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Renewal FAQs


Certification & Licensure Renewal FAQs

Q.  When do I have to renew my certification/licensure and what is needed?

A.  Renewal requires documentation of Continuing Education, affirmation of compliance with the statute and rules governing social work practice, and applicable fee.  This is done through submission of the Renewal Affidavit.

Except for LCSW Associate license (LCSWA), all certifications and the LCSW license will have a June 30th expiration date.  The Board will send a renewal reminder notice at least 45 days before your credential expires.  It is your responsibility to know when your credential expires and to download, complete, and submit the Renewal Affidavit along with the required fee PRIOR to the expiration date of your certificate or license.  The completed Renewal Affidavit along with the appropriate fee MUST be received in the Board’s office on or prior to the expiration date to avoid paying the late fee.  Renewals postmarked on June 30th but not received in the Board office are considered late and will require the late fee before renewal is processed.  The Renewal Affidavit may be downloaded from the Forms section under this (Certification & Licensure) tab.


Q.  How many continuing education credits are required to renew my certificate/license?

A.  Certificates/Licenses issued for two years are required to have completed 40 clock hours of acceptable continuing education credits. Certificates/Licenses issued for less than two years are required to complete at least 30 clock hours of acceptable continuing education.  In both cases, at least four (4) hours must be related to social work ethics.

NOTE: LCSW Associate (LCSWA) licensees wishing to renew their associate level license in order to satisfy the 3000 hours of supervised clinical practice, MUST have taken and passed the ASWB clinical exam in order to be eligible for renewal. LCSWA licensees, including those requesting to renew their associate license and those moving from LCSWA status to LCSW licensure are held to the same continuing education requirements as set forth in the NC Administrative Code, T21: 63 .0401.  LCSWA renewal cycles less than two years are subject to pro-rated continuing education requirements.  Please check the Board's Position Statement on Continuing Education, available from the home page under a separate tab, or contact the Board office for specific questions.  Please refer to the LCSW ASSOCIATE LICENSE tab for more information and to download the Renewal Affidavit for LCSWA renewal.

Q.  Will the Board pre-approve my continuing education credits?

A.  The Board does NOT pre-approve courses or providers for continuing education units (CEUs).  Please refer to the Continuing Education section under this tab and/or the NCGS and Administrative Rules, which explains the Board’s guidelines on continuing education. 

Distance education courses (online courses, home study courses, etc.) require ASWB provider approval, or must be approved by the North Carolina Chapter of NASW to be considered acceptable by the Board toward meeting the CE requirements for renewal of a certificate/license; however, the Board retains the authority to accept only CE activities that comply with the regulatory guidelines.  Please visit the organizations respective websites at and to locate approved courses and providers. No more than one-half (1/2) of your CE activity may be obtained through distance education.

Q.   How do I determine contact hours when the course or certificate reports CEU’s?

A.   Contact hours reflect the hours of instruction and do not include breaks.  If contact hours are not reflected on the certificate of attendance, CEU (Continuing Education Units) will be recorded for contact hours. 

Q.  How can my certification/licensure be put on inactive or non-practicing status?

A.  A certified/licensed social worker desiring to retire temporarily from the practice of social work may place their certificate or license on non-practicing status (NP) by sending written notice thereof to the Board.  Upon receipt of such notice, the certification/license status will be changed to non-practicing (NP) and the social worker shall not be subject to payment of renewal fees during the non-practicing period.

Re-activating a credential that is still current (has not gone beyond the expiration date) requires only a written request to re-activate the certificate or license.  To reactivate a certificate/license that has expired, submit a cover letter requesting re-activation along with the completed Renewal Affidavit documenting the required Continuing Education activity (CE must have occurred within the two years preceding the reactivation), along with the required renewal fee. LCSWA licensees may reactivate an expired license only if they passed the qualifying examination during their initial licensure period and have sufficient time remaining to satisfy the supervised practice requirements within the alloted six-years from the original issue date of the license.

Q.  How long does the renewal process usually take?

A.  The review process may take a minimum of 21 days upon receipt of a completed renewal affidavit packet, including all required documents.

Q.  My certification/license expired and I would like to renew/reactive it.  What do I need to do?

A.  A certificate or license that expired may be renewed with an additional $50 late fee within 60 days of the expiration date.  This is NOT a grace period as the credential has expired.  You may NOT call yourself a Certified or Licensed social worker if your credential is expired, and you may NOT engage in clinical social work practice until your clinical license is reactivated.

If more than 60 days has passed, the certificate or license has been suspended for failure to renew and will require application for reinstatement.  This is not a disciplinary suspension; however, reinstatement requires an additional fee; and, individuals who were “grandfathered” into certification or licensure by academic and/or exam exemption will have to meet the current requirements to be eligible for reinstatement, including social work degree and appropriate examination.