State Board of Medicine Extends MD License Renewal Deadline

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2020


The State Board of Medicine (Board) has extended the license renewal deadline from Dec. 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Two other extensions have also been announced by the Board. The expiration date of emergency temporary licenses has been extended from Dec. 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021. An extension has also been approved for reactivated Board of Medicine licenses granted on an expedited basis to retired and inactive Pennsylvania-licensed practitioners.

License Renewal Deadline

The next renewal deadline for all State Board of Medicine licensees is Dec. 31, 2020. To ensure that these licensees are acting under valid, active licenses, a 90-day extension of the Dec. 31, 2020 renewal deadline for licensees under the State Board of Medicine has been granted. These licenses will remain in "active" status on the Pa. Department of State's (DOS) website, the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS), until March 31, 2021.

Licensees whose licenses have already been renewed need to take no additional action. Licensees who have not yet renewed, now have until March 31, 2021.

Temporary Emergency Licenses

Under a waiver issued in March 2020, out-of-state practitioners could apply for an emergency temporary license to practice within Pennsylvania during the declared COVID-19 state of emergency. Licenses issued pursuant to this waiver were assigned an expiration date of December 31, 2020. To practice beyond this date, emergency licensees had to meet all the requirements for full licensure and submit the necessary application to the Board.

To retain as many of these practitioners as possible during the declared state of emergency, this expiration date has been extended from the current December 31 expiration date to June 30, 2021.

If an individual already holds an emergency temporary license but is unable to meet all requirements for full licensure by December 31, 2020, that individual may continue to practice in Pennsylvania after December 31, 2020, until the next expiration date of June 30, 2021.Note that the new expiration date of June 30, 2021, will not be further extended. Any new out-of-state applicants who apply for and meet the requirements for an emergency temporary license will be issued a license bearing that same expiration date, June 30, 2021.

All individuals with emergency temporary licenses who wish to continue practicing in Pennsylvania after June 30, 2021, will have to submit an application for a full, unrestricted license and meet all license requirements prior to that date. Interested out-of-state emergency temporary license holders are advised to begin the full licensure process as soon as possible, and well in advance of the June 30, 2021 deadline.

Reactivation Extension

Waivers issued earlier this year established a means for Pennsylvania healthcare practitioners whose Board of Medicine licenses (i) are in "active/retired" status, or (ii) were placed on inactive status by licensee request, or (iii) have otherwise lapsed/expired, to quickly and easily reactivate their licenses without certain administrative requirements.

To allow retired/inactive Pennsylvania practitioners who have reactivated, or wish to reactivate, their Board of Medicine license to assist in the pandemic, the previous reactivation waivers have been extended.

If an individual has already reactivated their license pursuant to the prior reactivation waivers but is unable to meet the requirements for renewal prior to the deadline, that individual may continue to practice after Dec. 31, 2020, and must renew the license by the extended deadline of March 31, 2021.

For eligible individuals who have not yet reactivated their licenses but want to assist during the pandemic, the processing of expedited license reactivations will resume after Dec. 21, 2020, for Board of Medicine practitioners whose license is either "active/retired" or "inactive/expired" for at least three months but no more than four years. These individuals will receive a license with an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2022; however, it will be the responsibility of the licensee to complete any required continuing education by June 30, 2021. Forms for expedited reactivation and additional instructions may be found on the Board's website.

Where Can I Get Additional Information?

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) continues to advocate on behalf of Pennsylvania physicians on licensure issues and the need to have physicians be able to focus on caring for their patients during the current pandemic. 

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, numerous statutory and regulatory suspensions have been issued, PAMED will continue to provide updates as these suspensions are announced. When announced, licensing suspensions will be posted by the Pennsylvania Department of State here.

Additional information and resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on PAMED’s COVID-19 resource page.


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  1. PAMED Staff Response: | Jan 11, 2021
    Dr. Kaye – We realize the inconvenience of the extension being announced last minute. Please be assured that PAMED alerted its members as soon as we found out about the extension from the State Board of Medicine. Thank you for your membership.
  2. Judith Kaye | Jan 07, 2021

    I was under tremendous pressure to get all my licensing documentation in by 12/31/20. I spoke with the P A board on 12/21/20 & possibly even also 1-2 days later. No one said anything to me re an extention! They must have known more than 1 day before the change went through. It would be helpful next time to tell MDs before 12/22 if the deadline is changed.Thank you.

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