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Physicians and Surgeons

A Physician or Surgeon (M.D.) is an individual issued a license allowing them to practice medicine. A physician may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.

 Attention! Certain Licensing Documents Must Be Submitted Online Starting January 1, 2024

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 Information About SB233 — Arizona Physicians Registration Application

Physician's and Surgeon's Temporary License

You may apply for a temporary license if you are eligible for a Physician's and Surgeon's (P&S) License in California.

To be eligible for a Physician's and Surgeon's License, you must have:

  • Graduated from a U.S., Canadian, or an international medical school approved by the Board pursuant to Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 2084;
  • Received credit for either 12 (United States and Canadian medical school graduates) or 24 (international medical school graduates) months of board-approved postgraduate training (BPC section 2096); and
  • Passed all required examinations.

Once you receive your temporary license, you may practice medicine in California while submitting all documentation required for your full P&S License. Please visit the Applying for a Physician's and Surgeon's License webpage for information on the P&S License application process and a detailed listing of all license requirements.

A temporary license is valid for a period of 12 months, or until the full P&S license is issued, whichever occurs first, allowing an applicant to work on completing the application process for the full P&S license. You will receive a wall certificate and your temporary license profile will be available online, once approved.

To qualify for a temporary license, you must:

  1. Be married to, in a domestic partnership with, or in other legal union with, an active- duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is assigned to a duty station in California under official active-duty military orders.
  2. Hold a current, active, and unrestricted license that grants you the authority to practice medicine in another state, district, or territory of the United States.
  3. Have not committed an act in any jurisdiction that would have constituted grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of the license under this code at the time the act was committed. A violation of this paragraph may be grounds for the denial or revocation of a temporary license issued by the board.
  4. Have not been disciplined by a licensing entity in another jurisdiction and shall not be the subject of an unresolved complaint, review procedure, or disciplinary proceeding conducted by a licensing entity in another jurisdiction.

The Board must receive fingerprint results from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before a temporary license is issued. There may be a delay if the application or fingerprint results indicate a prior conviction(s) or other basis for denial.

Physicians authorized to order, prescribe, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substances, must consult the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). Please visit the CURES Reporting Requirements for Direct Dispensing Practitioners webpage for CURES registration and more information.

The Board may terminate a temporary license upon finding that the temporary license holder failed to meet any of the requirements listed above or provided substantively inaccurate information that would affect the person's eligibility for a temporary license. Upon termination of the temporary license, the board shall issue a notice of termination that shall require the temporary license holder to cease all clinical services immediately.

If you have questions, please contact the Board's Consumer Information Unit at (916) 263-2382.

How to Apply for a Physician's and Surgeon's Temporary License

Apply Online
  1. To apply online, you must complete the following using BreEZe Online Services:

To complete the application process, you must submit the following items to the Board. Contact the appropriate organization to proceed with items you are not responsible for submitting directly.

  1. You must submit by mail:

Note: Do not complete this application packet if you are applying for licensure as an osteopathic physician and surgeon. Please contact the Osteopathic Medical Board of California at (916) 928-8390 for an application and further information.


Use the checklist as a guide through the license application process.

Application Information & Checklist