Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the top FAQs for the Board. Have a different question? Search the FAQs by keyword or filter by topic. If you still haven't found your answer, contact the Board's Consumer Information Unit for assistance.

Search All FAQs

Select a Topic


Frequently Asked Questions

Midwives - Apply

Does California issue a student or training license?

No. California only issues a full, unrestricted license which allows a person to practice midwifery in California.

What are the costs related to licensure?

There are two fees involved in the licensing process:
  • Licensing Application fee – This fee is $300 and must be submitted when you apply for licensure. The fee, which is non-refundable, also covers the initial period of licensure. The application fee is payable to Medical Board of California and can be submitted by money order, cashiers’ or personal check.
  • Fingerprint Processing Fee – This fee is $49 and is non-refundable. If you use Live Scan for your fingerprints, the $49 fee is paid to Live Scan and is collected at the time of fingerprinting. If you live outside of California and submit paper fingerprint cards, the $49 fee is payable to the Medical Board. In addition, whether you use Live Scan or paper fingerprint cards, you will be charged an administrative fee, which may vary, by the local agency that scans the prints or provides the ink impressions.
When your license is due for renewal, the Licensing Renewal Fee will be $200 (plus any delinquency fees, if you did not renew on time).

How long is my license valid?

Upon approval of your application file and payment of the license application fee, your license will be issued and will be valid for two years.

What if I move or change my name after I have submitted my application?

If you move after you have submitted your application, you must submit an Applicant Address Change Request Form. This form may be faxed or mailed to the Board.

If you change your name after you have submitted an application, you must submit a signed Notification of Name Change form, along with photocopy or electronic copy of a current government-issued photographic identification (e.g., driver license, alien registration, passport, etc.) and one of the following legal documents as proof of the name change:
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Dissolution of marriage (divorce)
  • Certified Court Order
The form and supporting documents must be mailed to the Board.

Can I submit a 2 x 2 inch passport photo?

Yes. The photo must meet the instruction specifications. It must be recent and of your head and shoulder area only.

Will you discard or destroy any documentation received prior to my application?

Any documents received prior to your application will be maintained for six months. If you do not submit your application and fees in that time frame, the documents will be destroyed through confidential destruction.

How can I find out if the Board has received or reviewed my documents?

Most documents are reviewed within 2 weeks from the date they are received. Please allow at least 2 weeks from the date you submitted a document before contacting the Board to verify if it has been received or reviewed.

How will I know if there are missing documents or other issues with my application?

You will be notified if there are any missing documents or issues with your application after it is reviewed. You will receive a deficiency letter from the Board.

How long do I have to complete the application process?

You have one year from the date the application was received by the Board to complete your application. Applications incomplete after 1 year are considered “abandoned” and may be destroyed (including all supporting documentation). If you wish to keep your application open, you must resubmit the California Midwife License Application Form prior to the date of the previous application’s expiration date.

If your previous application was abandoned, any subsequent application will be treated as a new application and you will be required to meet all licensure requirements in effect at the time of the subsequent application. You must also resubmit all required documentation.

How long will it take for me to receive my license once it is issued?

Please allow 2-4 weeks from the date of issuance to receive your pocket identification card and wall certificate.

How do I register to take the NARM exam?

Taking and passing the NARM exam is a requirement for licensure. Although the exam is administered two times each year at the Medical Board’s offices in Sacramento (typically in February and August), you may take the exam at any US location. Registration for the exam is done directly through NARM.

Can I send my exam scores to the Board?

No. You must contact NARM and ask that your written exam scores be sent directly to the Board by NARM.

Do I have to get fingerprinted?

Yes. In California, the process is completed using Live Scan, which is an electronic fingerprinting process. Your prints will be sent to both the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search for any criminal history. Out-of-state applicants may submit the traditional paper fingerprint cards approved to be used in California or come to California to use Live Scan.

I don’t live in California; how can I get paper fingerprint cards?

It is recommended that out of state applicants contact the Board’s Consumer Information Unit at 1-800-633-2322 to request fingerprint cards prior to submitting their applications, and then include the completed fingerprint cards with the original application package. You may have your fingerprints taken by a local law enforcement agency or any other business approved for fingerprinting.

I already have been fingerprinted previously; can the Medical Board access those prints?

No. Federal law allows a Criminal Records Report to be released only to the requesting agency. You will need to undergo the fingerprinting and criminal history check process again specifically for the Medical Board.

Must I disclose all criminal convictions, even minor offenses in college?

The board shall not require an applicant to disclose any information or documentation regarding the applicant’s criminal history. However, the board may request mitigating information from an applicant regarding the applicant’s criminal history for determining substantial relation or demonstrating evidence of rehabilitation, provided that the applicant is informed that disclosure is voluntary and that the applicant’s decision not to disclose any information shall not be a factor in a board’s decision to grant or deny an application for licensure.

How do I find out if my midwifery school is approved by the Board?

You may select the link below to determine whether your school is on the Board’s recognized midwifery school list.

Can I provide a certified or notarized copy of my transcripts or diploma?

No. You must request certified copies of these documents be sent directly from your midwifery school to the Medical Board of California.

I didn’t attend a formal midwifery education program, but received my training and experience via apprenticeship with a licensed midwife. Can I still qualify for licensure?

Midwifery students may obtain credit by examination for previous midwifery education and clinical experience through the challenge mechanism program. There are currently two challenge mechanism programs approved by the Board: Maternidad La Luz (MLL), in El Paso, TX, and National Midwifery Institute, in Bristol, VT. Individuals who pursue licensure via the challenge mechanism program must also pass the NARM examination. NARM has a “Portfolio Evaluation Process” for experienced midwives which is part of the application process for the NARM examination. For more information, contact NARM.

I received my midwifery training and experience in another country. How can I qualify for a midwife’s license?

California law does not include a provision for recognizing international midwifery education and training. However, internationally trained and educated midwives can qualify for licensure via the California's challenge mechanism. As with all applicants applying via the challenge mechanism, they must also pass the NARM exam. NARM has a “Portfolio Evaluation Process” for international midwives which is part of the application process for the NARM examination. For more information, contact NARM.