It’s hard to underestimate the significance of the quality and accessibility of healthcare. Nonetheless, obtaining a medical license can be complicated and time-consuming. That's why you may want to consider the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Understanding the IMLC is essential for healthcare professionals looking to expand their reach and offer their services to patients in other states. This article discusses the IMLC and its benefits, eligibility requirements, challenges, and limitations. Thus, whether you’re looking to expand your practice or just want to stay informed, keep reading and discover how the IMLC might improve your practice.

What the IMLC Is & How It Works

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) was created to solve the challenges physicians faced when trying to practice medicine in multiple states. Before the compact’s development, healthcare providers had to go through separate application processes and meet varying requirements in each state where they wanted to practice.

Since its introduction in 2014, the IMLC has gained momentum across the United States. Currently, 37 states, along with the District of Columbia and the Territory of Guam, participate in the compact, and more states are expected to join in the future.

The IMLC allows physicians to apply for a single compact medical license that meets the qualifications of all participants. States collaborate to ensure the qualification criteria are substantially similar, streamlining the licensing process. When physicians seek licensure in new states, that participate in the IMLC, their credentials are verified by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC), which is responsible for processing and reviewing applications. They also provide ongoing regulatory and disciplinary oversight of participating physicians to ensure they adhere to state-specific rules and regulations.

What are the Main Benefits of the IMLC?

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) offers numerous benefits, including the obvious: streamlining the licensure process for physicians seeking to practice in multiple states. Here are some other benefits:

  • Increases access to healthcare. 

The IMLC makes it easier for healthcare providers to reach patients in remote or underserved locations where licensed physicians may be limited. This can help to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare disparities in these communities.

  • Facilitates telemedicine.

The IMLC promotes the use of telemedicine and other innovative healthcare delivery models. Practitioners who hold a compact medical license can provide telehealth treatments for patients in other states. This can be incredibly useful in rural locations where in-person visits may be difficult.

  • Reduces administrative burden and costs.

The compact significantly reduces the administrative burden and costs associated with maintaining multiple medical licenses.

Overall, the IMLC is crucial to creating a more efficient and effective healthcare system for patients and providers alike.

Learn about the benefits of having multiple medical licenses.

Compact Medical Licensure – IMLC Eligibility Demystified

To qualify for a compact medical license, physicians must meet certain requirements and criteria, which include:

  • Holding a full and unrestricted medical license in their State of Principal Licensure (SPL), the state where they reside or practice.
  • Having no record of disciplinary action against their medical license.
  • Passing all 3 steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).
  • Completing graduate medical education (GME) or an equivalent program.
  • Complying with any additional eligibility requirements specified by the state medical board where they’re seeking licensure.

In addition to these qualifications, physicians must also satisfy several application requirements to obtain a compact medical license, such as:

  • Applying and paying relevant fees.
  • Undergoing a criminal background check and providing fingerprints.
  • Fulfilling continuing medical education (CME) requirements.
  • Providing proof of their medical license, education, and GME.

It’s worth noting that while most states have similar eligibility criteria for compact medical licensure, there might be some minor differences in the application process, such as required documentation and fees.

Learn how to prepare your application to the medical board.

Challenges & Limitations of the IMLC

Even though the requirements are unified, there still are some differences. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Specialists must make sure they comply with the standards of each state in which they wish to practice. This may require additional training or study.

A potential challenge of the IMLC is the possibility of delay or denial of licensure due to legal or disciplinary issues in the physician’s home state or another state where they are licensed. Such an issue in one state may impact the ability to obtain licensure in other states, including through the IMLC.

Questions about liability and malpractice insurance coverage in states where physicians hold a compact medical license are also a concern. Practitioners must ensure proper health insurance coverage in each state they wish to practice, which can be a complicated and time-consuming process.

Participating States in the IMLC

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) has rapidly expanded since its creation in 2014. The compact provides a streamlined process for obtaining a compact medical license, making it easier for physicians to practice across state lines.

The states and territories that accept applications for expedited licensure under the IMLC member state


Arizona Colorado Wisconsin


Georgia Guam



Iowa Kansas



Maine Maryland



Mississippi Montana



New Hampshire North Dakota



South Dakota Tennessee


Utah Wyoming Washington

West Virginia

Connecticut and Vermont are not considered “States of Principle Licensure”. This means that you cannot enter the compact with a CT or VT license. However, you are able to get a license issued for these states through the compact once you have entered it via another State of Principle Licensure.

States and districts that have passed legislation to join the IMLC but are in the process of implementation

  • District of Columbia
  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island

States that have introduced legislation to join the compact

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Virginia

Check out the hardest and easiest states to get a medical license.

Multistate Licensure Compact Map by States

Advantages & Disadvantages of Practicing in a Compact License State versus a Non-Compact State

We have already discussed the main benefits. Let’s recap:

  • Ability to practice across state lines without having to obtain additional licenses
  • Streamlined license application process
  • Increased flexibility to respond to emergencies and practice telemedicine

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to practicing in a compact state, such as:

  • Needing to stay up-to-date with varying state laws and regulations
  • Limited access to certain patients due to state-specific insurance networks
  • Higher fees associated with obtaining and maintaining a compact license

It is important to weigh these factors carefully when considering whether to obtain a compact medical license through the IMLC.

Let’s Sum Everything Up

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is a game-changing tool that allows physicians to practice in multiple states efficiently and successfully. It fosters improved healthcare availability by removing the administrative complexity and costs involved with getting numerous medical licenses. This is especially important for patients in distant or underserved areas.

While the IMLC has several obstacles and limits, such as different regulations in each state, the benefits clearly exceed these drawbacks. To make the most of this unique initiative, physicians interested in gaining a compact medical license or practicing in several states should investigate and understand the qualifying conditions and application procedure. The IMLC’s growth is expected to continue, and it is a valuable tool for healthcare providers that are interested in providing quality care.

Navigate the IMLC with Confidence: Get Support from MedicalLicensing

At, our mission is to ease your licensing and credentialing burdens. We simplify payor enrollment in multiple states for IMLC-eligible providers, a crucial step in ensuring compliance with state-specific healthcare regulations.

For those who are not IMLC-eligible, our team streamlines the entire process and provides your medical license promptly, saving you time and giving you peace of mind.

Whether navigating the IMLC or not, we provide a comprehensive solution to managing your licenses and credentials.

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