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California Medical License

Medicallicensing Team • 2 May 2024 (updated)

Licensing Requirements

  • Medical School Verification and Transcripts
  • USMLE or COMLEX Scores
  • Postgraduate Training Verification
  • California Law and Ethics Exam
  • Criminal background check
  • CME requirements
  • ECFMG Verification (Foreign graduates)
  • Average Processing Time: 4-5 months

Training requirements

  • 4 attempts at USMLE Step 3 no limits for COMLEX
  • 1 year and 2 years IMG Minimum Postgraduate Training Required
  • Limited acceptance of FCVS

Medical Board of California

California Medical License Application

You can apply for a medical license in CA online or via mail. The application process requires fingerprint collection for a background check, and applicants can choose between Live Scan or hard-card manual fingerprinting methods, depending on their location.

Application Process

Obtaining a medical license in California is a detailed and intricate process, reflecting the state’s commitment to high standards of medical practice. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved, emphasizing the complexity:

  1. Verify Educational and Examination Requirements: Confirm that you meet California’s rigorous educational standards, including graduation from an accredited medical school and passing scores on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX).
  2. Gather Comprehensive Documentation: Assemble a wide array of required documents, such as medical school transcripts, proof of postgraduate training, examination scores, and legal identification. Precision and attention to detail are crucial in this step to ensure all information is accurate and complete.
  3. Submit a Detailed Application: Complete the California Medical Board’s extensive application form. This process is meticulous, as any errors or omissions can lead to significant delays in processing or even application denial.
  4. Pay the Application Fee: The application includes a non-refundable fee, which varies based on the type of licensure being sought. Correct payment must accompany the application to be processed.
  5. Complete a Background Check: Undergo a thorough background check, including fingerprinting, to verify your suitability for licensure. Any issues here can severely impact your application’s progress.
  6. Credential Verification: Arrange for direct verification of your credentials from educational institutions and training hospitals. This step is critical and can be time-consuming, as it relies on the responsiveness of third parties.
  7. Await Review and Approval: Once submitted, your application will undergo a detailed review by the California Medical Board. This phase can take several months, during which you may be asked to provide additional information or clarification.
  8. Receive Your License: If your application is successful and you meet all criteria, you will be granted a California medical license, authorizing you to practice medicine in the state.

This process underscores the complexity and thoroughness required to ensure that only qualified individuals are licensed to practice medicine in California, highlighting the state’s commitment to healthcare excellence.

Given the intricate and detailed requirements of each step, many applicants benefit from engaging a professional licensing service to help navigate the complexities of the California medical licensing process.

California Medical License Cost

For a full Medical License, the licensing fee is $808. However, if you’re enrolled in an ACGME/RCPSC training program during the application, you’re eligible for a 50% reduction of the initial license fee. The Postgraduate Training License application fee is $491, which includes a non-refundable fingerprint processing fee.

California Medical License Reciprocity

The state does not engage in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC).  Physicians seeking to practice medicine in CA must submit an application for a license to the Medical Board. The MBC reviews each application and verifies the applicant’s credentials before granting a license. License holders must renew their licenses every two years by adhering to CA medical practice laws and regulations.

California Medical Licensing Requirements

License renewal requires verification of 36 months of Board-approved postgraduate training, including 24 continuous months within the same program. CA mandates that MDs complete 50 hours of approved CME credits per licensure cycle, with all credits being Category 1 approved. For DOs, starting January 1, 2022, licensees must complete 50 credit hours per licensure cycle, including 20 hours of AOA Category 1A or 1B3.

California Medical License Renewal

Renewing a medical license in California involves a series of methodical steps to ensure continued compliance with state regulations. Physicians must begin the renewal process by logging into the California Medical Board’s online portal, where they can submit their renewal application. It is essential to complete this process before the license expires to avoid any lapse in licensure. The renewal requires the payment of a fee, the amount of which can be found on the Medical Board’s website.

Additionally, physicians must fulfill continuing medical education (CME) requirements, typically 50 hours every two years, to demonstrate ongoing professional development. Finally, during the renewal process, physicians may need to provide updates on any changes in their practice status or personal information. Staying proactive and attentive to deadlines is crucial for a smooth renewal experience, helping ensure that physicians can continue their practice without interruption.

California Medical License Check

To verify profiles for all physicians and other allied health care providers who are licensed/registered in the state of CA, use the Medical Board Licensee Profile search page. You can search for a physician by practice location, area of practice/specialty, foreign language, or other self-reported survey responses. For DO, please contact the Osteopathic Medical Board.

California DEA License Lookup

You can verify a DEA license using the DEA Diversion Control Division website or the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) License Search tool. DEA license requirements in CA include completing an application, paying a fee, and providing proof of state licensure.

DEA License California

You need to fill out an application, pay a fee, and present proof of your state-issued license in order to get a DEA license. The DEA Diversion Control Division website has more details on these regulations.

Medical Schools Recognized by the Medical Board of California

Medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, or the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation are recognized by the Medical Board. They are also evaluated by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or one of its authorized foreign medical school accreditation agencies.

Discover the complete list of medical schools recognized by the Medical Board of California.

PA License California

Becoming a physician assistant requires a bachelor’s degree or higher, graduation from a PA program recognized by the Physician Assistant Board of California, passing the PANCE, and completing a fingerprint background check and board-approved controlled substance education course. After meeting these requirements, you can submit a licensure application to the board along with the necessary documents and fees.

Psychiatrist License California

You need a doctorate in psychology or a closely related discipline, you need to pass the CPLEE and the EPPP, and you need to have worked under supervision for at least 1,500 hours. You can apply for a license and pay the relevant fees to the Board once you’ve met these conditions.

Navigating the medical license application procedure can be challenging and confusing. But with the right direction and assistance, you can finish the procedure and get your license. It’s critical to understand the conditions, charges, and processes involved in acquiring and keeping a medical license in California. Whether you’re wanting to apply for your first license, try to renew it, or want to get a multi-state license, MedicalLicensing.com can guide you through the entire procedure. You can rely on our team of qualified experts to provide you with the support and guidance necessary for success.

FAQ About California Medical Licensure

  • How do I apply for a California medical license?
    To apply for a California medical license, you will need to meet the educational and examination requirements set forth by the Medical Board , submit an application and required documentation, and pay the application fee.
  • How do I apply for a California medical license as an out-of-state physician?
    Out-of-state physicians can apply for a California medical license by endorsement. This involves submitting proof of licensure in another state, as well as meeting other requirements set forth by the Medical Board.
  • How long does it take to get a California medical license?
    The timeline for obtaining a medical license can vary depending on the individual’s qualifications and the completeness of their application. However, it generally takes several months to complete the entire process.
  • What are the requirements to get a California medical license?
    You must meet the education, training, and examination requirements set forth by the Medical Board. This typically includes completion of an accredited medical school program, a residency program, and passing the USMLE or COMLEX.
  • How much does it cost to get a California medical license?
    The first license you will get is the Postgraduate Training License, which requires an application fee of $491, including a non-refundable fee for processing your fingerprints. If you are applying for a full Medical License, the licensing fee is $808.
  • How often do I need to renew my California medical license?
    California medical licenses must be renewed every two years. The renewal process involves meeting certain continuing education requirements and paying a renewal fee.
  • Are there any special requirements for international medical graduates seeking a California medical license?
    International medical graduates must meet certain additional requirements, including passing the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification and obtaining a valid visa.
  • How can I check the status of my California medical license application?
    You can check the status of your medical license application by logging into your account on the Medical Boardwebsite. You can also contact the Board’s licensing unit for more information.
  • How to expedite California medical license?
    Obtaining a medical license in CA can be a daunting process, but there are several ways to expedite it. These include being an honorably discharged veteran, accepting employment in a medically underserved area, intending to provide abortions within the scope of practice, being the spouse or domestic partner of an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces, or being admitted to the United States as a refugee, granted asylum, or having a special immigrant visa status. However, navigating the licensing process can still be challenging. That’s why using a licensing service like MedicalLicensing can be a great option. We offer a comprehensive range of services to help simplify and streamline the licensing process, saving you time and reducing stress.
Still have questions? Do not hesitate to contact us

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State Requirements

Check out individual state requirements by clicking the links down below.