hygienist license application

Hygienist Application and Information

Attention all Applicants!!

Background checks are required for ALL license applications. The NC Board of Dental Examiners now participates in LiveScan fingerprinting for all North Carolina residents. See information on criminal background checks here.

Please note that once your application is received by the Board office, the process takes at least 90 days.

North Carolina does not have reciprocity with any other state. The Board offers Licensure by Credentials for qualified individuals, effective January 1, 2003.  A copy of the rule and the statute covering this type of licensure is included in the application packet.  Click below to download.

Download Dental Hygiene Licensure by Credentials Application

Licensure by Military Endorsement

The New rules for Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse have been approved and will go into effect September 1.

Download the Application for Dental Hygiene Licensure by Military Endorsement/Military Spouse

General Requirements

All candidates for licensure in this state who do NOT qualify for Licensure by Credentials or Military Endorsement are required to participate in written and clinical examinations.


Written examinations are offered on-line in two subject areas: infection control/sterilization and North Carolina jurisprudence.  The only acceptable clinical exam is the CITA Dental Hygiene exam.  Both written and clinical exams must be passed before a license will be issued.  Passing either the written or clinical exam alone does not fulfill requirements for licensure.  No candidate may engage in the practice of dental hygiene until the license is issued and properly displayed as required by 21 NCAC 16I .0109.

Exam Dates and Locations

FAQs about the CITA Hygiene Exam
(this document contains answers to questions you may have concerning the CITA hygiene exam)
Scheduling and information may be found on CITA's website at
www.citaexam.com.

NC Dental Hygiene Schools

Provisional Licensure

• A provisional license enables a dental hygienist to practice dental hygiene in this State under the direction of a dentist licensed in North Carolina.

• To be eligible for a provisional license, a dental hygienist must have held a license in another state for at least 2 years and have passed a clinical exam.

• A provisional license will be valid for one year or until a full license is issued. The provisional license may not be renewed or extended for any reason.

• Verification of  licensure from any and all states in which the candidate is licensed is required. All verifications of licensure must include the signature of the Board’s secretary and the Board’s seal. An original license or copy of the license is not acceptable.

• The application fee for a provisional license is $60.00 (non-refundable).

• The dentist with whom the candidate intends to practice must send a letter verifying employment before the provisional license can be issued.

• All applicants must take and pass the jurisprudence test and the sterilization/infection control test with a minimum grade of 80 before receiving the provisional license.  This test is administered online or can be taken in the Board office Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm.

• It is not necessary to have employment before taking the written exams.

• Any dental hygienist who has failed any portion of the CITA exam is not eligible for a provisional license.  By the same token, if a provisional license holder fails any portion of the CITA exam, their provisional license immediately becomes null and void.

In addition, the Board reserves the right to further test any applicant who applies for a provisional license in order to be assured of his or her clinical proficiency.

Application for Dental & Provisional Licensure

Download the Hygiene/Provisional Licensure Application
(This application is for those individuals who took or will take the CITA exam)

• Applications by mail may also be requested by 
Email: info@ncdentalboard.org  or by Electronic Forms
Executive Office: 507 Airport Blvd., Suite 105 • Morrisville, NC 27560
Office: (919) 678-8223 or Fax: (919) 678-8472

Functions of the Board of Dental Examiners
The administration of licensure examinations for dentists and dental hygienists
The promulgation of rules and enforcement of laws and regulations governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene in this state
The issuance and renewal of licenses to dentists and dental hygienists