Licensing & Registration
Licenses are renewed on a three-year cycle set by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The current renewal cycle ends Sept. 30, 2018.
In 2006 it became law that in order for anyone to hold themselves out as a CPA to the public in Illinois, they must have an active license or registration with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the licensing body for CPAs in Illinois.
Anyone obtaining the CPA credential after June 30, 2012, is required to obtain a CPA license as the Registered CPA* category is no longer available for new applicants.
- May use the "CPA" designation,
- Can perform accountancy activities,
- Must complete 120 hours of CPE every three years (including 4 hours of ethics) and
- Are exempt from the IRS requirements for the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation.
Find a Licensed CPA
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) provides a searchable database of all licensed professionals in Illinois. (in the first field choose 'PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT' from the dropdown menu.)
CPAverify, a free CPA lookup tool, is a centralized database of licensed CPAs across the country.
An individual license and a license for all firms are required. An individual license is all that is required for a sole practitioner, unless the firm name suggests the firm consists of more than one person (such as "and associates" or "and company").
For further instruction on the use of the CPA (Inactive), Licensed CPA or Registered CPA titles see the Illinois Public Accounting Act FAQs (PDF).
*Registered CPA Designation
New Applications for Registered CPAs are Closed.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) stopped accepting new applications for the "Registered CPA" category on June 30, 2012. All active registrations as of June 30th will be grandfathered and renewable for life.
Actively Registered CPAs (1) may use the "CPA" designation, (2) can perform accountancy activities except for attestation services (audits and reviews), (3) do not have a CPE requirement and (4) are not exempt from the IRS requirements for the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation.
Registered CPAs have to renew every 3 years with IDFPR in order to stay in compliance. The last renewal cycle ended Sept. 30, 2015, and the next renewal cycle will end Sept. 30, 2018.
Questions, comments, feedback on Licensing & Registration contact:
Jill Loeser, Manager, Government Relations
217.789.7914 or 800.572.9870 (Illinois only)