Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy

Apply for a License

Please select the license type you wish to apply for to download the application and instructions.

For questions regarding a specific application, please contact us.

To inquire about the status of an application, please contact us.

Fee Schedule

Personal Licenses

Attention Applicants:

Information for Military Personnel and Their Spouses/Domestic Partners

National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Practitioner Self-Query Service

Effective October 1, 2007, the Department of Justice and FBI changed the fees for fingerprint background checks. The fees are detailed below:

DOJ $32
FBI $17

If you are an out of state applicant who is unable to submit fingerprints via LiveScan, please submit two professionally rolled fingerprint cards along with a check for $49.00 made payable to the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Site Licenses

Attention Applicants:
NOTE: Change of Ownership: A transfer of beneficial interest in the facility licensed by the board, in a single transaction or in a series of transactions, to any person or entity, which transfer results in the transferee’s holding 50% or more of the beneficial interest in the licensed facility shall complete the appropriate licensing application and submit all required documents as instructed in a change of ownership application.  All change of ownerships will be issued a new license number.

NOTE: Change of Location: A change in physical location to the facility requires a new application to be submitted with all required application processing fees and supporting documents. The board must approve and issue a new license prior to conducting business in the new physical location.

Individuals required to be fingerprinted must either have their fingerprints processed via Live Scan in California or submit a set of two professionally rolled fingerprint cards along with a check for $49.00 made payable to the California State Board of Pharmacy. 

Request Fingerprint Cards

Effective March 19, 2012, the fee for the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation to process a fingerprint background check is $49.00.

DOJ $32
FBI $17

If you are an out of state applicant who is unable to submit fingerprints via LiveScan, please submit two professionally rolled fingerprint cards along with a check for $49.00 made payable to the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Centralized Hospital Packaging Pharmacy License

A licensed centralized hospital packaging pharmacy may prepare medications as outlined in Article 7.6 (commencing with Section 4128) of the Business and Professions Code for administration only to inpatients within its own general acute care hospital and one or more general acute care hospitals if the hospitals are under common ownership and located within a 75-mile radius of each other.  In order to be issued a centralized hospital packaging pharmacy license, the applicant must possess a current and valid hospital pharmacy license with the board.

Clinic

The Board is authorized to issue permits to any of the following types of clinics pursuant to Sections 4180 and 4190 of the Business and Professions Code:

Business and Professions Code 4180 et seq.

(1)  A licensed nonprofit community clinic (Health & Safety Code section 1204 (a)(1));.
(2)  A licensed free clinic (Health & Safety Code section 1204 (a)(1));
(3)  A primary care clinic owned or operated by a county (Health & Safety Code section
      1206(b);
(4)  A clinic operated by a federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization (Health &
      Safety Code section 1206(c));
(5)  A clinic operated by a primary care community or free clinic, operated on separate
      premises from a licensed clinic, and that is open no more than 20 hours per week
      (Health & Safety Code section 1206(h));
(6)  A student health center clinic operated by a public institution of higher education
      (Health & Safety Code section 1206(j);
(7)  A nonprofit multispecialty clinic (Health & Safety Code section 1206(l);

Business and Professions Code 4190 et seq.

(8)  A surgical clinic licensed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 1204
      of the Health and Safety Code;
(9)  An outpatient setting accredited by an accreditation agency as defined in Section
      1248 of the Health and Safety Code.
(10) An ambulatory surgical center certified to participate in the Medicare Program under

Community Pharmacy

The licensure of a pharmacy is a critical process. No examination is required of the owners, and the owners can be non-pharmacists. However, the premise is highly regulated.

The board performs a thorough investigation of the application for a pharmacy permit, which includes criminal background checks, completion of rules of professional conduct and financial reporting for all owners. The pharmacy is also required to meet security, sanitation and record keeping requirements and must have an area for confidential patient consultation.

Every pharmacy must have a pharmacist-in-charge who is responsible for the day to day operations (Business and Professions Code section 4054).

The Pharmacy License application forms may be obtained by download only.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application. Any forms that were previously submitted with another application will not be pulled from the file. You must complete and submit all of the requested information.

