If you practice as a CPA for any length of time at all, at some point, you’ll have to apply for a CPA license renewal. Here’s a brief overview of this process, including the requirements of all U.S. state and jurisdictional boards.
If you want to practice public accounting as a CPA, you must keep your license active. This means meeting the requirements of your state or jurisdiction’s Board of Accountancy. The rules are slightly different in every state, but most mandate the following CPA renewal requirements:
Some CPAs find this CPE requirement the most difficult to meet. All jurisdictions have different rules when it comes to what kind of CPE you must take. Many require some ethics courses or limit the number of self-study hours you may count. The reporting procedures is also different from state to state, but it’s always a good idea to keep an up-to-date form or spreadsheet so you know how many hours you have and how many you still owe.
Additionally, states and jurisdictions differ when it comes to how often CPAs must renew their licenses. Some renew every year, but most do so every two to three years. However, keep in mind that the CPE reporting period may differ from the renewal period.
If you don’t meet these requirements to renew your license, you may be put on inactive status, have your credentials suspended, or even have your license revoked. Therefore, it is vital to pay attention to the specifics of the CPA license renewal process.
Unfortunately, the renewal process is different for each of the 55 states and jurisdictions, so it’s impossible to give a step-by-step process that applies to all CPAs. However, you’ll do well to follow these general steps:
The good news is that all State Boards of Accountancy should mail or email you a reminder that your renewal is imminent, along with instructions. However, if you’ve changed your email or mailing address since your last renewal, you must make sure to update your contact information in your system. Even if you don’t receive the reminder, you’re still responsible for renewing your license.
Here is a very basic overview of how to renew a CPA license in each state and jurisdiction. Please check NASBA’s registry for further details on specific CPE requirements. Note also that these requirements apply to active licenses. Renewing an inactive license usually requires a lower fee and little to no CPE. These are also the procedure for individual CPAs, as firms may have different requirements.
Some of these deadlines or fees for 2021 or 2022 may have changed due to Covid-19 concerns. Please consult your State Board’s website for specific information.
CPA licenses in Alabama renew on September 30 every year. Thus, the reporting period for CPE falls between October 1 and September 30 of each year. In that time, you’ll need to complete 40 hours of CPE, including two hours in ethics and eight hours in accounting and auditing. You can renew an active license for $100, but after December 31, you’ll have to pay a late fee of an additional $100. After February 28, this increases to $500.
Alaska CPA renewal is necessary in odd-numbered years (e.g., 2021, 2023, etc.) on December 31. For example, the current CPE reporting period lasts from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023. During that time, you must complete 80 hours of CPE, at least 20 hours in each calendar year. The only subject restriction is that at least four of these hours must cover ethical topics. You must renew your license on or before December 31 or your license will immediately lapse.
Your Arizona CPA license renewal date requires a bit of calculation, as it may be slightly different every time. It is the last business day of your birth month every other year, based on the year you were born. Therefore, if you were born on June 14, 1983, your license would renew on the last business day in June in odd-numbered years. Your CPE reporting period also roughly corresponds with that two-year period. Of your 80 required CPE hours, four must be related to ethics, and these four cannot be self-taught or taught by an employer. The bi-annual fee is $300.
Arkansas CPA renewal is simpler – your license expires on January 1 every year, and you must renew by April 1. The CPE reporting period is the calendar year, during which you must earn 40 hours. However, if you fall short one year, you are allowed to “look back” up to three years. If you have 120 hours in the past 36 months, you’re fine. Additionally, Arkansas has several specific requirements for the subjects of your CPE.
To renew a CPA license in California, you’ll need to complete 80 hours of CPE over a two-year period with at least 20 of those in a single year. Likewise, CA CPA license renewal CPE requirements say that 40 of those hours must be in “technical subjects,” with at least 12 of those in a given year. Taking a course in California CPA license renewal ethics for four hours is also required. Your California CPA license renewal date is the last day of your birth month every other year on an odd- or even-numbered year based on the year you were born. You’ll need to pay a $250 fee at that time.
