Florida supports veterans who pursue a professional or business license by reducing the related costs.
The primary goal of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is helping people in the state get to work—and that includes veterans of the United States armed services.
Florida state officials have made the employment of veterans in the civilian sphere a top priority and, to that end, have implemented the Fee Waiver Program—a special initiative that makes it easier for veterans and their spouses to acquire various professional licenses by lowering their associated costs.
Florida Governor Rick Scott discusses the core mission of the Licensing Fee Waiver Program in this video: “We want Florida to be the most military friendly state in the nation,” he says. “And we will continue to work each day to support our veterans and their families.”
Scope and Requirements of the DBPR Fee Waiver Program
On July 1, 2014, a bill (House Bill 7015) went into effect that allows the DBPR to waive the initial licensing fee, the initial application fee and the initial unlicensed activity fee (used to combat unlicensed activity) for military veterans and their spouses at the time of discharge who apply to the DBPR for a state professional license.
The law can save veterans anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars, depending on the license type they pursue. The program applies to more than 20 professions under DBPR’s jurisdiction, including construction, real estate, certified public accounting and cosmetology, as well as businesses under DBPR’s Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics Division.
The application must be submitted within 60 months after the veteran has been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Forces, including the Florida National Guard. A veteran’s spouse applicant must have been married to the military veteran at the time of discharge.
As proof of honorable discharge, the applicant must provide a DD-214 or NGB-22 form. Learn more about the DBPR Fee Waiver Program for veterans here.
“Providing our military members and their families with the option to grow and work in Florida is the least we can do to repay them for the endless sacrifices they have made.” –Secretary Ken Lawson, Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Fees Not Covered by the Fee Waiver Program
The only exclusions are the fees associated with required examinations and the fee for license renewal—these remain the responsibility of the applicant.
However, veterans can seek reimbursement of examination costs through the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA will reimburse eligible applicants for the cost of licensing and certifications, up to $2,000 per any test deemed necessary for pursuit of the trade or profession. Learn more about this potential benefit here.
Applying for the Fee Waiver
Veterans must submit the state licensing application for the specific profession they are seeking a license for along with a Waiver Request Application, which is available to download and print out from this page. For help completing the Waiver Request Application:
- Call the DBPR Customer Contact Center at 850-487-1395
- Submit comments and/or questions through the DBPR contact form
Applicants should mail the completed Waiver Request Application, documentation and application for licensure to:
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
1940 N. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783
Additional Licensure and Certification Programs for Veterans