ADAA Central Office continuously works to enhance the way we process membership records in an effort to better serve our members.  The following is a breakdown of membership types and how Central Office processes membership.  We hope this helps you better understand the way our different types of membership work.

Click on the member types below for more information. Click on types to open and close.


All members of ADAA are Active Members, even non-paying types of membership such as Life Retired.  All types of active members count toward each state’s delegate counts, except students and E-Members.  Regular ADAA dues are $115, plus your state/local dues which varies by state.  These fees are annual.

  • Renewing Members
    Once payment is received at Central Office, it may be 1-3 days before your payment is processed.  Next, payment information is entered into our database in the order in which it is received.  This can take up to 4 weeks during peak periods (between October and January, when our annual billing begins).

    After payments are entered, member information is sent to our printer on a weekly basis (or bi-weekly during non-peak periods) for membership cards to be made.  They are shipped back to Central Office within 1 to 2 weeks and then immediately mailed out to the members.

    Therefore, membership cards can take any where from 4 to 6 weeks to be mailed depending on the time of year.  If a card has not been received in this time frame, we encourage our members to contact Central Office as a problem may have occurred, such as returned mail or incomplete payment.



The processing order and time for new members is the same as for renewals, but new members will receive a welcome packet instead of just a card.


Also, the first issue of “The Dental Assistant” a new member receives may be delayed if their information is not entered before we submit our list to our printer.  If this is the case, members can contact Central Office, and if their payment was processed before the last issue was mailed, we will mail out a copy directly.


Furthermore, processing time is substantially delayed for incomplete applications. Some examples:

  • Missing or incomplete dues payment
  • Missing required information (address, name, etc.)
  • Incorrect address
  • Missing instructor’s signature or program/school information (student members only)



Students pay $30 for membership and an additional $10 for professional liability insurance.  An instructor’s signature is required with a student membership application to verify that the person applying is currently enrolled in a dental assisting program.


Also, to reduce processing time instructors can include 1 payment (check or credit card) from either themselves or the school for multiple students.  An example: if 4 students are applying for membership, a single payment of either 1 check or credit card for $120 may be submitted, or $160 if all 4 students wanted the liability insurance.


Student members can renew their student membership, but if a student member is no longer enrolled in a program, they may renew with reduced dues that gradually increase over the course of 3 years, with the 4th year requiring regular national dues.


During the first year after graduation, dues for Active 1st year students, or AS1, will be $55 plus state/local dues.  Active 2nd year, AS2 will be $75 plus state/local dues and Active 3rd year, AS3, will be $95 plus state/local dues.  The 4th year full dues will be charged.



ADAA Life membership is automatically granted once a member has had 25 years of continuous membership, not counting years as a Student member. 

If your membership lapsed at any point, you can pay back dues, which are $5 per month, or $60 total for a year, to regain continuous membership.


Current Life Membership (Life Active) is not free.  Below are the 5 types of Life Membership the ADAA currently offers.  All forms of Life Membership, even non-paying forms, allow the member to continue receiving the Dental Assistant Journal, but other benefits vary by type of Life Membership.

  • Life Original Member (LO) – Members who had 25 years of membership prior to October 23, 1979, were eligible for this category.  There are no dues for the category, but these members do not receive liability or accidental death/dismemberment insurance.  They receive the journal at no cost upon request.  No current “Active” type member is eligible for this category.
  • Life Half Member (LH) – Members who had 25 years of membership from October 23, 1979, until October 8, 1988, were eligible for this category.  Members pay half national and half state/local dues, unless the state does not require Life Members to pay state/local dues.  All membership benefits are available for these members.  No current “Active” type member is eligible for this category.
  • Life Active Member (LA) – Members who had 25 years of membership after October 8, 1988, are eligible for this category.  Members pay full national dues and state/local dues, unless the State does not require Life Members to pay state/local dues.  All membership benefits are available for these members.  This is the only form of Life Membership available to current “Active” type members.
  • Life Retired (LR) – Retired Life Membership shall be granted to any Life Member who has reached age of sixty-two (62) or until a disability prevents employment as a dental assistant.  No national dues are required and no liability insurance or accidental death/dismemberment insurance is provided.  Discounts, such as travel or rental cars, can still be used, and a free Journal subscription is available upon request. Notify Central Office for processing details.
  • Life 35 (L3) – Members who have had 35 years of membership.  Same as Full-Pay Life, but with a 25 percent discount on national dues.  Professional liability insurance, journal,  AD&D insurance included in dues.
  • Life Special Retired (L1)/ Life Special Disabled (L2) Anyone with at least 15 years of continuous membership who has reached retirement age, as determined by the Social Security Act, or with 10 years of continuous membership who have become totally or permanently disabled may apply for special membership. Special Membership requires half national dues and half state/local dues, unless the state does not require Life Members to pay state/local dues.  All membership benefits are provided, no option for liability insurance.  Years spent as a Special Member do not apply to the 25 years required to become a Life Member.



ADAA E-Membership is a free type of electronic membership available to non-ADAA members.  There are no hidden charges and no fees added later after joining.  E-Members receive one free hour of CE every year (CE expires at the end of the year on December 31st and cannot be carried over to the following year).  They can also take advantage of most of the ADAA membership benefits (such as  prescription discounts, credit card program, rental car & travel special rates, identity theft, resume posting, etc) except they do not receive the professional liability insurance or the accidental death and dismemberment insurance.  Also, E-Members do not receive the journal or newsletter, membership card/kit or pin, but will be able to access to the Email newsletter, 24/7, and other newsletters online (when they become available) as well as select articles from the journal.  For continuing education, E-Members receive $10 off the non-member course price (see catalog for prices).


View comparison Active Membership vs. E-Membership



Please note:


ADAA will mail one membership card.  To reprint a card or print proof of liability insurance, visit  ADAA members already have an account on our website, so please do not create one.  If you need help logging in, contact us toll free at (877) 874-3785.




Note:  Payment options cannot be combined; only one payment option available per dues year.


Members pay 1/2 national and state/local dues, plus a $5 semi-annual fee and $10 for profession liability insurance.  Membership cards will show an expiration date of June 30th of the current dues year and a renewal invoice will be mailed around 1 month before the expiration date on the card. 
 New cards will be mailed after the 2nd semi-annual payment has been received showing an expiration date of December 31st of the current dues year.


Automatic Payments and How They Work
Members also have the option of paying monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly by using direct debit.  A full explanation can also be found on the Authorization Agreement for Direct Debit.  Only one method of payment will be accepted.


AUTOMATIC DEBIT - Various payment options available, for payment amounts, contact ADAA Central Office:

Monthly*, Bi-Monthly*, Quarterly*, Bi-Annual/Semiannual (6 mos)*
Annual (entire amount of dues deducted at one time)**


Payments begin at once and periodically charged when next payment is due. Account will be billed approximately 15th day of plan chosen.


*An annual $10 processing fee will be charged for periodic direct debit and prorated over the following year.  A copy of voided check required.  Dues remain in full force and effect until ADAA has received written notification from member.
**No processing fee is charged for annual debit.  
Visa/MasterCard accepted.
American Express, Discover, Diners Card, etc not accepted.


Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions.