Hawaii Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: Hawaii LCSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are at the top of the professional ladder. These social workers can perform clinical roles like monitoring patients and diagnosing behavioral disorders. They can also liaise with medical professionals, formulate and administer treatment plans, educate client families, and implement social service programs.

Hawaii Licensed Clinical Social Worker Licensing Process

The process of becoming a clinical social worker is a little more tedious than getting an LBSW or LSW license. Expectedly so, seeing as the LCSW plays more advanced roles-close than those of a physician. So, let’s see what you will require to step into the shoe of an LCSW.

Education Requirements

Since you will be going deeper into clinical patient care, the licensing board will expect more of you in educational qualifications. You will be required to possess a master’s, or a doctorate in a social work from an accredited college or university.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in Hawaii, here.

Ensure that the state government endorses your choice of institution. To guarantee this, check with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to see if your choice of institution for a master’s degree is on their list. Check with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for doctorate programs or any equivalent accreditation body. Only institutions whose social works programs meet government standards will gain recognition.

Experience Requirements

The licensing board can gain confidence in your ability to practice safely to make you have a taste of the action. The board requires that you step into the clinic after obtaining your necessary educational qualifications. Therefore, you will need to bag a minimum of 3000 hours of social works experience. This experience should stretch for more than two years but take less than five years.

Within these 3000 hours, the board expects that you dedicate at least 2000 hours to clinical diagnosis, psychotherapy, and assessment. You should also spend less than 900 hours on consultation, evaluation, and advocacy for a client and a minimum of 100 hours on direct supervision. This experience must be supervised and take place under the auspices of an agency.

Alternatively, you can meet experience requirements by obtaining a diploma in clinical social work (DCSW) or a Qualified Clinical Social Worker from the NASW. An American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE) issued Board Certified Diplomate credential will also suffice.

Examination Requirements

Passing the Pearson VUE administered Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) clinical examination is one of the requirements for licensure as a clinical social worker. Therefore, apply to the Hawaii Social Work Licensing Board requesting approval to take the ASWB exam.

You will need to send an application fee of $60 in check and from a US-based financial institution to Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

The board will notify the ASWB of your eligibility for the exam. You can then proceed to the ASWB website to “Register for the ASWB Exam” with a click. Select the Clinical Exam option. You can also download the exam registration form and submit it by mail or fax. Afterward, fill out the registration form and make payments. The examination fee is $260. This is a non-refundable fee payable online. This examination registration is open throughout the year.

To register for the examination:

  • Online: Visit the ASWB website and click on “Register for the ASWB Exam” to fill out the Registration Form. You can use only credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) to make payments on this platform.
  • Mail:  Fill out the Registration Form provided in the Candidate Handbook and post it along with the examination fee to the ASWB Registration Center, P.O. Box 1508, Culpeper, VA 22701. The registration fee is $230.
  • Fax: Complete the Registration Form provided in the Candidate Handbook and fax it to ASWB at 1-540-829-0142. Pay the registration fee of $230 using your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover).
  • Telephone: Fill out the Registration Form and call the “Registration Center” on 1-888-579-3926 to register for the examination.

After completing your registration and the payment, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) within two days in your mail. The ATT contains every information you need to schedule your test on the Pearson VUE website. The exam is computer-based, and the ASWB website contains every information you need to prepare for it.

Once you receive notification that you passed the examination, apply to ASWB to send a notice to your board.

If you passed your examination and want to transfer to Hawaii, you should fill out a Score Transfer Request Form.

You can reach out to ASWB via the following platforms;


By filling the Score Transfer Request Form  in the Candidate Handbook and return the completed form and your payment to:

ASWB, Candidate Registration Center

P.O.Box 1508

Culpeper, VA 22701

OR by faxing 1-540-829-0142;


You can also fill out the online Score Transfer Form.


1-888-579-3926 to request a Score Transfer report.

Score transfer applications cost $40.

Reference Requirements

You will require a reference from your supervisor. Your supervisor must be any of the following:

  • A licensed clinical social worker has amassed over 4500 hours of clinical social work after a master’s degree.
  • A holder of the NASW’s DCSW or the ABE’s BCD credential.
  • An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, a licensed psychologist, or a psychiatrist with board certification. A holder of these three credentials must have postgraduate clinical experience in clinical diagnosis, assessment, and psychotherapy of at least 4500 hours.
  • Your supervisor should complete the Verification of Supervised Clinical Social Work Experience form, which you should attach to your application.

Applying for Licensure as a Clinical Social Worker

  • Fill out and submit the LCSW application form on the board’s website. Fill out every part using N/A for a question that is not applicable. Submit every requirement, including your social security number.
  • Pay the $60 application fee.
  • Request for your official transcript from the registrar of your school. Your school’s registrar should send it directly to the board.
  • Proceed to the ASWB website to apply for the examination.
  • Pay the ASWB examination fee of $260.
  • Complete your application for examination on the Pearson VUE website.
  • Visit the ASWB website to complete the score transfer form, which will send your examination result to the board.
  • You should receive your license afterward.