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
    • Initial License Fee - $280
    • Hard copy fingerprint processing fee - $49
  • How long does the application review process take?

    The review process will take approximately four 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 steps below to keep you informed of the status of your application. Communication will be sent via email. If you have not provided an email address to the CBA, the correspondence will be sent by mail.

    • Upon receipt of the application, the CBA will acknowledge your application has been received.
    • Within 30 days CBA staff will complete an initial review of the application and advise you of any outstanding documents required to complete your application.
    • Applications with outstanding documents will be placed in a pending status. If subsequent documentation is submitted to the CBA, staff will advise you of any remaining outstanding documents within 30 days.
    • When you have successfully met the requirements to obtain your license, the CBA will notify you and request the initial license fee.
  • 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. After you complete a Name Change Form or Address Change Form, it can be emailed to or mailed to 2450 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 300 Sacramento, CA 95833.


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.