Forty-six states have laws that regulate dietitians or nutritionists through licensure, statutory certification or registration. For state regulation purposes, these terms are defined as the following:

Licensing: Statutes include an explicitly defined scope of practice and performance of the profession is illegal without first obtaining a license from the state.

Statutory certification: Limits use of particular titles to persons meeting predetermined requirements, while persons not certified can still practice the occupation or profession.

Registration: This is the least restrictive form of state regulation. As with certification, unregistered persons are permitted to practice the profession. Typically, exams are not given and enforcement of the registration requirement is minimal.

Dietetics practitioners are licensed by states to ensure that only qualified, trained professional provide nutrition services or advice to individuals requiring or seeking nutrition care or information. Only state-licensed dietetics professionals can provide nutrition counseling.

Nonlicensed practitioners may be subject to prosecution for practicing without a license. States with certification laws limit the use of particular titles (e.g, dietitian or nutritionist) to persons meeting predetermined requirements; however, persons not certified can still practice.

Should you plan to practice dietetics in these states, it is important that you contact a state regulatory agency prior to practicing dietetics.

Alabama (1989)* - licensing of dietitian/nutritionist
Alaska (1999) - licensing of dietitian/nutritionist
Arkansas (1989) - licensing of dietitian
California (1995)* - registration* of dietitian
Connecticut (1994) - certification of dietitian
Delaware (1994) - certification of dietitian/nutritionist
District of Columbia (1986) - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Florida (1988) - licensing of dietitian, nutritionist and nutrition counselors
Georgia (1994)* - licensing of dietitian
Hawaii (2000)* - certification of dietitian
Idaho (1994) - licensing of dietitian
Illinois (1991) - licensing of dietitian and nutrition counselors
Indiana (1994) - certification of dietitian
Iowa (1985) - licensing of dietitian
Kansas (1989)* - licensing of dietitian
Kentucky (1994)* - licensing of dietitian and certification of nutritionist
Louisiana (1987)* - licensing of dietitian/nutritionist
Maine (1994)* - licensing of dietitian and dietetic technician
Maryland (1994)* - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Massachusetts (1999) - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Minnesota (1994) - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Mississippi (1994)* - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist title protection
Missouri (1998)*-certification of dietitian
Montana (1987)* - licensing of nutritionist and dietitian title protection
Nebraska (1995)* - licensing of medical nutrition therapists
Nevada (1995)* - certification of dietitian
New Hampshire (2000) - licensing of dietitian
New Mexico (1997) - licensing of dietitian, nutritionist and nutrition associates
New York (1991) - certification of dietitian and nutritionist
North Carolina (1991) - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
North Dakota (1989)* - licensing of dietitian and certification of nutritionist
Ohio (1986) - licensing of dietitian
Oklahoma (1984) - licensing of dietitian
Oregon (1989) - certification of dietitian
Pennsylvania (2002) - licensing of dietitian-nutritionist
Puerto Rico (1974)* - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Rhode Island (1991)* - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
South Dakota (1996) - licensing of dietitian and nutritionist
Tennessee (1987) - licensing of dietitian/nutritionist
Texas (1993)* - certification of dietitian
Utah (1993) - certification of dietitian
Vermont (1993) - certification of dietitian
Virginia (1995)* - certification of dietitian and nutritionist
Washington (1988) - certification of dietitian and nutritionist
West Virginia (2000) - licensing of dietitian
Wisconsin (1994) - certification of dietitian

*Indicates year amended or reauthorized under sunset provisions.

Source: Commission on Dietetic Registration, www.cdrnet.org.