Quick Guide: Renewal and Maintenance of Dental Assistant License in California

According to the Business and Professions Code, Section 1715, dental licenses, be them for dentists or dental assistants, expire on the last day of your birth month. What’s more, this happens every two years and will also be determined by the licensee’s birth year, as well. If, for instance, the licensee’s birth year is an odd number (1987), his or her license will expire once every two years, during odd number years (2013. 2015, 2017, 2019, etc.)

Do keep in mind that it’s considered a criminal offense to perform any duties with an expired, inactive, or canceled license. Thankfully, however, renewal notices will be mailed to you about three months (90 days) in advance before the expiration date. So, if you are too busy or have too much on your mind to keep track of this issue, you will receive a timely reminder to renew your dental assistant license. If your renewal notice is not going to be received within two months before the expiration date, you can renew your license online.

It’s good to remember that renewals submitted via mail will process in the order that they were received and can take up anywhere in between 4 to 6 weeks before being updated and sent back to you. Online renewals, on the other hand, will be processed immediately and should be back in your hands within 10 to 15 business days. Do keep in mind that any incomplete renewal applications, be it by mail or online, will most likely result in additional processing time.

What Are the Renewal Requirements?

There are three types of renewals when it comes to dental assistance licenses in California. These are Active, Inactive, and First Time. All three of these have almost the same requirements:

  • A fully completed, signed, and dated renewal form
  • Disclosure of any license discipline issued by a government agency or other such disciplinary body.
  • If applicable, the disclosure of any criminal convictions since the last renewal.
  • A completed Dental Healthcare Workforce Survey
  • Licensees are also required to submit their fingerprints. Luckily, however, those who are required to do so will be notified in writing before receiving their renewal application. Prints are only needed once, but you will have to confirm with every renewal application that you have provided a full set of prints in the past.
  • The renewal payment.
  • A satisfactory completion of 25 continuing education hours.

These requirements mentioned above apply for all Active Renewals. When it comes to Inactive and First Time Renewals, most of them also apply except for the continuing education.

According to the  Business and Professions Code Section 1752.6“a registered dental assistant licensed on and after January 1, 2010, shall provide evidence of successful completion of a board-approved course in the application of pit and fissure sealants prior to the first expiration date of his or her license that requires the completion of continuing education as a condition of renewal”.


Together with Dental Specialties Institute, Inc, you can fulfill your continuing education requirements on many different courses. Feel free to contact us for any further information.