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Important Information About License Status Terms: "Inactive" v. "Retired" v. "Surrender"

Quite often the Board's staff receives inquiries for advice on how to handle license status issues from licensees who are retiring from practice, who are moving out of state or country, or who for whatever reason have no need to keep their licenses in active status. These licensees do not want their licenses to slip into delinquent or canceled status due to failure to pay the active renewal fees. We often are asked by such licensees if they can "retire" their licenses. Occasionally we are asked if they can simply "surrender" their licenses. The Board does not have the authority to place a license in a "retired" status. Further, licenses may only be "surrendered" as a settlement in a disciplinary case after charges have been filed. Clearly, this would not be a suitable disposition for a licensee simply choosing to retire or to move out of state. Fortunately, however, there is a very viable and convenient alternative for such individuals.

Psychologists retiring from practice or leaving the state or country may choose to place their licenses on inactive status. The opportunity to place your license on inactive status coincides with your renewal cycle. You would simply mark the “inactive” option on the renewal application (whether online or paper), and remit the inactive renewal fee. When a license is placed on "inactive," the biennial (every two years) renewal fee is reduced from the active fee of $420 to the inactive fee of $50. Further, when a license is inactive, the requirements for continuing education are waived. Clearly, for the genuinely retired psychologist, placing the license in "inactive" status has true advantages.

It must be made clear that having a psychologist license on "inactive" status means that the holder of the inactive license cannot engage in the practice of psychology; however, an "inactive" person may use the title "psychologist." To engage in the practice of psychology while holding an inactive license would result in charges of unlicensed practice, which is a criminal action, and in subsequent discipline against the license.

To return to "active" status, an "inactive" person need only pay the active renewal fee and certify to meeting continuing education requirements.