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Some physician licensing requirements waived during COVID-19 response

April 01, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health Licensing & Regulatory Issues 


On March 30, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, authorizing the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to waive certain professional licensing requirements.

The Medical Board of California is working closely with DCA to determine what licensing requirement waivers would best allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic response and ensure that licensees regulated by the medical board are able maintain and renew their licenses during this public health emergency.

Expiring Licenses

Current waivers in place for physicians whose licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, include:

  • Any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license take and pass an examination in order to renew a license is waived
  • Any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license demonstrate compliance with any continuing education requirements in order to renew a license is waived

These temporary waivers do not apply to any continuing education, training or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order. Physicians must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of the governor’s order, unless further extended.

Restoring or Reactivating Licenses

Current waivers in place for physicians seeking to restore or reactivate a retired, inactive or canceled license include:

  • Physicians seeking to restore or reactivate their license do not have to demonstrate compliance with any continuing education requirements.
  • Physicians seeking to restore or reactivate a license, will have all fees waived (including renewal, delinquency, penalty, or late fees, or any other statutory or regulatory fees).

These waivers do not apply to any license that was surrendered or revoked pursuant to disciplinary proceedings or any individual who entered a retired, inactive or canceled status following initiation of a disciplinary proceeding. A license reactivated or restored pursuant to these waivers is valid for a maximum of six months, or when the state of emergency ceases to exist, whichever is sooner.

These temporary waivers also do not relieve physicians from complying with any other renewal requirements, including completing and submitting the required renewal forms to the Medical Board of California.

full list of waivers will be posted on the DCA website as they are approved.

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