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Acupuncture Advisory Board Frequently Asked Questions

1. When did licensure become effective?

Regulations requiring licensure for Licensed Acupuncturists became effective February 25, 1994.

2. How can I obtain an application for a license and how long does the process take?

Applications can be downloaded from the board’s forms and application section or you may call the board office at 804-367-4570. The average time to process an application is 6 to 8 weeks.

3. Can I practice with a temporary license until a full license is issued?

Virginia does not issue a temporary license.

4. Does your state have reciprocity?

No. An applicant must meet the education and examination requirements to become licensed.

5. My school is no longer in existence. How do I provide documentation of education?

You must provide a notarized copy of your school’s diploma and transcript and a statement that your school is no longer in existence.

6. Is there a waiver for the English proficiency test?

Yes. An applicant whose native language is not English and whose acupuncture education was also not in English may be exempt from the requirement for the Test of Spoken English or Test of English as a Foreign Language, if the majority of his clients speak the language of the acupuncturist. Applicants are still responsible and accountable for understanding the laws and regulations governing the practice of acupuncture and other Board related communications.

7. Is a referral required before an acupuncturist may treat a patient?

No. Prior to performing acupuncture, a licensed acupuncturist shall obtain written documentation that the patient has received a diagnostic examination within the past six months by a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, or podiatry acting within the scope of his practice or shall provide to the patient a written recommendation for such a diagnostic examination on a form specified by the board and signed by the patient. The original of the signed form shall be maintained in the patient’s chart and a copy provided to the patient.

8. When do I have to renew my license and how long does it take to process?

Your license must be renewed biennially during your birth month in each odd-numbered year. The fee is $135.00. Licenses are updated upon receipt of fees. A current license is printed, mailed and delivered to its destination within 10 working days. If you do not receive your updated license within four weeks of payment, contact the board office.

9. What is the difference between an active and inactive license, and what are my options to renew my license?

An active license allows practice. An inactive does not allow practice. Current certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is required to renew in an active status. You may renew in an active status, inactive status or allow your license to expire.

10. I am applying for a license in another state that requires verification of my Virginia license. How do I verify my license to another jurisdiction?

Go to and click on “License Lookup” from the menu bar. This is current, primary source verification that includes the same information the Board provides in a written verification.

You may also complete a Virginia license verification request form and submit with the appropriate processing fee.

Please note the following:

11. What if I had not notified you of my change of address and the renewal form

If you do not receive a notice to renew, you will need to contact the board office at 804-367-4600 for instructions to renew.

2. What if my renewal payment is not received by the deadline?

An additional fee for processing a late renewal will be imposed. The license will not be updated until the additional fee is received.

13. I have mailed my renewal form to you. When can I expect to receive my new wallet card?

A renewal certificate with the wallet card attached is generated upon receipt of the renewal fee. It should reach the licensees address of record within 10 to 14 business days.

14. I am going out of the country for a year. Can I renew early?

A license can only be updated within 60 days prior to the expiration date. Early renewal for military deployment may be considered.  Call 804-367-4600.

15. What do I have to do to notify the board of an upcoming name change?

A name changes must be made in writing with a copy of legal documentation of name change.  Requests may be faxed to 804-527-4426.

16. I have not received my renewal certificate for the current year. What do I need to do?

Contact the board office at 804-367-4600.

17. Can you fax renewal forms to me?


18. May I verify a license online?

Yes. Go to our License Look Up.

19. Does the Virginia Board have a newsletter?

The board publishes a Board Brief periodically. Board briefs can be found here.

20. May I renew my Virginia license online?

Yes, you are able to renew during your renewal cycle through the Online Licensing website.

21. May I change my address online?

Yes. Visit the Online Licensing site for more details.

22. If I want to file a complaint, may I obtain a complaint form online?

Yes, visit the Enforcement section of the DHP web to get the form and you may email your complaint to