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License to practice

Before you can apply for your GMC registration, you will need to have a license to practise in the UK. This is regardless of the type of registration you require and applies to all doctors practising in the UK whether you are working in the NHS or independent sector, on a permanent or temporary basis.

The licence to practise gives a doctor the legal authority to undertake certain activities in the UK, for example prescribing, signing death or cremation certificates and holding certain medical posts (such as working as a doctor in the NHS). You will need a licence if you come to practise in the UK, even for a short period.

You will need to complete an online application form to apply for a license to practise.

When applying for your license to practise, in the first instance you will need to supply the following documents:
  • Proof of identify: either a photocopy of your current passport or if you are an EEA or Swiss national and have a national identity card.
  • Certificate(s) of good standing
  • Provision of medical services statement(s)
  • Translations of any documents not in English
You must send originals of all these documents by post unless you are asked to provide photocopies and you may be required to attend a face-to-face identity check.


There is no fee to apply for a licence to practise. However you will need to ensure that your current year's annual retention fee (ARF) with the GMC is paid before submitting your application.

For more information and to start the application process go to the GMC website – click here
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