Applying for Licensure

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Below is general information about NC clinical mental health counseling licenses and the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (NCBLCMHC) application processes.

You must have an active license in order to practice counseling in the state of North Carolina.

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Licensure Overview

Three tiered licensure format:

  1. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA)
  2. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
  3. Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor (LCMHCS)

All applications have a fee of $238 (includes $38 Criminal Background Check). Application fees are non-refundable.

North Carolina has reciprocity agreements with South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Active, independently licensed counselors in South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky can apply for LCMHC License by Reciprocity; active, independently licensed professional counselors in other states can apply for the LCMHC license by endorsement.

NCBLCMHC does not regulate members of other regulated professions who do counseling in the normal course of the practice of their profession. Please see § 90-332.1 of NC GS Article 24 to determine if you are working in an exempt setting.

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA) restricted license

The LCMHCA license is a pre-requisite for LCMHC license for new graduates and/or new counseling professionals

Must complete all requirements before licensure can be issued.

  • Application
  • Education and Official Transcript(s)
  • Exams
  • Professional Disclosure Statement, including disclosure of supervision arrangements
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience

This is a restricted license.

CAN NOT work unless an approved supervision contract is on file with the Board Office.

License number starts with A Example: A0000

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)

License for persons with supervised professional counseling experience.

Must complete all requirements before licensure can be issued.

  • Application
  • Education and Official Transcript(s)
  • Exams
  • Professional Disclosure Statement
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Verification of Supervised Professional Practice

This is an independent licensure (non-restricted).

Same license number with no letter at the beginning Example: 0000.

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor (LCMHCS) supervision credential

License for persons engaged in the practice of counseling who holds a license as a licensed professional counselor and is approved by the Board to provide clinical supervision

Must complete all requirements before credential can be issued.

  • Application
  • Active & unrestricted LCMHC license from NCBLCMHC
  • Additional education/training specific to clinical supervision
  • Professional Disclosure Statement for Supervision
  • Criminal Background Check

Verification of Professional Counseling Experience

License number with S at the beginning Example: S0000

Application Review Process Overview

This information is provided to answer frequently asked questions about what happens to the application once it reaches the Board office. Please review the following before calling the Board office.

NCBLCMHC is pleased to offer the online application process, All applicants must use this process to save money on postage, ensure their application is received, and decrease the initial application processing time.

1) Submitting your application

  • The first step in the application process is the initial application. All areas of the application that pertain to the license you are applying for must be completed. This completed application is to be sent to the Board office with payment for $238.
    • The applicant’s responsible for ensuring that all materials have reached the Board office by deadlines established by the Board.
    • Make sure any other names (married name(s), maiden names, nickname, etc.) are listed on the application.
  • Submit application items by uploading them through the portal. We only accept documents through the portal. However, we will still need the following documents submitted directly from the university or verifier:
    • Official transcripts: must be received directly from the university, and emailed from the school to
    • Verification of Graduate Counseling Experience
    • Final Supervision Reports (LCMHC applicants)
    • Verification of Professional Counseling Experience (LCMHC by Endorsement, reciprocity or LCMHCS applicants)
    • Official Verification of Active License in another state issued by the licensing agency. (LCMHC by Endorsement and reciprocity applicants)
    • Official copies of NCE/NCMHCE scores or CRC scores from the examining organization.
  • Applications not meeting the standard of completion could be delayed in Board approval for licensure.

2) Submitting your application

  • When the completed application (application, fees, transcripts, test scores, criminal background check, professional disclosure statement, counseling verification forms, etc.) is received by the Board office, it undergoes an initial review.
  • If the applicant answers Yes to any item listed in Legal and Ethics section of the application and/or if the criminal background check reveals a finding this becomes part of the Board’s consideration process.
  • If the applicant does not meet the educational requirements as set by the Board, the applicant may be asked to submit additional information such as course descriptions and syllabi. Once the supporting documentation is received, it will be reviewed by the Board’s Educational Reviewer for the next scheduled Board meeting. Once the Board reaches a decision regarding the applicant’s education, he/she will be notified in writing.
  • After the initial review, the applicant will receive a letter confirming receipt of the application and describing any remaining requirements needed to qualify for the licensure for which the applicant is applying. This can take from 4-6 weeks.
  • Applicants can log onto the online portal to check on their applications status at any time.
  • • Applications are valid for 2 years from the date of receipt by the Board Office. Receipt is defined as: Application shall be deemed received by the board office when the office receives the application and processes the applicable fee.

3) After Initial Review

  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to review their online status and provide any required materials in a timely manner.
  • From this point forward, the Board office compiles and verifies all information received for applicants.
  • Once applicant has provided all required documents, the applicant is presented to the Board for review at the next scheduled Board meeting. Please note, going before the Board does not guarantee licensure.

4) After Initial Review

  • At the next scheduled Board meeting, Board members review the candidates, determine if the candidates have met all requirements, and make a decision on licensure. If the candidate has met all requirements, the Board will license the candidate as appropriate.
  • All Board decisions will be sent to the applicant 10-15 business days after the meeting. Do not call the Board office to request information regarding a Board decision immediately following a Board meeting. During this time Candidates for Licensure may check online portal to learn if a license has been issued

5) Once licensed, applicants will need to update their professional disclosure statement. A current copy of this statement must be provided to each client prior to the performance of clinical mental health counseling services. The counselor must retain a file copy of the Professional Disclosure Statement signed by each client.

6) Applicants may not use the term LCMHCA, LCMHC, LCMHCS or any variation of the term until they have received notice from the Board stating that they may do so.