RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Glenn Youngkin visited the Refuge for Men barbershop in Richmond on Friday morning to hop in the barber’s chair, as well as to sign and discuss the “Universal Licensure Bill.”

According to the Office of the Governor, skilled and licensed workers may face an expensive and time-consuming when trying to regain their license in another state because occupational licensing requirements can vary by state. These hurdles can keep workers out of states where they are in-demand jobs or businesses in need of their skills.

The Universal Licensure Bill will now make it easier for out-of-state workers to get their licenses in Virginia or for workers who are already licensed in another state and have at least three years of licensed experience to come join the commonwealth’s workforce.

Youngkin officially signed the bill into law during his visit to Refuge for Men on Friday. Barbers are among the many careers that will be impacted by the new law.

“This is an incredibly important piece of legislation that really fulfills a vision of having the ability for folks for who come with skills and talents to Virginia to go to work right away,” Youngkin said. “That’s what we need to do, build our workforce but also open up opportunity so that people can live their dreams.”

The universal license recognition legislation will apply to most individual licenses regulated by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, which issues professional licenses, certificates or registration. The exceptions to the law include architects, professional engineers, land surveyors and landscape architects.  

The Universal Licensure Bill consisted of two identical bills, HB2180 and SB1213. HB2180 was patroned by Delegate James W. Morefield and SB1213 was patroned by Senator Ryan T. McDougle. Both bills were passed through both the House of Delegates and the Senate unanimously.