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Full Faith & Credit


Specializes in ED. Has 7 years experience.

I had a question for any legal people out there. Our nursing license is issued by the state in which we reside; just like our DL and marriage license. The DL and marriage licenses must be recognized by other states because of the "full faith and credit" clause in the US Constitution. The rules for driving, privileges for marriage ect. may be different from state to state, but all states must honor another state's license. So tell me, why is that we must pay a new state more money for an additional license for us to legally work in that state?

I am not a "legal person" (except as a hobby :chuckle ), but it is my understanding that the "full faith and credit" clause refers specifically to court proceedings like custody/child support arrangements, criminal convictions, extraditions, etc -- so that you can't commit a crime or have some other sort of legal obligation in one state and get away with it by just going to another state. I believe that driver's licenses are not considered to be covered under the "full faith and credit" clause; they are honored because all the states have joined compacts agreeing to do so, as a convenience and courtesy to each other. (If I'm wrong, of course, I'm happy to be corrected.)

Marriage licenses have been honored by all the states so far, supposedly under the "FFC clause," but it will be interesting to see what happens with same-sex marriages. Before too long, some same-sex couple(s) married (legally) in MA will want to move to another state, and many of the other states have been falling all over themselves to pass laws, state const. amendments, etc., saying that they will not recognize same-sex marriages. In fact, that wretched, craven Federal "Defense of Marriage Act" specifically says that states are not obligated to recognize (same-sex) marriage licenses from other states. So, eventually, there will be a lawsuit, and it will be interesting to see how the "full faith and credit clause" argument holds up and what the court finding will be. If the finding is that states are not obligated to recognize same-sex couples' marriage licenses, then, obviously, they are not obligated to recognize any marriage licenses -- they just choose to do so when they feel like it (if they like you :rolleyes: ).

In fact, now that I think about it, I believe that the last time "definition of marriage" was a big controversy, with interracial marriage in the bad ol' days (when the same claims were made that are now being made about same-sex marriage), states that didn't want to recognize marriage licenses of interracial couples from other states were able to get away with not doing so (were not obligated to do so by the Federal government). (But, again, if I'm wrong I'm happy to be corrected.)

States control the practice of nursing within their own borders, just as they do medicine, law, cosmetology, and most every other occupation/profession that requires a license. The Nursing Licensure Compact has been around for several years now, and the states that have chosen to join do recognize each others' nursing licenses -- but they have not given up any right to control the practice of nursing within their state. Other states are welcome to join the Compact -- but that's the choice of each state legislature to make. The Federal government will recognize a nursing license from any state, so you can work in military or VA facilities anywhere as long as you have a valid nursing license in one of the states (unless that's changed -- it's been a while since I worked for the VA).

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