Word Choice – License Versus Licence

Paty’s question: “I have a question about the proper use of ‘License’ vs. ‘Licence’ as I’m writing a policy.”

BizWritingTip response:  The spelling of these two words varies according to country.  In Britain and Canada, licence is the noun and license is the verb. In other words, if there is a piece of paper to hold use the “c” word: licence.

Examples (British and Canadian English)
I need to renew my licence. (Licence is a noun.)
He is not licensed to work here. (Licensed is a verb.)

Note: According to the Oxford Dictionary, when it comes to adjectives, licenced may be used. But licensed is more common.

Examples
Licensed practical nurse
Licensed mechanic
Licensed restaurant

In American English, license is both a noun and a verb. Licence is not used at all.

Examples (American English)
I need to renew my license.
She is not licensed to do cosmetic injections but is working on getting her license.

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