Licensing program overview

NCMB’s licensing process helps to fulfill the Board’s patient protection mandate by ensuring that the medical professionals seeking licensure in North Carolina have the necessary knowledge, skills, and credentials, as well as the character, to practice safely.

Please note: The application process will take roughly four months. Processing time will take longer during the months of March through August, due to the increased number of residents and relocating physicians. We recommend you allow four to six months of total processing time if you wish to be granted a license during these months.

Applicants can reduce the amount of processing time by selecting the right application for them and ensuring that required documents, transcripts and letters of recommendation are submitted promptly. Most delays are related to missing documentation.

Getting started

All license applications are submitted online. To begin one, applicants must first register for an NCMB Licensure Gateway account. Once login credentials are established, the application form completed and the fee paid, applicants have up to one year to submit all supporting documentation to NCMB, including the results of the criminal background check.

Avoiding errors, omissions, and delays

“Red flag” questions - All applicants must answer a series of questions aimed at discovering adverse history and other areas of potential concern. A “YES” answer to one or more of these “red flag” questions may require the applicant to submit certain information, including an explanation of the specific event. Be sure to have details and any necessary documentation ready when you complete this section of the application form to avoid delays. For a complete list of “red flag” questions, please click here.

Mandatory criminal background check – Most applications require that the applicant complete a criminal background check, which may take 8-10 weeks for law enforcement to process.

Expedited license application - NCMB offers expedited full medical license application options to physician and PA applicants who meet ALL eligibility criteria. Ineligible applicants who apply using this pathway will have their applications cancelled, further delaying issuance of a license. Click for eligibility requirements for physicians and PAs.

If you have additional questions about the licensure process, you can find the complete list of our Licensing FAQs, click here.

Note: Criminal Convictions

1. NCMB requires applicants for licensure to submit to a criminal background check as part of the licensure process.

2. NCMB will review all relevant information when processing a license application and making a determination on licensure. As part of its review, NCMB considers criminal convictions. When considering criminal convictions, the NCMB shall consider all the factors listed in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B-8.1(b1). Review the factors listed in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93B-8.1(b1) here

3. If NCMB denies an application in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction or otherwise, there is an appeals process that the applicant can pursue through N.C. Gen. Stat § 90-14.1. Review the appeals process in N.C. Gen. Stat § 90-14.1 here.