Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

What types of professions does the Board license?

The Board licenses allopathic medical doctors (MDs) and physician assistants (PAs).

How can one check to see if an individual is licensed with the Board?

The Board’s website (http://www.maine.gov/md/) includes a link entitled “Find a Licensee in our Database”. Click on the link and then enter the individual’s name or license number and click on “search.” Key point:

  • If a physician or physician assistant is not licensed with the Board of Licensure in Medicine, he/she may be licensed with the Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure, which maintains a similar database of licensees: http://www.maine.gov/osteo/.

What are the basic qualifications for a license?

Physicians who are applying for a permanent medical license must, in general, meet the following:

  • Graduate from an approved medical school
  • Successfully complete all components of the national licensing examinations within the proscribed timeframe
  • Meet ONE of the following:
    • Successfully complete 36 months of ACGME-approved graduate medical education; or
    • Possess current certification with the American Board of Medical Specialties
  • Successfully pass the Board jurisprudence examination
  • Pay all applicable fees
  • Have no grounds to deny licensure pursuant to 32 M.R.S. § 3282-A(2) http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/32/title32sec3282-A.html.

Physician Assistants who are applying for a permanent medical license must, in general, meet the following:

  • Graduate from a physician assistant program approved by the Board
  • Successfully pass the national certifying examination administered by the NCCPA
  • Successfully pass the Board jurisprudence examination
  • Pay all applicable fees
  • Have no grounds to deny licensure pursuant to 32 M.R.S. § 3282-A(2) http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/32/title32sec3282-A.html.

Can International Medical School Graduates apply for a Maine medical license?

Yes. The Board licenses international medical school graduates (IMGs). To qualify for a Maine medical license, an IMG must:

  • Graduate from a medical school listed by the World Health Organization
  • Obtain a permanent certificate from the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (EFFMG). For more information regarding the ECFMG visit: https://www.ecfmg.org/.
  • Successfully complete all components of the national licensing examinations within the proscribed timeframe
  • Meet ONE of the following:
    • Successfully complete 36 months of ACGME-approved graduate medical education; or
    • Possess current certification with the American Board of Medical Specialties; or
    • Be granted a waiver by the Board of the 36 month of ACGME-approved graduate medical education for “exceptional circumstances” pursuant to Title 32 M.R.S. § 3271(6). http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/32/title32sec3271.html
  • Successfully pass the Board jurisprudence examination
  • Pay all applicable fees
  • Have no grounds to deny licensure pursuant to 32 M.R.S. § 3282-A(2) http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/32/title32sec3282-A.html

Can the Board grant a waiver of the time and attempt requirements of the national licensing examination?

Yes. An applicant may apply to the Board for a waiver of the time and attempt limits for the USMLE. The Board may grant a waiver based upon unusual or extenuating circumstances as determined by the Board in its sole discretion.

Is a license application confidential?

No. With limited exceptions, applications and the information contained therein is a public record for the purposes of the Maine Freedom of Access Law (1 M.R.S. § 401 et seq.). Public records are required by law to be provided upon request. Examples of information that is exempt from this requirement include confidential medical information and social security numbers. For more information regarding the Maine Freedom of Access Law visit the following website: https://www.maine.gov/foaa/.

What are the licensing fees?

A list of the various licensing fees can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/md/licensure/md-licensure.html.

Are license fees refundable in the event an applicant does not qualify for licensure?

No. First, filing an application requires work and research by Board staff.  Second, the Board operates solely from the fees obtained during the licensing and re-licensing process. Licensing fees are essential to the continued operation of the Board. That is why it is important to review and understand the qualifications for licensure BEFORE applying.

How does the Board verify medical education, graduate medical education, and passage of national medical examinations?

The Board utilizes the Federation Credential Verification Service (FCVS) of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). The FCVS verifies identity, medical education, graduate medical education, and examination history. In addition, the FCVS obtains verification of medical school and examination history for International Medical School Graduates (IMGs) from the ECFMG. For more information regarding the FCVS visit: https://www.fsmb.org/fcvs/.

Is the Board a member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)?

