Renew Credential

Renewal of Certification/Recertification

The Purpose of recertification, or renewal of certification, is to enhance the quality of addiction counseling delivered to the public and to meet the requirements for recertification by the ACCBC.

To support this purpose, renewal/recertification requires continuing education courses that enhance professional development and recognize learning opportunities that are specifically related to providing AOD counseling beyond entry-level. This is accomplished through continuing education courses that are specifically related to the topics on the CATC exam; counseling skills (basic courses), including at the Masters level, may not be used for renewal. These continuing education courses must also be approved for content and high standards.

Renewal/Recertification Cycle

Renewal/recertification is required every two (2) calendar years. The two-year recertification cycle was selected to conform to California Code of Regulations Section 13055. The two year recertification cycle was adopted by the ACCBC based on the understanding that the practice of AOD changes over time and that new techniques and understanding are introduced to the field on an ongoing basis. Qualified counselors participate in frequent and ongoing learning and professional development through participation in activities designed to increase an individual’s knowledge, awareness, and/or skills in AOD counseling.

Renewal/Recertification Requirements

CATCs must obtain 40 TAP 21-specific CEHs/CEUs every two years. 9 of those hours must be in addiction-specific laws and ethics. ACCBC requires that all CATCs must obtain CEHs/CEUs from providers that meet TAP 21 criteria and federal standards. CEUs must be evidenced by a certificate of completion from the provider.

Renewal/Recertification Applications:

A complete CATC Certification Renewal Application includes:

1) Non-refundable payment of the Certification Renewal fee (see ACCBC payment page). If paying by check, money order, or cashiers check, please make payable to “CAADE”.

2)  CEU certificates verifying at least forty (40) TAP 21 related CEUs; nine (9) of those CEUs must be in Addiction Counselor Laws & Ethics. Copies of CEU certificates must be included with renewal. All CEUs must be obtained from an approved CEU provider; be contracted by level of government (city, county, state, federal); or be from a regionally accredited college. All CEUs must pertain to the field of addiction counseling and must be dated within two (2) calendar years from the dates of renewal. CEU certificates must include the name of counselor, title of training, date received, and amount of CEUs awarded. CEU certificates from government agencies that are not already approved providers must clearly have evidence of being from a government agency.

3) Completed Certification Renewal Application.  All applications can be found here.

       4) Copy of driver’s license or government issued photo identification.

Certification renewal applications will not be accepted by the ACCBC office more than sixty (60) calendar days prior to certification expiration date.

Renewing Expired Certification:

If your certification has been expired for at least one (1) calendar day but less than one (1) calendar year, please renew using the Expired Certification Renewal.

Certifications that have been expired for one (1) calendar year or more will be required to retake and pass the CATC Exam before being allowed to renew the expired certification. If your certification has been expired for one (1) calendar year or more, you will need to first submit the Exam Eligibility Application. After successfully passing the CATC Exam, you will then need to submit the Expired Certification Renewal Application.

Completed applications can be submitted to the ACCBC office either by emailing as a PDF attachment to or by postal mail to: (Faxed applications will not be accepted).

Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California

5230 Clark Ave, Suite #6, Lakewood, CA, 90712

Phone: 800-991-2997  Email:


Incomplete Applications:

Recertification applications are considered incomplete if any of the required information is missing and/or illegible, or the appropriate fee is not included. Recertification applications must be complete before they are processed and approved. Individuals are responsible for notifying the ACCBC in writing of any changes in address or phone number, including email address. PLEASE NOTE: Certification renewal is the responsibility of each certified individual – the ACCBC does not send out renewal notices.

  • The ACCBC reserves the right to verify any information provided on applications.
  • All applications are reviewed to ensure that all requirements are met.

Applications will be reviewed within thirty (30) calendar days upon receipt by the ACCBC office (unless otherwise stated on application). Applications will not be approved until all required documents have been submitted with the correct information and fees have been paid in full. Failure to submit a complete application will delay the processing time of an application. Applications submitted in person to the ACCBC office will be subject to the same processing time policies as applications that are submitted through mail and/or email.

If an application requires additional documentation or is incomplete, the applicant will be notified by the ACCBC office within thirty (30) calendar days by both email and postal mail documenting the steps required to complete the application. If an application remains incomplete beyond ninety (90) calendar days after date received by the ACCBC office, it will be voided and will require submission of a new application and fees. If that application still remains incomplete after ninety (90) calendar days from the first date it was received by the ACCBC office, even if additional documents have come in during those ninety (90) days, the application will be voided if it is still incomplete. The ninety (90) days does not start over each time additional documents are submitted. Applications that are voided for remaining incomplete over ninety (90) calendar days will not be returned to the applicant and, if voided, the applicant will be responsible for submitting a new complete application with required fee. Individuals whose applications that are voided for remaining incomplete over ninety (90) days forfeit the fee paid with the application.

If an application is approved, the applicant will be notified within thirty (30) calendar days by postal mail with a letter of approval. If a certification is approved, a copy of the new counseling certificate will accompany the letter of approval. If an application is denied, the applicant will be notified within thirty (30) calendar days by postal mail with a letter of denial specifying the reasons for denial and the applicant’s right to appeal.

Certification program staff complete an Ethics Violation check, for all applications, with all other certifying organizations in California as well as the DHCS online file of sanctions and revocations. If the counselor has not had a sanction or revocation of their credential, a check is made with the DHCS website and the two other CO searchable databases online to insure that the CATC has not been revoked or suspended.

Recertification applications will not be accepted from individuals whose certification is in a state of suspension or has been revoked.