Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License

The transition process is for an applicant who currently holds a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) and is transitioning to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) license. To apply for the P&S license through the transition process, you must have successfully:

  1. Completed 36 months of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited postgraduate in California that includes at least four months of general medicine and at least 24-continuous months of training in the same program; and
  2. Taken and passed all steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). You must pass USMLE Step 3 within four attempts to meet the examination requirement. If you pass Step 3 in more than four attempts, you must meet the requirements of Business and Professions Code section 2135.5 to be considered eligible for issuance of a P&S license. (BPC section 2177)

    Note: If you have previously submitted official scores verifying passage of all parts of the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) examination, USMLE steps are not required.

Your PTL will be valid for 90 days after you have successfully completed 36 months of accredited training if you are currently enrolled in an ACGME-accredited training program in California.

If you have successfully completed 36 months of training and are not currently enrolled in an ACGME-accredited program in California, you must cease all clinical services in California until your P&S license is issued.

Your application may be given priority or expedited review if one of the following applies:

  • You have received and accepted an offer of employment to work in an area of California formally designated as an underserved area or underserved population;
  • You have served as an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces and were honorably discharged;
  • You are a spouse or domestic partner of someone on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; or
  • You were admitted to the United States as a refugee, granted asylum, or have a special immigrant visa status.

For additional information and requirements, please review Priority Review and Expedited Application/Registration Process page.

How to Transition from a PTL to P&S License

You may submit your application and initial licensing fee within 180 days prior to successfully completing 36 months of Board-approved postgraduate training.

Tip Use the Application to Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License Information & Checklist to guide you through the license application process.

To start the application process, you must submit:

  1. The completed online application questions and pay the initial licensing fee online using the Board’s BreEZe online system and submit the Notarized Signatory Page (Form TF4) to the Board; or
  2. The completed paper Application to Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License (Form TF1-TF4) with the initial licensing fee to the Board by mail.

Refer to Fees Requirement page for additional information.

You must contact the appropriate program or organization to request the following items:

  1. The certification/examination organization must submit:
  2. The training program(s) must submit the following completed forms through the Board’s Direct Online Certification Submission (DOCS) portal or by mail to be acceptable:
  3. The state or Canadian province licensing authority must submit:
    • Licensing verification from each state or Canadian province, if applicable

      Note:Verification of temporary, training, or provisional license(s) is not required.


Other Forms and Information