Physicians and Surgeons

A Physician or Surgeon (M.D.) is an individual issued a license allowing them to practice medicine. A physician may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.

Resources for Maintaining your Physician’s
and Surgeon’s License

The Medical Board's Licensing Program assists licensees and registrants in maintaining and managing the status of their license or registration. As a licensee/registrant holder, you have the ability to:

  • Change your name;
  • Change your address;
  • Change your email address;
  • Change the status of your license/registration;
  • Request License Verifications, Certification Letters, or Examination Scores;
  • Request a duplicate wall certificate; and
  • Generate a wallet license.
 Potential License Denial or Suspension

Your license could potentially be denied or suspended if it is determined you are either on a delinquent taxpayer list or are delinquent in court-ordered child support payments (Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 31).

Note: The law prohibits the Board from refunding any money paid for the issuance or renewal of a license where the license is denied or suspended (BPC sections 31 and 494.5, and Family Code (FAM) section 17520(e)(3)(D)).

Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Taxes

The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you have outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and you appear on either the FTB or BOE's list of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000.

Once it has been determined that you are on a delinquent taxpayer list, you have 90 days from the issuance of a preliminary notice of suspension to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Board receives a release from the FTB or BOE. The form for requesting a release will be included with the preliminary notice of suspension.

If you believe you are on a delinquent taxpayer list in error, contact the appropriate entity.

Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Family Support

The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you are delinquent in court-ordered child support payments and your name appears on the Department of Child Support Service’s (DCSS) “Absent Parent Master File" (BPC section 29.5 and FAM section 17520).

Once it has been determined that you are non-compliant, you will be notified and have 150 days to meet the family support obligation or enter into a payment program with the local child support agency. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Department of Consumer Affairs receives a release from the DCSS County Child Support Agency Services.

For additional information, please contact the Department of Consumer Affair’s Family Support Program at (916) 574-8018.

Change of License Status

Military Status

A physician who is engaged in full-time training or active service in the Armed Forces or in the United States Public Health Service may be eligible for exemption from payment of the renewal fee. However, the licensee must pay the mandatory fee of $25.00 at the time of renewal of a physician's and surgeon's license to the Physician Loan Repayment Program and the mandatory fee of $22.00 for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System / Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES/PDMP) (Business and Professions Code, sections 2440, 2436.5, and 208).

As required by AB 3330, the fee charged to maintain the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is set to increase from $12 to $22 for licenses that expire on or after July 1, 2021. The fee will then decrease to $18 for licenses expiring on or after July 1, 2023.

Physicians in military status must still meet all continuing medical education (CME) requirements.

Anyone receiving a military exemption may not engage in any private practice. The licensee will be liable for the current renewal fee upon discharge from full-time active service, which is due within 60 days from discharge. To receive a fee exemption, a licensee must apply for the status change before the expiration date of the license. If the license is current, no fee is required.

If the license is in a delinquent status, a payment of all accrued renewal fees, delinquent fee, all mandatory fees, and a penalty fee must be submitted with the application.

At the time of discharge, the physician must notify the Board and request the license be restored to active status.

For further information, please contact the Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 263-2382.

Voluntary Service Status

A licensee who provides voluntary, unpaid services, may renew their license on Voluntary Service. The renewal fee will be waived, however, the licensee is required to pay the mandatory fee of $25.00 to the Physician Loan Repayment Program and pay the $22.00 mandatory fee for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System / Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (CURES/PDMP), pursuant to California Business and Professions Code Sections 2436.5 and 208.

As required by AB 3330, the fee charged to maintain the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is set to increase from $12 to $22 for licenses that expire on or after July 1, 2021. The fee will then decrease to $18 for licenses expiring on or after July 1, 2023.

A voluntary service physician licensee must comply with the continuing medical education (CME) requirements.

To receive a fee exemption, a licensee must apply for the status change before the expiration date of the license. If the license is current no fee is required.

If the license is in a delinquent status, a payment of all accrued renewal fees, delinquent fee, the mandatory fees, and penalty fee must be submitted with the application.

The Board developed the Volunteer Physician Registry (VPR) to help provide access to physicians who want to provide voluntary services in California. The registry is intended to be used by clinics or other entities seeking volunteer physicians. If you are interested in being listed on VPR, please create an account and input your contact information.

For further information, please contact the Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 263-2382.

