License renewal error impacts August notices

Dentists with licenses/permits that expire in August need to check their mail for renewal notices mistakenly sent in envelopes with a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair.” The Dental Board of California confirmed that a vendor inadvertently mailed August renewals in the wrong envelopes, which could lead dentists to mistakenly discard their renewal notices.

CDA informed members of the error on July 1 after a member notified CDA that she had received her renewal notice in an envelope with the return address of the “Bureau of Automotive Repair,” and nearly disposed of the unopened envelope.

Dentists with August renewals are urged to carefully check their mail, and if the renewal notice has already been discarded to contact the dental board at 916.263.2300 or 877.729.7789 or dentalboard@dca.ca.gov to request an additional renewal form.

Renewal notices are mailed approximately 60 days before license expiration. A dentist is responsible for renewing his or her license regardless of having received the renewal notice or not, and is deemed to be practicing without a license once that license expires.

Dental licenses expire every two years on the last day of the birth month of the licensee. If the licensee's birth year is an even number, his or her license will expire during even-numbered years. If the licensee's birth year is an odd number, his or her license will expire during odd-numbered years. There is no grace period for a dentist in active practice, although a delinquency fee will not be assessed until the renewal is more than 30 days late.

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The Dental Board of California is proposing an increase in the cap on dental licensure fees, along with cap increases for most other fees, as part of its sunset review. The proposed cap for initial and biennial renewal fees, recently approved by a legislative committee as a part of AB 179 (Dental Board Sunset Review), would increase to $650 as of Jan. 1, 2016, and rise to $800 in 2018.

The Assembly and Senate Committees on Business and Professions recently held a “sunset review” hearing for a variety of professional licensing boards, including the Dental Board of California. At the hearing, CDA acknowledged the board’s recent fee audit and, given recent increases in licensure renewal fees, urged the board to establish a structurally sound budget and a clear and evidenced-based process for future licensure fee increases.

In preparation for its Sunset Review this year, the Dental Board of California initiated a fee audit in December that examined, in detail, how much of the board's budget is spent on each board function - something that CDA strongly advocated for during discussions with the board on recent dental licensure fee increases. The completed audit revealed that the board spends significantly more on enforcement than for all other functions, predicts the board will run a $4.3 million deficit this fiscal year.