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Licensed Midwives are individuals licensed to practice midwifery. A midwife may attend cases of normal pregnancy and childbirth, provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care.

Applying for a Midwifery License

There are three pathways to licensure as a midwife in California:


Candidates must complete a three-year postsecondary education program in an accredited midwifery school approved by the Medical Board of California (Board). These schools usually are accredited by the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC), whose accreditation mirrors that of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) requirements and satisfies the Board's criteria. Upon completion of educational requirements, including clinical experience evaluation, the candidate also must successfully complete the comprehensive licensing examination administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).

Challenge Mechanism Program

The challenge mechanism program (as defined in Business and Professions Code section 2513(a)-(c)) offers a midwifery student and prospective applicant the opportunity to obtain credit by examination for previous midwifery education and clinical experience. In California there are currently two challenge mechanism programs approved by the Board: Maternidad La Luz (MLL), in El Paso, TX; and National Midwifery Institute, in Bristol, VT. Upon successful completion of the challenge mechanism program, the candidate must also successfully complete the comprehensive licensing examination administered by NARM. The candidate then may submit an application for California licensure.


On the license application, choose "Reciprocity" under the Method of Applying.


  1. Letter of Good Standing (LGS) sent to the Board's office directly from issuing state. License must be current, valid and unrestricted.
  2. Official certificate or diploma from midwifery program or authenticated copy of the certificate/diploma (school does not have to be on the Board's approved list since they are being licensed via reciprocity)
  3. Official transcript from Midwifery program which documents classroom instruction and clinical training
  4. Evidence of passing score on the NARM examination.

California Business and Professions Code section 30 requires mandatory disclosure of a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). The number is used for tax enforcement purposes, for purposes of compliance with any judgment order for family support in accordance with Section 17520 of the Family Code, or for verification of licensure or examination status by a licensing examination entity which uses a national examination and where licensure is reciprocal with the requesting state.

Note: An FEIN may only be used for a business license type, not for an individual license type.

Section 31 of the Business and Professions Code allows the State Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board to share taxpayer information with the Board. If a state tax obligation is not paid, an application for licensure may be denied and a license issued by the Board may be suspended (Business and Professions Code section 494.5).

  Reporting a number on your application that is not your SSN, ITIN, or FEIN may be grounds for denial.

Professional License Portability and State Registration for Service Members and their Spouses

The federal Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) authorizes service members or their spouses who currently hold a valid license in good standing in another state, district, or territory to practice in California within the same profession or vocation, if they relocate to California because of military orders. For individuals who desire to practice in California under the terms of the SCRA, please visit: