Resources & Information

COVID-19 Licensure FAQs

I have graduated PA school but I have been unable to sit the PANCE examination. Is it possible for me to obtain a North Carolina PA license?

Yes. NCMB has approved an order allowing new physician assistant (PA) graduates who have not taken the required PANCE testing to be issued a temporary license. The license will be valid for up to six months and will allow a PA to practice under the supervision of an on-site physician.


I have obtained an emergency temporary license to treat North Carolina patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. When will it expire?

Emergency temporary licenses obtained during the current state of emergency will expire 30 days after the state of emergency is lifted. This will allow a “wind down” period to facilitate continuity of care. NCMB issued an order to authorize this expiration date.


Q: I’m a physician or PA licensed in another state and I would like to assist with North Carolina’s COVID-19 response, either in person or via telemedicine. How can I do that?

A: First, thank you for your willingness to serve. North Carolina offers two pathways that allow physicians and PA to quickly obtain an emergency license. There is no fee, and licenses are typically issued within 48 business hours.

1.  Physicians or PAs who are currently licensed in a jurisdiction other than North Carolina may apply for a limited emergency license.
2.  Physicians or PAs who were previously licensed in North Carolina and who inactivated a medical license within the past 24 months may apply for an emergency temporary license


Q: I am volunteering in North Carolina. Do I need malpractice insurance? Am I covered by the Good Samaritan Law?

A: North Carolina does not require providers to have malpractice insurance and the Board cannot recommend a carrier or particular type of coverage. Clinicians should consult with a malpractice carrier of their choice for options. Liability is limited for volunteers offering services at no charge at designated facilities. Please see N.C.G.S. 90-21.16 for more information.


Q: I’ve had an inactive license for more than two years. May I obtain an emergency temporary license to assist with North Carolina’s COVID-19 response?

A: No. During the state of emergency, NCMB is currently granting emergency licensure only to inactive and retired licenses who inactivated a medical license within the last 24 months and meet certain other conditions as specified in these rules.


Q: I am unable to complete fingerprint cards for my license application because the locations that prepare these cards have ceased operation due to COVID-19. Can my license application be processed without them?

A: Yes. NCMB has issued an order to temporarily postpone background check requirement for license applications. During the current state of emergency, applicants will not need to have a background check to be issued a North Carolina medical license.  Applicants will be required to obtain a background check at a later date.  If the background check does not reveal any concerning information, the license application will be considered complete.  If concerning information is revealed, NCMB may investigate and take action against the license.  Applicants who fail to obtain a background check as directed by NCMB may also face disciplinary action.


Q: Can a fourth-year medical student who has matched at a North Carolina graduate medical education training institution obtain a resident training license without fully completing the medical license examination?

A: Yes. NCMB is aware that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, testing sites are not currently offering the opportunity to sit required medical licensing examinations. NCMB has issued an order to postpone USMLE and COMLEX–USA Step/Level 2 testing requirements for medical students prior to beginning a residency program, during the current state of emergency. This will allow medical students who have otherwise completed the requirements to graduate from medical school and been accepted into a North Carolina residency training program to start their residency.


Q: Can a clinician who is licensed in North Carolina with a resident training license who is completing fellowship training assist with North Carolina’s COVID-19 response?

A: Yes. NCMB recognizes that fellows are fully qualified clinicians who may be needed to meet rising demand for care in North Carolina. NCMB has issued an order  to allow fellows who currently hold a NC resident training license, to apply for a temporary emergency license, which would allow the fellow to assist with North Carolina’s COVID-19 response.