License Application

License application information for new applicants.

National MFT Exam Application

Submit the exam application only if you have not taken and passed the National MFT Exam. If you have passed the exam, then you may apply for a license (refer to the Application Checklist to determine the type of license eligibility). The license application will have a section for uploading your exam information (passing score). The exam application must be submitted online, no paper applications or forms are accepted. All fees must be submitted online through the online payment system. Cash, checks, or outside e-payments are not accepted.

Examination Information

The National MFT Examination is a computer-based exam, offered monthly.

Review the National Exam Roadmap and Exam FAQs documents below for information on eligibility including FAQs and the exam registration process (once approved by the NC MFT Licensure Board to register for the exam).

Application Timelines

Exam Applications are reviewed twice a month. 

1) Exam Application Due Date(s): 10th or 20th (or next business day) of each month.  Exam Application is due by 5:00 p.m. on the listed dates.

2) Exam Application Decision Notification(s): 15th or 25th (or next business day of each month). If the application is approved an approval code for registering for the exam will be included.  

3) Registration with the Exam Service: 1st of each month - deadline to register with the exam service for the next available exam period.  Complete the application/registration with the examination service (Professional Testing Corporation – see related link below - AMFTRB-MFT - MFT National Examination).

Related Links

Examination FAQs Plus (click or tap to expand) +

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How often can I take the National MFT Exam?

The exam is offered monthly.  The applicant portal provides more information, an examination roadmap which includes deadlines and requirements for registration with the exam service. The examination application deadline to the examination administration service will be the first day of the month, one month prior to the month the candidate wishes to take the exam. In other words, the application deadline to the examination service (Professional Testing Corporation - PTC) will be the first day of each month preceding the month in which the candidate wishes to take the exam.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How can I find out more about the National MFT Exam?

All the information you need for applying for and taking the examination is included in the Examination Roadmap (handbook) found at the link provided in the applicant portal.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to review the handbook for answers to any questions.  The Board cannot provide individual consultation on the process.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I failed the National MFT Exam, how do I get approval to take it again?

Any retake or code reissuance requires requesting a new approval code and  a fee of $50 to the NC MFT Board in addition to the fees for exam registration and administration paid to the exam service.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I have already passed the National MFT Exam, do I have to take it again?

No, exam scores do not expire.  If you have passed the National MFT Exam, the applicant portal provides information on how to have your score officially (required) transferred to the NC MFT Licensure Board for your application for licensure.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I have submitted a complete application for obtaining an approval code to register for the National MFT Exam. When will I get the approval code?

Application Timelines

10th (or next business day) of each month: Deadline for receipt of an application for approval from the NC MFT Licensure Board to take the National MFT Exam.

20th (or next business day) of each month: Notification of application decision, if approved, will be assigned an approval code for registering for the exam.

1st of each month (following the notification on the 20th, if approved): Complete the application/registration with the examination service (Professional Testing Corporation).

Plus (click or tap to expand) + If I pass the National MFT Exam will my license be approved?

Approval to take the National MFT Exam and passing the National MFT Exam does not guarantee approval for licensure as a MFT in NC. The Exam is one component of the licensure process.  Approval to take the exam is issued based on whether a master’s degree in MFT or a related mental health degree with a minimum of 45 semester hours or the equivalent quarter hours has been conferred as evidenced by a university transcript from a regionally accredited university in accordance with NC Statutes.  Evaluation of education and supervised clinical experience does not occur until a complete application for licensure is submitted. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + When and how will I be notified of my exam results?

Examinees will receive an individual score report sent to the address of record (directly from PTC) approximately 20 days after the last day of the examination period. Do not contact the NC MFT Licensure Board for your score. If you do not receive your score within 20 days from the end of the testing period, again, you must contact the exam service directly for assistance with obtaining your score. It is very important to retain your letter verifying your exam score as you will need a copy to submit when you apply for licensure in NC.  If you do not retain a copy, you will have to request a duplicate copy from the exam service and they charge a fee for that! 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + When can I apply to take the National MFT Exam?