CNMI CPA licenses expire on December 31 every three years. During this 36-month period, you must complete 120 hours of CPE with at least four hours of ethics and a 20-hour yearly minimum. The triennial renewal fee is $355. Unfortunately, the CNMI Board of Accountancy has not yet created a website and more information about CPA license renewal is difficult to find. However, you can find the CNMI Board’s contact information at NASBA’s website.
CPA licenses in Colorado expire on November 30 of every odd-numbered year. However, the CPE reporting period runs between January 1 of an even-numbered year through December 31 of an odd numbered year (e.g., 1/1/22 to 12/31/23). For Colorado CPA renewal, you’ll need 80 CPE hours over two years. At least four of these hours must be devoted to ethics, but no more than two may be in Colorado rules and regulations.
Connecticut CPA licenses must be renewed annually, as they expire on December 31 each year. However, the CPE reporting period runs from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next. For example, if you renew your license at the end of 2022, you will report your CPE earned between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. You’re responsible for earning 40 hours per period, four of which must be in ethics. Unfortunately, the annual renewal fee is a whopping $565.
All Delaware CPA licenses expire on June 30 of odd-numbered years. There is no grace period, so be sure to use the DELPROS online portal to renew by then. You’ll also need to submit records of 80 CPE hours over the previous two years (e.g., the period between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023). You must take at least four Delaware-specific ethics hours and 20 overall hours each year. You’ll learn the amount of the fee when you receive your renewal notice.
DC CPA licenses expire on December 31 of even-numbered years. The CPE reporting period lines up with the calendar year, and you must take 80 hours every two years. Four of those hours must be devoted to professional ethics. Contact the District of Columbia Board of Accountancy for information on the DC CPA license renewal fee. New CPAs may also want to find out whether DC CPA license renewal does not require CPE for first renewal, as this information isn’t readily available online.
Florida CPA license renewal takes place every other year by December 31, starting the year you receive your license. However, similar to Connecticut, the CPE reporting period for Florida CPA renewal is July 1 to June 30 of your renewal year. During those two years, you must complete 80 CPE hours, four of which must focus on state-specific ethics. The biennial fee to renew a CPA license in Florida is $105.
CPA license renewal in Georgia takes place every other year on odd-numbered years. On a Georgia CPA renewal year, you’ll need to document that you completed 80 CPE hours over the past 24 months. Georgia CPA license renewal requires that 16 of these hours be in accounting and auditing subjects, but there is no ethics requirement. For a Georgia CPA to renew a license, they must pay a fee, but the State Board of Accountancy hasn’t published the amount.
Guam CPA licenses must be renewed every year on June 30. To do this, you’ll need to print and fill out a renewal application and attach a $100 fee. However, the CPE reporting period extends over three years, during which you must earn a total of 120 hours, with no less than 20 in each year. Six of these hours must be in the subject of ethics, and 30 must be in accounting and auditing.
CPA licenses in Hawaii expire on December 31 of odd-numbered years. This is also the last day of the biennial reporting period for CPE. As in most states, you’ll need to earn 80 hours over that two-year period, four of which must cover ethics. The cost of Hawaii CPA renewal is $152.
Idaho CPA renewal costs $120 and takes place every year on June 30. However, the CPE reporting period lasts two calendar years (e.g., 1/1/22 to 12/31/23) on a rolling basis and begins the year you receive your license. You must earn 80 hours total, with no less than 30 hours and no more than 50 hours in each individual year. As part of this requirement, you must complete four ethics hours, at least two of which must be state-specific.
Renewing an Illinois CPA license is necessary every three years, with the current period starting at the beginning of 2022. For CPA license renewal in Illinois, you must complete 120 hours of CPE over three years. This must include four ethics hours and one hour devoted to sexual harassment prevention. Licenses expire on September 30, and you should be able to renew online 2-3 months beforehand. There is a fee for CPA renewal in Illinois, but the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation doesn’t publish it in advance.
Indiana CPA licenses expire on June 30 of every third year (i.e., 2018, 2021, 2024, etc.), and you have 90 days prior to the deadline to renew. However, the reporting period for CPE corresponds to the calendar year. Thus, the reporting period for 2022 is the calendar years of 2019, 2020, and 2021. During that period, you must complete 120 hours of CPE, with at least 20 hours in each year. There is a standard four-hour ethics requirement, and 10% of your hours must pertain to accounting and auditing. Finally, you must pay a $105 fee.