Designated Representative (Exemptee)

Wholesale operations that distribute dangerous drugs or dangerous devices must be supervised by a registered pharmacist or an individual approved by the board as a designated representative. These companies may not operate unless the pharmacist or designated representative is physically on the licensed premises. To ensure proper control at all times, the board recommends that there be more than one person approved to supervise operations. The Designated Representative application forms may be obtained by download only. Click the appropriate link for forms: Designated Representative for a Wholesaler/Non-Resident Wholesaler or Designated Representative for a Vet-Food Animal Drug Retailer.

Designated Representative-3PL

An individual approved by the board to provide sufficient and qualified supervision of a third-party logistics providerís place of business. The designated representative-3PL shall protect the public health and safety in the handling, storage, warehousing, distribution, and shipment of dangerous drugs and dangerous devices.

Hospital Pharmacy

The board currently issues licenses to hospital pharmacies as defined in Business and Professions Code section 4029 to mean and include a pharmacy licensed by the board, located within any licensed hospital, institution, or establishment that maintains and operates organized facilities for the diagnosis, care, and treatment of human illnesses to which persons may be admitted for overnight stay and that meets all of the requirements of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the board. A hospital pharmacy also includes a pharmacy that may be located outside of the hospital, in another physical plant that is regulated under a hospital's consolidated license issued pursuant to Section 1250.8 of the Health and Safety Code. As a condition of licensure by the board, the pharmacy in another physical plant shall provide pharmaceutical services only to registered hospital patients who are on the premises of the same physical plant in which the pharmacy is located. The pharmacy services provided shall be directly related to the services or treatment plan administered in the physical plant.

AB 377 authorizes the board to issue a specialty license of a centralized hospital packaging pharmacy to a currently license hospital pharmacy.  This specialty license allows the centralized hospital packaging pharmacy to prepare medications, by performing specified functions, for administration only to inpatients within its own general acute care hospital and one or more general acute care hospitals if the hospitals are under common ownership, as defined, and within a 75-mile radius of each other.

"Exempt Hospital" is a licensed hospital that contains 100 or fewer beds, and does not employ a full-time pharmacist, does not employ a full-time pharmacist. Such exempt hospitals may purchase drugs at wholesale for administration by or under the supervision of a physician to registered inpatients, emergency patients, or patients registered as outpatients of a rural hospital. An exempt hospital must retain the services of a pharmacist consultant to monitor and review the pharmaceutical services provided by the hospital to inpatients of the hospital and the dispensing of drugs by physicians to outpatients.

Hypodermic Needle and Syringe

A pharmacist or physician may, without a prescription, furnish a hypodermic needle and syringe for human use to administer insulin or adrenaline. A pharmacist or a veterinarian may, without a prescription, furnish hypodermic needles and syringe for use on poultry or animals.

The board can issue a permit to a firm authorizing the sale and dispensing of hypodermic syringes and needles for animals and poultry. Otherwise, the sale of needles and syringes must only be made by a pharmacy.

The Hypodermic Needle and Syringe license application forms may be obtained by download only.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application. Any forms that were previously submitted with another application will not be pulled from the file. You must complete and submit all of the requested information.

Intern Pharmacist

An "Intern pharmacist" is a person registered with the board who has completed the educational requirements determined by the board. An intern pharmacist may perform any activity restricted to a pharmacist, while under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. The Intern license application forms may be obtained by download only.

Non Resident Pharmacy

A nonresident pharmacy that ships, mails or delivers prescription medications to California residents must be registered with the board. Criteria for registration is that the pharmacy must be licensed and in good standing in the resident state. The pharmacy must maintain an 800 number for consumer access to a pharmacist and comply with California's triplicate law for filling Schedule II controlled prescriptions. California licensure is not required of the pharmacists practicing in these facilities, and the pharmacy must comply with the laws of the resident state.

The nonresident pharmacy license application forms may be obtained by download only.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application. Any forms that were previously submitted with another application will not be pulled from the file. You must complete and submit all of the requested information.

Non Resident Wholesaler

Out-of-state manufacturers or wholesalers of dangerous drugs or dangerous devices doing business in California must obtain an out-of-state dangerous drug or dangerous device distributor's license from the board.

Under California law, the name used to describe any business, located outside California that ships drugs into California at wholesale, will change on January 1, 2006, from the former name, out of state distributor, to nonresident wholesaler. For conventional use, the board refers to such a business as a nonresident wholesaler.

The non-resident wholesaler license application forms may be obtained by download only.

