by Anna Manning
From Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello:
A Vermont man’s attempts to work as a funeral director in North Carolina were thwarted when the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld a decision rejecting his request for a reciprocal license.
Craig Franklin Smith is licensed as a funeral director in Vermont, but the N.C. Board of Funeral Service decided this wasn’t enough to grant him a license to work in the Tar Heel State. The board has rejected Smith’s application for a reciprocal license multiple times. Smith petitioned the court to overturn the board’s ruling on technical grounds, but ultimately the court sided with the NCBFS.
The board’s main reasoning follows statute, which requires the licensing requirements of another state to be “substantially similar” to North Carolina’s to be considered reciprocal. NCBFS ruled that Vermont’s licensing requirements didn’t meet this standard. Smith also didn’t submit proof that he passed two examinations required for a non-reciprocal license.
Jon Sanders, director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, said North Carolina’s occupational licensing model is needlessly restrictive and worth reconsidering.
“Any time North Carolina makes it harder for someone to enter a profession here than in another state, I think it ought to trigger a rethink of our requirements,” Sanders said. “Is Vermont a ‘Wild West’ of funeral directors?”
You can read more here, including a comparison of the North Carolina and Vermont funeral director requirements. Hint: they are strikingly similar.
You can find the John Locke Foundation’s policy position on occupational licensing here.