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California Board of Accountancy

Initial Licensing FAQs

Application and Status

  • How can I obtain an application for CPA licensure?

    You can obtain the Application for CPA Licensure on the CBA website or by contacting the Initial Licensing Unit by email at or by telephone at (916) 561-1701 and request that one be mailed to you.

  • How much does it cost to apply for the license?

    CPA Licensure and Application Fees

    • Initial Application - $250
    • Hard copy fingerprint processing fee - $49
  • How long does the application review process take?

    The review process will take approximately four to six weeks from the date the application file is complete. If your application is approved for licensure, the CBA will send you a notification with instructions on completing the initial licensure process and obtaining a license number.

  • How do I know the status of my application?

    The CBA takes the following steps to keep you informed of the status of your application:

    • Upon receipt of the application, the CBA will send you an acknowledgment card that your application has been received.
    • The CBA will mail a status letter following staff's initial review of the application. This letter will advise you of any outstanding documents required to complete your application.
    • If your application is not yet complete, the CBA will send a second status letter advising you of any remaining documents still outstanding approximately 60 days following receipt of the initial application.
    • Applications with outstanding documents following issuance of the 60-day status letter will be placed in a pending status. If subsequent documentation is submitted to the CBA, the pending application will be reactivated, and an additional status letter will be sent.
    • When all documents have been received to complete your application, the CBA will mail a letter advising that your file is complete and is in the review process.
  • Do I need to notify the CBA of an address or name change?

    Yes. To keep you informed of the status of your application, it is important that you notify the CBA of any address or name change. If your address has changed, please complete and submit the Name Change Form.


Educational Requirements

Experience Requirements

Other Requirements

License Approval

  • What is required after my license is approved?

    Upon pre-approval of your California CPA license application, you will be required to pay an initial license fee. The initial license fee is independent of the application processing fee. The initial license fee is calculated based on the date of licensure and first expiration date of the new license. Upon receipt of the initial license fee, the CBA will mail you a congratulatory letter with your CPA license number and CPA wall certificate. You may not engage in the practice of public accountancy or use the CPA designation until you have received your CPA license number from the CBA.

  • When will I receive the wall certificate?

    Each applicant will receive a CPA wall certificate, suitable for framing, approximately 15 days after payment of the initial CPA license fee. If a CPA wall certificate has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you may request a duplicate by completing and submitting the Wall Certificate/Pocket ID Replacement Request to the CBA.

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