Apply for the Bar Exam

Welcome to the State Bar of California's Application to take the Bar Examination

An important message from the State Bar of California:

The Application for the February 2017 California Bar Examination will be available on October 1, 2016

The Timely Filing Deadline for applicants who did not take the July 2016 California Bar Examination is November 1, 2016.

Applicants who took and did not pass the July 2016 California Bar Examination can start applying for the February 2017 California Bar Examination on November 18, 2016 after 6:00 pm.

The Timely Filing Deadline for applicants who took the July 2016 California Bar Examination is December 7, 2016.

All applications and fees, including any late fees in effect, must be received in the Office of Admissions no later than the Final Filing Deadline on January 16, 2017.

If you do not receive an email confirmation, you have not submitted the California Bar Examination Online Application correctly.

If you have an email spam blocker, please add to your contact or safe list. After you submit your application, an email confirmation will be sent to your email address from

You may receive important email notifications from the State Bar of California's Office of Admissions regarding the status of your application and/or admission status at the email address you provide on your application. 

If you have an email spam blocker, please also add to your contact or safe list. Once your application is approved, approximately 8 weeks prior to the examination, you will receive an email from this email address informing you that you can print your admittance ticket through the Admission Status Screen.

Applicants previously admitted to the State Bar of California may not apply for the California Bar Examination unless ordered to take the examination by the California Supreme Court.

You must first register as a law student or as an attorney applicant with the State Bar of California Office of Admissions.

You must have an approved Registration Application on file within 10 days of submitting your examination application or by the Final Filing Deadline whichever is earlier; otherwise, your exam application will be terminated and your fees refunded.

Once an examination application is terminated, if you reapply, any applicable late fees will be charged.

If you are an attorney applicant who has not previously registered, this application may be used to register and apply for the California Bar Examination simultaneously.

You only need to Register once!

Most applicants attending California law schools registered when they first began the study of law. If you have previously taken an examination administered by the State Bar of California Office of Admissions, you are already registered.

If you are a general applicant and have not previously registered, click the back arrow to go to the Registration Application.

A VISA or MASTERCARD credit card is required to use the online application system. Debit Cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo are also accepted.

If you have not yet filed your moral character determination application, your admission to practice law may be delayed if you are successful on the bar examination. 

These applications should be filed at the beginning of your final year of law study, and should be filed no later than six months prior to the release of results, if you want to be admitted shortly after being notified that you passed the examination. 

Processing of moral character determination applications generally takes a minimum of 180 days to complete. 

Last updated: 8/12/2016 9:57:00 AM PST

Get Acrobat Reader NOTE: This application consists of one or more additional forms available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To view and/or print these documents (indicated by the PDF symbol) you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you have problems with Acrobat Reader, click here for Acrobat Reader customer support.

If you have not registered with the Office of Admissions, you must first submit the Registration application.

Instructions for the Application to take the California Bar Examination

PDF opens in new window Immediate Repeater Deadlines are available for download.

Separate and distinct applications are required for the registration, moral character determination, First-Year Law Students' Examination, California Bar Examination, and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Please review the schedule of fees for the various application fees.

Summary of Requirements for Admission to Practice Law in California

Please carefully read the summary of requirements for admission to practice law in California before completing the online registration. If you wish to have a copy of the current Admissions Rules you can access them on the Internet by visiting the Admissions portion of the State Bar's website at

To be admitted to practice law in California, an applicant must:

  1. Complete the necessary pre-legal education;
  2. File a registration application and be permitted to register as a law student or attorney applicant;
  3. Complete the required legal education;
  4. File an application, establish eligibility, take and pass the First-Year Law Students' Examination, or establish exemption from the examination;
  5. File an application, establish eligibility, take and pass the California Bar Examination;
  6. File an application for moral character determination and receive a positive moral character determination from the Committee of Bar Examiners;
  7. File an application, take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, and achieve a scaled score of 86.00 or greater, which examination is administered and graded by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;
  8. Comply with California court-ordered child or family support obligations.

There is no requirement of citizenship or residency, and there is no reciprocity with other states.

How To Use The State Bar of California's Application to take the Bar Examination

To complete the online application, simply type your answers in the corresponding fields or select your answers from the pop-up lists (where applicable).

After you complete a screen, click the NEXT button at the bottom or on one of the sections listed on the left column to move to a different screen. Before you are allowed to jump screens, we will inspect your data on the current screen for errors or inconsistencies. If errors or omissions are found, you will be returned to the screen to correct your answer(s). Otherwise, your data will be saved and you will proceed to the requested screen. We also allow you to skip to another screen without your new data being saved. Be aware that if you use the Skip & Jump function on the left column, data on the current screen will not be saved and will have to be re-entered prior to submittal.

Once you have completed the application, click the 'SUBMIT YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION' button located on the last screen to submit the application.

Click here if you have any technical questions or need assistance with this online application.

Returning users: If you have submitted your application and need to access your confirmation page again, log on with your username and password and access the application manager.