Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moving Or Changing Jobs? Notify Your Board Or Bureau Of New Address!

If you are a licensed professional and moving your practice or changing jobs to a different company, firm or practice, make sure you notify your Board or Bureau of your new address.

Every year, licensed professionals get fined, have licenses lapse and sometimes even lose their licenses because they moved and failed to notify their Board and Bureau.

Here is one real example from our practice. An attorney moved from a shared office space where she was not allowed to file a change of address with the post office. Attorney picked up her mail for some months after she moved. Attorney forgot to notify the State Bar of her change of address. Six months after she moved -- and after she ceased picking up mail -- the State Bar sent her license renewal form to her old office. It was returned to the State Bar as non- deliverable. Attorney forgot to renew her license. While she was in the middle of handling a civil litigation matter, opposing counsel notified the court that she was no longer licensed to practice law. Further, she had been "practicing law without a license" for over 6 months which created a disciplinary problem with the State Bar.

Here is another example from our practice. A physician did his residency at UCLA. Physician moved to Atlanta to do a fellowship. Physician failed to notify the Medical Board of his move relying on the hospital to do so. Medical Board mailed physician license renewal form and other mail which was returned as non-deliverable. The Medical Board issued an administrative citation to physician for not notifying Board of change of address.

In some cases, professionals forget to pay their fees for years. In some Boards, such as the California Board of Accountancy, after being delinquent five years, licenses are terminated automatically. For the State Bar, for example, the license must be renewed annually or it will lapse.

To check your address of record at your applicable Board or Bureau, visit its website and click on "License Lookup" or similarly titled section in the consumer's section. To ensure the privacy of your home address, you may use a P.O. box as your address of record as long as the Board has a street address on file.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates in Los Angeles, California. They focus their practice on the representation of licensed professionals, individuals and businesses in civil, business, administrative and criminal proceedings.


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