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        Frequently Asked Questions

        Licenses and Registrations | Professional Education | Continuing Education | Professional Misconduct | Corporations

        Additional information is also available on our "How Do I" page.


        Licenses and Registrations

        1. What is a Professional License?

          A professional license indicates that an individual has met the minimum requirements of Education Law to enter into practice or to use a professional title within New York State. A license is valid for the life of the holder unless revoked, annulled, or suspended by the Board of Regents. The Education Law requires that individual licensees periodically re-register with the New York State Education Department and pay a fee to actively practice and continue to use the professional title within the state

        2. For What Professions Does the New York State Office of the Professions Grant Licenses?

          The New York State Office of the Professions (OP) grants licenses to more than 50 professions that support:

          • Our physical and mental health
          • The safety and integrity of our buildings, bridges and other features of the built environment
          • The accuracy of financial and court records

          Our website provides information, including how to obtain, register, and verify a professional license as well as providing information on pathways to licensure.

        3. Do I Need a License to Practice My Profession In New York State?

          Your professional license is good for life; however, if you wish to practice your profession or use your professional title in New York State, you must have your license registered with the State Education Department.

        4. What is the Difference Between "Licensure" and "Registration"?

          In New York State, upon satisfaction of eligibility requirements, a professional license is awarded. Licensure is for life unless suspended, revoked, or annulled for reasons of misconduct. To practice any profession in New York, a licensee must be currently registered. Registration is generally for a three-year period. As a New York State licensed professional, you will be required to renew your registration every two to three years, depending on your profession’s registration requirements.

        5. How Do I Apply for a Professional License?

          All New York State Education Department (NYSED) professions offer an online application and payment process for applying for a professional license in one of the more than 50 professions regulated by NYSED. To locate application instructions for a specific profession, visit our Professions website. When you have selected your profession, locate the ‘Application Forms’ link available on the left menu. Be sure to review the ‘License Requirements’ information and other information, also located on the left menu.

        6. Where Can I Find a Listing of Fees for Licensure, Registration, Limited Permits, License Certification/Verification and Other Services?

          Our fee chart provides information regarding the cost of these and other services. Applicants for licensure, registration, limited permits, and other services are subject to fees related to the processing and review of documentation.

        7. Does my Professional License expire?

          No. Your professional license does not expire. Licensure is for life unless suspended, revoked, or annulled for reasons of misconduct. To practice any profession in New York State, a licensee must be currently registered. Approximately four months before your registration expires, you will be sent a Registration Renewal Document and PIN with instructions on how to renew your registration to practice. Registration renewals can be completed on our Registration website.

          If you are not practicing your profession or not currently using your title in New York State, you may place your registration in Inactive status free of charge. To do so, you must advise the Office of the Professions of your decision to inactivate your registration. In the event you decide to resume practice during an inactive period, you must re-register your license and meet any post-licensure requirements applicable to your profession. Inactivating a registration and re-activating a registration can be completed on our Registration website.

        8. Am I required to complete Infection Control training and where can I find approved training providers?

          A list of professions that require infection control training is available on our training website. Professions with this requirement should select courses from our list of Department approved Inflection Control training providers.

        9. Am I required to complete Child Abuse Reporting training and where can I find approved training providers?

          A list of professions that require child abuse reporting training is available on our training website. Professions with this requirement should select courses from our list of Department approved Child Abuse Identification & Reporting training providers.

        10. What should I do if I have answered "Yes" to a moral character question on an application or registration form?

          If you answer “Yes” to any of the moral character questions on the initial application or during the renewal process, you must submit a letter providing a complete detailed explanation. Include copies of any court records and include a Certificate of Disposition. If there are offenses in multiple courts, please provide the same for each location/action. In answering these questions, consider whether, pursuant to Executive Law §296(16), you are required to report any arrests, criminal accusations, or dispositions of such arrest or criminal accusations. If the court can no longer provide documentation, you must request, from the court, a letter stating why they cannot provide the documents. While your application is pending, you must notify the Division of Professional Licensing Services if the answer to any of these questions have changed by contacting the Public Information Unit by phone: 518-474-3817 Ext. 330, fax: 518-473-0578 or by e-mailing dplsdsu@nysed.gov.

        11. I Have Several Offices Where I Practice My Profession. Do I Need a Registration Certificate for Each Location?

          Yes. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require that you have a registration certificate displayed in each office in which you provide professional services.

          Education Law § 59.8 Registration for Professional Practice

          C.) Registration certificates shall be conspicuously displayed by each licensee in each office in which the profession is practiced. In instances where licensees regularly practice at more than one professional office, registration certificates shall be obtained for each office bearing the licensee's name and the exact address of each such office upon making proper application to the Department and submitting a fee. Where practice is carried on in other than individual offices, each licensee shall always have a current registration certificate available for inspection.

