New York Social Work License

New York State Social Work License

The governing social work board in NY is the New York State Office of the Professions (NYSOP). You will apply through them to gain your New York State Social Work License. As always, we can help provide a set of guidelines to follow, but it’s always wise to connect directly with NYSOP to make sure you are on the right path. You can click here to visit their website or call them at 518-474-3817.

As you complete Step 1 and gain your MSW, the NYSOP also requires candidates to complete coursework or additional training on Child Abuse Identification and Reporting from a New York Board approved provider. If the program is not registered in New York, the board will require additional documentation. For more information on this and to see a list of approved providers, click here.

New York state map

STEP 2 - Apply for the New York State Master’s Level Exam

  • The first thing you must do is fill out and submit the LMSW exam application. Candidates must have:
    • Good moral character as determined by the NYSOP
    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Meet the education requirements
    • Meet the examination requirements
    • Complete course work on Child Abuse
    • Click Here for more detail
  • The fee for registration is $294, so don’t forget to include your check. If you decide to withdraw your application you may qualify for a partial refund.
  • Once your registration has been accepted, contact the ASWB to schedule your exam date.

STEP 3 - Study and Pass the ASWB Master Level Exam (LMSW)

  • Once you have your exam date, begin your studies with TDC’s LMSW Exam: ASWB Master Level exam prep. This program has help thousands of New Yorkers earn their New York State social work license, and you’re next!

STEP 4 - Qualify for the LCSW and Accrue Hours

Accruing hours for NYS Social Work License

Congratulations on earning your LMSW! Now it’s time to gain the work experience necessary to earn your NYS Social Work License. After becoming a New York LMSW, the following requirements must be met to be an eligible candidate for the ASWB clinical exam.

  • During your CSWE-Accredited Master's Program, you should have taken 12 semester hours of clinical courses. If you did not, you will need to make up for these now.
  • You must complete 2000 client contact hours over a continuous period of at least 36 months (3 years) and not to exceed 6 calendar years. The supervised experience must be in:
    • Diagnosis
    • Psychotherapy
    • Assessment-Based Treatment Planning
  • For a graduate program to meet the requirements for an LCSW applicant in New York, it must cover topics in categories including: social welfare policy & service delivery systems, human behavior in the social environment, diversity, at-risk populations, social work values & ethics, social work research & practice evaluation, and social justice.
  • The practice site must be an acceptable setting as defined by New York law, and one’s supervisor must be a clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. If a qualified supervisor is not present at the site location, the candidate must contact a third-party supervisor.
  • Client contact and supervision should be recorded in a psychotherapy log, which can be found here.
  • Once you’ve completed your education and experience requirements, complete the LCSW application, and submit it with your licensing check for $294. The fee for applying for a limited permit is $70 in New York.

STEP 5 - Study, study, study

  • Got your exam date? Great, you’re very close to being a New York State LCSW. Now it’s time to begin your studies using TDC’s LCSW Exam Prep: ASWB Clinical Level Exam program. We offer a fantastic and proven system to help you pass your exam. No need for other programs, you only need this one.

New York Social Work Licensure FAQ's

Are out-of-state LCSW & LMSW licenses valid in New York?

Endorsement, commonly known as reciprocity, is not honored in the state of New York, but applicants who are ASWB licensed in another jurisdiction may qualify for New York licensure if they:

  • Meet the general requirements for a New York social work license and
  • Have passed the ASWB Masters or Clinical licensing examination or an equivalent level exam which sufficiently demonstrates the applicant’s knowledge of the LCSW practice.

Can a felon apply for New York social work licensure?

The New York Social Work Board requires that an applicant “be of good moral character as determined by the Department.”

Even though there is no direct barricade that stops felons from applying for LCSW licensure in the state of New York, having a past criminal history may hinder your chances of being approved as a social worker in the state of New York as the decision falls completely on the board’s perception of an applicant’s character.

What is R Privilege?

R Privilege is an elevated status level that designates that a New York LCSW can be reimbursed for their psychotherapy services by insurance. The reimbursement for mental health services must follow the regulations & limitations regarding the insurance laws in the New York State.

Is it possible to get a limited permit for social work in New York?

Limited permits are available in the state of New York. To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Submit the $294 fee and application for licensure to the Social Work Board of New York.
  • Have their school(s) verify completion of a Master’s Degree in Social Work.
  • Submit proof that coursework was completed in the identification & reporting of child abuse as offered by the state of New York and in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law.
  • Be at least 21 years old and of good moral character as determined by the Department.

What are the requirements for renewing a social work license in New York?

Clinical and master’s level social work licenses must be renewed every three years in New York. 36 hours of continuing education from approved courses must be taken during this time, and no more than 12 of these hours can be self-study during a single 3-year period. The CE requirement is waived for first-time licensees during their first 3 years. Renewal also comes with a fee of $179 as of early 2020.

Is a CSWE accredited education required to apply for the New York social work licensing exams?

Yes, all applicants for a New York social work licensure must have received their master’s degree in social work or equivalent from a CSWE-accredited university or college. Continuing education does not satisfy the education requirement for a graduate-level social work licensure.

Does New York allow the social work licensing exam to be taken under non-standard conditions (extra time, dictionaries for ESL test-takers, etc.)?

The New York Social Work Board will not accept any ASWB exam that is taken under non-standard conditions including the use of dictionaries or extra time given.

However, reasonable testing accommodations for the examination are available for those who submit the Disability Accommodation Form to the ASWB & are approved.

How can I contact the New York State social work board?

Contact information for the Division of Professional Licensing Services Social Work Unit in New York:

NY State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Social Work Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000
518-474-3817, Press 1 then ext. 592 (voice)
518-402-2323 (fax)

Contact information for the New York State Board of Social Work:

NY State Education Department
Office of the Professions
State Board for Social Work
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234-1000
518-474-3817, Press 1 then ext. 450 (voice)
518-486-2981 (fax)


CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve earned your New York State Social Work License. Pat yourself on the back, you’re now an LCSW in New York! We wish you the very best in your career.