NCGS Chapter 93B – Occupational Licensing Boards

Sec. 93B-1. Definitions.

As used in this Chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) License.–Any license (other than a privilege license), certificate, or other evidence of qualification which an individual is required to obtain before he may engage in or represent himself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.

(2) Occupational licensing board.–Any board, committee, commission, or other agency in North Carolina which is established for the primary purpose of regulating the entry of persons into, and the conduct of persons within, a particular profession or occupation, and which is authorized to issue licenses. The phrase “occupational licensing” board does not include State agencies, staffed by full-time State employees, which as a part of their regular functions may issue licenses.

(3) State agency licensing board.–Any State agency staffed by full‑time State employees, which as part of their regular functions issue licenses. This section does not apply to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.

Sec. 93B-2. Annual reports required; contents; open to inspection; sanction for failure to report.

(a) No later than October 31 of each year, each occupational licensing board shall file electronically with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee an annual report containing all of the following information:

(1) The address of the board, and the names of its members and officers.

(1a) The total number of licensees supervised by the board.

(2) The number of persons who applied to the board for examination.

(3) The number who were refused examination.

(4) The number who took the examination.

(5) The number to whom initial licenses were issued.

(5a) The number who failed the examination.

(6) The number who applied for license by reciprocity or comity.

(7) The number who were granted licenses by reciprocity or comity.

(7a) The number of official complaints received involving licensed and unlicensed activities.

(7b) The number of disciplinary actions taken against licensees, or other actions taken against nonlicensees, including injunctive relief.

(8) The number of licenses suspended or revoked.

(9) The number of licenses terminated for any reason other than failure to pay the required renewal fee.

(9b) The number of applicants with a conviction record and, of that number, the number granted a license, denied a license for any reason, and denied a license because of a conviction.

(9c) The number of applicants with military training, the number granted a license,  the number denied a license for any reason, and a summary of the reasons for denial. The information provided in accordance with this subdivision shall not disclose any identifying information of any applicant.

(9d) The number of applicants who are military spouses, the number granted a  license, the number denied a license for any reason, and a summary of the reasons for denial. The information provided in accordance with this subdivision shall not disclose any identifying information of any applicant.

(10) The substance of any anticipated request by the occupational licensing board to the General Assembly to amend statutes related to the occupational licensing board.

(11) The substance of any anticipated change in rules adopted by the occupational licensing board or the substance of any anticipated adoption of new rules by the occupational licensing board.

(b) No later than October 31 of each year, each occupational licensing board shall file electronically with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Office of State Budget and Management, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee a financial report that includes the source and amount of all funds credited to the occupational licensing board and the purpose and amount of all funds disbursed by the occupational licensing board during the previous fiscal year.

(b1) No later than October 31 of each year, each occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall file electronically with the Secretary of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs information collected pursuant to G.S. 93B-2(a)(9c) and (9d).

(c) The reports required by this section shall be open to public inspection.

(d) The Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee shall notify any board that fails to file the reports required by this section. Failure of a board to comply with the reporting requirements of this section by October 31 of each year shall result in a suspension of the board’s authority to expend any funds until such time as the board files the required reports. Suspension of a board’s authority to expend funds under this subsection shall not affect the board’s duty to issue and renew licenses or the validity of any application or license for which fees have been tendered in accordance with law. Each board shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for implementing this subsection and shall maintain an escrow account into which any fees tendered during a board’s period of suspension under this subsection shall be deposited.

(e) No later than October 31 of each year, each State agency licensing board shall file electronically with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee an annual report containing all of the following information:

(1) The number of applicants for a license and, of that number, the number granted a license.

(2) The number of applicants with a conviction record and, of that number, the number granted a license, denied a license for any reason, and denied a license because of a conviction.

(3) The number of applicants with military training, the number granted a license,  the number denied a license for any reason, and a summary of the reasons for denial. The information provided in accordance with this subdivision shall not disclose any identifying information of any applicant.