          You can request an application to register an additional office by emailing the Registration/Fee Unit at OPREGFEE@nysed.gov, or by calling 518-474-3817, ext. 410. Please be prepared to provide the following required information:

          • Name
          • Profession
          • License Number
          • Date of Birth
          • Last four digits of your SSN
          • Additional office address(es)
          • Daytime telephone number

          *There is a $10 fee for each certificate/location.

        12. How Often Must I Register My Professional License?

          Upon licensure, you will receive a registration certificate valid for a period of three years (with the exception of physicians and medical physicists, who renew their registration every two years). Approximately four months before your registration expires you will be sent a Registration Renewal Document, which will include a PIN, allowing you to access our online registration service.

        13. Why is the Registration Period Listed on My Registration Certificate for a Period of Less Than the Expected Three years (or Two Years, Depending on the Profession)?

          Registration periods are adjusted after the initial registration or first renewal after reactivation so that the renewal period occurs during the licensee's birth month. After this registration, you can expect the three year (or two year) standard registration period.

        14. If the Registration Period on my Registration Certificate is Less Than the Expected Three Years (Or Two Years, Depending on the Profession), Am I Still Expected to Pay the Full Registration Fee?

          For the registration period after your initial registration or first renewal after activation, the registration fee will be prorated for the shorten registration period.

        15. What is the Impact of a Lapse in Registration While Practicing Your Profession?

          § 6502 (3) of the Education Law states:

          “Any licensee who fails to register by the beginning of the appropriate registration period shall be required to pay an additional fee for late filing of $10 for each month that registration has been delayed.”

          Based upon this legal provision, tardiness in renewal results in a late fee rather than a “gap” between registration periods.

          Upon payment of the required fee and meeting all other requirements for renewing registration, the licensee is considered re-registered for the full registration period in question, not just the portion remaining after the payment has been made.

          Pursuant to Education Law §59.8, in certain circumstances, failure to register a license can be deemed professional misconduct.

        16. I Still Show as "Pending Renewal" on the OP Online Renewal System but I Have a Registration Certificate for the Registration Period Indicated. Why?

          Although you have renewed the registration of your license for your next registration period, your registration status will show as “pending renewal” until the current registration period has ended and the new registration period has begun. Once the new registration period has begun, your license will show as current in the Online Renewal System.

        17. How Do I Obtain a Receipt for My Transaction?

          Your cancelled check/money order or credit card statement is your receipt for any transaction with the Office of the Professions. When renewing your registration online there is an opportunity to print the summary as a receipt. The Office of the Professions does not provide separate receipts.


        Professional Education

        1. Do my Professional Education Documents and/or Transcript(s) need to be sent directly to the Office of the Professions by my school?

          All education documents must be directly submitted by the educational institution or a third-party transcript provider designated by the institution as the official sole provider of its transcripts. The Office of the Professions cannot accept educational documents if submitted by the applicant. Return instructions are available on each form certifying professional or pre-professional education.

          In some instances, the Office of the Professions can accept electronic transmission of education documents. The Office of the Professions will accept official electronic transcripts from educational institutions (i.e., colleges/universities) or designated third-party transcript entities located in the United States provided that all of the following criteria is met:

          • The transcript is the certified true and official academic record and the document does NOT have an expiration date. Transcript documents with expiration dates cannot be accepted (expiration dates within link labels or the document are acceptable).
          • The Office of the Professions can independently verify that the transcript is received directly from the educational institution's registrar or officially designated third-party.
          • If a third-party transcript provider is involved, the educational institution has designated the third party as the official sole provider of its transcripts.
          • The applicant had no opportunity to directly access or alter the transcript before it was sent or transmitted.

          Any educational institution transcript submissions should be made electronically to DPLSEduc@nysed.gov. Do NOT use this email to submit a question, as we will be unable to provide a response. Submit a Contact Us Form for questions regarding specific applications or to check the status of a licensure application.

        2. Where Can I Find a List of Licensure-Qualifying Programs?

          The New York State Education Department has compiled an Inventory of Registered Programs, which are academic programs that include qualified educational curriculum aligning to New York State licensure standards. Applicants can use the online feature to locate academic programs that are registered with the Department as providing the professional education necessary to gain training and competence. Completion of a registered program by itself is not enough to obtain a license. Most professions require the successful completion of one or more professional examinations. Most applicants must satisfy moral character requirements, and, where necessary, demonstrate completion of any applicable mandated training. You should review details about your profession and its requirements for licensure on the OP Professions page.