Yes. More information regarding the IMLC may be obtained at: https://imlcc.org/. Physician applicants to Maine may obtain an expedited medical license pursuant to the IMLC if they meet the following criteria:

  • Graduate from an accredited medical school, or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory.
  • Successful completion of ACGME or AOA accredited graduate medical education.
  • Passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA, or equivalent in no more than three attempts.
  • Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board.
  • Must not have any history of disciplinary actions against a medical license.
  • Must not have any criminal history.
  • Must not have any history of controlled substance actions against a medical license.
  • Must not currently be under investigation.
  • Physicians licensed in Maine who are interested in obtaining a license in another state through the IMLC must submit fingerprints or other biometric-based information for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the agency responsible for retaining Maine’s criminal records. Physicians may register for fingerprinting online at https://me.ibtfingerprint.com/. Physicians who do not register, will not be able to have their fingerprints taken. There is a one-time fee for this process. A letter of Qualification will not be issued by the Board until the results of the criminal background check have been received.

Are there different types of physician medical licenses?

Yes. A list of the different types of licenses is available on the Board’s website (http://www.maine.gov/md/licensure/license-types-status.html) and identified in the Chapter 1 Rule Regarding Physicians. Certain types of licenses do not allow a physician to practice clinical medicine. For more information please see the Chapter 1 Rule Regarding Physicians at: http://www.maine.gov/md/laws-statutes/rules-statutes.html.

Are there different types of physician assistant licenses?

Yes. Physician Assistants may have either a clinical or a non-clinical license. Physician Assistants who have a non-clinical license are not able to render any medical services because they do not have a plan of supervision registered with the Board. For more information please see the Joint Rule Regarding Physician Assistants at: http://www.maine.gov/md/laws-statutes/rules-statutes.html.

How does one start the license application process?

First, apply to establish a physician or physician assistant profile with the FCVS: https://www.fsmb.org/fcvs/. Applicants for the following licenses are exempt from this requirement:

  • Temporary Residency Certificates
  • Youth Camp Licenses
  • Telemedicine Consultative Registration

Second, complete the Uniform Application (UA) through the FCVS: https://www.fsmb.org/uniform-application/.

Third, successfully complete the Board’s jurisprudence examination.

Fourth, complete the State of Maine Addendum (“Addendum”) to the UA. Applicants will receive an email giving them access to the Addendum, which must completed and submitted to the Board with the application fees. Please note that license applications will not be processed until the Board receives the application fees. Applicants may use a credit card to pay the fees online or mail a check to the Board.

Fifth, submit an affidavit with an appropriately notarized photograph.

What is the jurisprudence examination?

The jurisprudence examination consists of Maine-specific laws and regulations regarding the practice of medicine. It must be successfully completed upon initial licensure and every four (4) years thereafter. The examination covers topics such as:

How does one prepare for and take the jurisprudence examination?

An online study guide is available to applicants. http://www.maine.gov/md/licensure/docs/Exam%20Study%20Guide%2007_08_15.pdf.

Applicants complete the jurisprudence examination online: https://www1.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/licensing/menu_display.pl.

What is the passing score for the jurisprudence examination?

75.

What happens if an applicant fails the jurisprudence examination?

If an applicant fails to attain a score of seventy-five (75) on the jurisprudence examination, the applicant will be required to re-take the examination on paper and score 100% or he/she may be required to appear for an interview before a committee of the Board.

How long does it take to obtain a license?

It depends on the type of license applied for, whether the applicant has an existing profile with the FCVS, and whether the application includes any negative information. In general, applications are processed within the following timeframes:

  • Permanent, Temporary, Administrative – 45-90 days
  • Emergency, Emeritus and Compact – 48 hours
  • Educational, Camp, Volunteer – 1-2 weeks

How can one check on the status of an application?

Applicants may check the Board’s website for updates regarding their applications using the “Check the Status of My Application” feature: http://www.maine.gov/md/. Using this feature, applicants type in their names and click on “search.” Key points:

  • If the applicant’s name does not appear, then the Board has not received the application.
  • If the applicant’s name does appear along with the word “Pending”, then the Board has received the application but a license has not yet been issued.
  • A “checklist” identifies what information has and has not been received by the Board. Applicants should review the checklist prior to contacting Board staff regarding the status of their applications.

What happens to applications containing negative information?

Applications with negative information, once complete, are reviewed by the Board during one of its monthly meetings. Following review, the Board may: issue the license, request additional information, or preliminarily deny the license.