A minimum of a master's degree in MFT or a related degree must have been conferred (as evidenced by a transcript) prior to applying for the examination.  The applicant portal provides more information on how to determine eligibility for applying to take the National MFT Examination.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Which exams will NC recognize for licensing MFTs?

The only exam accepted and recognized for NC MFT Licensure purposes is the National MFT Exam.  Passing the National MFT Exam is required of ALL applicants for licensure as an MFT in NC, regardless of length of licensure in another state.

License Application

The basic requirements for licensing include:

  • Review of your academic education,
  • Supervised clinical experience, and
  • Passage of the National MFT Exam.

Applications will be reviewed and approved under statutes and rules in effect at time of application.

Apply online through the Applicant Portal.

All application materials and fees must be submitted to the Board before application is considered complete.

Review licensure applications options to determine which application to submit.

All applications must be submitted online, no paper applications or forms are accepted. All fees must be submitted online through the payment system. Cash, checks, or outside e-payments are not accepted.

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA)

For those who have not gained the required hours to apply for Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). LMFTAs must practice under Approved Supervision. A supervision agreement with an AAMFT Approved Supervisor must be submitted and accepted (supervision addendum outlines responsibilities of the approved supervisor). The process for submitting a supervision agreement is one step of the LMFTA Application (a ‘form’ is not required). LMFTAs have up to three years (a maximum of a one-year extension may be granted) from the date of initial licensing to acquire the clinical and approved supervision hours required for conversion to an LMFT.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Application Process

  • Apply online via the Applicant Portal
  • Refer to the Application Checklist in related links

Related Links

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT)

At least 1500 hours of documented clinical experience (face-to-face therapy) in the practice of marriage and family therapy, not more than 500 hours of which were obtained while the applicant was a student in his/her qualifying degree program, at least 1000 of which were obtained after the degree was granted. At least 500 of the required 1500 hours must be relational hours. A minimum of 200 supervision hours with an Approved Supervisor.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Application Process

  • ​Apply online via the Applicant Portal
  • Refer to the Application Checklist in related links

Related Links

Reciprocity (LMFT)

Reciprocity consideration is for (LMFT) applicants who have been licensed as a marriage and family therapist for a minimum of five (5) years in another jurisdiction whose requirements meet or exceed North Carolina’s requirements (currently all states are recognized as meeting or exceeding North Carolina’s requirements).  There is no automatic reciprocity agreement with any state. Applicants must be currently licensed, in good standing in the other jurisdiction, and have been licensed the five continuous years prior to application and currently. Reciprocity applicants may not have unresolved complaints in any jurisdiction and must have passed the National MFT Examination. If licensed less than five years (5) in another state, a full LMFT or LMFTA application which includes documentation of clinical and supervision experience is required.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Application Process

  • ​Apply online via the Applicant Portal
  • Refer to the Application Checklist in related links

Related Links

Licensure FAQs Plus (click or tap to expand) +

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Does North Carolina offer reciprocity (also referred to as comity or endorsement) with other states?

Each application for licensure is reviewed by the Board on an individual basis. There are no agreements or automatic reciprocity arrangements with any other state.  If you are requesting that the NC board consider you for licensure based on licensure as an MFT in another jurisdiction, you MAY be eligible IF a) you have  been a licensed MFT in good standing for the five previous, continuous years (with no lapse in licensure or disciplinary action) in a state recognized by the Board (at this time all states are recognized  as having equivalent academic and experience requirements) and b) submitted documentation that you have passed the National MFT examination and c) submitted a complete application.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How long is the LMFT valid?

The LMFT must be renewed on an annual basis. The first renewal is due by July 1 after the first full year of licensure and then must be renewed each year by July 1. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I am not sure if the courses on my transcript match those in the regulations. What should I do?

