- General Information
What is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact?
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, also known as the IMLC or simply, "the compact," is an interstate agreement that allows physicians to obtain expedited licensure in multiple states.
What does obtaining a license via the compact allow a Colorado physician to do?
The multi-state licensure process through the compact allows doctors to obtain licensure via a single expedited pathway in states participating in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). A Colorado “compact” license only authorizes the licensee to practice medicine in the state of Colorado. If an individual wants to practice in a participating compact state, he or she must obtain a compact physician license in that respective state.
What are the benefits of obtaining a license through the compact?
This new license type provides a single, simplified pathway for a physician to obtain a medical license in multiple states through a single application process in any participating IMLC state. Additionally, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC) processes the renewals within the multi-state licensure process, allowing individuals to use a single entity to renew multiple licenses.
What is the difference between a single-state license and a compact license?
A Colorado physician license and a license obtained through the compact both allow the physician to practice medicine in Colorado. However, a license obtained through the compact allows the physician to obtain additional medical licenses in participating states through a single application process and on an expedited basis.
What other states make up the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)?
The number of states participating in the IMLC is fluid, based on legislative changes around the nation.
If I obtain a compact physician license in Colorado, can I practice in other participating compact states?
No. The Colorado compact physician only authorizes individuals to practice medicine in the state of Colorado. If an individual wants to practice in a participating compact state, he or she must obtain a compact physician license in that respective state.
How does holding a compact physician’s license in Colorado affect my current Colorado physician’s license?
It is very important to know that the confidentiality afforded to physicians under Colorado’s Medical Practice Act and its attendant rules may be diminished for physicians obtaining a license in multiple states through the compact. Once you have obtained a license through the compact, any complaints and investigatory information (normally kept confidential in Colorado) must be reported to other compact states upon request.
Investigatory information may include confidential reports and confidential letters of concern. If a compact physician’s license held in a participating state is suspended, revoked, or relinquished, all licenses held in participating compact states will automatically be placed into the same status. In Colorado, this automatic status change precludes pre-suspension hearings in Colorado.
Does the physician compact operate in the same manner as the nursing compact?
No. The nursing compact issues one license authorizing practice in all compact states. The physician compact requires a separate license for each participating state; however, it allows individuals to obtain medical licenses through a single application process and in an expedited manner.
Can I practice telemedicine on a compact physician license?
Yes. The multi-state licensure process allows you to practice medicine in the state of Colorado on a full and unrestricted basis, to include telehealth.
How would obtaining a compact physician license impact the ability to write prescriptions?
A physician license obtained through the compact allows the licensee to prescribe within Colorado jurisdiction but not outside of the state. If you wish to prescribe or practice medicine in other participating compact states, you are required to obtain a license in that respective state.
- Requirements Process
What are the requirements to obtain a compact physician license?
Compact eligibility requirements include:
Holding a full, unrestricted medical license in a compact member state that may serve as a state of principal licensure (SPL). Graduation from an accredited medical school, or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory. Successful completion of an ACGME or AOA accredited residency program. Having passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX, or equivalent exam in no more than three attempts. Holding a specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board. No history of disciplinary actions toward a medical license. No criminal history. No history of controlled substance actions toward your license. Not being currently under investigation.
What is the cost associated with getting a compact license?
The current cost for applying for a physician licensed through the compact is $700. This non-refundable fee is for the processing of the application and does not guarantee licensure.
How do I apply for a compact physician license?
Visit the IMLCC application webpage to submit an initial application. The IMLCC receives and processes initial applications for compact physician licensure.
What happens after I submit an application to the IMLCC?
Once Colorado receives an application from the IMLCC, you will receive an email with additional requirements to complete the application process. These requirements may vary based on the method under which you were initially licensed, whether original or endorsement.
How long is a compact physician application valid?
Applications submitted through the compact are valid for sixty (60) days from the date the Division receives the application.
- At least 25% of the practice of medicine occurs in the SPL.
- The employer is located in the SPL.
- If none of the above applies, an individual may use the SPL as his or her state of residence for U.S. federal tax income purposes.
What is a state of principal licensure (SPL)?
A state of principal licensure (SPL) is the state in which an individual must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in order to apply through the compact. To designate an SPL, individuals must meet one of the following requirements:
Primary residence in the SPL.
- Background Checks
Is a background check required to obtain a compact physician license?
