ND Seal ND Board of Social Work Examiners

Application for License Clinical Social Worker
Licensed by Reciprocity (Currently licensed in another state)

Before 8/1/2019, this level was known as the LICSW level and may still be reflected as such on some forms and information as we work to update them. The LCSW is now the clinical level. 

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

The following forms and documents are required for Application by Reciprocity:

  • Online Application for Licensure – The non-refundable $25 fee is payable by credit card. The $75 license fee will also be paid if you apply online. 
    OR
  • Application for Licensure (paper form) – The non-refundable $25 fee can be paid by check or money order payable to NDBSWE. The $75 license fee can be paid with the application or at a later date before the license is issued. 

Criminal History Background Check/Child Abuse and Neglect Background Inquiry – Once the Board office receives your completed application, you will be mailed the background check packet. Once the completed forms and fee are received, it can take 5-6 weeks to get the results. Your license will not be issued until we have received the results! More information can be found here.

Timeline for Licensure: The typical timeline for a license to be issued at this level is approximately 8-10 weeks from date of application. This allows for the background check to be received and for the application to be reviewed by a Board member. All reciprocity applications must be reviewed by a Board member before being issued. If the application needs to be reviewed by the full Board for any reason, there will be additional delays as the Board meets quarterly. The timeline also depends on how quickly the materials are received. Some licenses may issued sooner than 8 weeks and other maybe issued after the 10 weeks. 

Reference forms are not required when applying by reciprocity.

License Verification – You must request the licensing board of each state you have held or currently hold a license to complete the license verification form. The Board will also accept a letter sent directly from the other state board(s) verifying your license. Copies of licenses are not sufficient for a license verification. Again, it is your responsibility to request the verification from all states in which you have held or currently hold licensure. 

You must also submit an application for licensure either online or submit the paper form. Just the license verification is not sufficient to be issued a license. 

Laws and Rules – You must send the laws and rules from the jurisdiction in which you are licensed, which were in effect at the time you were initially licensed in that jurisdiction.  The laws and rules must include the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a license in that jurisdiction. You can send this or request the licensing board to send it. The Board will not accept a website link to a state board's website. The Laws and Rules must be a printed copy or an emailed PDF file. 

If the state you are applying from does not meet the requirements for ND licensure, you will need to submit the following documents to continue having your application reveiwed based on your qualifications and work experience:

It is highly recommended that you also submit these documents right away as many states do not meet the Board's requirements. All reciprocity applications are reviewed by looking at the licensure requirements in the other state (NDCC 43-41-07). The laws must have similar licensure requirements for typical reciprocity licensure. Unfortunately, the laws are not always similar to the licensure requirements for ND and do not always qualify for typical licensure by reciprocity. But ND law does allow the Board to grant a license by reciprocity based in part on your qualifications and work experience. For the Board to explore that option, it asks that you also submit additional information including the following:

  • A letter explaining your past or present work experience in social work. Explain how many hours you earned in clinical supervision and how many hours do you have doing clinical social work. Make sure to be specific about the amount and type of diagnosing you have done. Diagnosing is a critical part of the LCSW practice. The letter may include an explanation about clinical supervision completed for the other state board. Please submit a copy of your supervision plan with other state board(s), if possible.
  • A letter from a past or present supervisor verifying completion of supervision or past work experience. The letter should include how long you were supervised and at which job or position. Please have the supervisor include a current copy of their license.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae or resume showing past work experience and a copy of job descriptions in which you practiced clinical social work.
  • A copy of your passing score on the ASWB Clinical exam.
  • Official transcript of your MSW degree sent from your college directly to the Board office.

Submitting these documents right away may actually reduce the time that it takes for your application to be reviewed. 

License Fee – The Board has a license fee of $75. You may 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. 

Board Review - Once all items are received, your application will be reviewed by the Board member before being issued. The Board member determines if the laws regarding license requirements in the state you are currently licensed are similar to the laws in ND and/or if your qualifications meet the Board's requirements. This may take 1-2 weeks. License 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 the Board has reviewed and approved your application. All documentation must be received before the Board will review your application. Please review the Meeting Dates page for upcoming Board meetings. 

If the Board member concludes that you are not eligible for a license by reciprocity, you may be licensed based on your experience in clinical social work practice. You will need to submit the additional documents mentioned above, if you have not already done so, to review your past experience in clinical social work practice. See the blue box above for more information. 

Application Status: When you submit your application and your information is added to the Board's 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. The Board does not send out emails about your application status. If you have any questions about your application, please email the Board office.