To avoid possible confusion which could result from the use of these terms, the AAFP adopted the following definitions.
Licensure is the mechanism whereby a state grants permission to individuals to engage in the practice of medicine. The act of licensure in and of itself confers on the licensee certain legal rights and privileges. Likewise, eligibility to become and remain licensed is dependent on meeting specified standards and obligations established by the appropriate state entity.
Relicensure refers to that mechanism whereby a state establishes the fact that those who have been licensed previously are qualified to retain such license. The term relicensure suggests that initial licensure would be valid for a particular length of time at the expiration of which the licensee would have to meet specified qualifications in order to continue to hold such license in the future. (1976) (2013 COD)