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Please note:

A $50 application fee is required with all applications.

Use of Criminal Convictions in Licensing Process

In reviewing applications for licensure, the board considers prior convictions of the applicant.

Effective July 1, 2020, the board’s authority to deny an application based on certain criminal convictions was restricted. (Business and Professions Code section 480.) Specifically, the board cannot deny an application on the basis of a conviction if:

  • The conviction has been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, or 1203.42 or a comparable dismissal or expungement, or
  • The conviction(s) occurred more than seven (7) years from the date of the application, or if the applicant was convicted of a crime and incarcerated, more than seven (7) years from the time the applicant was released from incarceration.

NOTE: The preceding seven-year limitation shall not apply in either of the following situations:

  • The applicant was convicted of a serious felony, as defined in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code,
  • The applicant was convicted of a crime for which registration is required pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.

Board Application Process with Criminal Convictions

Each applicant for licensure must submit their fingerprints to the California Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal history background check. Upon notification of an applicant’s criminal history, if any, the board will open an investigation and request supporting documents from the court and arresting agency to determine whether there is a basis to deny the application for licensure.

Applicants with criminal convictions are not required to disclose a conviction on their application or provide supporting documentation. However, in order to expedite the review of convictions and the board’s ultimate licensing decision, applicants may voluntarily provide the following for each conviction:

  • A written explanation detailing the circumstances surrounding each conviction.
  • A copy of the arrest/incident report(s) for each conviction.
  • A certified copy of the court documentation for each conviction. Court documentation submitted should include, but is not limited to, the criminal complaint, court minutes, sentencing, and probation order.
  • Current proof of compliance with probation may include, but is not limited to, participation in or completion of any drug and/or alcohol, anger management, domestic violence, or theft programs; payment of fees, fines, or restitution; or completion of community service.

Your disclosure of these items is voluntary – you may provide all, some, or none of them. Your decision to not provide any information shall not be a factor in the board’s decision to grant or deny your application for licensure. If information is not provided, the board may obtain arrest, court, prison, or records from other sources to determine whether a conviction may be used as a basis for denying an application for licensure.

The board does not pre-screen applicants with criminal convictions to determine eligibility for licensure and cannot offer legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you have any questions about completing the application.

If you have additional questions, please contact the California Board of Occupational Therapy at

Unless restricted, the board may deny an application for licensure if the applicant was convicted of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business of the occupational therapy profession. In assessing a conviction, the board must consider whether the crime is substantially related to the occupational therapy profession, and whether an applicant has made a showing of rehabilitation. Section 1446 of the board’s regulations sets out the substantial relationship criteria used by the board in its assessment. The board’s Disciplinary Guidelines set out the criteria for evidence of rehabilitation that the board considers. The board has proposed changes to both of the regulations to more specifically identify the criteria it uses.

ALERT: Effective July 1, 2012, the California Board of Occupational Therapy ("Board") is required to suspend a license if a licensee has outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and appears on either the FTB or BOE's certified lists of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000. (AB 1424, Perea, Chapter 455, Statutes of 2011).

* Once you are licensed by the Board and it is determined that you are on a FTB or BOE certified list, you have only 90 days from the issuance of a "Preliminary Notice of the Intent to Suspend" to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. If you fail to come into compliance, your OT or OTA license will be suspended until the Board receives a release from the FTB or BOE.

The FTB and BOE are currently expanding the certified lists from 250 to 500, but you can check if you are currently on the FTB's certified list at: or the BOE's certified list at: If you believe you are on either list in error, please call the FTB at (888) 426-8555 or the BOE at 916-323-8624.