The California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) has the authority to issue two distinctly different temporary licenses to 1) reciprocity applicants and 2) intern/ residency applicants (veterinary school graduates who have been accepted into a qualifying internship or residency program). These temporary licenses are valid for 12 months and cannot be renewed. Each temporary license category has different requirements and a summary of these is provided below. Additional information is available in the Reciprocity and Intern/Residency Temporary License Application Instructions.
Reciprocity Temporary License
A person is eligible for a reciprocity temporary license if the applicant:
- Holds a current and valid license in good standing in another state, Canadian province or United States territory.
- Within three years immediately preceding filing an application for licensure in this state, has practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a minimum of two years and completed a minimum of 2,944 hours of clinical practice.
- Passed the national examination (with an acceptable score as defined) as part of his or her examination for original licensure.
- Has graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the VMB or possesses a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Equivalence (PAVE).
- Passes the Veterinary Law Examination (VLE).
- Agrees to complete an approved California Curriculum program on regionally specific and important diseases during the period of the temporary license. (The CVMA Temporary License Curriculum program will fulfill this requirement.)
- Completes and returns to the VMB
- Temporary license application
- Supervisor agreement
To convert the Temporary license to a permanent license an applicant must:
Complete an approved California Curriculum program on regionally specific and important diseases during the period of temporary licensure.
- Obtain live scan fingerprinting and submit this to the VMB.
- Submit all documentation to the VMB with fees to obtain a permanent license
A reciprocity applicant receiving a temporary license is authorized to practice veterinary medicine in this state under the supervision of a California licensed veterinarian in good standing. The supervising veterinarian is responsible for ensuring that the temporary licensee's veterinary services are consistent with those that would be provided by a veterinarian in good standing. A supervisor's responsibilities include having a least one face-to-face observation and review of the temporary licensee's veterinary services per week and documenting such observations. The supervising veterinarian must be an owner, principal or employee of the veterinary practice employing the temporary licensee and have sufficient experience and training to supervise the temporary licensee.
A temporary licensee who terminates his or her relationship with his or her supervisor cannot practice veterinary medicine until an application for a new supervisor is submitted to the VMB. A temporary licensee who violates any law or regulation relating to the practice of veterinary medicine is subject to disciplinary action.
Business and Professions Code, Section 4848 – Examination requirements; Waiver: Extension of Temporary License
Internship/Residency Temporary License
A person is eligible for an internship/residency temporary license if an applicant is accepted into an internship or residency program that meets all of the following requirements:
- Program participants have either graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the VMB or possess a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) and hold a current valid license in good standing in another state, Canadian province, or United States territory.
- Program participants are under the direct supervision of a California licensed veterinarian in good standing who has been certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in one of the enumerated specialties.
- Two or more AVMA board certified specialists are on the staff of the veterinary practice.
- The program undergoes annual evaluation and is approved by the California Veterinary Medical Association Internship and Residency Approval Program.
An intern receiving a temporary license is authorized to practice veterinary medicine only for activities performed in the course of, and incidental to, a qualifying internship or residency program and while under the direct supervision of an AVMA board certified specialist. The supervision requirements are similar to those required of a reciprocity temporary licensee, except that in addition to those requirements the supervisor is required to have daily face-to-face observation and review of the intern's veterinary services.
To convert the temporary license to a permanent license:
The Intern/Resident licensees must take and pass the California State Board Exam.
For further information concerning temporary licenses, contact the Veterinary Medical Board
- 916-263-2610, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm