Credential Maintenance & State License Renewal

It can be easy to confuse NBRC credential recertification with state license renewal. NBRC and state licensing boards are two distinct entities, and each has its own set of timelines and requirements. Read on to understand the differences.

NBRC Credentials

All NBRC credentials earned on or after July 1, 2002, are valid for five years and are subject to recertification through the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP). The CMP is designed to maintain and enhance the level of knowledge established upon initial credentialing and is a crucial component to patient care, professional development, and career advancement.

Credential Recertification

Three options are available through the CMP:

  1. Complete quarterly online assessments. Individual results determine the amount of CE required to renew (maximum 30 hours).
  2. Retake and pass the NBRC examination for the highest held credential that is subject to the CMP.
  3. Earn a new NBRC credential.

Completion of any option updates all credentials for another five years. The total cost of the CMP is $125, paid annually in $25 increments.

Expired Credentials

If your credential expires, you still have options.

  1. If you are within six months of credential expiration, you may opt to enter CEUs online (earned during your five-year cycle) and pay a $250 reinstatement fee.
  2. If your credential is more than six months expired, you must apply for testing to reinstate your credential. Successful completion of the examination will reinstate your credential. If the exam is not passed within two years, you must apply as a new applicant and meet all admission policies in effect at that time. If you hold multiple credentials, you must apply for and pass all examinations to reinstate your expired credentials.

To support your recertification efforts, NBRC sends expiration notices via USPS mail and email. These credential expiration reminder notices are sent one year, six months, 90 days, and 30 days before the credential expiration date. An email reminder is also sent before the six month grace period ends. Credential expiration reminder notices are an important reason to keep your contact information updated in the Practitioner Portal and to check-in frequently. You are responsible for ensuring your credentials are maintained and should not rely on receiving expiration reminder notices.

For more information on the CMP and maintaining your NBRC credential, go to, watch our CMP Video, or check out the CMP Brochure.

State Licensure

Each state (except Alaska) requires a license to practice respiratory care.  Though methods and timelines differ from state to state, some form of license renewal is necessary.

It is important to note the NBRC and state licensure agencies DO NOT share or transfer database information. Therefore, any updates (contact info, CEU records, etc.) need to be submitted separately to each entity.

If you are unsure about the renewal requirements in your state, including how an expired NBRC credential may affect a state licensure status, contact your licensing board directly. You can find your state board contact information here.

Maintaining your NBRC credential is necessary to ensure your continued competence as a respiratory care practitioner, but doing so does not automatically renew your state license. Conversely, keeping your state license current allows you to continue to practice legally in your state, but does not update your credential status with the NBRC.

As always, we are here to help, if you have any questions about your NBRC credential, contact us at