California Pharmacy License

California Pharmacy License

If you are thinking about becoming a pharmacist in the state of California, you might have some questions. Or maybe you just want to ensure that the pharmacist that you typically visit is, in fact, a licensed professional. You can search for your pharmacist on the California Board of Pharmacy license lookup website. Their credentials should be available for you to find easily.

If you are trying to get a pharmacist license, here are some of the most common questions people have.

How Do I Get My Pharmacy License in California?

You will first have to know what institutions regulate pharmacist licenses. The Department of Consumer Affairs and its California Board of Pharmacy regulate the registered pharmacist profession in the state of California. They ensure that licenses are up to standard and enforce any and all laws surrounding pharmacist licenses.

This board also administers an exam that is mandatory if you want to get your pharmacy license. The California Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (CPJE) will test your knowledge of pharmacy law.

There is another board you will have to work with to receive your license. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has the details about these exams available on its website:

  • FPGEE — Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination — A standardized test that all international candidates will have to pass.
  • NAPLEX — North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam — A test that will examine your knowledge and skills when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry.

How Do You Maintain Your License?

Just acquiring your California pharmacy license will not be the end of this process. You will have to meet education requirements every two years. This means that you have to spend at least 30 hours every two years studying under a provider who is approved by either the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education or the Pharmacy Foundation of California. Make sure to keep records of your continuing education for at least four years, given the fact that licenses can be audited from time to time.

Keep in mind that you will also have to renew your license every two years to appear in the California Board of Pharmacy lookup. Make sure your contact information is always updated because once your license expires, getting it back will prove to be a complicated process.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Pharmacist in California?

There are multiple factors at play here:

  • How fast you can complete your educational and professional requirements. This includes your degree program.
  • How well you perform on all the mandatory tests.
  • How quickly you can find an internship placement, so you can complete all your required hours.
  • How much free time you can allocate to this pursuit.

Your financial stability throughout this process. You will have to pay multiple costs out of pocket before you receive your license.

You could technically get your pharmacy license within three and a half years of starting on this journey. A more accurate estimate would be anywhere between five and six years. You will be faced with a total cost of somewhere between $2,400 and $3,200. Keep in mind that you will have to pay again to retake any tests that you fail. You can check your license expiration date and other details by using the California pharmacist license lookup.

Who Regulates Pharmacies in California?

As mentioned, the California Board of Pharmacy is the main regulator of pharmacy licenses in the state. The board takes care of all aspects pertaining to operating a pharmacy in the state of California. You can also send any complaints you might have about a particular pharmacy or pharmacist directly to the board.

Can a Non-Pharmacist Own a Pharmacy in California?

While a non-pharmacist can own equity in a pharmaceutical business, they cannot be the sole owner of such a business unless they have a pharmacist license.

Does California Offer Reciprocity for Pharmacist Licenses?

Sadly, at this time, California does not have a reciprocal agreement with any other U.S. state. It only grants licenses if you have already passed all the examinations or through endorsement. Endorsement means that if you already have a license in another state, you will still have to meet all of the California requirements for licensing.


To check if your pharmacist or pharmacy tech is licensed, you can use the California pharmacy technician license lookup. If you want to get your license, be aware that the process can be lengthy and will require some funds. To check up on your existing license, you can use the California pharmacy license lookup. The information on the website is kept up to date, so you can be sure of when you need to complete relicensing requirements.

Hailey H.

Hailey H.

Hailey is a creative content writer who previously worked for various companies generating content in different industries. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is passionate about helping people understand about the written topic through her easily digestible content. Not only does she make her written pieces understandable by different audiences, she also puts lots of effort into making it easily understandable by her friend Google.