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Licensing FAQ

How do I File a Complaint?

You can download a CONSUMER PROTECTION COMPLAINT PACKET, or request a hard copy from the State Board of Licensed Social Workers. 
More information on the complaint process is available on our Consumer Protection Information page. 

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General Information on Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Details on applying for a LCSW
Details on applying for a CSWA
Details on applying for a LMSW
Details on applying for a RBSW
Packets are downloadable from this website. Packets include instructions and all the necessary forms, plus the Administrative Rules and Oregon Revised Statutes.

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Does Oregon have Reciprocity Agreements with Other States?

Currently, Oregon does not have reciprocity with any other state, however ASWB exam scores are accepted, and accrued hours can be submitted for approval. 

 If you already have a license in another jurisdiction you will need to complete the application process for your desired license type.


If you are transferring from California to Oregon, we have a FAQS form just for you!
Note: If you hold an LCSW in any other state, and have not taken the ASWB Clinical Level Exam, this may also be a helpful document for you.

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What are the Differences Between License Types?

The LCSW license is for social workers who have an MSW degree and are practicing clinical social work. As of January 1, 2011, it is mandatory that anyone practicing clinical social work be licensed (or working towards licensure) with the state. Hours and licenses may be transferred from other states with Board approval. To apply for a LCSW license, the applicant must have:

  • 3500 Total Work Hours
  • 2000 Direct Client Hours
  • 100 Supervision Hours
  • Passing grade of the ASWB Clinical Exam
The CSWA certificate is for MSW applicants who are working toward clinical licensure.  This is a 2-5 year program done under supervision.  Hours may be transferred from other states, with Board approval. 
The LMSW license is for MSW applicants who wish to practice non-clinical social work. 
The RBSW certificate is for BSW applicants who wish to practice in a non-clinical capacity.

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What Degree is Required?

A Master's of Social Work (MSW) degree from a college or university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) is required for the LCSW, CSWA and LMSW.
For the RBSW, a Bachelor's of Social Work degree from a college or university accredited or in candidacy by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) is required. 

Click Here For a Directory of Accredited Programs.

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Is there an Examination?

Yes. Oregon requires two exams: the National Exam by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and the Oregon Rules & Laws Exam (an open-book self-test). 


ASWB Exam:

CSWAs are eligible to take the exam upon completion of 75 supervision hours. LMSW andRBSW applicants, as well as CSWAs who are initally approved as Candidates, receive approval to sit for their respective ASWB Exams when their applications are approved.

CSWA's must submit a request in writing to the Board for authorization to sit for the ASWB Exam.

The applicant is required to register directly with ASWB and make payment for the national exam. An official letter is issued by ASWB that allows the candidate to reserve a time at one of the testing centers. 

The national exam is administered electronically by Pearson at test sites in Beaverton, Salem, and Medford. Test centers are open weekly. Specific information about the testing is provided at the time of registration with the ASWB. Instructions on the ASWB website will provide all necessary information on how to make a reservation. 

Upon successful completion of the exams, notification is sent to the Board office, typicaly within 7-10 days.

Oregon Rules & Laws Exam:   

The Oregon Rules & Laws Exam, together with Oregon's Rules and Statutes for reference, is an open-bookself-administered quiz on the Rules and Statutes governing Oregon social workers. 
Once completed, the exam should be mailed, faxed, or emailed back to the Board's office for scoring. As applicable, the Oregon Jurisprudence Exam may be required a second time if there are any changes to Oregon's Rules and Statutes prior to licensure.
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How to Receive an Application Packet

Application packets can be downloaded from this website or requested from the Board office:
Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers
3218 Pringle Road SE, Suite 240
Salem, OR 97302-6310
Phone: (503) 378-5735
Fax: (503) 373-1427
Toll Free Number: (866)-355-7050
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Can I Call Myself a Social Worker Without Being Licensed?

The title "Social Worker" is protected under Oregon Rules and Statutes (ORS 675.520).  In order to represent yourself as a "Social Worker" you must be licensed, certified or registered with the Board as an LCSW, CSWA, LMSW or RBSW.
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Am I Exempt from Being Licensed?

