Dunleavy introduces bill to improve occupational licensing reciprocity with other states


Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced SB83 to provide people who work in a licensed occupation and who are licensed in another state the ability to get a temporary, limited license so they can begin working in Alaska sooner. 

The bill will allow individuals with “clean licenses” in other states to work up to 180 days while completing final requirements for Alaska licensure. 

The bill covers more than three dozen licensed occupations, ranging from barbers and hairdressers to pharmacists and nurses.

“For people who want to live, work and play in the most beautiful state in the country, nowhere competes with Alaska,” Dunleavy said. “Making sure that qualified professionals who come to Alaska can get to work right away is important for both attracting skilled workers and meeting workforce needs.”

The bill establishes limited reciprocity for qualified practitioners who hold substantially equivalent licenses in other states or in Canada. 

The measure will benefit both employers and workers by reducing wait times, lost revenue and frustration.

About one in four employed Americans work in a licensed occupation.


  1. “About one in four employed Americans work in a licensed occupation.”


    Are we really at a point in this State that 25% of our citizens must get government permission to work in their chosen field?

    Full disclosure — I hold a professional license and kneel before the Department of Commerce for permission to earn my living.

    • It does not seem to apply to teachers, as they are regulated by the Department of Education and Early Development. This bill only applies to professions regulated by the Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational Licensing. Of those professions, architects, engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, big game guides (and related occupations), and marine pilots would not be subject to the temporary licenses. Primarily, because they need to know about the peculiarities of those professions in Alaska before practicing here unsupervised.

  2. This is Alaska begging people to move here. Nobody wants to move here. Weather sucks, liberal state, do your career and leave day of retirement then suck the handful of Alaskans dry to pay for your retirement in another state. Eh forkner?

    • And here I thought you might be describing California, that liberal hell-hole with the crappy 100+ degree weather that requires constant a/c for at least 8 months out of the year, not to mention the dust and smog-filled air and the water unfit to drink. Oh yeah, I should mention the taxes on everything but breathing, and they are working on that, too. Have to cover Gavin Newsome’s proposed multi-million dollar handouts to help himself get elected President.

  3. The primary reason for occupational licenses is not to protect the public but rather to limit competition and make revenue for the government. If one thinks carefully, a dentist truly doesn’t need a state license. His university degree hanging on the wall provides sufficient certification as to his competency. If he engages in malpractice then victims can seek redress in the court system whose role is to protect consumers. These facts apply to all professions: engineering, architecture, real estate, law, medical, construction, etc. etc.

    Licensing laws primarily restrict trade and feed non-productive bureaucrats at increased costs to consumers. Now that workers are becoming harder to find, the economic burdens of unnecessary licensing are becoming even more obvious than ever. Therefore, we see the governor now trying to address it. If our culture could ever open its eyes it would abolish all licensing laws… including driver licensing. Think about it… traffic laws are sufficient without user licenses. Have you noticed how boaters seem to survive fine without boat driver licenses? Most people will disagree with my points because they are programmed to believe we need government to control every aspect of our lives. Most people are wrong.

    • Yes but quite a few boaters need to understand the rules. They just think they can go as fast as they can in any direction with no consequences? We have boaters who should be required to take some type of information class and have a card to prove it.

  4. Too bad we can’t come up with cure for the lack of hospitality workers, and entry level jobs of any kind. Guess you don’t have to pay your way through college anymore, and the benefits of not working are too great.

  5. This actually seems like a good thing. I know there’s been a lot of frustration in the massage therapy trade, because the state licensing process for it has long wait times. If someone already has the skill and licensing from another state, they shouldn’t have to wait so long.

    • Right you are! If a person can get to work right away, more people may come to Alaska and fall in love with it.

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