The Board cannot provide a pre-evaluation of your coursework.  However, you should refer to the licensure guidelines for course information. Coursework completed through COAMFTE accredited programs is accepted.  All other applicants are considered related degree applicants and must submit syllabi from the degree program. The syllabi must be from the actual time you completed the course. You may wish to request assistance from your university in securing the required syllabi.  Applications for licensure with a related degree cannot be processed until the syllabi requirement has been demonstrated.   An exception exists for those licensed in MFT for at least five years in another state (see applying for reciprocal license consideration). 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Can my MFT clinical and supervision hours transfer for other mental health licenses?

The NC MFT Board only regulates licensure for MFTs.  Questions about other licensure boards should be directed to those boards.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Do insurance companies pay for MFT services?

For questions about payment practices, your state association, the advocacy organization for MFTs may be able to provide guidance.  Contact the NCAMFT via www.ncamft.org or provider services with the specific insurance company.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I become an approved supervisor?

Information about the process to become an AAMFT Approved Supervisor is found at www.aamft.org.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I complete the clinical and supervision report forms if I have more than one supervisor in the same work setting?

If you are receiving supervision from two approved supervisors, document the hours from each supervisor on separate forms.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I know if my application is complete?

Applications are submitted through the applicant portal and as submitted materials are reviewed and accepted, your status is updated.  You may log-in to your applicant portal account at any time and see what has been accepted or is pending.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I notify the Board of a name change?

Log-in to your applicant portal to submit a request for a name change. A copy of a legal document (driver’s license, marriage certificate, court order, etc.) will be required to approve a name change.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I notify the Board of an address change?

Log-in to your applicant portal and update address information there.  Licensees should notify the Board of any address change within 30 days.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How do I, my employer, insurance companies, or other states receive verification of my license?

A verification of licensure may be printed directly from www.ncbmft.org.  There is no charge for web verification. Information that is provided includes name, license number, date of original licensure, expiration date, and whether there are any disciplinary actions (public record). 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How long do I need to keep my client records?

MFTs have both a legal and ethical obligation to retain client records.  The Board, therefore, recognizes the necessity and importance of a licensee’s proper maintenance, retention, and disposition of client records.  Licensees should also make provisions for disposition of records in the event of closing a practice or death of a licensee.  State and federal laws require that records be kept for a minimum length of time including but not limited to the following:  

a. Medicare and Medicaid Investigations (up to 7 years);

b. HIPAA (up to 6 years);

c. Except for minor clients, five years after the date of the last session;

d. Minor clients – 5 years after the age of consent was or would have been reached. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How long does it take for review of my submitted application materials?

Generally, you can expect submitted materials to receive preliminary review and/or acceptance within a maximum of 15 days from date of submission.  You may log into your applicant portal at any time to check the status of your application.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How long is the LMFTA valid?

The LMFTA is a provisional license. The licensee will have up to three years in which to acquire the remaining clinical and supervised hours required for unrestricted licensure (LMFT).  Annual renewal will be required for each year of LMFTA licensure. Twenty hours of continuing education are required, including three hours of ethics. Up to twelve hours of acquired supervision may be counted toward these twenty hours. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How many clinical and supervision hours are required for licensure?

A total of 1500 clinical hours with 200 approved supervision hours (AAMFT Approved Supervisor or accepted Supervisory Candidate) is the minimum requirement.  Up to 500 clinical hours and any amount of approved supervision earned while in your qualifying degree program may be counted toward the licensure requirement.  The remaining 1000 hours must be acquired, under approved supervision (AAMFT Approved Supervisor or accepted Supervisory Candidate) or post licensure (LMFTA). A minimum of 25 supervision hours must be acquired post degree, regardless of the number of hours earned prior to completion of your degree.  In other words, even if you earned 200 supervision hours during your degree program, you would still need at least 25 more post degree. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How should my transcript verifying completion of the required degree be sent to the Board?

