Blogs > GMC Registration

How to restore your GMC licence

  • April 14, 2022

To practice medicine in the UK you will need to hold GMC Registration with a licence to practice.

An individual’s status as a registered doctor holding a licence to practise will form part of their electronic record on the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners.

Often, doctors leave the UK to visit family and during this time some like to take up temporary work in their home country. The GMC does not require doctors to retain registration or a licence to practice when they are not engaged in medical practice in the UK. During this instance, it is important for doctors to work within the guidelines and standards of the GMC and to ensure they comply with and are active on any foreign register prior to working abroad.

If you want to temporarily leave the UK to work abroad there will be three options available to you:

1.Relinquish your registration
2.Relinquish your licence
3.Voluntary erasure (giving up your licence and registration)

Maintaining your registration – with or without a licence

To maintain your GMC registration whilst you work overseas, you must pay your annual retention fee and keep the GMC informed of your up-to-date contact details such as your overseas address.

You can choose to hold a licence to practise whilst practising abroad, but you will need to revalidate prior to your return.

Restoring your registration

If you need to restore your registration you can do so up to three months before you need it to start. It is important to make an early application so that there are no delays upon your return to the UK.

You must make your application online via the GMC website. Check the GMC website for current evidence requirements and the process that you need to follow.

If the GMC withdrew your licence for failing to meet one or more of the revalidation requirements, it may take longer to process your application. 

As well as the evidence listed for restoring licence applications, you will also have to provide evidence you failed to provide previously before they will give you back your licence. This could involve: 

  • giving information about your connection to a designated body
  • submitting evidence of an annual appraisal where you have reflected on the supporting information you are required to collect
  • taking a revalidation assessment if you do not have a connection to a designated body or suitable person. 

When they assess your application, they will tell you if they need information about your revalidation. If you would like further advice, please contact the GMC.

If you haven't been registered with another medical regulator you will not need to provide a certificate of good standing.

If you have been registered with another medical regulator you'll need to send over a certificate of good standing from medical regulators you've been registered or licensed with in the last five years other than the GMC. You'll need to do this even if you've not worked in that country.

They may send you a certificate of past good standing if you're not registered or licensed with them now. You can find out which medical regulatory authority to contact in our certificate of good standing database.

Each certificate is only valid for three months from the date it's signed.

Will I need to attend an identity check?

We may invite you to attend an identity check if you have not attended one before. However, this will usually be after we have approved and granted your licence, and so will not delay you starting work.


Every licensed doctor who practises medicine in the UK must revalidate their licence. Revalidation ensures your medical knowledge and practice is up to date and drives improvements in clinical governance and will provide patients with confidence.

For information on how to re-validate click here.

If you are an international doctor who wants to relocate to the UK and work within the NHS send your CV to [email protected] – and we will be happy to help you. In addition, if you would like support from an online forum of other IMG’s join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor: IMG Advisor.


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