(4) The number of applicants who are military spouses, the number granted a  license, the number denied a license for any reason, and a summary of the reasons for denial. The information provided in accordance with this subdivision shall not disclose any identifying information of any applicant.

By October 31, 2021, each occupational licensing board shall include the data specified in G.S. 93B-2(a)(9c) and (9d), as provided for in this act, for fiscal year 2019-2020 in the annual report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee, as required by G.S. 93B-2(a). By October 31, 2021, each State agency licensing board shall include the data specified in G.S. 93B-2(e)(3) and (4), as provided for in this act, for fiscal year 2019-2020 in the annual report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee, as required by G.S. 93B-2(e).

Sec. 93B-3. Register of persons licensed; information as to licensed status of individuals.

Each occupational licensing board shall prepare a register of all persons currently licensed by the board and shall supplement said register annually by listing the changes made in it by reason of new licenses issued, licenses revoked or suspended, death, or any other cause. The board shall, upon request of any citizen of the State, inform the requesting person as to the licensed status of any individual.

Sec. 93B-4. Audit of Occupational Licensing Boards; payment of costs.

(a) The State Auditor shall audit occupational licensing boards from time to time to ensure their proper operation. The books, records, and operations of each occupational licensing board shall be subject to the oversight of the State Auditor pursuant to Article 5A of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes. In accordance with G.S. 147‑64.7(b), the State Auditor may contract with independent professionals to meet the requirements of this section.

The cost of all audits shall be paid from funds of the occupational licensing board audited.

(b) Each occupational licensing board with a budget of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) shall conduct an annual financial audit of its operations and provide a copy to the State Auditor.

Sec. 93B-5. Compensation, employment, and training of board members.

(a) Board members shall receive as compensation for their services per diem not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each day during which they are engaged in the official business of the board.

(b) Board members shall be reimbursed for all necessary travel expenses in an amount not to exceed that authorized under G.S. 138‑6(a) for officers and employees of State departments. Actual expenditures of board members in excess of the maximum amounts set forth in G.S. 138‑6(a) for travel and subsistence may be reimbursed if the prior approval of the State Director of Budget is obtained and such approved expenditures are within the established and published uniform standards and criteria of the State Director of Budget authorized under G.S. 138‑7 for extraordinary charges for hotels, meals, and convention registration for State officers and employees, whenever such charges are the result of required official business of the Board.

(d) Except as provided herein board members shall not be paid a salary or receive any additional compensation for services rendered as members of the board.

(e) Board members shall not be permanent, salaried employees of said board.

(g) Within six months of a board member’s initial appointment to the board, and at least once within every two calendar years thereafter, a board member shall receive training, either from the board’s staff, including its legal advisor, or from an outside educational institution such as the School of Government of the University of North Carolina, on the statutes governing the board and rules adopted by the board, as well as the following State laws, in order to better understand the obligations and limitations of a State agency:

(1) Chapter 150B, The Administrative Procedure Act.

(2) Chapter 132, The Public Records Law.

(3) Article 33C of Chapter 143, The Open Meetings Act.

(4) Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143, The State Tort Claims Act and The Defense of State Employees Law.

(5) Chapter 138A, The State Government Ethics Act.

(6) Chapter 120C, Lobbying.

Completion of the training requirements contained in Chapter 138A and Chapter 120C of the General Statutes satisfies the requirements of subdivisions (5) and (6) of this subsection.

Sec. 93B-6. Use of funds for lobbying prohibited.

Occupational licensing boards shall not use any funds to promote or oppose in any manner the passage by the General Assembly of any legislation.

Sec. 93B-7. Rental of state-owned office space.

Any occupational licensing board, which financially operates on the licensing fees charged and also occupies state-owned office space, shall pay rent, in a reasonable amount to be determined by the Governor, to the State for the occupancy of such space.

Sec. 93B-8. Examination procedures.

(a) Each applicant for an examination given by any occupational licensing board shall be informed in writing or print of the required grade for passing the examination prior to the taking of such examination.

