2019-2021 Licensure Updates

Below are instructions on how to apply for and/or renew your license as a licensed social worker (LSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and Professional Educator License (PEL).

2019–2021 Licensure Updates


For more 2019 –2021 licensure info:

First Time Licensure Application


CEUs: You do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs for licensure if this is your first time applying for the LSW or LCSW.

To apply for the LSW or LCSW license, complete the following steps: 

  1. Have a certification of graduation from a baccalaureate/master's/doctorate degree program in social work approved by IDFPR and all required professional experience (see Licensure Steps).

  2. Download the appropriate application for examination from IDFPR. (Select 'Social Worker - Examination' if applying for the LSW and 'Clinical Social Worker - Examination' if applying for the LCSW). Complete the forms with ALL supplementary documentation, including the application fee, and mail to IDFPR. Partial applications will not be processed.

  3. IDFPR will contact you when you are approved. Remember that passing the exam does NOT mean you are licensed. You may not declare yourself as licensed or as a social worker until you have received notification that you are licensed from IDFPR.

Licensure Renewal

CEUs: If this is your first time renewing your LSW or LCSW and you are no longer renewing your LSW, you do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs for licensure, but you will still need to apply for renewal. If this is not your first time renewing, you will need to accumulate CEUs for renewal.

If you do not know when your license was issued, go to the IDFPR website "License Look Up."

In fall 2021, IDFPR updated their online renewal system to a new portal by which all Illinois professionals must renew their license online.

Regardless of when you first receive your license, every license shall expire on November 30 of each odd-numbered year.* The holder of a license may renew that license during the month preceding the expiration date of the license by paying the required fee set and complying with the continuing education requirements.

If you renew after the November 30th deadline, additional fees are required, CEUs must be submitted, and your license may be suspended temporarily.

It is the responsibility of each licensee to notify IDFPR of any change of address. Failure to receive a renewal form from IDFPR shall not constitute an excuse for failure to pay the renewal fee or to renew one's license. (Need to change your contact info? Click here.)

For details on seeking restoration of a license (LCSW or LSW), review Section 1470.80 Restoration in the Social Work Rules. We at the NASW-Illinois Chapter do not recommend letting your license lapse due to the excessive cost and effort required to restore a license. 

*Due to the spread of COVID-19, the 2021 deadline was extended to February 28, 2022. Read more about changes to the 2019–2021 licensure cycle in the updates at the top of the page.

Professional Educator License (PEL, formerly Type 73) Licensure Renewal

As communicated to the NASW-Illinois Chapter by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): 


The attached chart shows shows the renewal requirements for Illinois professional educator licenses (PEL) endorsed for Illinois public, charter, and state-operated school social workers.

The requirements do not apply to individuals working in private schools or in non-school settings. Individuals not employed in the Illinois public education system do not have professional development requirements. They need only pay their $50 registration fees every five years to renew their PEL.

Click here to download the ISBE Professional Educator License Renewal for Public School Social Workers chart. 

Do CEUs qualify for the PEL? In Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will accept courses that fulfill the IDFPR continuing education unit (CEU) requirements for renewal of the Professional Educator License (PEL) if you concurrently possess an active LSW or LCSW license.

For more about PEL requirements, visit our School Social Work page.

For further questions about the PEL (formerly Type 73), contact ISBE: http://www.isbe.net/