​​​​​​​​​Professional Licensing Waivers

What is a Professional Licensing Waiver?

A Professional Licensing Waiver (PLW), requested by the MHP and issued by the State, is the only ‘exception’ noted in Welfare and Institutions Code section 5751.2 for psychology candidates or those recruited from outside California to provide services requiring a license:

Except as provided in this section, persons employed or under contract to provide mental health services pursuant to this part shall be subject to all applicable requirements of law regarding professional licensure, and no person shall be employed in local mental health programs pursuant to this part to provide services for which such a license is required, unless the person possesses a valid license.

What is the purpose of the different types of Professional Licensing Waivers?

An In-State Waiver for persons with or in the process of obtaining a Psy.D. or Ph.D. allows them to be employed for up to five years for the purpose of  accruing the supervised professional experience required  to sit for the licensing examination.  Waivers may be granted before course work is complete with proof of specific units as noted in BHIN 20-069.  

An Out-of-State Waiver for a Psy.D., Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT or LPCC allows a qualified person to be employed for up to five years for the purpose of taking the required California licensing examination.  Individuals from outside California applying for this category of waiver must have completed all of the necessary supervised professional experience to sit for the appropriate examination, and must submit a statement from the California licensing board of jurisdiction attesting to this fact.

What are the MHP’s responsibilities?

  1. Ensure that each person providing mental health services requiring a license or waiver possesses the
    appropriate license or waiver.
  2. Ensure each unlicensed Clinical Social Work (CSW) candidate, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) candidate, or Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC) candidate are registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
  3. Ensure each LCSW, LMFT, and LPCC applicant recruited from out-of-state, has documentation from the appropriate California licensing board that the individual is eligible to sit for the examination.
  4. Ensure each applicant meets the requirement for the waiver requested as stated in BHIN 20-069​.
  5. Compile the required documentation and complete sections 1-9 of DHCS Form 1739: Mental Health Professional Licensing Waiver Request.

What is the process to obtain a Professional Licensing Waiver?

  1. Complete DHCS Form 1739: Mental Health Professional Licensing Waiver Request​​.​
  2. Check that the applicant meets the requirements for the waiver requested as stated in BHIN 20-069​.
  3. Attach all required documentation to the Waiver Request.
  4. Send the request prior to the applicant’s employment start date to:

Contact Us:

Professional Licensing Waivers
Department of Health Care Services
Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division - Professional Licensing Waivers Unit​


Helpful Links 

Program Oversight and Compliance Branch-Mental Health

Mental Health Services Division (MHSD)/Programs and Services

Mental Health Forms

Last modified date: 6/1/2022 11:04 AM