Transcripts: Must be sent directly, electronically * from the issuing institution (i.e. the university office or their designated transcript processing company) to the Board. Send to ncbmft@ncbmft.org.   

Name Changes: If the name on your transcript is different than the name on your application, documentation such as a copy of your marriage license, divorce decree, or court order, must be submitted with your application(s) for the National MFT Exam or any licensure application. * If your university cannot issue an electronic transcript, an original (hard copy) may be mailed to the Board's office address.  Be aware there may be a delay in receipt and processing of mailed transcripts.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I am applying to another licensure board and they will not accept a web verification of licensure. They require a written verification.

If a written verification of licensure is required, complete the 'Request for Verification' form under the licensure section of www.ncbmft.org, log-in to your applicant portal, upload the completed form and submit the required fee for a written verification. Once a written verification is requested, the NC MFT Licensure Board generates a letter on Board letterhead, signed by the Executive Director, and the licensure Board seal is affixed to the letter. Finally, the letter is sent (electronically) directly to the email address provided on the Request for Verification form. This is the only verification form/letter the Board will provide. The Board's written verification form is generally accepted by all other state licensure boards and entities. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I am enrolled in a master's program that offers quarter hours instead of semester hours. How can I meet the requirements?

 One quarter hour equals .67 semester hours. You will have to complete enough courses in the required coursework categories to meet the minimum semester hour requirements.  Taking the same course twice will not suffice.  

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I currently have an NC MFT license as well as licensed in another state(s). I am living in NC. My understanding is that it is legal to practice therapy (telehealth) across state lines.  Can you confirm that this is acceptable? Is it acceptable practice MFT in other states via telehealth?

As long as you are licensed in NC, in good standing, you can practice in NC no matter where you are physically located.  However, if you are in another state, you need to check with that licensure board as to what is permissible under their regulations.  The NC MFT Board cannot advise on the regulations and requirements of other state boards.  Again, the NC MFT license is valid only for practice in NC.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I have changed my mind about submitting an application, can I get a refund of my application fee?

Application fees are non-refundable.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + I have questions about the licensure process?

Carefully review all the information provided on the Board's website, including the FAQs.  The licensure process is objective, not subjective, meaning the Board must follow NC Laws and Statutes governing the practice of MFT in North Carolina.  Once you create an applicant portal, the system guides you through the requirements for documentation.  The Board cannot provide individual consultation on the licensure process nor can exceptions to the requirements be granted.  Prior to initiating the application process, again, carefully review the information provided.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + If all my application materials have been 'accepted' will my license be issued?

Licensure applications are subject to a two-step approval process. First, staff reviews all applications for completing basic application requirements. The second, and final step occurs at a regularly scheduled meeting where the Board reviews each application and votes to approve, defer or deny for final licensure.  and approve final licensure.  This final review process takes place at a regularly scheduled application review Board meeting.  Please refer to the calendar at www.ncbmft.org for scheduled meetings. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + If approved, when will I receive my license?

Once the review process has been completed and your status is updated to Approved, you will be able to print an original license directly from the applicant portal. This usually occurs within 5 business days of a scheduled application review board meeting.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + If I send you a copy of my transcript will you review to see if I meet the requirements?

No, only complete applications are reviewed.  The Board's website provides information as to the minimum education/coursework requirements. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Must I continue to have supervision after I have completed my experience hours for converting from LMFTA to LMFT but have not been notified of approval of LMFT?

Yes. You must remain under the minimum supervision requirements until you are notified that LMFT has been approved which is at least one hour per month.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + My application was denied, can I get a refund of my application fee?

Application fees are non-refundable.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + My practicum and internship hours were not supervised by an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Will these hours count for licensure?