        3. How Do I Obtain My Transcript From a Professional Institution that Has Since Closed Down?

          Closed institutions must provide for the continued maintenance of academic records after the institution closes.


          If you attended an institution in another state, you will have to contact officials in that state.

        Continuing Education

        1. How do I Determine if My Profession Has Continuing Education (CE) Requirements?

          Many professions require completion of Continuing Education (CE) in order to renew a registration. Visit our CE website to see a list of professions with CE requirements as well as links to additional CE information.

        2. If the Registration Period on My Registration Certificate is for a Period of Less Than Three Years (Or Two Years, Depending on the Profession), Am I Still Expected to Complete the Full Amount of Continuing Education Hours?

          For the registration period after your initial registration or first renewal after activation, your continuing education hours requirement will be prorated. Please visit the continuing education link on your profession's homepage to determine how many continuing education hours you will need to complete as well as the type of continuing education you may need to renew your registration.

        Professional Misconduct

        1. What is Professional Misconduct?

          Professional misconduct is defined in Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents. Professional misconduct includes the following:

          • Engaging in acts of gross incompetence or gross negligence on a single occasion, or negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion
          • Permitting or aiding an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license
          • Refusing a client or patient service because of race, creed, color or national origin
          • Practicing beyond the scope of the profession
          • Releasing confidential information without authorization
          • Being convicted of a crime
          • Failing to return or provide copies of records on request
          • Being sexually or physically abusive
          • Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care
          • Performing unnecessary work or unauthorized services
          • Practicing under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

          A range of penalties that includes censure and reprimand, fines (up to $10,000 for each violation), suspensions and/or probationary terms may be imposed on licensees who have committed misconduct. The Board of Regents takes final action on the most serious cases of misconduct. In severe cases of misconduct, the Regents may revoke the professional's license. Information on uncontested determinations in which a licensee has been assessed a fine for committing an infraction of a minor and technical nature is available by contacting OP's Public Information Unit by phone: 518-474-3817 Ext. 330, fax: 518-473-0578 or by emailing dplsdsu@nysed.gov.

          Publicly available information regarding enforcement actions is available on the Office of the Professions’ website Enforcement page.

        2. How Do I File a Complaint Against a Licensed Professional?

          To File a complaint against a professional* licensed by the New York State Education Department, you must do one of the following:


          NOTE: Complaints must be submitted in writing and cannot be filed by phone. See instructions for information on filing a Complaint Form.

          You may also obtain online information regarding Professional Discipline Cases decided by the Board of Regents on the Office of the Professions’ website Enforcement page.

          * Complaints against physicians (general practitioners, internists, cardiologists, gynecologists, pediatricians, urologists, psychiatrists, oncologists, anesthesiologists, orthopedists and others), physician assistants and specialist assistants should be sent to the New York State Department of Heath Office of Professional Misconduct, Riverview Center, 150 Broadway, Suite 335, Albany, NY 12204-2719, Phone 1-800-663-6114 or by email at OPMC@health.ny.gov.

          For complaints against other occupations not licensed by the Office of the Professions, use the following information:

          Attorneys:

          New York State Office of Court Administration

          Public School Teachers:

          Complaints against public school teachers that cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the principal of the school should be made to the Superintendent or Chief Administrative Officer of the local school district. If the complaint concerns the moral character of a teacher (e.g., involving drug-related activity or sexual relations with a student), contact the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) of the Office of Teaching Initiatives, another part of the New York State Education Department.

          Other Occupations:

          The New York State Department of State licenses and regulates several occupations, including barbers, cosmetologists, hairdressers, hearing aid dealers, notaries, private investigators, and real estate brokers. All inquiries and complaints concerning these occupations should be made to the Department of State at (518) 474-4750.

          For occupations, trades or professions that are not listed here, you may wish to call the New York State Operator at (518) 474-2121.

        3. Who Do I Call If I have Questions About a Disciplinary Action Against Me?

          For questions related to an enforcement action against you, contact the Central Investigations Unit (CIU) at (212)-921-3874. Write to CIU at 1411 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018.

        Corporations

        1. How do I File for or Check the Status of an Application for a Professional Practice Corporate Entity?

          For Professional Corporations or Corporate Entities for Professional Practice, please review the information, forms, and laws on the Corporate Entities website. There is contact information for the Professional Corporations Unit also available on this website.

          For Pharmacy establishments (i.e., pharmacy, wholesaler, manufacturer, or outsourcing facilities), please contact the Pharmacy Board Office by email at pharmbd@nysed.gov or by phone, 518-474-3817, ext. 130.
        Last Updated: October 16, 2020
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