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Applying for a licence to practise

If you want to practise medicine in the UK you must hold both registration and a licence to practise. Being a licensed doctor means you must take part in revalidation.

If you currently hold provisional registration, please read the important information for holders of provisional registration before continuing.


What do I need to provide?

I have not held a licence before

If this is your first licence, you will need to satisfy us that you have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively. Communicating includes speaking, reading, writing and listening. This shows that you will be able to practise medicine safely in the UK.

We may ask you to give us evidence that you have the necessary knowledge of English.

If we ask you for this evidence, and:

  • you do not send it to us

  • Or
  • we are not satisfied with it
We will not be able to grant your licence. You will not be able to practise medicine in the UK without a licence.

My licence was withdrawn by the GMC

If we withdrew your licence for failing to meet one or more of the revalidation requirements, it may take us longer to process your application.

You will have to provide us with the evidence you failed to provide previously, before we will give you back your licence. This could involve:

  • giving us information about your connection to a designated body
  • submitting evidence of your annual appraisal where you have reflected on the supporting information you are required to collect
  • taking a revalidation assessment if you do not have a connection to a designated body or suitable person.

When we assess your application, we will tell you if we need information about your revalidation. If you would like further advice, please contact us.

Proof of your identity

Please send us a photocopy of either:

  • Your signed and up to date passport
  • If you’re an EEA or Swiss national, your up to date national identity card.

I have provided medical services in the last five years

You have provided a medical service if you have used your medical knowledge and skill as part of your work.

You will need to provide a statement from your employer. We call this a provision of medical services statement. This statement should be completed by the individual, body or organisation where you most recently provided medical services (anywhere in the world). This includes unpaid and voluntary work, or any other sort of arrangement (both formal and informal)

Provision of medical services statements are only valid for three months from the date that they are signed.

Please download a copy of the statement (pdf) for your employer to fill in.

Information for all doctors

  • The statement must account for your most recent three months of medical service (this means the last 90 days you provided medical services - even if this was spread out over a longer period, and not simply the last three calendar months).
  • If you provided medical services to more than one individual, body or organisation during this period, we require a statement from each one.
  • If you consider the most recent 90 days of your medical service has been in self-employment or private practice, we still require a statement from any individuals, bodies or organisations to whom you have provided medical services as part of this work.

Information for locum doctors

  • You can either ask the hospital where you most recently worked to complete the statement (if you worked there for longer than three months) OR
  • If you were employed through a locum agency, you can ask them to complete the statement to cover all the work you have done through them. 

I have not provided medical services in the last five years

You will not need to provide a statement from your employer.

I have been registered with a medical regulator other than the GMC in the last five years

You will need to send us a certificate of good standing from each medical regulatory authority you have been registered or licensed with in the last five years (other than the General Medical Council), even if you have not worked there.

If you are not longer registered with the regulatory authority, you may be issued with a certificate of past good standing. You can find contact details for all medical regulatory authorities in our certificate of good standing contact database (opens in a new window).

Certificates of good standing are only valid for three months from the date that they are signed.

If there is no medical regulatory authority in the country to issue a certificate, you will need to ask the organisation to whom you provided medical services in each of those countries to complete a statement (pdf).


I have not been registered with a medical regulator other than the GMC in the last five years

You will not need to provide a certificate of good standing.

I have documents that are not in English

For every document that is not in English, you must provide:

  • The document in its original language
  • A complete and accurate translation into English.

We only accept translations from:

  • Court or council appointed translators
  • Reputable commercial translation services.

Read more guidance on translations (opens in a new window).

When and how do I send my documents?

When we assess your application, we'll send you an email with a list of documents we need to see. Please email these documents to

Or you can post them to:

General Medical Council
Registration Support Team (VERL)
3 Hardman Street
M3 3AW


There is a fee for applying for your licence.

You'll pay an increased annual retention fee for being registered with a licence to practise, but you won't pay this until your application has been granted. Once your application has been granted, we'll send you an invoice to ask for the amount you owe us.

Please see our fees page for our current fees.

Processing and granting your application

If we can't process your application, we will tell you why or we may ask you for more evidence and information.

We'll send you an email when we approve your application and grant your licence.

You must make sure that you hold the correct type of registration for the post you are undertaking.

Will I need to attend an identity check?

We may invite you to attend an identity check if you have not attended one before. However, this will usually be after we have approved and granted your licence, and so will not delay you starting work. Identity checks can be completed at our Manchester or London office.

For more information about this, please see our guidance on identity checks (opens in a new window).

I am ready to apply

If you have all of the evidence to support your application, you’re now ready to apply through your GMC Online account.

You have three months to submit your application from when you start it online. If you have not submitted your application after three months, you will have to start a new one.

I already have a GMC Online account

If you already have an account, you can log in to GMC online (opens in a new window) and apply in the ‘My Registration’ section.

I don’t have a GMC Online account yet

If you have a GMC reference number, but have never logged into your online account and do not have log in details, you can activate your GMC online account (opens in a new window).

If you need any further advice on setting up an account, please contact us.