Resources & Information

Reactivating or Reinstating a License

What is the difference between a license reactivation and a license reinstatement?

In short, reactivation is for practitioners who were previously licensed in NC and have been inactive for LESS THAN one year. Reinstatement is for previously-licensed practitioners who have been inactive for MORE THAN one year and for ALL licensees who are inactive as a result of disciplinary action by the Board.


Who is eligible to submit an application to reactivate a physician or physician assistant license?

Reactivation is appropriate for physicians or physician assistants who were previously licensed in NC and have been inactive for LESS THAN one year.
However, if the license was made inactive as a result of a disciplinary action by the Board (e.g., suspension) the physician or PA MAY NOT submit an application for reactivation, even if he or she was inactive for less than 12 months.


If a physician or physician assistant does not meet the criteria to reactivate a license, what other options exist?

Physicians or PAs who previously held a NC license but who have been inactive for MORE THAN one year may submit an application for reinstatement of their license.

In addition, ALL licensees who are inactive as a result of disciplinary action by the Board, regardless of how long they have been inactive, must submit an application for reinstatement to be considered for an active medical license.


What is the process for reinstating a physician or PA license?

Candidates for reinstatement must essentially submit a new application for licensure in NC. Visit the Physician or Physician Assistant licensure sections and view the Reinstatement application information for details.

It is important to understand that any licensee who has been out of clinical practice for two or more years may be asked to demonstrate their competence to practice medicine safely to the satisfaction of the Board. The specific means of establishing competence to practice medicine is determined on a case-by-case basis. Read more about the Board’s expectations here.


What is the process for reactivating a physician or PA license?

A candidate for reactivation must complete a process similar to the annual license renewal. They must answer a series of detailed questions designed to identify potential problems or “red flags”, pay a fee, submit completed fingerprint cards to the Board and document continuing medical education (CME) earned during the period they were inactive (if any), among other requirements. Visit the Physician or Physician Assistant full license application and view the Reactivation application for detailed information.