Respiratory Care Board of California

Applicant FAQ's

How do I apply for initial licensure as a respiratory care practitioner (RCP)?

To access application forms and instructions, please click on the ‘For Applicants’ tab on our web site. Here you can fill-in and print out the application forms to submit to our office. If you prefer, you can also contact our office at 916.999.2190 or toll free (in California) at 866.375.0386, and request an application packet be mailed to you.

I am currently licensed in another state. How do I apply for a license in California?

The application process for out-of-state licensees is very similar to the initial application process for those residing in California. California does not have reciprocity with any states, therefore, you will need to apply for a Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) license issued by the Respiratory Care Board to practice in California. However, if you have already earned your CRT and/or RRT credentials, you will not be required to retake an initial licensing exam. You will also be required to have proof of your credential, out of state license, and education requirements sent directly to our office.

To access application forms and instructions, please click on the ‘For Applicants’ tab on our web site. Here you can fill-in and print out the application forms to submit to our office. If you prefer, you can also contact our office at 916.999.2190, and request an application packet be mailed to you. You will find more detailed information regarding initial licensing requirements on the Application Instruction Form.

If I am applying from out of state, can I submit Live Scan (electronic) fingerprints not rolled in California?

No, Live Scan fingerprinting is for California residents. Results from non-California Live Scan fingerprinting services will not transfer from state to state. If you are applying from outside California, you will need to have two sets of fingerprints rolled with ink on designated cards. Fingerprint cards should be available at a local fingerprinting service facility; otherwise you may contact the Board to request these cards be sent to you. You should include the two fingerprint cards along with your Application for Licensure, as well as an additional $49 to cover the state and federal background check fees.

Once I've filed my application, how long before I am issued a work permit?

A work permit is issued for a period of 90 days, generally within 10 days from the time the Board receives:

  • A complete application;
  • Fingerprint clearance, or if criminal, disciplinary or substance abuse exists, the Board's Enforcement Unit must determine that a work permit may be issued;
  • Verification of graduation or certification of upcoming graduation by program director which is completed on the front of the Application for Licensure form; and
  • Verification of your credential if you have already taken and passed the CRT or RRT examination(s).

I received a deficiency notice. How do I rectify this issue?

Please read the letter carefully to determine what is deficient from your application, and what you will need to do to rectify the problem. You can always contact the Board if you have additional questions.

I have held a driver license in multiple states. Do I need to submit driving records from each of those states?

You will need to submit certified driving records from ANY state where you have held a license within the past 10 years. Please contact each state’s DMV and request that they certify and provide the most complete driving record to the Board. Please note: the H5 and H6 driving records are California forms only. H5 and H6 forms may not be relevant to other state DMVs.

What is the Law & Professional Ethics course, and will I need to complete this course as part of my Respiratory Care Practitioner license application process?

The Law and Professional Ethics Course is a course designed to inform RCP applicants of the expectations put upon them as professional practitioners in the State of California, and is required to be taken by all RCP applicants prior to initial licensure. The Law and Professional Ethics Course covers:

  • Obligations of licensed respiratory care practitioners to patients under their care;
  • Responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners to report illegal activities occurring in the work place; and
  • Acts that jeopardize licensure and licensure status.
The course must be taken through the California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC), or the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Before deciding which course to take, applicants are encouraged to visit each provider’s web site to review additional information pertaining to the administration of each course. Each applicant can then select the course provider that best meets his/her individual needs. You can access the CSRC’s course at or the AARC’s course at .

Do I need to submit verification of other health-related licenses to the Board?

Yes, license verifications from any agency where you have held a health related license (in California or out-of-state) must be sent directly to the Board.

If I have a prior conviction(s), am I still eligible to receive a license?

Having a prior conviction(s) does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining a license as a Respiratory Care Practitioner in California. Your application will need to be reviewed individually, and on a case-by-case basis, before the Board can make a final decision. For more information regarding penalty determination guidelines, please visit the Denial/Discipline Information page at: Denial/Discipline Information.

What documents do I need to submit for my prior conviction(s)?

If you answered yes to question 18, 19, and/or 20 on the Application for Licensure, you must submit the following with your Application for Licensure:

  • CERTIFIED (by the court) court documents, including the original complaint, plea, minute orders, and final disposition *
  • CERTIFIED (by the arresting agency) arrest/citation/police report *
* Certified documents are obtained directly from and certified by the court and arresting agency. Do not send copies, they will not be accepted.

If I received a conviction while I was a juvenile, do I need to report that on my Application for Licensure?

No, you are not required to disclose convictions/adjudications that occurred while you were a juvenile.

I contacted the convicting court and/or the arresting/citing agency to obtain certified documents for my prior arrest(s) and/or conviction(s), however they no longer have the records on file. What do I do?

If the court and/or arresting agency advised you the requested records have been destroyed or purged, you must obtain and submit a signed statement from the agency on its official letterhead, indicating the records are no longer available.

How can I appeal the denial of my application?

If your application is denied, you have a right to a hearing under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of part 1 Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code if a written request for a hearing is made within sixty (60) days after service of the notice of denial (service is effective the date of mailing of the notice). Unless a written request for a hearing is made within the 60-day period, the right to a hearing is deemed waived. All hearing requests must be sent by registered mail to ensure receipt by the Board.

How long will it take to be licensed?

The application approval time generally takes between two and six weeks. However, the amount of time depends on how soon the Board receives all required documentation (i.e. fingerprint responses, successful exam passage, official transcripts, license and credential verifications, etc.). To help expedite the process, you are encouraged to request and follow-up with any entities that will be submitting information needed to complete the application process (i.e. registrar, NBRC, other state licensing board).

How do I report a change of name and/or address?

Each applicant must have a current address of record on file with the Board. If during the application process your address of record changes, you must notify the Board, in writing, within 14 days. Your notification must include your previous address and new addresses, and your signature. The Board will accept requests received by mail or fax. You can also provide your address change electronically by clicking on the following link: Online Address Change Request.

To process a name change you must submit acceptable documentation which includes a copy of a marriage certificate or divorce decree (a copy of a driver license or social security card is NOT acceptable documentation).

How long do I have to complete the application process?

Pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 1399.321, each applicant shall have one year from the time his or her initial application is received by the Board, to meet the licensure requirements and complete the application and initial licensure process. If the application and initial licensure process is not completed within the one-year period, the application shall be deemed abandoned.