The Governor approved legislation on August 26, 2009 that authorized an increase of 15% in the professional licensing registration fees effective September 25, 2009. This new law applies to all professions licensed under Title VIII of the Education Law except Physician, Physician Assistant, and Specialist Assistant, whose fees are transmitted to the Department of Health. The enactment of this legislation is a first step toward restoring the ability of the Office of the Professions to ensure the health, safety and welfare of New Yorkers.
The board has provided information on their web site (www.op.nysed.gov) and the following questions and answers will provide you with more information about the surcharge.
Questions and Answers
- 1. How does this affect new applicants for licensure?
The fee increase is being charged to individuals who submit an initial application for licensure after September 25, 2009. The registration fee must be included with the application fee and provides for the first three-year registration period once the license is issued. The fee to be submitted with the application is available for each profession at www.op.nysed.gov/proflist.htm.
- 2. How does this affect licensees who will register in the future?
A licensee must be registered to practice the profession. All re-registration notices sent to current licensees after September 25, 2009 reflect the new 15% surcharge.
- 3. Why did the registration fee go up?
This is the first fee increase in 20 years, and fees have not kept pace with the Office of the Professions' increasing responsibilities to protect the public by overseeing the licensure and safe practice of 48 professions in New York State. The Legislature and the Governor recognized that a modest fee increase was necessary to stabilize the Office of the Professions account.
- 4. What fees are affected by the increase?
This 15% increase only applies to initial registration and re-registration fees for individual licensees (except Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Specialist Assistants).
- 5. I already received my re-registration bill, but have not yet paid. Do I need to pay the higher amount?
No, any current licensee who has already received a re-registration bill will pay the amount listed in the bill regardless of the registration period start date.
- 6. I have not yet received my re-registration bill, does this mean I will pay the higher fee?
Yes. Bills going out after September 25, 2009 reflect the higher fee. This will impact current licensees whose re-registration period begins on or after February 1, 2010.
- 7. Why are bills mailed so far in advance?
We are required by law to mail re-registration notices four months in advance.
- 8. I already paid my re-registration fee. Will I be back-billed?
- 9. I already paid my initial registration fee. Will I be back-billed?
Initial registration fees received after September 25 are required to include the surcharge. After that date, new applicants who do not include the surcharge in their payment will be sent a bill for the surcharge amount.
- 10. Will you stop processing my licensure application if I didn’t include the correct fee for the new surcharge?
No, you will be billed, but we will continue to process the application. The license and registration cannot be issued until the full fee is received.
- 11. What will the Office of the Professions do with this money?
All expenditures are subject to approval by the Division of the Budget. We intend to utilize these funds to upgrade technology, hire needed staff, pursue claims of illegal practice, provide better service to our customers, and, most importantly, increase public protection.
- 12. Where can I find the section of law that establishes the fee increase?
The Legislature enacted a new section 6507-a of the Education Law to authorize the imposition of the 15% surcharge on registration fees. The surcharge is rounded up to the nearest dollar and is in addition to the fees established in the Education Law for each licensed profession.