(b) Each applicant for an examination given by any occupational licensing board shall be identified, for purposes of the examination, only by number rather than by name.

(c) Each applicant who takes an examination given by any occupational licensing board, and does not pass such examination, shall have the privilege to review his examination in the presence of the board or a representative of the board. Except as provided in this subsection, an occupational licensing board shall not be required to disclose the contents of any examination or of any questions which have appeared thereon, or which may appear thereon in the future.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, under no circumstances shall an occupational licensing board be required to disclose to an applicant questions or answers to tests provided by recognized testing organizations pursuant to contracts which prohibit such disclosures.

§ 93B-8.1. Use of criminal history records.

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Applicant.–A person who makes application for licensure from an occupational licensing board.

(2) Board.–An occupational licensing board or a State agency licensing board as defined in G.S. 93B-1.

(3) Criminal history record.–A State or federal history of conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, that bears upon an applicant’s or a licensee’s fitness to be licensed or disciplined.

(4) Licensee.–A person who has obtained a license to engage in or represent himself or herself to be a member of a particular profession or occupation.

(b) Unless federal law governing a particular board provides otherwise, a board may deny an applicant on the basis of a conviction of a crime only if the board finds that the applicant’s criminal conviction history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation or the conviction is for a crime that is violent or sexual in nature. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a board shall not automatically deny licensure on the basis of an applicant’s criminal history, and no board may deny an applicant a license based on a determination that a conviction is for a crime of moral turpitude. The board shall make its determination based on the factors specified in subsection (b1).

(b1) Before a board may deny an applicant a license due to a criminal conviction under subsection (b) of this section, the board must specifically consider all of the following factors:

(1) The level and seriousness of the crime.

(2) The date of the crime.

(3) The age of the person at the time of the crime.

(4) The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.

(5) The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee.

(6) The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.

(6a) The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.

(6b) A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to G.S. 15A-173.2.

(7) The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.

(8) Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

(b2) If the board denies an applicant a license under this section, the board shall:

(1) Make written findings specifying the factors in subsection (b1) of this section the board deemed relevant to the applicant and explaining the reason for the denial. The board’s presiding officer must sign the findings.

(2) Provide or serve a signed copy of the written findings to the applicant within 60 days of the denial.

(3) Retain a signed copy of the written findings for no less than five years.

(b3) Each board shall include in its application for licensure and on its public Web site all of the following information:

(1) Whether the board requires applicants to consent to a criminal history record check.

(2) The factors under subsection (b1) of this section which the board shall consider when making a determination of licensure.

(3) The appeals process pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes if the board denies an applicant licensure in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction.

(b4) If a board requires an applicant to submit a criminal history record, the board shall require the provider of the criminal history record to provide the applicant with access to the applicant’s criminal history record or otherwise deliver a copy of the criminal history record to the applicant. If an applicant’s criminal history includes matters that will or may prevent the board from issuing a license to the applicant, the board shall notify the applicant in writing of the specific issues in sufficient time for the applicant to provide additional documentation supporting the application for consideration by the board prior to any final decision to deny the application. After being notified of any potential issue with licensure due to criminal conviction(s), an applicant shall have 30 days to respond by either correcting any inaccuracy in the criminal history record or submitting evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation for consideration by the board.

(b5) If, following a hearing, a board denies an application for licensure, the board’s written order shall include specific reference to any criminal conviction(s) considered as part or all of any basis for the denial and the rationale for the denial, as well as a reference to the appeal process and the applicant’s ability to reapply. No applicant shall be restricted from reapplying for licensure for more than two years from the date of the most recent application.

(b6) Notwithstanding any other provisions in the law, an individual with a criminal history may petition a board at any time, including before an individual starts or completes any mandatory education or training requirements, for a predetermination of whether the individual’s criminal history will likely disqualify the individual from obtaining a license. This petition shall include a criminal history record report obtained by the individual from a reporting service designated by the board, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant. Criminal history records relating to a predetermination petition shall not be considered public records under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. A board may predetermine that the petitioner’s criminal history is likely grounds for denial of a license only after the board has applied the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. Each board shall delegate authority for such a predetermination to its Executive Director or their equivalent, or a committee of the board, so that the predeterminations can be made in a timely manner. No board member having served on a predetermination committee for an individual shall be required to recuse in any later determinations or hearings involving the same applicant. The board shall inform the individual of the board’s determination within 45 days of receiving the petition from the individual. The board may charge a fee to recoup its costs not to exceed forty-five dollars ($45.00) for each petition. If the board determines an applicant would likely be denied licensure based on their criminal history, the board shall notify the individual in writing of the following:

(1) The grounds and reasons for the predetermination.

(2) That the petitioner has the right to complete any requirements for licensure and apply to the board and have their application considered by the board under its application process.

(3) That further evidence of rehabilitation will be considered upon application.

(b7) A predetermination made under this section that a petitioner’s criminal history would likely prevent them from licensure is not a final agency decision and shall not entitle the individual to any right to judicial review under Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(b8) A predetermination made under subsection (b6) of this section that a petitioner is eligible for a license shall be binding if the petitioner applies for licensure and fulfills all other requirements for the occupational license and the applicant’s submitted criminal history was correct and remains unchanged at the time of application for a license.

(c) The board may deny licensure to an applicant who refuses to consent to a criminal history record check or use of fingerprints or other identifying information required by the State or National Repositories of Criminal Histories.

(d) This section does not apply to The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.

93B-8.2. Prohibit licensees from serving as investigators

No occupational licensing board shall contract with or employ a person licensed by the board to serve as an investigator or inspector if the licensee is actively practicing in the profession or occupation and is in competition with other members of the profession or occupation over which the board has jurisdiction. Nothing in this section shall prevent a board from (i) employing licensees who are not otherwise employed in the same profession or occupation as investigators or inspectors or for other purposes or (ii) contracting with licensees of the board to serve as expert witnesses or consultants in cases where special knowledge and experience is required, provided that the board limits the duties and authority of the expert witness or consultant to serving as an information resource to the board and board personnel.

93B-8.6. Recognition of apprenticeships and training

(a) The following definitions shall apply in this section:

(1) Apprenticeship.–A program that meets the federal guidelines for registered apprenticeships set out in 29 C.F.R. Part 29 and 29 U.S.C. § 50. An apprenticeship can be completed under a State-licensed practitioner of that occupation or at a State-licensed school.

(2) Career technical education.–Programs of study, clusters, and pathways approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education or the State Board of Community Colleges.

(3) Licensing.–Any required training, education, or fee to work in a specific profession.

(b) Unless otherwise required by federal law, including requirements pertaining to eligibility for federal grant funding, an occupational licensing board shall grant a license to any applicant who meets the following criteria:

(1) Completed an apprenticeship approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency or federal Department of Labor, or otherwise permitted under State or federal law.

(2) Passed an examination, if one is deemed to be necessary by the licensing authority.

(3) With the exception of any prelicensing education requirements, has met any other requirements for licensure set forth in the law or rules related to the particular board.

(b1) This section shall not apply to occupational licensing boards governing professions requiring advanced knowledge acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual study, including those requiring a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

(c) Each occupational licensing board shall establish a passing score for the board’s examinations which shall not exceed the passing score that is required under the board’s standard licensing processes. If the relevant law or rule does not require an examination for the standard licensing process, no examination may be required for applicants who complete an apprenticeship in that occupation. Except as otherwise required by federal law, apprenticeships for an occupation shall not be required to exceed the number of hours required by the relevant licensing authority or statute for that occupation.

(d) Applicants for licensure shall be permitted to apply training hours earned through career technical education provided by North Carolina public schools and colleges towards the requirements for licensure in the same occupation in accordance with the standards and procedures authorized in accordance with this Chapter.

(e) The State Board of Community Colleges and occupational licensing boards shall adopt rules for the implementation of this section.

Sec. 93B-9. Age requirements.