According to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 675.523) an individual may not practice clinical social work unless the person is licensed or certified by the Board.  Oregon Revised Statutes provide the following exceptions:  
  • A person who does not practice clinical social work
  • A person who is licensed or certified by the State of Oregon to provide mental health services provided that the person is acting within the lawful scope of practice for the person's license or certification and does not represent that he or she is a regulated social worker;
  • A person who is certified to provide alcohol and drug abuse prevention services, intervention services and treatment in compliance with rules adopted by DHS under ORS 409.410(2)(f) and 409.420(1) provided that the person is acting within the lawful scope of practice for the person's certification and does not represent that he or she is a regulated social worker;
  •  A person who is employed or contracting with an agency or organization that is certified or licensed with the State of Oregon under ORS 430.610 to 430.695 to provide mental health treatment or addiction services, and does not represent that he or she is a regulated social worker;
  • A person who is a recognized member of the clergy, provided that that person is acting in his or her ministerial capacity and does not represent that he or she is a regulated social worker;
  • A student in a social work graduate degree program that meets the requirements in OAR 877-005-0101.
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What do you Mean by "Clinical Social Work"?

The legal definition of clinical social work can be found in ORS 675.510(2)(a)-(f). In general, clinical social work is the professional practice of applying principles and methodes with individuals, couples, families, children and groups, which include any of the following (please refer to ORS 675.510(2)(a)-(f) for complete descriptions):
  • Providing diagnostic, preventive treatment services of a psychosocial nature;
  • Developing a psychotherapeutic tratment services of a psychosocial nature;
  • Counseling and the use of psychotherapeutic techniques;
  • Modifying internal and external conditions that affect a client's behavior;
  • Explaining and interpreting the psychosocial dynamics of human behavior; or
  • Supervising, administering or teaching social work practice.
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When Do I Renew my License or Certificate?

CSWA: Renewal is due every year during the licensee's birth month.

LCSW: As of January 1, 2014, the oregon board has successfully transferred to Two Year Licensure! Even numbered licensees will renew in even numbered years, and odd number licensees will renew in odd numbered years. CEUs will be due with each renewal. Renewal is always due during the licensee's birth month.


LMSW & RBSW: Renewal is due every two years during the licensee's birth month. CEUs are due with each renewal.

Renewal Fees:

RBSW (Active): 100.00
RBSW(Inactive): 40.00
LMSW(Active): 200.00
LMSW(Inactive): 80.00
CSWA(Active): 60.00
LCSW (Active): 260.00
LCSW (Inactive): 96.00
LCSW(SemiRetired): 130.00 
If you are unsure of your hours, your CE requirement, or have any questions about the renewal process, please fee free to email the board at oregon.blsw@state.or.us.
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How Do I Renew my License or Certificate?

CSWAs/LCSWs: You may click here to renew online

*RBSW/LMSW: click here to access downloadable renewal forms and information. 

*CSWAs/LMSWs also have this option, but RBSW/LMSW must renew this way. 

Courtsey reminders will be sent via email, as well as physical mail. It is your responsiblity to keep the Board informed of changes in contact information.

Please note also that Failure to receive a renewal notice from the Board shall not constitute waiver of applied renewal fee(s), or lapse of license.

If you do not receive a reminder or would like a paper renewal, please contact the board office, allowing reasonable processing time in relation to your renewal.

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Can I Fax in my Application or Other Forms?

Occording to OAR Application materials must be mailed directly to the board office with original signatures, including the Plan of Supervision for individuals working toward licensure. Do not fax these forms.

Verification of a license/certification/registration in another jurisdiction must be sent directly from the state agency that holds the license/certification/registration.

Other forms such as 6 month reports, plan changes, and the Oregon Jurisprudence exam answer sheet, can be faxed to the Board at (503) 373-1427 or emailed to Oregon.blsw@state.or.us

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What are the Requirements to Become a Supervisor of CSWAs?

The minimum qualifcations for a clinical supervisor are:
  • You have held a LCSW license for two years in Oregon or another state
  • You are current with your supervision CEUs for the plan period. The CEU requirements are at least 6 credit hours of supervision or related ethical courses in the past five years. 

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What are my CEU Requirements?

Each program has its own CEU requirements.  Up to 10 CEUs can be 'rolled over' from each reporting period.  Example: If you owe 40 CEU credits and submit 50 approved credits, up to 10 can be carried or rolled over to the next reporting period.  Ethic CEUs cannot be 'rolled over'.

