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.

Physician's and Surgeon's License Renewal

The Medical Board of California's Licensing Program assists licensees and registrants in renewing and managing the status of their license or registration. You must renew your California Physician’s and Surgeon’s License every two years. Licenses expire at 11:59 p.m. on the expiration date, which is the last day of the month in which it was issued. There is no grace period. It is illegal to practice medicine with an expired license.

 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-21-175, continuing medical education (CME) requirements related to a license that expires between March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2021 are deferred for a six-month period.

DCA-21-194 waives requirements to complete continuing medical education (CME) or to pass an examination for license renewal for licenses that expire between October 1, 2021 and October 31, 2021. The requirements are deferred for a six-month period unless the order is further extended.

Licensees eligible under this waiver must complete their CME no later than March 28, 2022.

DCA Waivers 21-175 and 21-194 do 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:

Register with the California Health Corp

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

Additional Informational Links:

Renewal Notices

As a courtesy, the Board will notify you multiple times that your license will need to be renewed. The Board will send you an email notification to renew your license online 180 days prior to your expiration date and again at 150 days prior to your license’s expiration date.

If you have not renewed your license within 120 days, the Board will mail the paper Renewal Notice to your Address of Record (AOR). At this time, you may renew your license online by visiting BreEZe or by submitting your renewal notice and payment by mail.

Note: Please allow four to six weeks for processing if you are mailing in your renewal notice and payment to the Board.

Criminal Convictions

During the renewal process, you must disclose any disciplinary action or if you have been convicted of a crime since your last renewal period.

Failure to Renew

If you have not renewed your license within 30 days following the expiration date, the Board will notify you by certified mail. In addition, your license status will be displayed as “Delinquent” on the Board’s website.

If you do not renew your license within 90 days of the expiration date, you will be required to pay the penalty and delinquent fees, in addition to the standard renewal fee. If you complete the renewal process within six months of the expiration date, your license will be renewed retroactively.

Note: You may choose to let your license expire if you no longer wish to practice medicine in California. If, at a later date, you choose to return to the practice of medicine and it has been more than five years since your license expired, you must apply for a new license and meet the current license requirements. Visit the Previously Licensed in California page for more information on reapplying for a Physician's and Surgeon's License.


Potential license denial or suspension for failure to pay taxes and court-ordered child support payments. Visit the Licensing Overview page for detailed information.

Types of Renewals