Path To Licensure, Detroit, MI

Effective July 1, 2006, all social workers in the state of Michigan are required to be licensed.  All licensing applicants must have a degree in social work (BSW or MSW) from an accredited institution to be eligible to apply for the license. New practitioners apply for the Limited License (LLBSW or LLMSW). Download the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) application packet

  1. You must complete and submit the application for licensure with the appropriate fee, as well as arrange for supporting documents to be sent to the Board of Social Work.
  2. Applicants for the social work licensure in Michigan are required to undergo a Criminal Background Check (CBC) and provide evidence of fingerprint processing from an authorized agency. You should make contact with an approved agency within 7-10 days after application submission. Additional documentation is included in the application packet offering detailed instruction on the CBC and fingerprinting process.
  3. Arrange for your degree posted official transcripts to be sent to the Michigan Board directly from your school. The transcript must include the date your social work degree was conferred. To request WSU transcripts, visit the WSU Office of the Registrar Transcript Request website for further details.

Requirements to apply for full licensure (LBSW or LMSW)

To be completed within seven years, under the LLBSW or LLMSW, supervised experience (4,000 clock hours) and successful completion of the exam is required in order to be eligible to apply for the full licenses. You cannot apply for the full license in less than a two-year period with the limited licenses.


Specific requirements for the supervised work experience are included on the Supervisor's Verification of Social Work Experience form.


Once your limited license is issued, you are eligible to take the licensing examination that is required for a social worker license. Information will be sent to ASWB indicating your exam eligibility. Information about the exam, including the ASWB Candidate Handbook, is available from ASWB. After you have registered with ASWB for the exam, you will receive an Authorization to Test and instructions about how to schedule your exam. The exams are administered in a computerized format in over 150 test centers across the United States. You must take the examination within one year from the date you receive your Authorization to Test.

Prep and support

Are you thinking about taking a MI social work licensure exam? Jumpstart your prep with the following supports:

Continuing education for social workers

The State of Michigan requires fully licensed social workers to complete 45 hours of continuing professional education every three years. This must include five hours of Ethics, 2 hours of Pain and Pain Symptom Management and completion of Human Trafficking training. Take a look at our Wayne State CE list of online workshops and upcoming events. 


Questions regarding your professional license may be directed to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs at 517-335-0918.