When Can I Petition for Reinstatement?

A person whose license has been revoked or suspended may petition for reinstatement or reduction of penalty under Gov. Code, § 11522, which applies to virtually all state agencies that license or register people or entities and take action against their licenses. It specifically governs petitions for reinstatement, except when an agency has its own statute that conflicts with the Government Code. Many state agencies do have their own statutes governing applications for reinstatement.

Please note that there is apparently no constitutional right to get a revoked license reinstated or to petition an agency for modification or early termination of probation based on a disciplinary decision that has become final. The revocation is permanent unless a statute allows an agency to reinstate a license or terminate a suspension or the decision revoking the license expressly grants permission to apply for reinstatement. So, the authority for reinstatement is solely by statute.

Here, Gov. Code, § 11522 provides that a petition for reinstatement or for modification or early termination of probation may be filed 1 year or more from the effective date of the discipline or from the denial of a similar petition for reinstatement or for modification or early termination of probation. However, again, numerous agencies have their own, more particular provisions for petitions for reinstatement or reduction of penalty. For example, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2760.1) provides for the following time frames:

  • 3 years – for reinstatement of a license that was revoked.
  • 2 years – for early termination of a probation period of three years or more.
  • 1 year – for modification of a condition, or reinstatement of a license revoked for mental or physical illness, or termination of probation of less than three years.

In all situations, except that the BRN may specify in its order or stipulation a lesser period of time provided that the period shall be not less than one year.
Please note that a petition cannot be considered while the petitioner is under sentence for any criminal offense, including any court-imposed probation or parole, or is subject to an order of registration as a mentally disordered sex offender.
In addition, an unsuccessful petitioner can generally file a subsequent petition one year after the effective date of the denial of a previous petition. Although, again, their are statutes providing otherwise for specific licensing agencies.