Once a license is issued, how is it delivered?

Licenses are emailed to the email address provided by the applicant/licensee. The applicant/licensee can then download and print a copy of the license. Key points:

  • The email with the license will come from the following address: noreply@maine.gov.
  • Applicants should check their “spam” and “junk” email folders if the “checklist” indicates that a license was issued but they have not received the email.
  • Applicants should ensure that the Board staff has their most up-to-date email address.

When does a license expire?

In general, licenses are issued for a two-year period. However, the length of the initial license depends upon when the application is received and the applicant’s date of birth. Key points:

  • The licenses of individuals born in even-numbered years expires on the last day of the month of their birth in an even-numbered year.
  • The licenses of individuals born in odd-numbered years expires on the last day of the month of their birth in an odd-numbered year.
  • Individuals who are issued an initial license that expires less than six (6) months following its issuance pay only a pro-rated renewal fee of $150 (as opposed to $500).
  • Upon renewal, the license will expire in two (2) years on last day of the month of the individual’s month of birth.

What is the process for renewing a license?

As professionals, licensees are responsible for knowing when their licenses expire. The expiration date is tied directly to their date and year of birth, and appears on the license itself. 60 days prior to the expiration of the license, the Board will email a notice of upcoming expiration and need to renew to the email address provided by the applicant/licensee. No further notices will be provided. Key points:

  • Licensees should ensure their email address on file with the Board is current and updated. Licensees can update their contact information – including email address – online by going to the Board’s website (http://www.maine.gov/md/) and clinking on the link “Update My Contact Information.”
  • Licenses are renewed online by going to the Board’s website and clicking on the link “Renew My License.”
  • Some licensees will need to complete the jurisprudence examination as part of the renewal process, and will be prompted to do so. Unless prompted, applicants are not required to complete the jurisprudence examination.
  • Some licensees will be prompted to provide evidence of the completion of 40 hours of Category 1 CME. The Board randomly audits each month 10% of the renewal applicants for CME. Unless prompted, applicants are not required to provide evidence of CME.

What happens if a renewal application is not received by the Board prior to the expiration date on a license?

The license expires and the individual may not practice medicine or render medical services in Maine.

If a license expires, can it be re-activated?

Yes. An individual may file an online application to renew his/her medical license for up to 90 days following the expiration of the license, including a $100 late fee.

What happens if a license is not renewed 90 days after it expires?

The license lapses. Individuals whose licenses have lapsed must file a reinstatement application with the Board. If a license has been lapsed for more than five (5) years, the individual must file a new application for licensure.

What are the continuing medical educational (CME) requirements?

Information regarding the Board’s CME requirements can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/md/licensure/docs/CME%20Information.pdf. Key points:

  • Applicants for initial licensure do not need to submit proof of CME.
  • Licensees are required to complete CME:
    • Physicians are required to complete 40 hours of Category 1 CME, including 3 hours of CME regarding opioid prescribing, during each renewal cycle.
    • Physician Assistants are 100 hours of CME, including 40 hours of Category 1 CME and 3 hours of CME regarding opioid prescribing, during each renewal cycle.
  • CME requirements for renewal may be prorated depending upon the expiration date of the initial license (i.e. if the initial license was issued for less than the full 2 years).

Is proof of CME completion required to be submitted with a renewal application?

Only if the applicant is prompted to provide it pursuant to a random audit.

Where can one find information regarding opioid CME?

The Board’s website includes links to resources regarding prescribing, including free opioid CME: http://www.maine.gov/md/resources/prescribing.html.

Does Maine have its own DEA?

No. Licensees who will be prescribing controlled drugs should contact the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, JFK Federal Building, Room E-400, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, MA 02203-0131, Phone (617) 557-2200 or toll-free at 888-272-5174, or on the web at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov to notify the DEA about their Maine license and to obtain a federal DEA registration.

Does Maine have resources for applicants and licensees who may have mental health or substance misuse issue?

Yes. The Board, together with other professional licensing boards, helps to fund the Medical Professionals Health Program (MPHP). Information regarding the MPHP can be found at: https://www.mainemed.com/member-services/medical-professionals-health-program.

What if one has other questions about the Board’s licensing process that aren't answered here?

The Board's Licensure Specialists may be contacted during business hours (8:00 am to 4:00 pm EST).