Iowa CPA renewal takes place every year on June 30, but you can choose the dates of your three-year CPE reporting period. You may have it coincide with the calendar year, or you may choose three years immediately preceding the date of your renewal. Additionally, you can change the reporting period each time you renew. In each period, you must complete 120 hours, four of which must be ethics-related and eight of which must be on the topics of accounting and auditing. The annual fee is $100.
Kansas CPA licenses must be renewed every other year on June 30, and your year is dependent on your certificate number. Even-numbered certificates renew on even-numbered years, and odd-numbered certificates renew on odd-numbered years. You can renew online from June 1 to August 31, and the biennial fee is $165. You’re required to take 80 CPE hours every two years – the 24 months immediately preceding the renewal date – and two of those hours must cover professional ethics.
To renew a CPA license in Kentucky, your CPE requirement is determined by how many hours you spent working in public accounting in the past two years. If you worked 3,000 or more hours in a public form, you need 80 CPE hours, and the requirement goes down from there. Licenses expire every other year on August 1, and like in Kansas, odd-numbered licenses renew in odd-numbered years and vice versa. However, Kentucky’s CPA period is the span of the two calendar years preceding your renewal year (e.g., January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022, if you renew in 2023). The biennial fee is $100.
You must renew your Louisiana CPA license every year by December 31 for a fee of $100. The CPE reporting period is a rolling two-year period that coincides with the calendar year. According to the Louisiana state board, you must complete at least 80 CPE hours every period of two calendar years, with at least 20 in each year. For example, if you complete 47 hours in 2022, you’d need to earn at least 33 in 2023, and then at least 47 again in 2024. This can be a little confusing, and there are some exceptions for the years during the COVID-19 pandemic, so contact the State Board for more details.
To renew a Maine CPA license, you must complete an application and pay a $35 fee by September 30 of each year. Correspondingly, the CPE reporting period runs from October 1 to September 30 each year, and you must earn 40 hours during that time. However, although Maine CPA renewal takes place annually, you only need four ethics hours every three years.
A Maryland CPA license expires every two years based on the date it was first issued. Thus, if your received your license on October 23, 2020, it will expire on October 23, 2022. Similarly, the CPE reporting period is the 24 months immediately preceding your application for renewal. To renew a Maryland CPA license, you must earn 80 hours during each two-year reporting period, four of which must be devoted to ethics. You must also pay a $56 biennial fee.
Massachusetts CPA licenses must be renewed by June 30 every other year. The CPE reporting period also ends on June 30 every other year, though the Board’s website is unclear about which year a given period starts. During that 24-month period, you’ll need to complete the standard 80 hours of CPE, including four ethics hours. There is no physical Massachusetts CPA renewal form for individual CPAs. Instead, you’ll need to create an account at the Division of Professional Licensure e-Place Portal. The renewal fee is $161.
In the state of Michigan, CPA licenses expire on July 31 every other year. Confusingly, the CPE reporting period runs from July 1 to June 30 of your expiration year, so any CPE you complete in July will actually apply to the next renewal period. You’ll need to complete at least 40 CPE hours per year for a total of 80. Similarly, you’ll need two ethics hours each year for a total of four per reporting period. The CPA license renewal fee is $100, though it’s unclear if that’s per year (for a total of $200) or per renewal period.
For CPA license renewal in Minnesota, you’ll need to apply annually by December 31 and pay a $100 fee. However, the CPE reporting period is a rolling three-year period for the 36 months prior to December 31. Similar to Louisiana, you must complete a total of 120 CPE hours for every period of three calendar years going back to the year you received your license. To renew your CPA in Minnesota, at least 20 hours must be completed each year, and at least eight hours in any given three-year period must pertain to accounting and auditing.
CPA licenses in Mississippi must be renewed annually by January 1. However, the CPE reporting period runs from July 1 to June 30. During that time, you must complete 40 hours of study, four of which must be in the area of ethics. At least one of those ethics hours must be specific to Mississippi law. The yearly fee to renew is $110, or $150 if you renew after January 1.
