Online License Renewal Becoming Available in More States

Alabama, South Carolina and New Mexico have joined the list of states offering accountants the option of renewing their CPA licenses online. New Mexico provided CPAs with registration codes in their license renewal letters that they will need to access the state’s database. Registrants must also provide their license numbers.


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Residents of Florida are so proud of their state’s technology that they advertise, their Web site on their license plates. CPAs are encouraged to renew online and may also report their CPE credits and apply for firm licensure renewal online. The law exam and ethics course required for renewal are available online. Individuals seeking to renew licenses in Florida set up accounts with the Bureau of Business and Professional Registration using their license numbers and other identifying information.

The Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy and Alabama Interactive, the e-government partner for the State of Alabama, emphasize security on their Web site. The online renewal application is SSL encrypted and the site protects personal and payment information. Social Security Numbers are not in the Alabama database in their entirety; only the last four digits are used in the log-in procedure. Renewal applications in other states are SSL encrypted.

Access to the states’ online renewal applications requires setting up individual accounts, and many states, including Wisconsin and Oklahoma, send PIN numbers for these accountants in their renewal letters. Iowa requires only the CPA license number for entry to the renewal database.

Minnesota renews CPA certificates online but requires a written statement of qualifying experience for the license renewal. Alabama charges a $2.50 convenience fee in addition to the registration fee, a charge that Idaho has dropped. Standard payment is by credit card.

States that have the appropriate technology, like Virginia, encourage online license renewal because it is cost-effective. But states must now prepare to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act and Help America Vote, which could have a major impact on the future of online licensing as the technology evolves, reports.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) lists the Web addresses for all 50 state professional licensing boards as well as Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C. and the territories.

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