License status changes

A status change cannot be completed in your My State Bar Profile, however, continuing reading below for information on how to complete the following status changes:

Please note: The only voluntary statuses are active, inactive and resigned.

Transfer to inactive

If you no longer practice law in California and wish to transfer to voluntary inactive status, please note that for your 2023 annual fees to be calculated at the lower inactive rate, you must formalize your status change by submitting the required Application to Transfer to Inactive form no later than February 1. 

Please note: Transfers to inactive status after February 1 will not reduce active fees owed. You may change your status to inactive after February 1; however, you must pay annual fees at the active rate and will not be entitled to a refund because of the change to inactive status. 

Transfer to active

If you are currently on voluntary inactive status and wish to transfer to active, please submit the Request to Transfer to Active Status form.

Please note: Under California Rule of Court 9.9.5, all inactive licensed attorneys must be fingerprinted prior to being placed on active status. View the fingerprinting rule requirement information

A status change to active will be effective upon the State Bar's receipt of the Request to Transfer to Active Status form and compliance with the fingerprinting requirement. Additionally, if applicable, once the annual fees have been adjusted, payment will be expected immediately. 

Voluntarily resign

The State Bar does not have a retired status option. If you simply stop paying annual fees, your license will be suspended. Additionally, notification of retirement is not sufficient to change your status.

Please remember that annual license fees are waived for licensees on inactive status who are 70 years of age on February 1 and will continue to be waived for subsequent years, as long as they remain inactive. Resignation, however, should be considered a permanent step, for attorneys who are certain they would not wish to practice law in California again. Re-admission after resignation would require a reinstatement petition in the State Bar Court, an expensive and time-consuming process which usually entails re-taking most of the bar exam.

If you would like to voluntarily resign, log in to your My State Bar Profile and click the “Bar Card, Payment Receipt(s), and Other Documents” link in your profile menu.  

Under the "Bar Card, Payment Receipt(s), and Other Documents" heading, click "Get my Bar Card, Payment Receipt(s), and Other Documents" to access the required Voluntary Resignation form. 

Next, scroll down and select the Voluntary Resignation link.

Please take a moment to carefully review the information provided in the Voluntary Resignation area. If resignation is still your choice after you review the information, please print the Voluntary Resignation Form and follow the instructions for final submission.