Application for Licensure Based on Passing the WREB Examination - General Information and Updates

Licensure Eligibility

Prior to applying to the Dental Board (Board) of California for a dental license, all applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Submit a completed application to the Dental Board of California
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee of $400.00
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having graduated from a dental school approved by the Board or Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having passed the National Board Written Examinations. Original score card is required; photocopies are not acceptable.
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having passed the following sections of the WREB examination within the five years prior to the date of their application for a license; Operative, Endodontic, Comprehensive Treatment Planning, Periodontics, and Prosthodontic. Original or duplicate success card is required. Photocopies are not acceptable.
    Applicants must have taken and passed
  • Provide classifiable sets of fingerprints on fingerprint cards provided by the Board or on Standard FBI fingerprint cards.
  • Provide satisfactory evidence of having passed the California Restorative Technique (RT) examination if graduated from a recognized non-accredited dental school.
  • Submit a completed Out of State/Country Licensure Certification Form (only for those who are licensed in another state or country)
  • Successfully complete the Law and Ethics examination.

Criminal Background Check

For consumer protection, California law requires all applicants to undergo a criminal background check, therefore, all applicants must submit a fingerprint-processing fee to the board of $49.00. The amount is subject to change by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Until further notice, all applicants may submit their fingerprints by either using the LIVESCAN system or submitting their fingerprint cards. Candidates residing in California must utilize the Livescan system. Candidates residing out of California may either come to California and utilize the Livescan system or submit their fingerprints on standard FBI fingerprint cards.

Graduates of non-accredited dental schools who have recently passed the Restorative Technique (RT) Examination are not required to resubmit fingerprint cards and fees for fingerprint processing.

Board regulation requires two " classifiable" sets of fingerprints on forms provided by the Board to complete the application. Fingerprints may be submitted via Livescan or standard FBI fingerprint cards. Classifiable means that the prints can be "read" by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fingerprints are more likely to be classifiable if they are taken by a large local law enforcement agency such as a police or sheriff department.

The Board permits candidates to participate in the Law and Ethics examination pending fingerprint clearance; however, a dental license will not be issued until the clearance has been received form the appropriate agencies.


Applicants must report all convictions including infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, with the exception of a conviction for an infraction resulting in a fine of less than $300. Applicants must report a conviction(s) even if he or she pled of nolo contendere (no contest) or received a subsequent order expunging the conviction under the section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.

Applicants who have previous convictions or pleas that answer "no" to the question may have their applications denied for knowingly making false statements on the applications pursuant to section 480 (c) of the Business and Professions Code.

Radiation Safety

In the state of California, the only persons legally entitled to operate dental radiographic equipment are:

  • Persons who passed the Board's Radiation Safety examination prior to January 1, 1985.
  • Persons who graduated after January 1, 1980, from a dental school which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
  • Persons who have passed any other Board approved course in Radiation Safety.

Dentists need to complete a Radiation Safety course if they:

  • Graduated from a dental school not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation,
  • Graduated from a dental school prior to January 1, 1980, or
  • Do not hold a Radiation Safety Certificate.

Requests For Special Accommodations

Applicants with special physical or medical conditions that require exceptions to the routine conduct of the Law and Ethics examination must present documentary evidence of the condition to the Board office as provided by a qualified physician or other health care professions. Fax the Board office to request the Special Accommodations form. To receive special consideration, the form and the documented evidence must accompany the application.

Social Security Requirement

Pursuant to Business and Professions (B & P) Code Section 30, the Board is not permitted to process any license application or renewal unless the applicant provides his or her social security number on the application.