Physicians and Surgeons License Renewal

The license to practice medicine in California must be renewed every two years. It is illegal to practice medicine with an expired license. For licenses issued after July 1, 2018, the license expires at midnight on the expiration date, which is the last day of the month in which it was issued. For licenses issued before July 1, 2018, the license expires at midnight on the expiration date, which is the last day of the physician’s birth month.

COVID19 Response - Temporary CME Waiver for License Renewal

On Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, giving the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) the authority to waive professional licensing requirements for the healing arts boards under DCA during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Under DCA Waiver DCA-21-134, continuing medical education (CME) requirements related to a license that expires between March 31, 2020 and May 31, 2021 are deferred for a six-month period.

This temporary waiver does not apply to any CME, training, or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order against a license.

In order to receive the CME waiver at the time of renewal, a physician must submit a complete renewal application and pay the required fees. There are no additional steps.

More information on the DCA Waivers and Coronavirus Updates are available on the DCA’s website.

If you have a valid license, you can register with the California Health Corps:

All health professionals are encouraged to visit California Health Corps for more information.

Additional Informational Links:

A physician has two options for license renewal, by mail or online using the BreEZe Online Services. You are eligible to renew your license online if:

  • Your license is in active or inactive status.
  • Your license expires within the next 180 days.
  • You have completed your Continuing Medical Education requirements.

General Information

Disciplinary Action Disclosure:

When renewing, each licensee must disclose whether they have had any license disciplined by a government agency or other disciplinary body, or, have been convicted of any crime in any state, the USA and its territories, military court or a foreign country. License includes permits, registrations and certificates.

Conviction includes a plea of no contest and any conviction that has been set aside or deferred pursuant to sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions, misdemeanor, and felonies. You do not need to report a conviction for an infraction with a fine of less than $300 unless the infraction involved alcohol or controlled substances.

Discipline includes, but is not limited to, suspension, revocation, voluntary surrender, probation, or any other restriction.

For additional information, please contact the Medical Board's Consumer Information Unit:

  • Toll-Free: 1-800-633-2322
  • Phone: (916) 263-2382
  • Fax: (916) 263-2435

Renewal Restrictions:

You may not be able to renew your license if you have been identified to have outstanding tax obligations or family support issues.

Renewing By Mail:

If renewing by mail, the renewal must be on the Board's renewal form, and must include the current renewal fee. Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing. If a renewal notice is not received, the license must still be renewed before the expiration date on the license.

If you have not submitted your renewal notice within two weeks of the expiration date, you may submit it to the address below or renew online by clicking the "BreEZe Online Services" button.

Forms, information about current renewal fees, and requirements may be obtained by contacting:

Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
(800) 633-2322

Failure to Renew:

Practicing medicine without a valid license may lead to disciplinary action against a physician.

There is no grace period; if a license has not been renewed within 30 days following the expiration date, the Licensing Program will notify the physician by certified mail. The date a license expires, the status is changed to "delinquent" if the renewal application and fees due are not received.

If a license is renewed more than 90 days following the expiration date, the licensee is required to pay a penalty fee equal to 50% of the renewal plus a delinquency fee equal to 10% of the renewal fee, in addition to the renewal fee. The renewal of an expired license is retroactive to the expiration date if it is renewed within six months of the expiration date.

After a license has been in "delinquent" status for five years, the license is automatically canceled. A canceled license may not be reactivated by simply paying delinquent fees and penalties. The physician must apply for a new license and meet the current licensure requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When can I expect to receive my renewal application?
    Renewal applications are sent by U.S. Mail to the licensee's address of record approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date of a license. If you do not receive a renewal application two months prior to your license expiration date, contact the Board at (916) 263-2382 or (800) 633-2322 to request a duplicate renewal application. To ensure timely receipt of renewal applications, always keep the Board informed of any address changes. It is the responsibility of the licensee to renew his or her license whether a notice has been received or not.
  • I didn't get my renewal application because my address changed. Do I have to pay the delinquent fee?
    Yes, if you did not renew prior to the due date the fees are imposed. A licensee required by law to notify the Medical Board in writing within 30 days of a change of address.
  • Why do I have to pay?
    California law requires that to maintain an active, current license, each licensee, including out-of-state licensees, must pay the full biennial renewal fee at the time of license renewal.
  • I'm leaving the country. Can I pay my renewal fee ahead of time?
    The renewal must be paid within the 90 days prior to the expiration of the license.
  • What is required to renew a license?
    Payment of the renewal fee, the $25 mandatory fee for the Physician Loan Repayment Program and the $12 mandatory fee for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System / Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES/PDMP), and completion of the following sections of the license renewal application:
    1. Certification that you have met the continuing medical education (CME) requirements for renewal or that you meet the conditions that would exempt you from all or part of the requirements
    2. Certification that you have disclosed on the renewal form the names of health-related facilities in which you or your family have a financial interest
    3. Response to the License Discipline/Conviction Question
    4. Completion of the Physician Survey

Renewal Fees:

The renewal fee for a Physician's and Surgeon's license is $820.00, which includes $37.00 for the mandatory fees as described below. The renewed license is valid for two years.

California Business and Professions Code (B&P) section 2436.5 requires licensees to pay a mandatory fee of $25.00 at the time of renewal of a physician and surgeon's license to the Physician Loan Repayment Program and B&P section 208 requires licensees to pay a $12.00 mandatory fee at the time of renewal for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System / Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES/PDMP). The Physician Loan Repayment Program encourages recently licensed physicians to practice in underserved locations in California by authorizing a plan of repayment of their medical school loans in exchange for their service in a designated medically underserved area for a minimum of three years. The CURES/PDMP allows pre-registered users, including physicians and other licensed health care prescribers, pharmacists, law enforcement, and regulatory board to access timely patient controlled substance history information. Access to this information assists health care professionals in identifying possible prescription drug abuse.

  • Renewals:
    The $25.00 and $12.00 mandatory fees will be incorporated into the total renewal fee due for every physician's and surgeon's license.
  • Fee Exempt Renewals:
    A physician who holds a military, retired, voluntary service or disabled status license is exempt from paying the $820.00 renewal fee. However, every physician is still required to pay the $25.00 and $12.00 mandatory fees at time of renewal. If the mandatory fees are not received prior to the expiration date, the license will be placed in a delinquent status and a pocket license will not be issued.
  • Delinquent Fees:
    In addition to the renewal fee, a delinquent fee equal to 10% of the renewal fee will be added if payment is not received within 30 days following the expiration date of the license.

    If the license is not renewed within 90 days following the expiration date, a penalty fee of 50% of the renewal fee will be added to the delinquent and renewal fees already owed.
  • Expired Licenses:
    The Board will need to determine the correct renewal, delinquent, and penalty fees. Please contact the Board at (916) 263-2382 to obtain the current amount you will need to pay.

    Note: In accordance with Section 2428 of the California Business and Professions Code, a physician whose California license expired five or more years ago must apply for a new license and meet the current licensing requirements in effect at the time of application.

Additional Information: