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Mental Health Counselors

Application Instructions

The Fair Information Practice Act:  In compliance with Ind. Code 4-1-6, this agency is notifying you that you must provide the requested information, or your application will not be processed. You have the right to challenge, correct, or explain information maintained by this agency. The information you provide will become public record. Your examination scores and grade transcripts are confidential except in circumstances where their release is required by law, in which case you will be notified.

Mandatory Disclosure of U.S. Social Security Number: Your social security number is being requested by this state agency in accordance with Ind. Code 4-1-8-1 and 25-1-5- 11(a). Disclosure is mandatory, and this record cannot be processed without it.

Failure to disclose your U.S. social security number will result in the denial of your application. Application fees are not refundable.

Abandoned Applications: If an applicant does not submit all requirements within one (1) year after the date on which the application is filed, the application for licensure is abandoned without any action of the Board. An application submitted after an abandoned application shall be treated as a new application.

Application Information

  • Basis for Licensure
    • Examination: Applicants who are applying for approval to take one of the approved examinations are required to submit all documentation as listed within the instructions for approval to take the examination through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).  The Board has adopted the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) examinations.
      • National Counselor Examination (NCE) to obtain a mental health counselor associate license.
      • National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) to obtain a mental health counselor license.
    • Reciprocity: LMHC applicants who are currently licensed in another state and have passed the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) shall submit all documentation as listed within the instructions.
  • Submitting an Initial Application
  • In order to submit an online application, please go to MyLicense.IN.gov and you will either need to create or login to your Access Indiana, single sign-on account. You will complete the initial online application and submit payment with a credit or debit card. Please review the information regarding applying by exam, OR applying by reciprocity to determine the additional forms needed for licensure. It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow the instructions and ensure all requirements for licensure are submitted or requested. You will be contacted by a customer service representative with details of what additional documentation is required to complete your application. Applications are processed in the order received.

  • Transcripts, Examination Score Reports, & State Verifications Must Be Sent Directly from Each Entity:  The instructions will provide the list of requirements for each license by basis for licensure. The Board will not be able to accept any transcripts, verification of graduation, examination score reports or state verifications directly from the applicant. All transcripts, verification of graduation, examination score reports and state verifications must be sent directly from those entities.
  • Examination Applicants - Testing Accommodation Request: If you have a disability which may require some special accommodation in taking this examination, please request a Testing Accommodation Request Form from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency by calling (317) 234-2054 or by email at pla8@pla.in.gov. If you are hearing or speech impaired, you may utilize the Indiana Relay System by calling 1-800-743-3333. If an accommodation is not requested prior to Board approval to take the examination, the Board cannot guarantee the availability of the accommodation on-site.
  • Examination Applicants - Examination Approval: Once your application to retake the licensure examination has been approved, information will be emailed to each individual explaining the registration process for the examination. It is your responsibility to register for and complete the examination. An applicant who has been approved by the Board to retake the examination must take the examination within one (1) year from the date of the Board’s approval. If the applicant has not taken the examination within one (1) year from the date of the Board’s approval, the approval will be invalid and the applicant must submit a new repeat examination application with the required documentation. No extensions will be granted.
  • Issuance of License: Upon issuance of your license by the Board, you will be sent an email notifying you that your license has been issued. There will be instructions on how to purchase a license card to be mailed to you or how to download a free license card for immediate printing. You may log in to confirm issuance here.
    • Ind. Code 25-23.6-4.5-3(a) and (b) requires that an individual who is licensed as a mental health counselor shall:
      • (1)  Display the license or a clear copy of the license at each location where the mental health counselor regularly practices; AND
      • (2) Includes the words “licensed mental health counselor associate” or the letters “LMHCA” on all promotional material s, including business cards, brochures, stationary, advertisements, and signs that name the individual.
    • Therefore, you must either download the free license card or purchase a blue license card to post. IPLA staff cannot print license cards to be mailed or for walk-ins to our office. This service is available on our website at www.in.gov/pla/license.htm.
  • License Expiration: Mental Health Counselor Associate and Mental Health Counselor licenses expire April 1 of even years.
  • Continuing Education: Mental health counselors and mental health counselor associates licensed in the State of Indiana are required to obtain at least forty (40) hours of continuing education, with at least twenty (20) hours of Category I Continuing Education to include two (2) hours of Category I Ethics Continuing Education, to renew their license. A mental health counselor who has been licensed less than twenty-four (24) months will need 20 hours of continuing education with one (1) hour of Category I Ethics continuing education to renew their license. A mental health counselor or mental health counselor associate who has been licensed less than twelve (12) months is not required to obtain continuing education to renew their license.
  • An individual may renew a mental health counselor associate license two (2) times.  There is no limit on the number of times a mental health counselor may renew.

    • Detailed information regarding the continuing education requirement is available at the Board’s website at www.pla.IN.gov or you may contact our office by calling (317) 234-2054 or by email at pla8@pla.IN.gov.
    • IPLA Address/Phone Number/Fax/Email/Website: Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
      Attn:  Behavioral Health and Human Services
      402 West Washington Street, Room W072
      Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
      Staff Phone:    (317) 234-2054
      FAX #:  (317) 233-4236
      Staff Email:     pla8@pla.in.gov
      Website:         www.pla.in.gov