Resources & Information

Reactivating or Reinstating a License

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

Reactivation is appropriate for physicians 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 MAY NOT submit an application for reactivation, even if he or she was inactive for less than 12 months.


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.


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

Physicians 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 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 must meet an additional requirement to reestablish their competence to practice medicine safely to the satisfaction of the Board. This typically involves having a licensed physician colleague approved by the Board mentor the re-entering licensee for a set period (this period is determined by the licensee and the Board on a case-by-case basis). Click here to read the Board’s Position Statement on the subject of competence and re-entering the practice of medicine.


What is the process for reactivating a physician 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.