The experience may count toward the education requirement of 9 semester hours IF the practicums/internships are listed on your transcript; however, the hours will not count toward the licensure requirement.  You will need to earn 1500 clinical and 200 supervision hours post-degree under the supervision of an  AAMFT Approved Supervisor or AAMFT Supervisory Candidate (approved and accepted by the Board) or post licensure (LMFTA) as an LMFTA before applying for LMFT.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Should I be concerned about abandonment of my Application for Licensure?

If an Applicant does not submit the remaining documents or information requested in the application within two years of initial application, the application is considered abandoned and a new application and fees will be required to apply for licensure.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + The person who supervised me during my practicums/internships is no longer available; therefore, I am not able to have him/her complete the supervision form. What should I do?

Contact the university program director responsible for the practicums/internships (if they are an AAMFT Approved Supervisor) to verify your experience hours; however, you should first try to locate the original supervisor. 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + What forms must I use to record my experience hours and supervision?

The clinical and supervision hours reporting forms and process is available via the licensure portal.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + What licenses does the Board issue?

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA)

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Where can I find the Code of Ethics?

The Board has adopted the AAMFT Code of Ethics.  View the code at www.aamft.org.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Which application do I complete?

Refer to the Licensing Guidelines under the licensure section of www.ncbmft.org

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Who is able to supervise me for my LMFTA?

For hours to count toward the minimum of 1500 clinical and 200 supervision hours, the hours must be acquired under the direction of an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or accepted Supervisory Candidate who is also licensed in the state of North Carolina.  Locate AAMFT Approved Supervisors at www.aamft.org.  

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Who may complete the endorsement forms?

Endorsement forms must be completed by individuals familiar with your MFT practice (colleagues, co-workers, professors, etc.). For LMFTA applicants, at least one endorsement form must be completed by an individual that has served as your past/present supervisor. Relatives, subordinates, and clients are not acceptable references.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Why am I being asked to provide information as to my Congressional District, county, race, gender, etc.)

These are optional fields, not published and are used for determining things such as eligibility for board appointments (appointments are required to be from different districts). The state is committed to diversity as well and having this data assists with the process.  The advocacy organization for MFTs (the NCAMFT) often asks the Board for lists of licensees by Congressional District when there is an issue before the legislature that may affect MFTs in the State of North Carolina.  The NCAMFT can more effectively provide legislative alerts and calls to action with this data.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Why am I being asked to provide my social security number or Tax I.D. number.

The Board is required by state statutes to collect this information for State of NC required reports.  Social Security numbers may be used for background checks.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Will the verification of licensure include my National MFT Examination score?

The licensure board does not verify National MFT Examination scores. You will need to request those scores directly from Professional Examination Services (PES) via the “Score Transfer Request” 

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How can I find out more about how to navigate/use the portal system?

When you log in to your account, look for the ‘bar’ across the top of the page.  You will see four items, select User Guide.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + How are quarterly supervision reports submitted?

‘Paper’ forms are no longer accepted for those completing applications for licensure or LMFTAs working towards the LMFT. The system is designed for LMFTAs to enter and track their hours.  The LMFTA will enter their supervisor(s) name (s)and contact information and ‘invite the supervisor’ to complete the online form/process for the information they are being requested to provide for an applicant’s application or quarterly reporting if already an LMFTA.  The LMFTA first enters the hours, then invites the supervisor to review and/or approve. This essentially requires a licensee to manage their path to licensure. To access that next step, the LMFTA should go to www.ncbmft.org and on the home page, they will see I Want To…, select the option Report Hours (this will prompt them to log in to their licensee portal and begin that process. Note: The same process will work for applicants to ensure a Supervision Agreement is sent for an application or if an LMFTA wants to change or add supervisors.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + The endorser/supervisor I 'invited' accepted the invitation, but they cannot access anything else, what is the next step?

If the supervisor or endorser is also an NC MFT licensee, they will have ‘two roles’ under their email address and will need to ‘toggle' between the two roles/accounts.  This will allow the supervisor/endorser to see the information they need to complete.