Yes. As required by law, you must submit a fingerprint background check to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) using these guidelines.
How long will it take to complete a background check?
The CBI receives and processes all background checks and forwards them to the Division upon completion. For questions relating to processing times, processing issues, or other concerns relating to background checks, please contact the Identification Unit of the CBI.
Is fingerprint identification part of the compact application process?
Yes. A fingerprint background check is required.
Can previous fingerprint results be used during the compact application process?
No. Federal law requires that you submit a background check specific to your Colorado application for a compact physician license. Previously submitted or completed background checks cannot be used to obtain a compact physician license.
Would legal issues in an individual’s background prevent compact licensure?
Background checks are required for obtaining a license. Any items flagged during a criminal background check may prohibit eligibility for a compact physician license.
Pursuant to 24-60-3602, Section 2(k)(6), requirements for licensure include individuals who have “never been convicted, received adjudication, deferred adjudication, community supervision, or deferred disposition for any offense by a court of appropriate jurisdiction.”
- Application Information
How long will it take to process an application?
The Office of Licensing will initially process applications on an expedited basis. Timelines for expedited review may vary.
Why are compact physician applications reviewed on an expedited basis?
Applications submitted through the compact are valid for 60 days from the date the Division receives the application. As a result, we attempt to process these applications on an expedited basis so applicants have the maximum amount of time to submit additional requirements to complete the application process.
How do I ensure the timeliest processing of an application?
View the application checklist of additional documents you are required to submit as part of the compact physician licensure process. Applicants are encouraged to submit any supporting documentation prior to submitting an application.
How can I check the status of an application?
Applications are processed in the order they are received and the details of any deficiencies are provided from a licensing specialist via email on an individual basis. It is important for licensees to correct any deficiencies as soon as possible in order to move the application forward. If approval has been completed, you will receive an electronic notification with a link to log to your account and print the license on your own. Colorado does not print and mail licenses.
When do licenses obtained via the compact expire?
Licenses expire on the same timeline as standard Colorado physician licenses: April 30 of odd years. A 60-day grace period follows the expiration of a license, during which your license(s) can be renewed without having to reinstate the license. An additional late fee will accompany any renewals within the grace period.
- Next Steps
Once a Colorado compact physician license has been issued, what are next steps to get licensed in other states?
Colorado will issue what is known as a “letter of qualification" (LOQ) to the IMLCC. The IMLCC will contact the licensee to determine in which participating compact states the physician wants to be licensed.
What if a physician who has obtained a license through the compact wants additional licenses in another participating state at a later date?
If it has been less than one year from the date the physician license was issued through the compact, the licensee can request the IMLCC to reissue the LOQ to any participating compact state with an additional fee. If it has been over one year from the date the physician’s license was issued, the licensee will need to reapply to utilize the multi-state licensure process.
What is the renewal process for a compact physician license?
The IMLCC processes all renewals for a physician licensed through the compact in all participating states.
How do I know when my license obtained through the compact is up for renewal?
The IMLC will notify licensees when the license renewal period has opened.
Where can I find additional information about the IMLC?
For more information related to the IMLC, visit the IMLC website.
Checklists & Forms
Select any of the following links to download the checklist or form.
- IMLC Application Checklist
- Fingerprint & Background Check Information
- Designation of State of Principal Licensure
- Request for FSMB Disciplinary Action Report
- USMLE Information Sheet
News & Updates
Select one of the following quick links below to read more information about the topic.
- Executive Committee Approves Advisory Opinion 09-2018
- Interstate Commission Approves FY2019 Budget
- Press Release: IMLC 1-Year Anniversary
- IMLC Webinar Now Available
- Information Release: Preliminary IMLCC Applications Data
Executive Committee Approves Advisory Opinion 09-2018
The Executive Committee has approved IMLC - Advisory Opinion 09-2018.
Interstate Commission Approves FY2019 Budget
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission approved the operational FY2019 budget for the Compact.
Press Release: 1 Year Anniversary
A review of data from the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (Compact) reveals that physicians are aggressively using the Compact's expedited licensure process to be promptly licensed in multiple states.
IMLC Webinar Now Available
Check out this five-minute webinar to learn how you can obtain a license through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
Information Release: Preliminary IMLCC Applications Data
The Executive Director has released the preliminary data regarding applications processed by the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC) and licenses issued via the IMLCC process.
For more information, contact Marschall Smith, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.