Disabled Status

A licensee who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that they are unable to practice medicine due to a disability may request a waiver of the renewal fee. Granting a waiver shall be at the discretion of the Board and may be terminated at any time. Waivers shall be based on the inability of a licensee to practice medicine. A licensee whose renewal fee has been waived shall not engage in the practice of medicine until the licensee pays the current renewal fee and submits one of the following:

  1. Establishes to the satisfaction of the Board, on a form prescribed by the Board and signed under penalty of perjury, that the licensee's disability either no longer exists or does not affect their ability to practice medicine safely; or
  2. Signs an agreement on a form prescribed by the Board, signed under penalty of perjury, in which the licensee agrees to limit their practice in the manner prescribed by the reviewing physician.

The licensee is required to pay the mandatory fee of $25.00 to the Physician Loan Repayment Program, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 2436.5. 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.

To receive a fee exemption, a licensee must apply for the status change before the expiration date of the license. If the license is current, no fee is required.

If the license is in a delinquent status, a payment of all accrued renewal fees, delinquent fee, the $25.00 mandatory fee, and a penalty fee must be submitted with the application.

For further information, please contact the Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 362-2382.

Retired Status

A licensee who applies for a retired license will be exempt from payment of the renewal fees and the continuing medical education (CME) requirements. However, the licensee must pay the mandatory fee of $25.00 to the Physician Loan Repayment Program, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code, section 2436.5.

The holder of a retired license may not engage in the practice of medicine.

To receive a fee exemption, a licensee must apply for the status change before the expiration date of the license. If the license is current, no fee is required.

If the license is in a delinquent status, a payment of all accrued renewal fees, delinquent fee, the $25.00 mandatory fee, and a penalty fee must be submitted with the application.

For further information, please contact the Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 263-2382.

Inactive Status

A licensee who wishes to retain a license while not actively practicing medicine in the State of California may apply for an inactive license. A licensee in an inactive status cannot practice medicine in California and does not need to comply with continuing medical education (CME) requirements.

The renewal fee for an inactive license is the same fee for an active license.

To reactivate a license to an active status, the licensee must complete the required CME requirements for a single renewal period.

For further information, please contact the Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322 or (916) 263-2382.

Change of Address / Email Address

California law requires all licensees/registrants to report each and every change of address/email within 30 days after each change. Change or update the address/email must either be submitted in BreEZe, or in writing with the following information: name, license/registration number, old and new address, signature, and date.

You may submit a change of address/email by one of the following methods:

 By mail to:

Medical Board of California
ATTN: Licensing Program
2005 Evergreen Street Ste 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815

 By fax at:

(916) 263-2944

If the new address is a post office box, the licensee/registrant is required by law to provide the Board with a separate street address which will be kept confidential and not publicly disclosed. The street address of a private mailbox service may not be used as a confidential street address. Even if a licensee/registrant provides a street address as their address of record, they may provide a second street address that will remain confidential.


NOTE: California law requires the Board to provide, upon written or verbal request, the address of record of any licensee or registrant. The address of record will be released to any individual or entity who inquires and is also available to the public on the Board's website. Each licensee/registrant should carefully consider the address of record provided to the Board, and may wish to use an office, employer's address, or a post office box as the address of record.

The Board uses the address of record to mail all licenses, renewal notices, and all other official correspondence, therefore, the licensee/registrant is responsible for all communications sent to their address of record.

Request a Duplicate Wall Certificate

Any licensee/registrant can request a duplicate wall certificate to replace one that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, or where there has been a name change.

If the request is for a name change, or the wall certificate has been destroyed, the original wall certificate issued must be surrendered to the Board.

The fees for a duplicate wall certificate are as follows:

Physician & Surgeon $50
Midwife $25
Research Psychoanalyst or Research Psychoanalyst Student $25

Please allow 4-6 weeks for receipt of the new wall certificate.

 Download Application for Duplicate Wall Certificate

Generate Wallet License

Any licensee/registrant with a Current license status may generate a Wallet License at their convenience by accessing the Wallet License Generator.

The Wallet License includes a License Specific QR Code that allows interested parties to instantly view the DCA Search License Profile page with real-time license status information from any QR Code capable device and is generated as an electronic PDF file that can be sent to others as needed.

There is no fee for this service.

Certification Letters

Certification letters provide written verification of licensure to any requesting party with the exception of other state licensing agencies. If a letter is being requested for the purpose of licensure in another state please see the following:

Each certification letter includes the license number, license issue and expiration date, and current license status.