Any other provision notwithstanding, no occupational licensing board may require that an individual be more than 18 years of age as a requirement for receiving a license.

Sec. 93B-10. Expiration of term of appointment of board member.

A board member serving on an occupational and professional licensing board whose term of appointment has expired shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified.

Sec. 93B-11. Interest from State Treasurer’s Investment Program.

Any interest earned by an occupational licensing board under G.S. 147‑69.3(d) may be used only for the following purposes:

(1) To reduce fees;

(2) Improve services offered to licensees and the public; or

(3) For educational purposes to benefit licensees or the public.

Sec. 93B‑12. Information from licensing boards having authority over health care providers.

(a) Every occupational licensing board having authority to license physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives in this State shall modify procedures for license renewal to include the collection of information specified in this section for each board’s regular renewal cycle. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the State in tracking the availability of health care providers to determine which areas in the State suffer from inequitable access to specific types of health services and to anticipate future health care shortages which might adversely affect the citizens of this State. Occupational licensing boards shall collect, report, and update the following information:

(1) Area of health care specialty practice;

(2) Address of all locations where the licensee practices; and

(3) Other information the occupational licensing board deems relevant to assisting the State in achieving the purpose set out in this section, including social security numbers for research purposes only in matching other data sources.

(b) Every occupational licensing board required to collect information pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall report and update the information on an annual basis to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department shall provide this information to programs preparing primary care physicians, physicians assistants, and nurse practitioners upon request by the program and by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina. Information provided by the occupational licensing board pursuant to this subsection may be provided in such form as to omit the identity of the health care licensee.

Sec. 93B-13. Revocation when licensing privilege forfeited for nonpayment of child support or for failure to comply with subpoena.

(a) Upon receipt of a court order, pursuant to G.S. 50‑13.12 and G.S. 110‑142.1, revoking the occupational license of a licensee under its jurisdiction, an occupational licensing board shall note the revocation in its records, report the action within 30 days to the Department of Health and Human Services, and follow the normal postrevocation rules and procedures of the board as if the revocation had been ordered by the board. The revocation shall remain in effect until the board receives certification by the clerk of superior court or the Department of Health and Human Services in an IV‑D case that the licensee is no longer delinquent in child support payments, or, as applicable, that the licensee is in compliance with or is no longer subject to the subpoena that was the basis for the revocation.

(b) Upon receipt of notification from the Department of Health and Human Services that a licensee under an occupational licensing board’s jurisdiction has forfeited the licensee’s occupational license pursuant to G.S. 110‑142.1, then the occupational licensing board shall send a notice of intent to revoke or suspend the occupational license of that licensee as provided by G.S. 110‑142.1(d). If the license is revoked as provided by the provisions of G.S. 110‑142.1, the revocation shall remain in effect until the board receives certification by the designated representative or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee is no longer delinquent in child support payments, or, as applicable, that the licensee is in compliance with or no longer subject to a subpoena that was the basis for the revocation.

(c) If at the time the court revokes a license pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or if at the time the occupational licensing board revokes a license pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the occupational licensing board has revoked the same license under the licensing board’s disciplinary authority over licensees under its jurisdiction, and that revocation period is greater than the revocation period resulting from forfeiture pursuant to G.S. 50‑13.12 or G.S. 110‑142.1 then the revocation period imposed by the occupational licensing board applies.

(d) Immediately upon certification by the clerk of superior court or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee whose license was revoked pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section is no longer delinquent in child support payments, the occupational licensing board shall reinstate the license. Immediately upon certification by the clerk of superior court or the child support enforcement agency that the licensee whose license was revoked because of failure to comply with a subpoena is in compliance with or no longer subject to the subpoena, the occupational licensing board shall reinstate the license. Reinstatement of a license pursuant to this section shall be made at no additional cost to the licensee.

Sec. 93B-14. Information on applicants for licensure.

Every occupational licensing board shall require applicants for licensure to provide to the Board the applicant’s social security number. This information shall be treated as confidential and may be released only as follows:

(1) To the State Child Support Enforcement Program of the Department of Health and Human Services upon its request and for the purpose of enforcing a child support order.

(2) To the Department of Revenue for the purpose of administering the State’s tax laws.

Sec. 93B-15. Payment of license fees by members of the armed forces; board waiver rules

An individual who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and to whom G.S. 105‑249.2 grants an extension of time to file a tax return is granted an extension of time to pay any license fee charged by an occupational licensing board as a condition of retaining a license granted by the board. The extension is for the same period that would apply if the license fee were a tax.

93B-15.1.  Licensure for individuals with military training and experience; proficiency examination; licensure by endorsement for military spouses; temporary license.

(a) Except as provided by subsection (a2) of this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board, or State agency licensing board, as defined in G.S. 93B-1, shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military-trained applicant to allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant’s occupation in this State if, upon application to an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board the military-trained applicant satisfies the following conditions:

(1) Has been awarded a military occupational specialty and has done all of the following at a level that is substantially equivalent to or exceeds the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration of the occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board from which the applicant is seeking licensure, certification, or registration in this State: completed a military program of training, completed testing or equivalent training and experience and performed in the occupational specialty.

(2) Has engaged in the active practice of the occupation for which the person is seeking a license, certification, or permit from the occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board in this State for at least two of the five years preceding the date of the application under this section.

(3) Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this State at the time the act was committed and has no pending complaints.

(a1)  No later than seven business days following receipt of an application from a military-trained applicant, an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall either issue a license, certification, or registration or notify an applicant when the applicant’s military training or experience does not satisfy the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration and specify the criteria or requirements that the board determined that the applicant failed to meet and the basis for that determination. If a military-trained applicant has a pending complaint under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall notify the applicant no later than seven business days following the board receiving written notice of the disposition of the pending complaint.

(a2) An occupational licensing board, board or State agency licensing board, as defined in 9 G.S. 93B-1, shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military-trained applicant to 10 allow the applicant to lawfully practice the applicant’s occupation in this State if the  military-trained applicant, upon application to the occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board, satisfies the following conditions:

(1) Presents official, notarized documentation, such as a U.S. Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214), or similar substantiation, attesting to the applicant’s military occupational specialty certification and experience in an occupational field within the board’s purview; and

(2) Passes a proficiency examination offered by the board to military-trained applicants in lieu of satisfying the conditions set forth in subsection (a) of this section; however, if an applicant fails the proficiency examination, then the applicant may be required by the board to satisfy those conditions.

In any case where a proficiency examination is not offered routinely by an occupational licensing board, board or State agency licensing board, the board shall design a fair proficiency examination for military-trained applicants to obtain licensure, certification, or registration under this section. If a proficiency examination is offered routinely by an occupational licensing board,  board or State agency licensing board, that examination shall satisfy the requirements of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an occupational licensing board, board  or State agency licensing board, as defined in G.S. 93B-1, shall issue a license, certification, or  registration to a military spouse to allow the military spouse to lawfully practice the military  spouse’s occupation in this State if, upon application to an occupational licensing board, board  or State agency licensing board, the military spouse satisfies the following conditions:

(1) Holds a current license, certification, or registration from another jurisdiction,  and that jurisdiction’s requirements for licensure, certification, or registration are substantially equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure,  certification, or registration of the occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board for which the applicant is seeking licensure,  certification, or registration in this State.

(2) Can demonstrate competency in the occupation through methods as determined by the Board, such as having completed continuing education units or having had recent experience for at least two of the five years preceding the date of the application under this section.

(3) Has not committed any act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for refusal, suspension, or revocation of a license to practice that occupation in this State at the time the act was committed.

(4) Is in good standing; has not been disciplined by the agency that had jurisdiction to issue the license, certification, or permit; and has no pending complaints.

(b1) No later than seven business days following receipt of an application from a military spouse, an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall either issue a  license, certification, or registration or notify an applicant when the applicant’s training or experience does not satisfy the requirements for licensure, certification, or registration and specify the criteria or requirements that the board determined that the applicant failed to meet and the basis for that determination. If an applicant who is a military spouse has a pending complaint under subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of this section, an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall notify the applicant no later than seven business days following the board receiving written notice of the disposition of the pending complaint.

