General Information & Policies

Please read this general licensing information before proceeding to the detailed instructions for your profession.

Introduction | Licensure and Registration | Verifying Your Credentials | Address or Name Changes | Professional Conduct | Records Retention and Disposition Statement | Disclosure of Social Security Numbers | Reasonable Testing Accommodations | Photo IDs

Introduction

A professional license is the authorization to practice and use a professional title in New York State. Your license is valid for life unless it is revoked, annulled, or suspended by the Board of Regents.


Licensure and Registration

Once received, your application and all required supporting material will be reviewed. If you meet all the licensure requirements, we will issue you a license number. You will be entitled to practice in New York State as of the effective date of licensure. Written confirmation of licensure - your license parchment and registration certificate - is mailed within two working days following the licensure date.

Before you receive written confirmation of your licensure, you may find out if your license has been issued (including your license number and effective date of licensure) by checking your name on our online license verification service.

To practice in New York under the authority of your license, you must reregister every three years (two years for medicine). You are automatically registered for your first registration period when your license is issued. Thereafter, we will send renewal information to the name and address we have on file for you (see Address or Name Changes, below) at least four months before your registration expires.


Verifying Your Credentials

To ensure authenticity of credentials, the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions requires evidence of your compliance with each licensure requirement be sent directly to us from the organization where you met the requirement (e.g., school, testing agency, licensing authority, certifying board, hospital, employer, etc.). These records and documents must bear an original (not photocopied) signature of the official who maintains the records and stamp or seal of the institution where the credentials are maintained. The Office of the Professions regularly reverifies credentials directly from the issuing entity to assure authenticity. While this may delay licensure in some cases, it is a necessary step to ensure protection of the public.

You are responsible for asking organizations to complete and directly submit to us the documentation you need. Keep a record of your verification requests.

NOTE: Forms and transcripts sent from the originating institution to the Department must be enclosed in a sealed official school envelope bearing the institution’s name and address. Verifying organizations may take eight weeks or more from the date of your request to send the required independent verifications. The Office of the Professions cannot officially evaluate your credentials until we receive the required documentation. You must consider this time factor in deciding when to submit your application for licensure.


Address or Name Changes

If your mailing address or name changes after you have submitted your Application for Licensure (Form 1), you must contact the Department to update your records and provide the following identifying information: your full name, the last four digits of your social security number, profession and date of birth. You may download our Address/Name change Form ( PDF 20 KB) for this purpose.

For address changes you can contact the customer service unit at 518-474-3817, TDD/TTY 518-473-1426. You may also FAX a message 24 hours a day to 518-474-1449 or email us at op4info@mail.nysed.gov. You must provide written notification of any name change to:

NYS Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services

Records & Archives Unit
Education Building - 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12234-1000

Once you are licensed, Education Law requires that you notify the Department of any change in your name or mailing address within 30 days of the change. Failure to do so may be considered professional misconduct. It may also delay renewal and result in late fees to renew the registration of a professional license.


Professional Conduct

All licensed practitioners are required to adhere to rules of professional conduct. The Education Law includes definitions of professional misconduct, and the Board of Regents has adopted rules defining unprofessional conduct for all professions. Every licensee is also governed by a set of laws, rules, and regulations for the practice of that specific profession. Copies of the relevant section of the NYS Education Law and the Commissioner's Regulations are available upon request by calling (518) 474-3817 ext. 320.

The NYS Education Law for the professions is also available on this site.

You will receive more information on professional practice when you receive your license and first registration.


Records Retention and Disposition Statement

Applications are considered active while an applicant is providing documentation to meet the requirements for a professional license or post-licensure certificate (i.e, examination grades, educational credentials and professional work experience).

If you withdraw your application or your application is inactive for five (5) consecutive years, any documents submitted as part of your application will be destroyed in accordance with the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule on file with the State Archives and Records Administration.


Disclosure of Social Security Numbers

In accordance with Federal and State Laws, the New York State Education Department requires that all applicants for professional licensure provide their Federal Social Security Number (SSN). Individuals without a SSN will be assigned a random, computer generated nine-digit identifier. The agency will use the SSN or assigned identifier to maintain accurate license and registration records. This information may be shared with other State or Federal agencies, consistent with applicable laws and Departmental policy, but will otherwise be kept confidential.

The specific statutory authority for requiring Federal Social Security Numbers is in the following: Federal Law-Privacy Act of 1974 (Section 7 of P.L., 93-579); Welfare Reform Act of 1996 (42 USCA 666(a)), New York State Law-Title 8, Section 6507, paragraph 4(e) Education Law; Section 5 of the NYS Tax Law.


Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, please see the specific requirements for your profession. For more information regarding reasonable accommodations, see the Office of the Professions Request for Reasonable Testing Accommodations form ( PDF 23 KB) or call 518-474-3817, TDD/TTY 518-473-1426. You may also fax a message 24 hours a day to 518-474-1449 or email us at op4info@mail.nysed.gov.

Last Updated: September 16, 2010