Steps to Get Licensed With the Ohio Medical Board

Graduating med school and finishing your residency are the most critical steps toward becoming a licensed physician.

The only thing standing in between you and your future as an Ohio physician is the application process.

If everything goes well, you should get licensed with the Ohio Medical Board within about 60 days of applying.

But every misstep and delayed document submission will add days or weeks to the application process. That’s why you want to gather the essential documents ahead of time and submit fees as soon as possible.

So, how do you get a medical license with the Ohio Medical Board?

We’ll go over the prerequisites in Ohio state, what the licensure application is like, how much you’ll have to pay, and how long until you’re officially licensed.

Follow along carefully as we walk you through this process step-by-step.

What You Need Before Applying

You’ve spent so long studying during pre-med, attending medical school, and completing residency that you just want to finish your career as a doctor in public health.

However, you’ll want to verify that you have each of the State Medical Board of Ohio’s requirements fulfilled before you start your licensure application. Otherwise, you might have to do it all over again.

Here’s a look at what you’ll need first.

The Necessary Examinations Passed 

As of 2000, the Ohio Board adjusted the exam requirements for all physician applicants.

State law dictates that you’ve completed the USMLE or COMLEX-USA within the past ten years. Luckily, these are probably the exams you took while attending medical school, so you won’t have to take another.

Remember that failing any portion of these exams five times or more will cause your licensure application to be automatically rejected.

Refer to the State Medical Board of Ohio website for more information about exams taken before 2000 and 1985.

Appropriate Clinical Experience

You can apply for your license with the Ohio Medical Board after two years of clinical practice in the state.

Having the appropriate clinical work shows that you’ve achieved a practical, hands-on experience. Which will aid you in your medical practice career.

Educational Merits

Before the Board even thinks about approving your application for licensure, they need to see that you’ve completed the bare minimum of your medical education.

So, either the LCME or the AOA must accredit your medical school.

To take your educational experience one step further, you’ll need at least one year of graduate medical education.

Unique State Law Requirements for Foreign Applicants

If you’re a legal citizen from another country, you’ll have to complete additional steps to be considered for licensure by the Ohio Board.

The most important document you’ll need is your certificate from the ECFMG. This will help prove that you completed your medical education at an accredited medical school while a foreign country resident.

Because communication is vital when it comes to medical practice, you’ll also have to prove that you’re fluent in English.

To do so, you’ll have to either:

  • Begin and complete the Fifth Pathway
  • Pass the TOEFL iBT examination with at least a 26 in both the speaking and listening sections
  • Maintain a current medical license consistently during the last five years
  • Complete two years of undergraduate work while living in the United States
  • Pass the ECFMG exam, specifically the Clinical Skills Assessment

You’ll only need to complete one of the following items from the list above. However, it’s likely that you’ve already completed at least one of them before applying, during your public health training.

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Taking the Initial Steps

First step for Ohio medical license
Before you even get to the written or online application, there are a few extra steps that Ohio State requires you to take.

Once you’ve completed these, you’ll start your application and get one step further to your medical license.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to start the licensure process.

Create a Profile with the FSMB

Before you send out an application to the Ohio Medical Board, you’ll need to create a profile with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) via FCVS.

This database helps streamline the application process for Ohio physician candidates.

You’ll build your profile on the FCVS, input your credentials, and upload the correct documents. That includes a copy of your diploma and proof of exams that you’ve passed during your medical education.

This can hurry the application process along if you plan to apply to several boards or need to access your credentials at a later date.

You can choose between scanning your documents and uploading them to the database or mailing them to the FCVS.

Either way, your licensure credentials must get notarized (e-notary or regular notary).

This will cost you $375, but you’ll pay just $170 if you’re a physician assistant.

Note: Be sure that you’re setting Ohio State as the Board that’s meant to receive your credentials via FCVS.

Getting Background Checks Completed

Ohio State law requires all applicants to undergo a background check to be sure the Board is approving only the best and most ethical candidates to practice medicine.

This gets completed via fingerprinting.

State law requires that all fingerprinting gets completed electronically through WebCheck services located throughout Ohio State. Here, you’ll find information about where these sites are located and which is closest to your home.

After scheduling an appointment at a WebCheck fingerprinting facility, be sure to arrive with a photo government ID and the appropriate payment (which varies by site).

Note: Getting fingerprinted in another state may take an additional two weeks to process. They prefer ink fingerprinting for applicants from outside Ohio State, and you’ll need to arrive at your site with this form.

Sending Out Your Fingerprints

When you’re getting fingerprinted out-of-state in ink, you need to have four cards completed in total.

You must send two of these to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at:

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)

PO Box 365

London, Ohio 43140

If you’re fingerprinted in the State of Ohio at a WebCheck facility, make sure that your prints are being sent to the right location: The Ohio Medical Board.

The Ohio Board’s address is:

30 East Broad Street

3rd Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

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Filling Out Your Licensure Application

Ohio medical license application
The application to practice medicine in Ohio is quite simple, but you want to be sure that you’re filling out the right one. After all, there are unique requirements for each specialty and certificate offered by the Board.

