The requested extension would help ensure that dentists and hygienists do not practice without a valid license or have to deal with the burden of showing physical proof of all CE certificates.
Due to an IT conversion process, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has still not yet opened the online renewal window for Illinois dentists and dental hygienists and no email notices for renewals have been issued. At this point and as you have realized, the 2021 renewal process has been significantly delayed from normal.
ISDS finds this very concerning for our members, given the current renewal deadline of September 30. In response, ISDS Government Relations Director, Dave Marsh, has sent a letter to the Acting Secretary and Director of IDFPR to request a variance regarding the time frame for license renewal and extend the deadline to December 31. You may view the attached letter to read it in full. To be clear with the request, all continuing education (CE) requirements and Basic Life Support certification would still need to be completed by September 30. The requested extension would help ensure that dentists and hygienists do not practice without a valid license or have to deal with the burden of showing physical proof of all CE certificates.
We assure you, as soon as we learn of more information, we will pass it along to our members. In the meantime, please make sure that your information is current on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website. To change your Address, e-mail address or telephone number, please visit: https://www.idfpr.com/applications/LicenseReprint/
Letter to IDFPR:
August 18, 2021
Acting Secretary, Mario Treto, Jr.
Acting Director, Cecilia Abundis
Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation
320 W. Washington, 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62786
Dear Secretary Treto, Jr. and Director Abundis –
This letter is to bring attention to a situation that is developing regarding the statutorily required time frame for license renewal for both dentists and dental hygienists.
Normally, in June, during a renewal year, notices are sent via email from IDFPR in order to give dentists and hygienists sufficient time to comply and to not overwhelm the state system with applications. Dentists must submit a renewal application for their general dental license, specialty license (if applicable) and controlled substance license. In addition, they must provide proof of current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification and comply with two new mandates passed by the General Assembly on Safe Opioid Prescribing Practices and Sexual Harassment Prevention.
As we are sure you are aware, the new IDFPR technology conversion process, and the subsequent renewal portal that would allow dentists and hygienists to begin the online process, has been delayed. This is causing great concern among the members of the dental community as the September 30th deadline approaches and they are unable to start the renewal process.
To resolve the issue, we are requesting you grant a variance, per your authority as Secretary, regarding the time frame for license renewal and extend the deadline to December 31, 2021. The logic for this extension is that there will not be sufficient time for IDFPR to process the thousands of dental and hygienist licenses within the remaining six weeks in order to meet the licensure deadline, as the system will be flooded with renewal applications and mandatory submissions. Secondly, the statute does provide, in Section 16 of the Illinois Dental Practice Act, for a 90-day grace period if a dentist fails to meet the September 30th deadline, but they must submit all of the 48 hours of continuing education (CE) and other documentation as required by IDFPR. We ask that this be waived and that they should only be required to attest that they have completed the required CE hours, as is required during the normal application period.
We are requesting you consider this as a possible solution, as we are committed to working with you and your department to renew dentists’ and hygienists’ licenses with as little confusion as possible. Failure to have a current license has serious ramifications to dentists, from a liability standpoint, who have hospital staff positions as well as its effect on their Federal DEA permits for prescribing purposes.
For your review, I have attached the appropriate sections of the Illinois Dental Practice Act (225 ILCS 25/16 Expiration, Renewal and Restoration of Licenses; Section 1220.170; Section 1220.270 Renewal of the Administrative Code).
Please feel free to contact me to discuss this important pending matter. I look forward to working with you and IDFPR to resolve this significant issue.