Nonresident Third Party Logistics Provider

“Third-party logistics provider” means an entity that provides or coordinates warehousing or other logistics services for a dangerous drug or dangerous device in intrastate or interstate commerce on behalf of a manufacturer, wholesaler, or dispenser of the dangerous drug or dangerous device, but does not take ownership of the dangerous drug or dangerous device, nor have responsibility to direct its sale or disposition.  To conduct business with California, a nonresident third-party logistics provider must be licensed by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

California law requires that an applicant for a nonresident third-party logistics provider license at all times maintain a valid, unexpired license, permit, or registration to conduct business in its home-state and requires an applicant to provide a license verification from the home-state licensing authority of its license status as a third-party logistics provider.

Pharmacist

To be licensed as a pharmacist in California, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy or a Pharm.D. degree from a ACPE accredited college of pharmacy program.

Graduates from a college of pharmacy program outside the U.S. must pass the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and earn a score of at least 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE). If you are a foreign graduate, you must complete the foreign graduate assessment process of the board to demonstrate the equivalency of your education to that of domestic graduates (more information regarding foreign pharmacy graduates).

  • Have completed 1,500 intern experience hours or verified licensure as a pharmacist in another state for at least one year.
  • Have taken and passed the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the California Pharmacist Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE) after December 31, 2003, or have passed a written and practical examination given by the board before January 1, 2004.

The Registered Pharmacist application forms may be obtained by download only.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application.

Pharmacy Technician

A Pharmacy Technician is an individual who, under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist, performs packaging, manipulative, repetitive, or other non-discretionary tasks related to the processing of a prescription in a licensed pharmacy, but excludes all functions restricted to a registered pharmacist. To work as a pharmacy technician in California, you must possess and keep current registration as a pharmacy technician. The Pharmacy Technician application forms may be obtained by download only. Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application.

More FAQs for Pharmacy Technician Applicants

Sterile Injectable Compounding Pharmacy License

A pharmacy may not compound sterile drug products in California unless it is specially licensed with the board as a sterile compounding pharmacy.

All pharmacies that compound sterile drug products must follow board regulations for sterile compounding. These regulations are found in Title 16 California Code of Regulations as Article 7, beginning with section 1751.

If a nonresident pharmacy is shipping compounded sterile drug products into California, this pharmacy must:

  • Be licensed as a nonresident pharmacy
  • Be seperately licensed with the board as a nonresident sterile compounding pharmacy, AND
  • Comply with board regulations for sterile compounding

The Sterile Compounding License application forms may be obtained by download only. Click the appropriate link for forms: Sterile Compounding License application or Nonresident Sterile Compounding application.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application. Any forms that were previously submitted with another application will not be pulled from the file. You must complete and submit all of the requested information.

Veterinary Food Animal Drug Retailer

"Veterinary food-animal drug retailer" is an area, place, or premises, other than a pharmacy, that holds a valid license from the California Board of Pharmacy as a wholesaler and, in and from which veterinary drugs for food-producing animals are dispensed pursuant to a prescription from a licensed veterinarian.

Wholesaler

A wholesaler permit is required before any firm or organization may distribute, broker or transact the sale or return of dangerous drugs or dangerous devices in California. Wholesalers sell and distribute dangerous drugs and dangerous devices (also called "legend" items or prescription-required drugs and devices) to other business entities who are authorized by law to purchase the items or to licensed health care providers who are authorized by law to possess the dangerous drugs and dangerous devices. Wholesalers are not authorized to sell or distribute these items directly to patients unless the wholesaler is delivering dialysis drugs and devices to home dialysis patients in case(s) or full shelf package lots (see section 4054 of the California Business & Professions Code).

A wholesaler permit is also required of customs brokers who sell for resale or negotiate for distribution any dangerous drug or device included in section 4022 of the Business and Professions Code. A wholesaler permit is also required for reverse distributors who arrange for the destruction of outdated or damaged dangerous drugs or devices.

The wholesaler license application forms may be obtained by download only.

Please follow the application instructions completely. Failure to submit the necessary items will delay the processing of your application. You will be notified in writing of any deficiencies in your application. Any forms that were previously submitted with another application will not be pulled from the file. You must complete and submit all of the requested information.

Third Party Logistics Provider

Third-party logistics provider means an entity that provides or coordinates warehousing or other logistic services for a dangerous drug or dangerous device in intrastate or interstate commerce on behalf of a manufacturer, wholesaler, or dispenser of the dangerous drug or dangerous device, but does not take ownership of the dangerous drug or dangerous device, nor have responsibility to direct its sale or disposition. A third-party logistics provider must be licensed prior to shipping, selling mailing, warehousing, distributing or delivering dangerous drugs or dangerous devices to a site located in this state or selling, brokering, warehousing, or distributing dangerous drugs or devices within this state.

