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California License Verifications: An Employer’s Guide


If you are a California employer hiring for jobs that require professional licenses, you understand how important it is to ensure that candidates have up-to-date, proper licenses.

Did you know that a Bakersfield man was convicted of practicing medicine without a license twice in five years?

When you conduct California license verifications, you help to protect the clients and customers your organization serves while reducing your liability risks.

Based on our experience completing professional license verifications across many different industries, we put together this guide for California employers.

Let’s start now.

What is a Professional License Check in California?

A professional license check helps you confirm that your candidates’ licenses are valid and active and determine if they have been disciplined by applicable regulatory bodies.

To verify an applicant’s professional license, you must check with the institutions or boards that issue licenses and regulate licensed professionals within a specific industry.

Why Is it Important to Verify a Candidate’s License in California?

You should treat professional license verification as a crucial part of your California organization’s pre-employment screening process.

Here’s why it’s important to verify your applicants’ professional licenses:

  • Some applicants might forge licenses.
  • States have varying documentation and reporting requirements.
  • Some states only require people to voluntarily report disbarments or criminal convictions.
  • An applicant might have received disciplinary sanctions against his or her license.

When you request professional license verification services from iprospectcheck, you can obtain license information about an applicant in every state in which he or she has been licensed or has lived.

We help you gain a comprehensive picture of the applicant so that you can protect your clients and company by making fully-informed hiring decisions.

When Should I Verify a California Job Applicant’s License?

A professional license verification should be conducted at the time you conduct a California employment background check.

Under the California Fair Chance Act, employers with five or more employees cannot ask about criminal conviction information until after they make conditional job offers.

Since you have to wait until that time to conduct a criminal history background check, it makes sense to also wait until then to verify your candidates’ professional licenses.

Professional licenses also must be renewed at regular intervals. This makes it important for you to complete regular checks of your existing employees’ licenses to ensure they remain valid and that your employees have not been disciplined.

Some of the types of professions for which licenses should be verified in California include the following:

  • Healthcare professionals, including physicians, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, registered nurses, certified nurse’s aides, pharmacists, and others
  • Certified public accountants (CPAs)
  • Contractors, including pest control professionals, licensed general contractors, HVAC contractors, plumbers, electricians, and others
  • Cosmetologists
  • Massage therapists
  • Professional engineers
  • Architects
  • Psychologists
  • Real estate professionals

If your organization is regulated by a government agency that requires specialized licenses for certain employees, you should conduct professional license verifications whenever you are hiring for those types of positions.

What Shows up on a California License Verification Report?

When you request a California professional license verification, your report will show the following types of information:

  • Type of license
  • Issuance date
  • Expiration date
  • License/certification number
  • Whether the license is valid and current
  • Any disciplinary actions or sanctions

How Do I Verify a Professional License in California?

You can verify the professional licenses of your candidates and employees by contacting the board or agency that issued their licenses.

If your applicant or employee has previously lived in other states, you should also check the issuing board or agency in each of those jurisdictions.

Here’s how you can verify licenses for various professions in California.


If you are a medical facility that is hiring medical doctors, you can perform a medical license check on the website of the Medical Board of California by entering the doctor’s name or license number.

If your candidate is a doctor of osteopathy, you can search by the doctor’s name or license number on the website of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

General Professions

If you need to check the licenses of people in the general professions, you can go through the website of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

You’ll find a large list of the various licensing bodies in a drop-down menu, and you can search by name, license type, and license number.


If you are hiring for positions requiring contractors’ licenses, you can perform a search on the website of the Contractors State License Board.

You can perform this search by entering the contractor’s license number.

Real Estate Professionals

If you are looking for a real estate appraiser, you can check a candidate’s license by going to the website of the Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers.

You can enter the candidate’s name, address, and other information or scroll through the database list of licensed real estate appraisers in the state.

Should I Check Professional Licenses Myself or Work With iprospectcheck?

Like many other types of background information, professional license records are public records.

While you can try to check the professional licenses of your applicants by searching online, doing so is not always feasible.

Why should you count on us to provide this for you instead of doing it yourself?

Here are some of the advantages of working with iprospectcheck:

• Save time

Verifying professional licenses and checking other types of background information can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Trying to identify valid and reliable sources of data can be overwhelming.

When you hire us, you can free up your time to attend to other important tasks involved with running your business.

Instead of having your HR staff spend hours trying to track down background information and checking professional licenses, you can quickly boost their productivity by allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks.

Because of our extensive resources, we can also return license verification and background check reports quickly to our clients in as little as a few hours.

• Stay compliant

When you partner with a reliable background check company like iprospectcheck, you can be assured that you will always receive accurate, up-to-date, and legally compliant information.

Our verification and background check reports in California always comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the relevant state and local laws.

• Better organization

Conducting background checks and license verifications requires you to keep extensive documentation. When you work with iprospectcheck, we document everything that we do.

If your organization is audited, you will know where to find the information you need. We also help you to maintain consistency with all of your new hires.

• Peace of mind

Having iprospectcheck verify your applicants’ and employees’ licenses can give you peace of mind. You will know that all of your employees’ licenses were verified, and you’ll have proof in your background check reports.

• Convenience

Working with iprospectcheck is affordable, easy, and fast.

We are very efficient since we conduct in-depth background checks for employers in every state every day, all day long instead of only doing so once or twice per month in only one or a few states.

We already know where to source background and professional license information in all 50 states.

We also offer many other services in addition to professional license verifications. We perform education verifications, employment verifications, sex offender registry checks, criminal records checks, drug testing, and more.

Our comprehensive employment screening services help to fill in the gaps and provide you with a comprehensive picture of your candidates.

iprospectcheck: Your Trusted Partner for Fast, Accurate, Compliant California License Verifications

If your organization operates within a regulated industry and has positions that require licensure, you must check the licenses of both your candidates and your current employees.

If you fail to verify professional licenses, your company could face risks of negligent hiring lawsuits, and the people you serve could be in danger.

Our verifications team undergoes thorough training and has the requisite skills and resources to quickly obtain license data and other important background information.

With us as your partner, you can be confident that the background reports we provide are current, accurate, and FCRA-compliant.

To learn more about our services or to get a free quote, contact us today: (888) 808-9997

DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Know Before You Hire

About the Author
Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers is a highly accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience providing strategic vision and leadership to companies ranging from the fortune 500 to iprospectcheck, a company which he co-founded over a decade ago. Matthew is a valued consultant who is dedicated to helping companies create and implement efficient, cost effective and compliant employment screening programs. Matt has been a member of the Professional Background Screeners Association since 2009 . When not focused on iprospectcheck, he can be found spending time with his family, fly fishing, or occasionally running the wild rivers of the American west. A lifetime member of American Whitewater, Matt is passionate about protecting and restoring America’s whitewater rivers.