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General Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do I get information about the examination?
  • The best place to obtain information regarding examinations, test centers or special accommodations for the disabled is the Association of Social Work Boards.

  • How do I notify the Board of an address change and/ or a name change?
  • You can update your address by going to the Change of Address form in this website and submitting your address change electronically. Or you can submit the change in writing, include name, license number, the old and new address. When requesting a name change, a social worker must submit a copy of a legal document showing the name change. The address or name change may be submitted by mail or fax:

  • Whose responsibility it is if I do not receive my renewal form in the mail?
  • It is the licensee's responsibly to renew his/her license every two years. If you do not receive your renewal notice by September 1, it is the licensee’s responsibility to renew online or to contact the Board in order to obtain a renewal form. It is the Board's responsibility to mail the renewal notice to you; however, it is not the Board's responsibility to ensure that you receive your renewal notice. It is your responsibility to ensure that you receive your renewal notice and renew your license before your current license expires.

  • Is there a limit on how many times a candidate for licensure can take the licensing examination?
  • No. There is no limit on the number of times the licensing examination can be taken. However, a candidate must wait 90 days before retaking the examination.

  • Is there a "grace period" if I do not renew my social work license by the 31st of October?
  • No.On and after November 1st, you will be required to reinstate your license.

  • How do I get additional information about the different committees?
  • Call the Board office at (410) 764-4788 for additional information about committees.

  • What are the educational requirements for each of the different licensing levels?
  • There are four different levels of licensure and each of them are described in details in the licensing section. If you need further information please contact the board.

  • Do you have reciprocity with other states? If so, what other states?
  • No, the Board of Social Work Examiners does not have reciprocity with any other states. The Board, however, will accept the exam results of persons from other states who have sat for and passed the national social work examination given through the Association of Social Work Boards.

  • Am I a licensed social worker in Maryland after I passed the examination required for the level of licensure I am seeking?
  • No. An individual is not a licensed social worker until the Board of Social Work Examiners has issued a license to the individual.

  • How long do I need to keep my client/patient records?
  • Destruction of medial records is regulated by COMAR Health-General 4-403 and it reads: “Except for a minor patient…5 years after the record or report is made” and “in the case of a minor patient, a medical record……about the minor patient may not be destroyed until the patient attains the age of majority plus 3 years or for 5 years after the record or report is made, whichever is later unless…” The Board recommends that social workers in private or independent practice obtain a copy of this regulation, review it and consult an attorney if they have any questions. For social workers in agency settings, it is recommended that they follow the guidelines the agency has established based on this regulation and any other regulations which may dictate how long a client file needs to be retained. You can obtain copies of statutes and regulations over the internet at

  • What do I need to know about the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) in relation to my social work practice?
  • HIPAA establishes national minimum standards to protect the privacy of individually identifiable information. The HIPAA standards address the many varied uses and disclosures of health information and apply not only to functions relating to treating patients and reimbursing health care providers, but also to activities that range from when health information should be available for research without authorization to whether a provider may release health information about a patient for law enforcement purposes. The Board cannot provide advice in this area to individual social workers as to the implications of HIPAA in their practice. The Board recommends that social workers seek out training opportunities and perhaps contact their professional associations. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996