Administrative Law Topics: License Applications / Renewals

License Applications and Renewals

California Medical License Applications--Reporting Criminal Records, Deferred Entry of Judgment, and Out-of-State Criminal Records

Physicians, including recent medical school graduates and physicians from other states or countries seeking a California medical license must fill out a state application which asks questions pertaining to criminal records.  Questions No. 55 through 58 pertain to criminal records that you may have to disclose.

Graduates from Foreign Medical Schools and California Medical Board Licensing

California's Medical Board maintains a website with a host of information, including a list of all approved medical schools, in the U.S. and Canada as well as throughout the world.  It is easy to check whether a particular medical school has received Board recognition: simply go to and the list will appear.

Your California Medical License Application


Physicians must have a state license to practice in California.  Allowing sufficient time and providing a complete application with full documentation to the Medical Board can make a difference.  Failure to do so may result in delay, denial or the filing of a Statement of Issues and an administrative hearing. Lately (2012) the process has been taking about seven or eight months.

Avoiding Denial of a California Medical License by Withdrawing the Application

Medical license applicants in California may have the option to withdraw their applications before a final license denial.  Here is how it works:

The process starts when a medical resident or physician licensed in another state (or foreign jurisdiction) applies for a medical license in California.  The license application is made to the Medical Board of California where a medical license is formally called a physician and surgeon’s certificate. 

PTAL (Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter) Extension Granted.

A foreign medical school graduate hoping for a Residency Match in California nearly lost her eligibility when the Medical Board denied a routine extension of her PTAL (Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter)  The board's denial was based on an allegation that she had improperly seen or treated patients while serving as a student-observer under the direction of faculty at a California medical school.  After the applicant contacted Slote  & Links, attorney Steve Boreman sought documentation from the supervising faculty member for submission to the Board.  Despite documentation showing

Medical License Approved After Misdemeanor Criminal Conviction and Failure to Disclose

An out-of-state applicant for a California medical license had a misdemeanor conviction for petty theft which occurred more than twenty years ago when the applicant was a teen-age undergraduate.  At the time of conviction,  a 3 month summary probation was imposed and the court as well as the applicant's attorney indicated that the matter would be expunged and need not be reported.  This information, however, was erroneous and Business and Professions Code section 480(a)(1) was clearly applicable, making expunged criminal records reportable notwithstanding a motion to expunge under Penal Cod

Medical Board of California Issues Medical License to Foreign Medical Graduate

A board certified physician practicing in another state accepted employment at a reputable California health care facility and applied for licensure in California.  After several months of delays, a Medical Board representative was unwilling to accept the doctor’s clinical experience from a reputable European institution approved by the Medical Board.  Ironically, the institution has a longer history than the State of California. 

Court Orders California Medical Board to permit examinee to retake USMLE Part III and to establish a passing score by resolution

On March 1, 2010, the California Court of Appeal filed its decision in YVETTE MARQUEZ v. MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, California Court of Appeal Case No. C060456.

Medical license applicants in California are required to pass certain examinations including the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Applicants must pass each of three parts to the examination. To be eligible for a California license, an applicant must pass Part III of the exam within four attempts. The examination is administered by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which establishes a recommended minimum score.

California Court of Appeal Finds that Conviction for Spousal Battery is Grounds for Denial of a Real Estate License

On December 2, 2009, the California Court of Appeal filed its decision in the case of Donley v. Davi, Case No. C058975.

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) denied Donley’s application for a real estate salesperson’s license because he had been convicted of spousal battery in violation of Penal Code section 273.5, a misdemeanor. The DRE did, however, issue Donley a restricted real estate salesperson’s license after finding partial rehabilitation.

California Medical Association Sues Governor Over Delay in Processing License Applications at the California Medical Board

On October 14, 2009, the California Medical Association (CMA) filed suit against the Governor of the State of California seeking to stop the furloughs of employees at the California Medical Board. The furloughs have increased delays in processing license applications at the Medical Board of California.