Here’s how to renew a CPA license in Missouri. First you’ll need to visit the website of the Missouri Division of Professional Registration and enter your PIN and license number. From there, you’ll receive instructions on renewing and paying your $80 biennial fee. Licenses renew every two years on September 30. However, as of the beginning of 2020, the state of Missouri has switch from a three-year rolling CPE reporting period to an annual period that coincides with the calendar year. Thus, each year from here on, you’ll need to complete 40 CPE hours, two of which must be in ethics.
Montana CPA licenses expire every year on December 31, so you will need to renew online or by mail before this deadline. The fee is $125 if you renew on time and $250 if you’re late. The CPE reporting period is a rolling three-year window. Thus, every three calendar years, you will need to complete 120 CPE hours. At least two of these hours must be devoted to ethics, and 60 must be in “technical fields of study.”
Nebraska CPA renewal occurs every other year based on your birth year. If you were born in an odd-numbered year, you also need to renew your CPA license by June 30 of every odd-numbered year, and vice versa. However, the CPE reporting period runs from January 1 to December 31 starting on your renewal year and continuing into the next. During this two-year period, you must complete 80 CPE hours, including at least four ethics hours. The biennial renewal fee is $175.
Nevada CPA licenses expire annually on December 31 and require a fee of $120 if you renew online by credit card or $140 if you renew with check or money order. The CPE reporting period also coincides with the calendar year but is a rolling two-year window. You must complete 80 hours within each two-year period, with at least 20 per year. There’s also a four-hour ethics requirement each period.
New Hampshire’s renewal period depends on the spelling of your last name. If your last name begins with letters A-F, you renew by June 30 in 2020, 2023, 2026, etc. Alternatively, if your last name begins with G-M, you renew by June 30 in 2021, 2024, 2027, etc. Finally, if your last name begins with N-Z, you renew by June 30 in 2022, 2025, 2028, etc. Fortunately, the three-year CPE reporting period coincides exactly with your renewal period. During this time, you’ll need to complete 120 total CPE hours, with no less than 20 in each year and a four-hour ethics requirement. The New Hampshire renewal fee is $275.
In New Jersey, CPA licenses expire on December 31 triennially in the years 2020, 2023, 2026, etc. The CPE reporting period follows this same three-year window. Every 36 months, you’ll need to complete 120 CPE hours, at least 20 in each year, with at least four hours concentrated on ethics with regard to New Jersey law. The triennial renewal fee is $135.
Your New Mexico CPA license expires each year on the last day of your birth month and requires a $130 fee to renew. However, the CPE reporting period is a three-year rolling period beginning on the first day of the month after your birth month and ending on the last day of your birth month. Thus, if your birthday is February 17, your most recent reporting period runs from March 1, 2021, to February 28, 2024. During that time, you must have completed 120 CPE hours, with at least 20 hours in any given year. Four of these hours must be in ethics, 96 must be in technical subjects, and 24 must come from organizations other than your employer.
CPA license renewal in NY takes place every three years based on the year your license was first issued. However, CPE is counted annually and works a little differently than in other states. You can complete 40 hours in any subject each year. Alternatively, you can take 24 hours concentrated in a single approved subject area. The CPE reporting period runs the length of the calendar year, though you only need to formally report when you apply for NYS CPA renewal triennially. NY CPA license renewal fees total $292 each three-year period.
NC CPA renewal is required every year by July 1 and involves a $60 fee. Although you must report your CPE every year, the reporting period runs from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year. For NC CPA license renewal, you must earn 2,000 minutes of CPE. As odd as this sounds, North Carolina counts an hour of CPE as 50 minutes, so that’s actually just the standard 40 hours. However, there is no ethics requirement.
CPAs in North Dakota must renew their licenses by June 30 every year for an $85 fee. However, the CPE reporting period is a rolling period of the three previous calendar years. For example, for renewal in 2022, the reporting period would cover January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021. As of right now, you must have completed 120 hours in the past three years. Beginning this year, at least six of those hours must focus on ethics.