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacy Technician Applicants

What are the pharmacy technician licensure requirements?
The pharmacy technician licensure requirements are specified below in section 4202 of the Business and Professions Code and further defined in Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 1793.6.
Business and Professions Code Section
4202. Pharmacy Technician: License Requirements for Education, Experience; Board Regulations; Criminal Background Check; Discipline

(a) The board may issue a pharmacy technician license to an individual if he or she is a high school graduate or possesses a general educational development certificate equivalent, and meets any one of the following requirements:

(1) Has obtained an associate's degree in pharmacy technology.
(2) Has completed a course of training specified by the board.
(3) Has graduated from a school of pharmacy recognized by the board.
(4) Is certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

(b) The board shall adopt regulations pursuant to this section for the licensure of pharmacy technicians and for the specification of training courses as set out in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). Proof of the qualifications of any applicant for licensure as a pharmacy technician shall be made to the satisfaction of the board and shall be substantiated by any evidence required by the board.

(c) The board shall conduct a criminal background check of the applicant to determine if an applicant has committed acts that would constitute grounds for denial of licensure, pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 480) of Division 1.5.

(d) The board may suspend or revoke a license issued pursuant to this section on any ground specified in Section 4301.

(e) Once licensed as a pharmacist, the pharmacy technician registration is no longer valid and the pharmacy technician license shall be returned to the board within 15 days.

Title 16, California Code of Regulation Section
1793.6. Training Courses Specified by the Board.
A course of training that meets the requirements of Business and Professions Code section 4202 (a)(2) is:

(a) Any pharmacy technician training program accredited by the American Society of Health--System Pharmacists,

(b) Any pharmacy technician training program provided by a branch of the federal armed services for which the applicant possesses a certificate of completion, or

(c) Any other course that provides a training period of at least 240 hours of instruction covering at least the following:

(1) Knowledge and understanding of different pharmacy practice settings.
(2) Knowledge and understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician in relationship to other pharmacy personnel and knowledge of standards and ethics, laws and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy.
(3) Knowledge and ability to identify and employ pharmaceutical and medical terms, abbreviations and symbols commonly used in prescribing, dispensing and record keeping of medications.
(4) Knowledge of and the ability to carry out calculations required for common dosage determination, employing both the metric and apothecary systems.
(5) Knowledge and understanding of the identification of drugs, drug dosages, routes of administration, dosage forms and storage requirements.
(6) Knowledge of and ability to perform the manipulative and record-keeping functions involved in and related to dispensing prescriptions.
(7) Knowledge of and ability to perform procedures and techniques relating to manufacturing, packaging, and labeling of drug products.

Authority cited: Sections 4005, 4007, 4038, 4115 and 4202, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Sections 4005, 4007, 4038, 4115 and 4202, Business and Professions Code.

Can a technician still be "grandfathered" in?
No. What was frequently referred to as grandfathering in pharmacy technicians was a method by which an individual could use specific types of experience gained in a pharmacy to qualify for registration as a pharmacy technician. However, California law changed on January 1, 2004, and this type of experience is no longer a qualifying method.

I am a graduate of a college of pharmacy in another country. Can I qualify for registration because of my education as a pharmacist?
No. You will need to qualify by one of the methods listed in the above. The board cannot accept this degree as equivalent to the associate of arts degree in pharmacy technology. Often applicants such as yourself take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.

When is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination given?
This examination is given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Here is a link to their web site: https://www.ptcb.org/

How will I know when the Board of Pharmacy has received my application since the board is not always able to provide status information?
You may wish to confirm with your bank if your check has been processed as verification the board received your application.  The board cashiers any check it receives promptly.

To verify if your license has been issued, please visit the board’s website under “Verify a License”, as the processing time to receive your license wallet certificate is 4-6 weeks from the date the license is issued.
 

Frequently Asked Questions for Site License Applicants

What do I do if I've never received my permit?

If you know that the board issued you a permit but you never received it, submit a Request for Duplicate/Replacement License form (17A-36).

What is the application processing time?

After completion of all deficiencies, the processing time is 60 days. If your application has no deficiencies, the process time is shorter.