What is a Professional License Denial?

What is a Professional License Denial?

In California, there are over 30 boards that manage and issue professional licensure. These boards are in charge of determining whether you are of upstanding moral character and a good fit for a professional license from their industry. Although many individuals apply to these boards, not all applicants receive their licensure. Instead, they may receive a professional license denial and are forced to look at alternatives for their career path. If you are applying for your license, you need to understand the expectations of your board and how to manage a potential denial.

California Licensing Boards

Under the Department of Consumer Affairs, professionals in all industries ranging from healthcare to Cannabis to construction must adhere to the rules of their prospective boards. When applying to these boards, expect to have your background checked and prior disciplinary action reviewed. If you have prior convictions, you may run into some obstacles with obtaining your professional license. Although AB 2138 has helped remove conviction barriers for many California residents, the circumstance of your conviction may still impact your future career and result in professional license denial. 

Statement of Issues

If your board denials your application, you will receive a packet of information known as a statement of issues. These documents detail the reason for your professional license denial. You can receive this documentation for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Failure to disclose criminal charges, convictions, or disciplinary action
  • Conviction substantially related to duties of your license
  • Lying on your application
  • Administrative action taken against another licensing entity 

If you receive this statement of issues, you still have up to 60 days to work with a license lawyer and appeal your denial.


Working with an appeals lawyer gives you the best chance at obtaining your professional license after a denial. During the appeal process, you may be required to seal old records, clean up your rap sheet, and even expunge past convictions that are no longer relevant. Your license lawyer can help manage all of these and ensure your appeal is submitted correctly and also face the board in an administrative hearing on your behalf if necessary. 

Related Article: What Does a Professional Licensing Attorney Do?

Work with Unlock Legal

Was your professional license denied? Or do you plan on applying to a professional licensing board and fear you will receive a statement of issues? At Unlock Legal, our appeal lawyers have faced dozens of licensing boards in California and have helped unlock the livelihoods of professionals like you. With decades of experience, our team can help appeal your denial and launch your dream career.

Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and defense for California licensed professionals. Contact Unlock Legal today or give us a call at 949-988-4444 to speak with a professional about your case and your unique needs. You’ll find we are compassionate, easy to talk to, and willing to help in any capacity we can.

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