LCSW 40 credit hours every 2 years
(must include 6 hours in ethics coursework)
20 credit hours every 2 years
(must include 6 hours in ethics coursework)
LSCW - Inactive No CEUs required
CSWA No CEUs required
LMSW 30 credit hours every 2 years
(must includes 6 hours in ethics coursework)
RBSW 20 credit hours every 2 years
(must include 6 hours in ethics coursework)
Supervisors Must complete 6 credit hours every 5 years in supervision coursework. 
The continuing education requirement begins the first day after your first renewal.  CEUs may be accrued in the first year before your renewal and counted in your reporting period.

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Can I Take CEU Courses online?

Approved CEU courses can be taken in a physical class setting, online, or through correspondence courses. There is no limit of how many CEUs can be taken online or through correspondence courses.  For more information about CEU requirements and course eligibility visit our Continuing Education page.

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How do I Change my Name or Address with the Board?

To change your name, please fax, email or mail your request, along with a copy of the appropriate documentation (certificate, decree, driver's license, or other legal document) directly to the Board. 
Address changes are to be sent to the Board within 30 days of the change. 
Complete and fax, email, or mail our Change of Address form to the Board office within 30 days of the change.

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What is the time line for a submission to be reviewed by the Board?

Timelines depend on the type of submission, and the capacity in which the Board is meeting that month. Some submissions can only be reviewed when the Board meets in person, whereas some submissions can be reviewed at Conference Call meetings. Not all commitees meet monthly, so be sure to call ahead for a projected timeline when submitting things like Continuing Education for special review.


For Applications, the timeline is typically 4-6 weeks. This is assuming that the application is complete when submitted, and requires no additional review. Certain aspects of the application tend to take more time, such as background check processing, and reciept of items like transcripts, licensure verifications and ASWB Score Reports. Be sure to be as proactive as possible with these documents.


**After approval, please allow approximately two weeks for processing.​

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How Can I Become A Continuing Education Provider?

The list of "Credentialing Bodies" accepted by The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers can be found on our Continuing Education Page. In order for Social Workers to receive Continuing Education Credits from your organization, you will need to be backed by one of the entities listed.

**Certificates given upon completion of a course must clearly state the date of the course, the credit amount granted, and the name of the Credentialing Body.


If you are unable to receive accredidation from an agency that has been pre-approved by the Board (see above), Social Workers participating in your course/workshop will need to submit the following items to the Board office at least 45 days prior to renewal:

-An Outline of the Course's Content
-Goals and Objectives
-A Completion Document or Certificate 
-The Presenter's Credentials 
-Any Other Printed Materials from the Course (brochures, syllabus, hand-outs, etc.)​

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How Do I Know If A Course I've Taken Is Approved for CE Credit?


Courses accredited by any of our Accepted CE Bodies will be approved for credit. If you aren't sure about a course, feel free to call our Board Office with any questions. 


How to Request CEUs for Courses Not Approved by Governing Body
The Boards Continuing Education Committee may review up to 10 hours of credit per
reporting period for continuing education activities not approved by a mental health professional body (OAR 877-025-0006).
The following need to be submitted to the Board for a course, workshop, or seminar to be considered that has not been approved by one of the Board's credentialing bodies:
  • An Outline of the Course's Content
  • Goals and Objectives
  • A Completion Document or Certificate
  • The Presenter's Credentials
  • Any Other Printed Materials from the Course (brochures, syllabus, hand-outs, etc.) 

This information needs to be received 45 days prior to the renewal in which you owe continuing education.
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I've Passed the Clinical Exam and My Hours are Complete- What Do I Do Now?


 You will not need to submit an LCSW Application. The completion of the CSWA program results in LCSW licensure.


If you haven't already - submit your final hours. This does not need to coencide with your Six Month Reporting period - send us your final 6 MONTH EVALUATION REPORT as soon as your hours are complete!

**Be sure to mark "Final" noticably on the form.


When your hours have been approved by the Board as final, you will recieve an emailed Initial License Form.
This form will prompt you to pay the 260.00 Intial License Fee, and will need to be completed and mailed back to our Board Office.

If you do not already have a Backgroud Check on file, and/or have not passed the Oregon Rules & Laws Exam, you will need to complete these before your license will be processed.



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