So, double-check that you’re filling out the application for physicians and not applying as a radiologist assistant or cosmetic therapist.

Here’s the breakdown on completing your medical license application.

The Online Version 

Once you’re ready to get your online application started, head to the eLicense website for Ohio State.

You’ll create an account through this portal.

Make sure you’re specifying that you’re applying for a new license with the State Medical Board of Ohio and be sure to link your FCVS profile to your application so that the Board receives your credentials.

Complete the history section and upload documents, then click submit.

The online version of the licensure application is a great way to ensure that you’re ticking every appropriate box on the application and not having it sent back to you.

As soon as you’ve submitted your application and sent in the appropriate fees, you’ll receive an email stating that the Ohio Board has received your application.

Note: You can lookup the status of your licensure application at any time after submission. You may notice comments on your application requesting more documentation gets sent to the Board before they can approve your medical license application.

The Mail-In Version

You can complete the application by hand by filling out the print form instead.

Submitting your forms by mail will obviously add to the total processing time, so that’s something to keep in mind.

The Basics of the State Medical Board of Ohio Application

If you’ve submitted an application for a job in the past, you’ll notice that the beginning of your application to become an Ohio physician is very similar. You’ll have to provide your personal information like your full name and address.

Here’s a look at the information you’ll have to provide to the Ohio Board:

  • Education history as far back as high school
  • A detailed explanation of your participation in an Ohio Training Program
  • Past military experience (if applicable)
  • Medical education history and postgraduate training
  • History of examinations you’ve passed and when

If you’re filling out this information on the printed version of the application, be sure that you’re writing legibly, so all information is readable. It’s better to take your time to do it right the first time than have to do it again.

The Extra Details of the Licensure Application

Now that you’ve gotten past the easy part of the application, you’ll get down to the serious stuff.

You’ll have to answer questions about anything that may impact your ability to fulfill your responsibilities as a doctor practicing public health.

If you answer “yes” to any questions, you’ll have to supply additional information.

That means you’ll need to explain:

  • Any severe medical conditions that you’re in treatment for (plus information from your doctor about the treatment)
  • Any instances where you’ve undergone a disciplinary action or lost your license to practice
  • Any criminal charges filed against you (plus all related court and police records)

If your job took place in medical practice at any point over the last five years (not including residencies), you’ll need employer recommendations.

Before sending out your application, you need to make sure that you’re getting the application notarized. Send your application to the State Medical Board of Ohio with the required $308.50 fee via check or money order.

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The Cost of Getting Licensed in Ohio State

Medical license fees in Ohio
As if medical school wasn’t expensive enough, getting licensed to practice medicine in Ohio also doesn’t come cheap.

Here are the typical charges you can expect to incur:

  • Creating a profile on the FSMB site costs about $375 for your first profile
  • Sending out your application via mail to the FSMB is an additional $100
  • The process of getting fingerprinted at a WebCheck facility will cost around $46, depending on location
  • Submitting your application to the Ohio Board will cost $308.50

In total, you’re looking at about $829.50 to get a medical license in Ohio.

If you’re applying as a physician assistant, you’ll be spending $403.50 on the application process instead.

Want to get your medical license in another state? We have guides on how to get licensed by the Oregon Medical Board, Texas Medical Board, and more in our medical licensing library.

Renewing Your License

Like in any state, you’ll need to renew your medical license every two years in Ohio State.

Renewals in Ohio cost $305, but there are additional fees for renewing your license past the expiration date. You’ll be charged an extra $100 if you’re late.

Along with the fee, renewing your license comes with a few additional requirements. You’ll have to complete 50 hours of Continuing Medical Education credits during every renewal period.

The medical license renewal process is rather easy and simply requires you to update your profile information and send in the fee.

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The Total Timeline to Receive Your License

Getting your medical license to practice in Ohio will take a bit longer than some other states. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to begin the process sooner rather than later.

For starters, it might take FCVS up to 45 days to process your application. You can’t even begin your Ohio licensure application without this completed.

It may take the Board a couple of weeks to receive your fingerprints, and an extra ten days for the Ohio Board to review your application.

In total, it should be about 60 days from the time you send your application until you eventually get approved and licensed.

Yet, this can take a lot longer if the State Medical Board of Ohio is overloaded with applications, if you forget to submit the proper documents, or if you don’t pay the fee.

Don’t forget to protect your income. Read our guide to Disability Insurance for Physicians.


It’s a long and pricey process to get your license to practice medicine in Ohio. You need to make sure that you’re completing the entire process carefully to get it right on your first attempt.

The best way to get your medical practice license in your hands sooner is by submitting the appropriate documents well before you even apply. That’s less time the Board has to wait when they begin looking over your application.

Now’s as good a time as any to apply!

Coronavirus is running rampant and Covid-19 cases are on the rise. The ability to practice telemedicine and telehealth included with your license is important. And the impact you’ll be making on your community as an Ohio physician will be ten-fold.

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