Secretary of State Jim Condos is pleased to announce that paperless licensing is coming soon to the 45 professions and occupations regulated within the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation (OPR). After successful implementation of a new licensing and enforcement system in 2009, all 45 professions and 59,000 licensees regulated by the Office already are now able to renew their licenses quickly and easily online every two years. With a recent 2012 upgrade, the OPR is now able to produce a printable digital copy of the licensee’s certificate at the time of online renewal. This eliminates the need to print, stuff and mail the approximate 20,000 licenses renewed each year.
According to Condos, “Making this change will increase efficiency, reduce costs, prevent fraud and protect the environment, without sacrificing public protection.”
Chris Winters, Director of OPR, had this to add, “We all use the services of licensed professionals every day. Online verification of a license is much more accurate than a paper license issued once every two years. I encourage everyone to go to www.vtprofessionals.org and to click on “Look up a Licensee” to check the status of any licensed professional. This online information is updated instantly and will tell you if a licensee has any discipline or restrictions on his or her license.”
Secretary Condos also said, “This will save several thousand dollars each year in paper, envelopes and postage alone, not to mention the staff time freed up for other priorities. I’d much rather see staff focused on customer service instead of pushing paper.”
The paperless licensing initiative begins immediately with the Office’s largest license renewal of registered nurses whose licenses are set to expire March 31.
The Office of Professional Regulation, a division of the Secretary of State’s Office, is responsible for the licensing and regulation of 45 professions and 59,000 licensees in the State of Vermont, such as nurses, dentists, architects and real estate brokers. OPR protects the public from unqualified or incompetent individuals among the various professions. It does this by making sure that all applicants meet the requirements for licensure and by responding to complaints of unprofessional conduct against those who are already licensed.