The state of Ohio CPA license renewal process and cost is outlined on the State Accountancy Board’s website. You must renew every three years by December 31 in 2023, 2026, 2029, etc. During each three-year period, you must complete 120 hours of CPE with at least 20 hours in each calendar year. The ethics requirement is only three hours, but the course must be approved by the Executive Director of the Board. The permit renewal fee is $180 and the registration renewal fee is $85 for a total of $165.
Your Oklahoma CPA license expires every year on the last day of your birth month. To renew it, you must sign on to the Registrant Portal, follow the 12-step process, and pay a $200 fee. You can also print out a form and mail it in along with your payment. However, the CPE reporting period is a rolling three-year window that coincides with the calendar year. Within each past three-year window, you must have completed 120 CPE hours including four ethics hours.
Oregon CPA renewal, like that in Kansas and Kentucky, takes place in odd-numbered years if your license number is odd and even-numbered years if your license number is even. The renewal period and CPE reporting period both end on June 30 and last two years. During that time, you must complete 80 CPE hours, at least 24 in each year. The standard four-hour ethics requirement applies, and the fee to renew is $255.
You must renew your PA CPA license every other year by December 31 in odd-numbered years. The CPE reporting period is also two years long and ends on December 31 of odd-numbered years. For each two-year period, you must complete 80 CPE hours, with at least 20 hours per year and four hours of ethics. PA CPA license renewal costs $100.
In Puerto Rico, CPA licenses expire every three years on December 1. It is unclear exactly when this three-year period starts, but presumably it does so on the year you receive your license. Every third year, you’ll pay $225 to renew between August 1 and December 1 or pay a late fee. The CPE reporting period is also triennial but begins on August 1 and ends on July 31 of your renewal year. During this time, you’ll need to complete 120 CPE hours, three of which must be in ethics.
Rhode Island CPAs must renew their licenses every three years beginning the year you first earn the certification. Licenses expire on June 30 of that year, as does the three-year CPE reporting period. For example, if you renew in 2022, your reporting period runs from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022. In this 36-month window, you must complete 120 CPE hours. At least six of those hours must be devoted to ethics. You will also need to pay a fee, but the State Board will advise you of the amount when it is time to renew.
For SC CPA license renewal, you’ll need to log in to your account at the Labor Licensing Registration Portal and pay a fee of $80. Although licenses expire every year on January 31, the CPE reporting period is actually the previous calendar year. Each year, you must take 40 CPE hours. However, the ethics requirement works a little differently. Every three years, beginning the year you get your license, you must take six hours of ethics CPE. Two of these – but only two during each three-year period – must focus on South Carolina Rules and Regulations.
South Dakota CPA renewal opens each year in June and must be completed by August 1. You can renew online or print out and mail in the forms, but either method requires a $50 renewal fee. CPE reporting, however, runs on a three-year rolling window from July 1 to June 30. For each of the previous three years, you must have completed 120 CPE hours, with at least 20 in any given year. However, there is no ethics requirement.
Tennessee CPA licenses expire every other year on December 31. Odd-numbered licenses expire on odd-numbered years, and even-numbered licenses expire on even-numbered years. Your two-year CPE reporting period will line up exactly with your renewal period. The CPE requirement is 80 hours with a 20-hour minimum each year. Additionally, there is only a single course that fulfills the two-hour ethics requirement, though it’s offered by several CPE sponsors. Finally, the fee to renew is $110.
Texas CPA license renewal takes place every year on the last day of your birth month. The CPE reporting period also ends on the last day of your birth month, but encompasses a rolling three-year period. During that period, Texas CPA renewal requirements include 120 CPE hours, with at least 20 completed per year. Every two years, you must take a four-hour approved ethics course. The Texas Board of CPA license renewal also requires you to pay a $75 fee.
Utah CPA licenses expire on December 31 of even-numbered years. You’ll have roughly the last two months of these years to renew for a cost of $63. Similarly, you must report your CPE every two years, ending in even-numbered years. You must complete 80 hours in general, but the four ethics hours have specific topic requirements.
