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What Is the Process for a Doctor to Get His License Back?

by Tara Renee

There are many reasons you may find yourself without an active doctor's license, including disciplinary action from the state medical board or simply failing to renew your credentials on time. Regardless of the reason for your inactive license, each state has a protocol in place to get it back. The complexity of reactivating your license varies from state to state.

Check with the state medical board to get the status of your license. Most state medical boards allow you to look up a doctor's license status through their online website. All you need to verify license status is your name, license number or specialty.

Complete and submit a “reactivation” application if your license status is “inactive” or “restricted.” Along with the reactivation application, include proof of the required continuing education classes or training and the reactivation fee. This fee varies by state.

Complete and submit a “reinstatement” application and reinstatement fee, if your license has been inactive for more than 12 months. A reinstatement application is also required if your license is inactive due to disciplinary action by the medical board. This includes suspended, revoked and surrendered license. The reinstatement fee varies by state.

Participate in a reentry program if the state medical board requires it. Some states require reentry program participation after two years of inactivity, while other states allow inactivity for periods up to five years before requiring a reentry program. The specifics of a reentry program vary by state. The program may entail taking courses and/or working alongside and under the direct supervision of a board-approved physician for a specified period of time. You may also have to submit new fingerprints and pass a new criminal background check.

Provide documentation of your rehabilitative activities, if your license is inactive due to incidents such as driving under the influence, substance abuse or other criminal behavior. Examples of rehabilitative activities include counseling sessions and attending drug or alcohol abuse programs.

Wait for the medical board to make a final decision regarding license restoration. If the board denies a request for license reinstatement, you may submit a written appeal to dispute the decision. There is a specific time frame for appealing a medical board decision. To determine the exact time frame to appeal a decision, contact the state medical board.

Items you will need
  • reactivation application
  • reinstatement application
  • application fees

About the Author

Tara Renee holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration. She is the owner of several small businesses. In her spare time, she loves to share her knowledge and wisdom through writing. Some of her articles have appeared in major media outlets, including "The Atlanta Journal Constitution" and the "Gainesville Times."

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images