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 (B.S.W. or M.S.W.) from an accredited institution to be eligible to apply for the license.

Social Work Examination Service (SWES) Licensing Exam Preparation workbooks are now on sale at the WSU Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Licensing books contain: 1600 practice questions, 5 practice exams and a book of review content to help prepare social work students for the LMSW clinical exam.

New practitioners apply for the Limited License (LLBSW or LLMSW)

Download application packet online at

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 website for further details at

Requirements to apply for full licensure (LBSW or LMSW)

To be completed within seven years, under the LLBSW or LLMSW, supervised experience (4000 clock hours) and successful completion of 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 at

Licensure Exam

Once your limited license is issued, you will need to complete the minimum 4000 hours of supervised experience in order to be 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 at  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.

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 Humman Trafficking training.    

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