California Physchology License photo of person sitting in two toned room holding pen and pad with only torso and legs showing

Inactive vs. Retired vs. Surrendered License

Are you in need of advice on how to handle your California psychology license status because you are retiring from practice, moving out of state or country, or no longer need to keep your license active? This quick article will hopefully answer your questions!

Failing to pay your active renewal fees will allow your psychology license to slip into delinquent or canceled status. Because of this, you may be asking:

  • Can I simply “retire” my license or
  • Can I “surrender” my license?

The California Board of Psychology does not have the authority to place a license in a “retired” status. Further, licenses surrender only as a settlement in a disciplinary case after charges have been filed. Clearly, this would not be a suitable arrangement for a license holder choosing to retire or move out of state. Fortunately, there is a viable and convenient alternative for such individuals.

Psychologists retiring from practice or leaving the state or country may choose to place their licenses in inactive status. The opportunity to place your license in inactive status coincides with your renewal cycle. You would simply mark the “inactive” option, and answer the conviction question on the renewal application, and pay the inactive renewal fee. When a license is inactive, the requirements for continuing education are waived. Clearly, for the genuinely retired psychologist, placing the license in “inactive” status has its advantages.

It must be made clear that having a psychologist license in “inactive” status means that the holder of the inactive license cannot engage in the practice of psychology. However, an “inactive” person may use the title “psychologist.”

You cannot engage in the practice of psychology while holding an inactive license – this results in charges of unlicensed practice, which is a criminal action, and disciplinary action will be taken against you.

If you are a licensed California psychologist or psychological assistant and are notified by the California State Board of Psychology that you are facing discipline against your license, we can help you! Please contact our office so that we can assist in resolving licensing issues. For additional information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944.

To return to “active” status, an “inactive” person only needs to pay the active renewal fee and agree to meet on-going education requirements. This requires 36 hours of qualifying continuing education, including any mandatory courses at the time. Complete these hours of coursework no more than 24 months prior to the date of reactivation.

Additional Resources:

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California licensed professionals and we are experienced in handling all types of licensing issues in addition to criminal charges. To schedule a consultation on a psychologist licensing issue, please contact our law offices today.