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Authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, Senate Bill 1159 allows all otherwise eligible applicants to obtain a professional license, regardless of their immigration status, by allowing the use of a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in the application process. The law, which should now be fully implemented, ensures that all individuals can obtain a license to practice the profession for which they have trained, and can use their skills to contribute more fully to California’s economy. This state law eliminates one barrier for immigrants, including some individuals with federal work authorization, who were prevented by agency rules from obtaining a license. SB 1159, however, does not change federal law. Please consult an immigrant rights or legal aid organization if you have questions about your specific situation. Additionally, please review existing tax rules.

For a list of the 40 professions that should now accept an ITIN or SSN, please visit the Department of Consumer Affairs website by clicking here.