK PROCESS IF YOU ARE UPGRADING YOUR CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA LBSW LICENSE.

The following forms and documents are required for an initial application:

  • Online Application for Licensure – The $100 fee ($25 non-refundable application fee plus the $75 license fee) is payable by credit card. IF YOU ARE UPGRADING YOUR CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA LSW LICENSE, YOU ONLY PAY THE $25 NON-REFUNDABLE APPLICATION FEE.
  • Reference forms – Reference forms should be completed by those you listed as references on your application. The Board does not accept personal letters written by your references. Reference forms are not required to be approved for the examination, but are required for licensure to be granted.
  • Criminal History Background Check/Child Abuse and Neglect Background Inquiry – You will receive these forms with your testing approval letter. This does not need to be completed before you can take the examination. Once the completed forms and fee are received, it can take 5-6 weeks to get the results in the Board office. Your license will not be issued until we have received the results. More information can be found here. YOU WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE BACKGROUND CHECK PROCESS IF YOU ARE UPGRADING YOUR CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA LBSW LICENSE.
  • ASWB Scores – The NDBSWE will receive your test scores directly from ASWB. It is not necessary to send us a copy of your test score. It may take up to 10 days for NDBSWE to receive your score from ASWB.
  • Official Transcript – Upon graduation, an official and final transcript must be sent directly from your college or university.
  • License Fee – The Board has a license fee of $75. Please make the check or money order payable to NDBSWE. The fee can be paid at any time during the licensure process. Your license will not be issued until this fee is received.  IF YOU ARE UPGRADING YOUR CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA LSW LICENSE, YOU DO NOT PAY THIS FEE.

Once all items are received, your license will be issued. License are issued and the certificates are mailed on a weekly basis. If your application needs to be reviewed by the Board for any reason, your license will not be issued until NDBSWE has reviewed and approved your application. All documentation (including ASWB test scores) must be received before the Board will review your application. Please review the Meeting Dates page for upcoming meeting dates. 

When you submit your application and your information is added to the NDBSWE database, you may view your Applicaiton Status at anytime to keep updated on your license application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to keep updated on their application status.  NDBSWE does not send out emails about your application status. If you have any questions about your application, please email the Board office.