Things to consider if you are giving up your licence

I’m thinking of giving up my licence to practise. What do I need to know? 

Giving up your licence but keeping your registration means you're able to prove your good standing with us to other organisations. You will not be able to practise medicine in the UK.

You still have a duty to comply with Good medical practice even if you don’t hold a licence. You can use the title ‘Doctor’ and sign passport photographs. 

You should also consider:

  • In order to be granted specialist or GP registration doctors need to hold full registration with a licence to practise at the point specialist/GP registration is awarded.
  • You will automatically be removed from any performers list if you change your status on the medical register, so before making a decision to give up your licence, you should check if removing your name from the list will affect your role. You might also want to find out how to get back on the list at a later date by checking with either your NHSE local office or the relevant Health Board. 
  • If you are a trainee you must speak to your Deanery or LETB before giving up your licence. Remember that you must have a licence to practise in order to keep your National Training Number.
  • To be appointed as a responsible officer or suitable person you must have been registered with a licence to practise throughout the previous five years.
  • We’ve created top tips about a number of common enquiries we get about holding a licence to practise. You can find these in on our licensing resources page.

You can still help in emergencies

You can help in emergencies or carry out so-called ‘Good Samaritan’ acts.

You should get advice from your medical defence organisation or insurance or indemnity provider if you’re concerned about potential liabilities from helping in an emergency if you don’t hold a licence.

What happens to the annual retention fee?

You will pay a reduced annual retention fee, effective from the date you give up your licence. If you are due a refund, we will calculate this and send it to you.

Please see our fees page for information.