Expiring on July 31 of odd-numbered years, Vermont CPA licenses cost $120 to renew. The biennial CPE reporting period coincides with the renewal period, lasting from August 1 of an even-numbered year to July 31 of an odd-numbered year. Vermont’s CPE requirement is the standard 80 hours, four of which must be in ethics and eight of which must be in accounting and auditing.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, CPA licenses must be renewed by June 30 every year. The cost is $135, and you can renew through NASBA’s online licensing system. The CPE reporting period, on the other hand, is a rolling window of the three calendar years preceding the renewal year. For example, for 2022, the reporting period is January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2021. During this time, CPAs must complete 120 CPE hours, including four hours of ethics in each three-year period.
For the Virginia Board of Accountancy, or VBOA, CPA renewal requires 120 CPE hours over a rolling three-calendar-year window. You must take a minimum of 20 hours a year, and at least two of those yearly hours must pertain to Virginia ethics. However, Virginia CPA licenses expire annually on June 30, so the three-year window covers the three previous calendar years. Additionally, you must pay $60 to renew.
Washington State CPA license renewal occurs every three years, presumably beginning the year you acquire your license and ending on April 30 of your renewal year. You’ll need to apply through your online SecureAccess account and pay a $230 fee. Washington State CPA renewal also requires a 120 CPE hour obligation for the three calendar years before your date of renewal. During this time, you must take at least four CPE hours of a State Board-approved ethics course.
WV CPA licenses expire each year on June 30, so West Virginia CPA license renewal runs online between May 1 and July 31 annually and costs $85. However, the CPE reporting period is a rolling three-year window consisting of the three previous calendar years. WV CPAs must complete 120 CPE hours in each three-year window with at least 20 hours in each calendar year. There is also the standard four-hour ethics requirement.
CPAs in Wisconsin have to renew by December 14 of odd-numbered years. Similarly, the CPE reporting period runs from December 15 of even-numbered years to December 14 of odd-numbered years. During this two-year window, CPAs must complete 80 hours of CPE, with no less than 20 hours each year. For WI CPA license renewal, at least three of these hours must be in the subject of ethics. Wisconsin CPA license renewal also includes a $43 fee.
Wyoming CPA renewal must take place by December 31 of each year and costs $190. The CPE reporting period also coincides with the calendar year but consists of a three-year rolling window that ends each December 31. During that time, Wyoming CPAs must take 120 CPE hours, including a four-hour, Board-approved course in ethics.
While most CPA license renew and CPE requirements are somewhat similar between states, the renewal and reporting schedules are different enough that you will need to familiarize yourself with your jurisdiction’s specifics. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to your state’s Board of Accountancy. NASBA lists contact information for each jurisdiction for just this purpose.
The answer to this question, unsurprisingly, will depend on your particular state or jurisdiction. However, in many instances, you won’t need to start taking or reporting CPE until after you renew for the first time. It is assumed your knowledge is current enough to practice.
Again, the time varies by state, but no renewal period is shorter than one year or longer than three years. However, depending on the state, your first renewal period may be shorter than usual.
The fee to renew a Georgia CPA license for a firm is $150. However, the State Board of Accountancy doesn’t provide general information about fees for individuals. When the Board notifies you that it’s time for GA CPA license renewal, it will inform you of the fee.
PA CPA renewal is done entirely online through the PA Licensing System (PALS). You must input your CPE through PALS to be able to renew your license.
The California Board of Accountancy (CBA) requires that every CPA fill out a peer review form called a PR-1 Form each time they renew. Although these reviews take place every three years, and thus every renewal period won’t contain a peer review, a PR-1 still must accompany every California CPA CBA renewal form.
This article has focused on renewing active licenses. However, most states have an inactive status that doesn’t require CPE. You can’t practice as a CPA with an inactive license, but it is far easier to reactivate than to reinstate or get a new license. In Florida, you can apply for inactive status either during a current active period or when you go to renew. Either way, you must fill out a change of status form, pay a fee (either $50 or the current renewal cost), and voluntarily relinquish your license. If you wish to reactivate, you must fill out the same form and pay a $250 fee.
To renew a CPA license in Illinois, which is necessary every three years, you must do the following:
NYS CPA license renewal must be completed online. Beginning five months of your license’s expiration date, to renew your CPA license in NY, you must log in with the New York Office of the Professions by using the PIN you were provided in your renewal notice. If you don’t have this PIN, you can contact the Office to receive it. You will also need to pay your fee with a credit card for CPA renewal NY.