Some professional licensing fees are the lowest in the nation
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Division of Professional Registration announced Monday that Missouri professional licensees have received more than $11.7 million in fee savings since 2009.
In Missouri, licensing and discipline are handled by 41 boards housed within the Division of Professional Registration, overseeing 254 diverse professions for more than 474,000 individuals and companies in the State — about 16 percent of the state’s workforce. The Division reduced or held constant almost all of its professional renewal fees this year by continuing efficiency processes, consolidating duplicative activities, and reducing operating expenses.
A comparison of fees charged by State Boards of Nursing validates that Missouri charges the lowest fees in the United States in several categories including license by endorsement, a $50 two-year renewal fee for Registered Nurses, and a $40 initial licensure by exam two-year license.
Fees charged to be a licensed social worker are consistently the lowest in the nation at $58 renewal for baccalaureate and mastered degreed licensees. The same is true for dietitians who, in Missouri, are charged $20 on a biennial basis, while the same fee is as high as $250 in Maryland.
Fees to renew a dental specialist’s license dropped in Missouri from $270 in 2008 to $100 in 2018. In 2008, a dental hygienist renewing their license paid a fee of $130 for the two year renewal. Today that same fee is $60. Renewal fees for accountants were also reduced by 50 percent, from $80 to $40. Licensed optometrists saw a decrease of $150 to $125.
The State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts decreased several licensure and renewal fees for physicians, anesthesiologist assistants, athletic trainers, clinical perfusionists, physician assistants, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, and speech language pathologists and audiologists. License and renewal fee reductions for physicians were decreased by $1,250,880 in 2017. This included, among others fees, reducing initial licensure fees from $300 to $75 and renewal fees from $135 to $100. Allied health professionals licensed by the Board also saw costs savings of $220,448 as a result of the fee decreases adopted in 2017.
The Division is required by law to set licensing fees to cover the costs of regulation. Most fees, including those above, cover a two-year license period. Fifty-one percent of the Division’s renewal fees are $50 or less.
“The Division is leveraging our shared service model and are more fully integrating new technology which affects the bottom line,” explained Katie Steele Danner, Director of DIFP’s Division of Professional Registration. “Reducing licensing fees puts money back in the pockets of the nearly one-in-6 Missouri workers who are required to be licensed by the Division,” said Steele Danner.“In addition, our Division synchronizes licensing requirements across states, when possible, and will soon be a member of 3 interstate compacts to make it easier for professionals to offer services in other states without obtaining additional licenses. We are remodeling public protection for the 21st century.”
“Licensing fees affect business costs and can be a barrier to market entry — whether someone is looking for a job or starting a business,” said DIFP Director Chlora Lindley Myers. “I applaud the work of the Division of Professional Registration in reducing costs to businesses and consumers.”