Case Study

Virginia credentials go digital

Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) modernized its agency and how it serves constituents by offering a digital license and credentials system to increase accessibility for professionals.

This helped DPOR respond quickly during the COVID-19 state of emergency, extending the validity for licenses, including those for essential workers, within 24 hours.


DPOR partnered with Merit to issue...


digital licenses


License types


Helps Virginia professionals easily renew and use their licenses, contact-free

Portable credentials promote better accessibility between Virginia’s professionals and the organizations they interact with. They also help strengthen public trust when engaging with licensed professionals.

Merit’s platform reduces wait time, which can make a critical difference, especially in challenging times. DPOR’s licensing system, directly integrated with Merit, sends merits™ every morning. Once a professional’s application is processed, they receive their license the next day, instead of the typical 2-3-week wait for the paper equivalent. This is a meaningful time savings for professionals working toward their next job or contract.


Quick and effective modernization of DPOR's legacy systems

With Merit, DPOR upgraded its analog, unconnected digital credentials and processes to an efficient, fully digital, interconnected, and trusted system for immediate verification.


Timely and relevant COVID-19 response

During Virginia’s COVID-19 pandemic declared state of emergency, DPOR has been required to give licensees extra time to renew/reinstate the tens of thousands of licenses set to expire during the crisis.

Because DPOR had already made the investment to digitize credentials with Merit, within 24 hours Merit was able to update every license to replace the expiration date with a notification that the license’s validity had been extended. As a result, tens of thousands of individuals – many deemed “essential employees” – could keep working without immediately worrying about replacing or renewing a license.

“We believe that Merit can be advantageous for our members in how they maintain records of their time investment in continuing education. Often, our members are licensed to practice architecture in multiple states and this technology will be an asset in managing the requirements of those various jurisdictions.”



Creating an interoperable ecosystem for verified identity

With Merit, DPOR professionals’ digital credentials, in the form of merits, bridge data silos across agencies within Virginia. As more states adopt the idea of reciprocity, it will be a force multiplier for professionals to maximize their hard-earned credentials everywhere they’re accepted.



Helping Virginians unlock their highest potential with Merit Opportunities

The Merit Opportunities feature addresses the ongoing challenge for DPOR professionals to find the resources they need to advance in their careers. Using professionals’ verified achievements, credentials, and licenses, Merit Opportunities provides a curated list of continuing education courses, events, offers, and even jobs. 

Putting Merit to work for you