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Licensee Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for frequently asked questions regarding the BreEZe Online System.

Click on a question below to view the answer:

1. What is the fastest way to renew my license?
Your Registered Nurse license can be renewed in one of three ways: via the Internet, in the office, or through the mail.

Online:
The fastest and most convenient way to renew your license is via the Internet using BreEZe Online Services at www.breeze.ca.gov.

You must have a California RN license that expires within the next 90 days OR is delinquent by no more than 8 years from the last expiration date and a major credit card to renew online.

If all required information has been entered and your renewal transaction has been successful, you should receive a printable receipt for proof of renewal. Your license record files should be updated within 72 hours. If you do not receive a receipt, contact the BRN at (916) 322-3350.

Office:
The next fastest way to renew a license is in person at the Board office. Please be aware that a new plastic license will not be issued at the Board office. Licenses are issued by mail and are generally received within 10 days of the licensee's visit. However, a fee of $2.00 may be paid for a letter confirming the renewal update. The Board of Registered Nursing's office is located at:

1747 North Market Blvd, Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95834

Proof of identification, proof of completion of 30 hours of continuing education (for active status), and the renewal fee in the form of check, money order, or exact cash (change is not available) is required.

 

Mail:
Renewals that are received through the mail take a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to update the record files, print, and mail the renewed license to the licensee. PLEASE NOTE: If you express mail the renewal fee to the Board, it will not expedite the processing time. Allow additional processing time for name or address changes.

2. If I overnight my renewal to you, how long will it take to be updated in your system?
Sending the renewal fee by overnight express mail will expedite the mailing time, but not the processing time. Renewals are processed in the order received. Renewal processing time is approximately 6-8 weeks to update the license record, print, and mail the renewed license.

3. If my renewal application is postmarked by the expiration date, am I able to continue working until the renewal has been updated in your computer system?
Section 121 of the Business and Professions Code provides that a nurse may work pending receipt of his/her renewed license providing the renewal fee has been submitted timely and all renewal requirements have been met. NOTE: Employers may have more stringent requirements.

4. Can I be issued an extension for my renewal?
No. There is no grace period from the time a license expires until it is renewed. A courtesy renewal notice is sent to the licensee approximately 3 months prior to the expiration date of the license. The renewal notice clearly states that there is a 6-8 week processing time for the renewal of the license. It is the responsibility of each RN to make sure his or her license is renewed in a timely manner.

5. My license has been renewed in your system. However, I still have not received my renewed pocket card, and my employer needs proof of renewal. How can I obtain proof that I've renewed by license?
Your employer may verify your renewed license online using the BreEZe License Verification system or by calling the Board at (916) 322-3350. You may also request a confirmation letter for a fee of $2.00 that verifies your license status.

6. Does the Board issue receipts for renewal payments?
The Board does not issue receipts, except in the instance that a cash payment has been made at the Board office, or that the license was renewed through the BreEZe system. Otherwise, your canceled check or the top portion of your money order can be used as your proof of payment.

7. Can you fax my employer proof that I've renewed my license?
The Board will not fax proof of renewal to employers or to any other agency. However, employers may verify an RN's renewal online using the BreEZe License Verification system or by calling the BRN at (916) 322-3350.

8. What is the earliest date that I can renew my license?
An RN's license cannot be renewed earlier than 3 months prior to the expiration date.

9. What if I am unable to complete the 30 contact hours needed for renewal? Can I get an extension?
No, the Board does not issue an extension. However, until the continuing education is completed, a license may be renewed in inactive status by payment of the renewal fee, and by checking the inactive box on the renewal notice. An RN cannot practice nursing in California with an inactive license.

Upon completion of the required continuing education, the license may be reactivated by submission of documentation verifying completion of 30 contact hours within the last two years. Upon receipt of this information, the license will be reactivated and the licensee can practice as an RN. Please note: This will not change the expiration date of the license.

10. What is the difference between a lapsed license and an inactive license?
A lapsed license is one in which the renewal fees have not been paid. An inactive license is one in which the renewal fees have been paid, but the continuing education requirement has not been met. Practice as a registered nurse in California is not permitted with either a lapsed or inactive license.

11. If I renew to inactive status, when does the license expire?
An inactive license has the same renewal cycle (2 years) as an active license. A licensee cannot practice as a registered nurse in the state of California on an inactive license. The inactive status maintains the license as current for the renewal period. If the RN chooses to return to active status during the renewal period, proof of completion of 30 contact hours must be submitted. There will be no additional fee at that time.

12. I am renewing my license, but I am not working as an RN at the present time. Should I check the "inactive" box on the renewal application?
If the continuing education has been met, a licensee may renew in an active status regardless of employment status. An inactive license means that the fees have been paid, but the required continuing education has not been met. Practice as a registered nurse in California is not permitted with an inactive license.

13. How do I change my license status from inactive to active?
To change a license from inactive to active status, an Inactive to Active License form must be submitted to the Board, and include proof of completion of 30 contact hours completed within the last two years (either copies of the Certificate(s) of Completion, OR the following information for each course taken: completion date, provider number, course name and number of contact hours).

Requests must be signed and dated. No additional fee is required. You may send your request via fax to (916) 574-7699, or mail it into the Board of Registered Nursing at:

PO Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

14. What can I do to become a nurse again after my license has lapsed?
If it has been less than eight years since the license has expired, a licensee can renew his or her license by paying the delinquent renewal fee of $205, and providing proof of completing 30 hours of continuing education taken within the last two years of the date renewing. If it has been longer than eight years, the RN must also provide proof of a current active license in another state. If the RN does not have a current, active license in another state, then the RN must apply for the 8 Year Retake Examination.

15. If I let my license lapse, will it negatively impact my record?
No. A lapsed license will not negatively impact an RN's record providing he or she is not practicing.

16. I am moving to another state. Should I renew my California RN license?
Many RNs who leave the state continue to maintain licensure in California. It is not necessary to reside or work in California to maintain an active RN license.

17. I am not currently working as an RN. Can I still hold an active license?
Yes. California does not require that you be working as an RN or reside within the state to maintain an active license.

18. What is the earliest date that will be accepted for continuing education credit for a delinquent renewal?
If the renewal is delinquent, contact hours must have been completed no more than 2 years prior to the date of submission.

19. I recently renewed my license. I received a letter from the Board stating "CE Certification not Signed or Personal Signature Missing." Why did I receive this letter?
When renewing an RN license to active status, the RN must sign the "Penalty of Perjury" statement, attesting to completion of the required contact hours. The license cannot be renewed to active status without the RN's signature. The letter must be signed and returned to the Board of Registered Nursing by fax at (916) 574-7699, or by mail at:

PO Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

20. If I make more than one payment for my renewal, which one will be refunded?
Whichever payment the Board receives first will be applied towards an RN's application. Any additional payments received thereafter will be refunded by check issued by the State. (Please note that refunds take 4-6 months to be issued).

21. I recently made a payment to your Board, and I am afraid that my check will bounce. Can I make a payment now to cover the dishonored check?
The Board of Registered Nursing cannot accept payment for a dishonored check until we have received notification from the bank.

22. I had made a payment for my license renewal and the check was returned. Can I pay my dishonored check with a credit card?
No. Payments for dishonored checks cannot be made by credit card. Payments must be submitted in the form of a cashier's check, money order, or certified check. Cash payments can also be made at the Board office.