Badger Institute: Supports lower fees for licensed workers

DSPS fee changes approved, will take effect July 1

CONTACT: Michael Jahr, Badger Institute vice president at 262-442-5208 or at

Milwaukee – Most Wisconsin workers who are required to have a state occupational license or certificate will see their initial and renewal fees reduced in July thanks to a request by the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) that has been approved by the legislative Joint Committee on Finance.

Research from the Badger Institute shows that fees associated with getting or maintaining a license are among several licensing-related roadblocks to work for many Wisconsinites.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Badger Institute Policy Analyst Julie Grace. “Over the years, our research has indicated that fees and other overly onerous education and licensing requirements make it difficult for many Wisconsinites to enter the workforce and provide for their families. We hope this is the beginning of a bipartisan licensing reform effort similar to what we’ve seen in other states.”

DSPS is establishing a maximum licensure/credential fee (initial or renewal) of $75. Until now, the maximum initial fee has been $135, and the maximum renewal fee has been $220.

New fees are listed in a DSPS report submitted to the Joint Committee on Finance. Notable fee reductions for license renewals included in the report are for real estate appraisers ($154 reduction), hydrologists/geologists ($114 reduction), psychologists ($104 reduction), chiropractors ($95 reduction) and cosmetologists ($71 reduction).

“DSPS Secretary Dawn Crim deserves credit for lowering the compliance burden on those working to gain access to the hundreds of occupations that require workers to secure a government permission slip,” said Grace. “The Badger Institute will continue to highlight examples of the impediments erected by licensing requirements, and we will continue to promote solutions that will provide greater access to the labor market for the many Wisconsinites who are ready and eager to work.”

Founded in 1987, the Badger Institute (formerly the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) guided by the belief that free markets, individual initiative, limited and efficient government and educational opportunity are the keys to economic prosperity and human dignity.