Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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 Changes to Licensing Exemptions & 2013-2014 Grandfathering Minimize

2012 LICENSING EXEMPTION CHANGES: Changes to the current social work licensing exemptions apply only to:  1) Minnesota city agencies, 2) Minnesota state agencies, and 3) Minnesota private nonprofit agencies whose primary service focus addresses ethnic minority populations. There are no changes to Minnesota county agency exemptions or tribal agency exemptions. Changes for these agencies take full effect July 1, 2016.

2013 LEGISLATIVE CHANGE FOR TRIBAL AGENCY EMPLOYEES:  Effective August 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014, tribal agency social workers are eligible to apply for licensure through the grandfathering licensing option.  There is no change to the current licensing exemption for these individuals, licensure of social workers who are employed by federally recognized tribes remains voluntary and is not required by Minnesota State law.

GRANDFATHERING PROVISION: Grandfathering begins January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2014. Applications for eligible tribal agency employees will be available beginning August 1, 2013.  Minnesota county agency employees do not qualify for grandfathering as no changes were made to that exemption. An applicant must be currently employed in one of the following Minnesota agencies between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014; tribal agency applicants between August 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014:

  • Minnesota city agency
  • Minnesota state agency (including the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU), or,
  • Minnesota private nonprofit or tribal agency whose primary service focus addresses ethnic minority populations, and the applicant must be a member of an ethnic minority population within those agencies, previously exempt from licensure under Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 148D.065, subdivision 5, and section 148E.065, subdivision 5.
  • Persons currently licensed during an earlier grandfathering period, without an MSW degree, may be eligible to apply for the LICSW license.
  • Read more about the 2013-2014 grandfathering provision, ending December 31, 2014 [Grandfathering FAQs].
Read the details in Statute [148E.0555, 148E.0556, and 148E.0557]


The Minnesota Board of Social Work is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer.
The Minnesota Board of Social Work does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color,
creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, age, sexual orientation, or
membership on a local human rights commission.

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