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Initial CPA license

In order to use the CPA title in Virginia, an individual must be licensed in Virginia or a substantially equivalent state or jurisdiction. An individual must hold a CPA license in Virginia if providing services to the public using the CPA title and the principal place of business in which those services are provided is in Virginia.

Pursuant to § 54.1-116, Code of Virginia, all CPA license applicants must provide a U.S. Social Security Number or control number issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Applicants without a U.S. SSN or control number issued by the Virginia DMV are not eligible for a Virginia CPA license.

Steps to apply for an initial CPA license in Virginia:

  1. Pass all four sections of the CPA exam within an 18-month time period
  2. Login to apply for an initial CPA license
  3. Complete a one-time professional ethics course offered by the AICPA

After completing the online application the applicant will be notified to submit supporting documentation regarding education requirements, experience qualifications, and continuing professional education, including the annual Virginia-Specific Ethics Course.

Professional Ethics Course

Complete the AICPA self-study Professional Ethics: AICPA's Comprehensive Course with a score of 90% or better. Request during the registration process with the AICPA that the certification of completion with course score be mailed directly to the VBOA or the applicant may mail/fax/email a copy of the course certificate with score to the VBOA.

Questions about the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct may be directed to the AICPA Professional Ethics Division at ethics@aicpa.org or by calling the Ethics Hotline at 888-777-7077.

Verifications of Education and Experience

Verify with the VBOA the education requirements by having official transcripts mailed directly from the institution to the VBOA. Complete the Experience Verification Form and mail to the VBOA to verify experience qualifications.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Verify with the VBOA CPE requirements for initial licensure in Virginia. In general, the CPE requirements are as follows:

  • No CPE is required for initial licensure if obtained in the same calendar-year in which the applicant passed the CPA exam.
  • If the applicant has not held a CPA license of any other state and applies for a Virginia license after the end of the calendar-year in which the applicant passed the CPA exam, CPE must be obtained prior to applying for a Virginia license. CPE includes the annual Virginia-Specific Ethics Course.
  • A copy of the certificate(s) of completion from the CPE sponsor(s) that includes the sponsor(s)’ name, applicant’s name, course/content name, date taken and CPE hours earned must be submitted to the VBOA.
  • The minimum required number of hours of CPE to obtain a Virginia CPA license shall be:


    • 40 hours if the applicant applies for licensure by the end of the first calendar-year after the calendar-year in which the applicant passed the CPA exam.
    • 80 hours if the applicant applies for licensure by the end of the second calendar-year after the calendar-year in which the applicant passed the CPA exam.
    • 120 hours if the applicant applies for licensure more than two calendar-years after the calendar-year in which the applicant passed the CPA exam.

Virginia-Specific Ethics Course

The two-hour Virginia-Specific Ethics Course is a separate and distinct annual requirement from the one-time eight-hour AICPA ethics course needed for initial licensure.

The Board has approved the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) as the only provider of content/material for the Virginia-Specific Ethics Course.

The course must be instructor-led but may be presented in a variety of different formats including, but not limited to, live seminars, conference sessions, online self-study, live webcast and webcast replays, on-demand webcast and in-house training.

Application for licensure

Virginia applicants
Login to exam record and select Initial Application

Applicants not from Virginia
Login to enter last name, license number and birth date. If the applicant is unable to apply online for licensure, contact the VBOA.

Use of the CPA title is not permitted until approval of the license (shown as Active) is posted on the VBOA’s Licensee Search and, therefore, made available for public confirmation.

Passed CPA exam in another state or jurisdiction

If the applicant has passed the CPA exam in another state or jurisdiction, in addition to the above requirements, the applicant must request the respective state board of accountancy to transfer their CPA exam scores to the VBOA.