Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. HOW DO I CHECK MY CURRENT LICENSE STATUS AND ADDRESS OF RECORD?
Q. CAN I PRACTICE PRIOR TO RECEIVING MY INITIAL LICENSE?
A. No. You must have obtained and posted your wall license before you can begin practicing. Refer to California Business and Professions Code, Sections 4935(a) and 4961.
Q. HOW MUCH IS THE BIENNIAL RENEWAL FEE?
A. $325.00. A $25.00 delinquent fee will be assessed if your application for renewal and payment is not postmarked by your expiration date.
Q. WHAT IF I CANNOT PAY MY RENEWAL FEE ON TIME?
A. An acupuncturist's license expires biennially on the last day of their birth month. A LICENSEE MAY NOT PRACTICE LEGALLY WITH AN EXPIRED LICENSE. The Board has the authority to collect accrued fees, so licensees will be required to pay for each renewal period they are delinquent. If a license is delinquent for more than three years, it becomes lapsed and is automatically canceled. The licensee will be required to take and pass the California Acupuncture License Examination (CALE) before a new license can be issued.
Q. IF I DO NOT RECEIVE A RENEWAL NOTICE FROM THE BOARD, DOES THAT MEAN I AM NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THE RENEWAL FEE?
A. No. Licenses are not renewed automatically. It is the responsibility of the licensee to renew and maintain their license. Click here to download a license renewal form.
Q. CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD FOR RENEWAL OR TO PAY FEES?
A. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards, only check or money orders made out to the “California Acupuncture Board”.
Q. WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT (CEU)?
A. Fifty hours of Board-approved continuing education is due biennially upon renewal. List all courses completed on the renewal form or attach a piece of paper with the following information listed: Course title, CE provider, CE provider number, date taken, and number of units.
You do not need to send certificates to the Board as part of the renewal; they must be kept for your records. Licensees are required to retain records of all continuing education courses attended for a minimum of four (4) years as per CCR Section 1399.489(f).
Q. I JUST ATTENDED AN ACUPUNCTURE TRAINING COURSE WHICH IS NOT LISTED ON THE APPROVED COURSE LIST. CAN I APPLY TO USE IT FOR CEU CREDIT?
A. Sorry, no. It is the responsibility of the CEU provider to apply with the Board for CEU credit. Credit must be approved in advance of the course date.
Q. WHAT IF I HAVE NOT COMPLETED THE REQUIRED CE UNITS BY THE TIME MY RENEWAL FEE IS DUE?
A. You may request a CEU extension as per California Business & Professions Code Section 4945(e), which reads as follows: “If the Board determines that any acupuncturist has not obtained the required number of hours of continuing education, it may renew the acupuncturist's license and require that the deficient hours of continuing education be made up during the following renewal period in addition to the current continuing education required for that period. If any acupuncturist fails to make up the deficient hours and complete the current requirement of hours of continuing education during the subsequent renewal period, then their license to practice acupuncture shall not be renewed until all the required hours are completed and documented to the committee.”
Please note: all requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Board's Executive Officer via mail, fax (916-928-2204) or email, Approval of CEU extension is not guaranteed and is done on a case by case basis.
Q. HOW DO I FIND APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES/PROVIDERS?
A. Approved courses are posted on the Acupuncture Board website and are updated regularly. You may also check with the provider to see if they have been approved. Finally, you can email the Board if you have questions about approval of a CEU course.
Q. WHAT IF I HAVE AN ADDRESS CHANGE?
A. As per California Business Professions Code Section 4961, you must notify the Board in writing of your new mailing or practice address within 30 days, either by mail, fax (916-928-2204) or email. The notification must list your old and new address and the effective date of the change. You can also change your address on the Board's website.
Q. WHAT IF I HAVE A NAME CHANGE?
A. If you have a name change, download and send in a Notification of Name Change Form, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal name change, passport, or naturalization papers. A driver's license is not acceptable. Any changes affecting your license must be submitted in writing within thirty (30) days. Enclose a check with your application if you wish to request new wall license ($15.00 fee) or pocket license ($10.00) with your name change.
Q. I HAVE ADDITIONAL OFFICE LOCATIONS. CAN I HAVE ADDITIONAL WALL LICENSES FOR MY OTHER OFFICES?
A. Yes. As per California Business Professions Code Section 4961, you must notify the Board in writing of any additional practice locations within 30 days and obtain a duplicate wall license for each additional location. You can download the Application for Duplicate/Replacement License here. The fee for a duplicate wall license is $15.00 payable by check or money order.
Q. WHAT IF MY LICENSE IS LOST, STOLEN OR DESTROYED?
A. Send in the Application for Duplicate/Replacement License, which contains an affidavit for a lost, stolen or destroyed license. A duplicate wall license is $15.00 and a duplicate pocket license is $10.00. If you never received your license sent from the Board, there is no charge, but we still need the duplicate license request form sent in.
Q. HOW DO I APPLY FOR INACTIVE STATUS, SINCE I AM NOT PLANNING TO PRACTICE ACUPUNCTURE IN CALIFORNIA?
A. You can apply for inactive status by submitting the Active/Inactive License Application. Placing your license on inactive status takes approximately 3-5 days once form is received in our office. You are still required to pay the biennial renewal fee of $325 and send in a signed renewal form by your expiration date.
Q. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO GO ON INACTIVE STATUS?
A. Your license must be clear and valid, and free of any holds, per California Business and Professions Code Section 701. If your license is delinquent or missing CEUs, you cannot be placed on inactive status until the hold is released.
Q. IF I AM ON INACTIVE STATUS, AM I REQUIRED TO COMPLETE CONTINUING EDUCATION?
A. No. Per California Code of Regulations Section 1399.489(a), you are exempt from completing continuing education while inactive. If you do wish to go back to active status, and if inactive more than one year, you are required to complete 50 CEUs within the last two years, with 45 CEUs being in Category 1. If inactive less than one year, you are required to complete 25 CEUs, with 22 CEUs being in Category 1. Please note you cannot use CEUs completed to move to active status for any other purpose such as an upcoming renewal.
Q. I NEED VERIFICATION OF MY CALIFORNIA LICENSE SENT TO ANOTHER STATE. HOW DO I DO THIS?
A. Send the Board a letter requesting the verification, along with the address to send the verification to, a check or money order for $10.00 and any form the other state may use. The verification will be sent directly to the requesting agency via U.S. Mail and takes 1-2 weeks to be sent out once the request is received in our office.
Q. CAN YOU HELP ME FIGURE OUT MY INSURANCE BILLING QUESTIONS?
A. Sorry, no. The Board does not have jurisdiction over insurance issues. Please contact your insurance company or the California Department of Managed Health Care.
Q. I NEED HELP FORMING MY ACUPUNCTURE BUSINESS. CAN THE BOARD ADVISE ME ON HOW TO DO THIS?
A. Sorry, no. The Board is unable to provide legal advice of any kind, including on how to form and operate an Acupuncture business. It is recommended you consult with an attorney or accountant on how to do so. Here are some links which may be useful:
- Laws and Regulations about Acupuncture Corporations
- Laws relating to Corporations in general
- Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development