Binding of antigen to the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) triggers signaling that ultimately leads to B cell activation. Using quantitative fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging, we provide evidence here that the BCR is a monomer on the surface of resting cells. Binding of multivalent antigen clustered the BCR, resulting in the simultaneous phosphorylation of and a conformational change in the BCR cytoplasmic domains from a closed to an open form. Notably, the open conformation required immunoreceptor tyrosine-activation motif and continuous Src family kinase activity but not binding of the kinase Syk. Thus, the initiation of BCR signaling is a very dynamic process accompanied by reversible conformational changes induced by Src family kinase activity.