Social Worker - Independent


Pursuant to 2017 Wisconsin Act 278, beginning August 1, 2018, prior to submitting an application for a credential, an individual may apply to the Department for a determination of whether the individual would be disqualified from obtaining the credential due to his or her conviction record.  To apply for a predetermination, please fill out Form #3085 and submit all required documentation specified on the form.  Pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 111.335(4)(e), the offenses or kinds of offenses that may result in a refusal, bar, or termination of licensure are published under Additional Resources on the left side of this page.

License Information

Per Wis. Stat. § 440.08 (2), the required renewal date for the Independent Social Worker credential is 02/28/odd years.  Should you receive your initial credential in the months leading up to this date, you are still required to renew your license by the statutorily defined date.

Fee Reduction

Pursuant to 2017 Wisconsin Act 319, beginning August 1, 2018, an applicant for an initial credential may apply for a reduction of the initial credential fee that is equal to 10% of the initial fee.  Qualification is based on the federal adjusted gross income being at or below 180% of the federal poverty guideline prescribed for the applicant's family household size by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To determine eligibility please visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services website at, prior to submitting Form 3217.


  • Complete 2 years of supervised practice.
    • Upon completion of education and after receiving certification as an APSW,  engage in at least 3000 hours of supervised social work practice approved by the Social Worker Section of full-time supervised social work practice approved by the Social Worker Section.
  • An applicant for permanent licensure may apply for a temporary license at the same time.
    • The temporary license may be issued to an individual who pays the required fee and meets all the qualifications for the permanent license except for passing the required national examination.
    • The temporary license expires upon notification of successful completion of the national examination or expiration of the 9-month period, whichever is earlier. 
  • Contact ASWB to register for the national exam. (Applicants have the option of taking the national exam prior to graduation.) The exam for this level is called the ASWB Advanced Generalist examination (formerly Advanced level Exam).

Pre-Credential Education

Applicants for licensure must have received a master's degree in social work from a program accredited by, or a pre-accreditation program of, the Council on Social Work Education or a doctoral degree in social work.

Application for Licensure

1992Application for Independent Social Worker (Must complete supervised work experience section on page 2 of Form #1992)
​4211​Information for Social Work Application Completion
​3217​Application for Fee Reduction (If applying for a fee reduction, this form must accompany the application for the credential.)
1978​Certificate of Professional Education (This form must be sent to DSPS directly from your school)
​2992​Supervisor's Affidavit of Independent Social Worker Supervised Pre-Certification Practice (for Independent Social Worker applicants only)

Malpractice Suits or Claims Form (If applicable)
​3085​Application for Predetermination
2252​Convictions and Pending Charges
3071​Fax Payment Form
​3219​Application for Late Renewal After Five or More Years

Application for Substance Abuse Specialty

2711Application For Substance Abuse Specialty Authorization
2712​Affidavit Regarding Supervised Experience for Substance Abuse Specialty Authorization
2713Substance Abuse Specialty Authorization Education and Training Form (Social Work and Independent Social Work)
2714Substance Abuse Specialty Authorization Education and Training Form (Advanced Practice Social Work)

Renewal Information


  • FEE (See Renewal Dates and Fees)
  • SIG (Signature regarding the completion of Continuing Education, included in on-line renewal and paper form see  Continuing Education Information for details)
  • If your legal status as a qualified alien or nonimmigrant lawfully present in the United States has changed since the issuance of your credential or your last renewal, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services at (608) 266-2112 or

Renewal Methods

RDAFRenewal Dates and Fees
R210Active Duty/Discharge Renewal Extension

Wisconsin Act 210 (effective June 1, 2012)

This Act extends the license of a service member if the license expires while they are on active duty from 90 days to 180 days from the date of discharge. The same applies to a spouse of a service member if the spouse does not practice under their license while the service member is on active duty and does not practice because the service member is on active duty.

This Act repeals a provision of prior law that required a service member to meet all of the requirements for license extension or renewal, except for continuing education requirements, in order to have the license extended.

Service members and spouses may request extensions of licenses beyond 180 days from discharge and may request a waiver or extension of time to complete continuing education requirements due to hardship.  Please view Active Duty/Discharge Renewal Extension Form #R210.