(c) All relevant experience of a military service member in the discharge of official duties or, for a military spouse, all relevant experience, including full-time and part-time experience,  regardless of whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, shall be credited in the calculation of years of practice in an occupation as required under subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(c1) Each occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall publish on  its Web site all of the following:

(1) A document that lists the specific criteria or requirements for licensure,  registration, or certification by the board, with a description of the criteria or requirements that are satisfied by military training or experience as provided in this section, and any necessary documentation needed for obtaining the credit or satisfying the requirement.

(2) A document that includes a summary of the opportunities available to veterans and military spouses under this section.

(c2) The Secretary of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs shall publish on the  Department’s Web site the information required under subsection (c1) of this section.

(d) A nonresident licensed, certified, or registered under this section shall be entitled to the same rights and subject to the same obligations as required of a resident licensed, certified,  or registered by an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board in this State.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to the practice of law as regulated under Chapter 84 of the General Statutes.

(f) An occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board, shall issue a  temporary practice permit to a military-trained applicant or military spouse licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction while the military-trained applicant or military spouse is satisfying the requirements for licensure under subsection (a) or (b) of this section within seven business days following receipt of an application, if that jurisdiction has licensure, certification,  or registration standards substantially equivalent to the standards for licensure, certification, or registration of an occupational licensing or State agency licensing board in this State.  The practice permit shall be issued using the same information as provided by the applicant in the licensure application and remain valid for the later of one year or the required renewal date for the occupation the temporary practice permit was issued for or until a license, certification,  or registration is granted by the occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board. A temporary practice permit may be denied or revoked for a pending complaint after  notice is provided to the military-trained applicant or military spouse as set forth under subsection  (a1) or (b1) of this section.

(g) An occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a military-trained applicant or military spouse from proceeding under the existing licensure, certification, or registration requirements established by an occupational licensing board State agency licensing board in this State.

(i) In addition to the provisions for licensure provided by this section, a local board of education may request a three-year limited license for a military spouse who holds a current teaching license in another jurisdiction pursuant to G.S. 115C-270.20(a)(4a). The State Board of Education shall report the information specified in G.S. 93B-2(a)(9c) and (9d) in accordance with G.S. 93B-2.

(j) For the purposes of this section, the North Carolina Medical Board shall not be considered an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board.

(k) An occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board shall not charge a  military-trained applicant or a military spouse an initial application fee for a license, certification,  registration, or temporary practice permit issued pursuant to this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an occupational licensing board or State agency licensing board from charging its ordinary fee for a renewal application or prohibit a third party from charging actual costs for a service such as a background check.

Sec.  93B-16. Occupational board liability for negligent acts.

(a) An occupational licensing board may purchase commercial insurance of any kind to cover all risks or potential liability of the board, its members, officers, employees, and agents, including the board’s liability under Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(b) Occupational licensing boards shall be deemed State agencies for purposes of Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, and board members and employees of occupational licensing boards shall be considered State employees for purposes of Articles 31 and 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes. To the extent an occupational licensing board purchases commercial liability insurance coverage in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) per claim for liability arising under Article 31 or 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the provisions of G.S. 143‑299.4 shall not apply. To the extent that an occupational licensing board purchases commercial insurance coverage for liability arising under Article 31 or 31A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the provisions of G.S. 143‑300.6(c) shall not apply.

(c) The purchase of insurance by an occupational licensing board under this section shall not be construed to waive sovereign immunity or any other defense available to the board, its members, officers, employees, or agents in an action or contested matter in any court, agency, or tribunal. The purchase of insurance by an occupational licensing board shall not be construed to alter or expand the limitations on claims or payments established in G.S. 143‑299.2 or limit the right of board members, officers, employees, or agents to defense by the State as provided by G.S. 143‑300.3.