To request a certification letter, submit a written request, including the name and license number of the licensee to be certified, along with a check for $10 payable to the Medical Board of California. Mail the request to:

Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing.

Name Change

All licensees/registrants are required to professionally use the name they are licensed/registered with the Medical Board of California (Board). Using any other name may confuse or mislead the public and may be considered, by the Board, unprofessional conduct.

Any licensee/registrant who wishes to change the professional name under which they practice must complete and submit a Notification of Name Change form to the Board along with required supporting legal documentation.

California law requires each licensee/registrant to report name changes to the Board within 30 days of the name change.

Note: You cannot practice under your middle name when your license is issued with your first, middle, and last name.

No fee is required to process a name change; however, there is a fee to request a duplicate wall certificate with the new name. A new wallet license may be generated by utilizing the Wallet License Generator; there is no fee for this service.

Note: If a licensee/registrant also holds a professional license/registration issued by any of the California Boards and Bureaus listed below, you only need to submit one Notification of Name Change Form to any of the Boards or Bureaus listed. One form will create a name change at each of the Boards and Bureaus listed in which you hold a license/registration.

  • Board of Podiatric Medicine
  • Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
  • California Board of Behavioral Science
  • California Board of Psychology
  • Naturopathic Medicine Committee
  • Osteopathic Medical Board of California
  • Physician Assistant Board
  • Respiratory Care Board
  • Dental Board of California
  • Dental Hygiene Board of California
  • Veterinary Medical Board
  • Physical Therapy Board
  • Board of Optometry
  • Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
  • Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

If you hold a license/registration with any other California Board or Bureau not listed above, you will need to submit a separate name change form directly to that Board or Bureau.

A wall certificate reflecting the name change will NOT automatically be issued. If you desire a duplicate wall certificate with your new name, you must complete an Application for Duplicate Certificate and submit the appropriate fees. A new wallet license may be generated by utilizing the Wallet License Generator; there is no fee for this service.

At your next renewal, your renewal notice will automatically print with your new name.

Required Documentation:

A current government-issued photographic identification card (e.g., driver license, alien registration, passport, etc.) AND one of the following legal documents as proof of name change:

  • Certified Court Order;
  • Marriage Certificate, or
  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

Original documents are not required, photocopies will be accepted. If original documents are mailed, they will be returned by certified mail.

Name and Gender Change Notification and Request for Confidentiality (SB 372, 2023)

Effective January 1, 2024, under Business and Professions Code section 27.5, licensees may notify the licensing board or bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) of a name and/or gender change and request confidentiality of the previous name or gender information, when meeting certain specified requirements. For more information and to make a request, click here.

License Verification (formerly known as Letters of Good Standing)

License Verifications are letters sent to other state and/or country medical boards to verify the status of a license. These letters may be required by other boards to assist them in determining if there is any reason to prohibit or delay licensure by alerting boards of past or pending disciplinary action.

There are two options available to request a license verification:

  1. A License Verification may be obtained by contacting VeriDoc. This is an online company that processes license verifications for the Board. The fee is $27 and once the request is made, the License Verification is emailed to the other state board the next business day.
  2. A License Verification may be obtained by contacting the Board. Please note the process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks to complete. To request a License Verification the following must be provided:
  1. A signed and dated letter requesting the Medical Board of California produce a License Verification letter(s);
  2. Contact information (phone number, email address) of the person requesting the License Verification(s);
  3. Complete name of the licensee and the California license number of each physician for whom a License Verification is being requested;
  4. Complete name and address of the state and/or country medical board(s) where each letter will be sent via U.S. Mail; and
  5. A check made payable to the Medical Board of California for each License Verification requested, $10.00 per License Verification. Credit card payments are not accepted.

Mail the License Verification request and fees to:

Medical Board of California
Licensing Program
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815-5401

Contact the Board’s Consumer Information Unit with questions at:

  • Toll-Free: 800-633-2322
  • Phone: 916-263-2382

Examination Scores

California State Board Examination scores will be provided for an additional $10 and are only available if the examination was taken prior to 1969.

Otherwise, examination score requests should be made by contacting the following agencies:

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) (817) 868-4041
National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) (215) 590-9500
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) (215) 386-5911
Deceased Physicians

When informing the Medical Board of the death of a physician, you must provide a copy of the Certificate of Death or a notarized statement attesting to the physician's death. When possible, please include the physician's license number.