Congratulations, you have completed your Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree! Now it’s time to prepare for the NPTE exam and become a licensed physical therapist.
In order to apply for a state licensure, you will need to find out what your jurisdiction requires for licensure, then request a licensure application from your state licensing authority. Next you will need to complete the online application, pay the fees, and then submit.
But what if you want licensure in more than one state? Or you are already a licensed PT planning to move to a new state, or planning to become a traveling PT?
Well, prior to 2016 you would have had to apply for licensure for each individual state, complete the application forms, submit transcripts and background information, CORI, provide proof of passing the NPTE, and pay individual fees; AND then wait for approval (which can be weeks to months).
The good news: the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC) was conceived in 2010, with the first states adopting this legislature in 2016. According to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), this project is to develop an interstate licensure compact and to increase "consumer access to physical therapy services by reducing regulatory barriers to interstate mobility and cross-state practice." That's great news for us!
Now, PTs and PTAs who practice or work in multiple states are more easily able to obtain a “compact privilege” to practice or work in another participating state if they meet certain criteria.
Oregon was the first state to sign onto the PTLC, followed by Tennessee, Arizona and Missouri. As of writing, 21 states have adopted the PTLC legislation:
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
PT’s and PTA’s who meet specified requirements can go to the PT Compact’s online system, apply, and almost immediately start practicing in participating states. The requirements include having a current PT or PTA license in your state of residence, and that home state must be a member of the PT Compact. You cannot have any active encumbrances or any disciplinary action against your license for a period of two years. The state you are seeking privilege must also be a member of the PT Compact and actively issuing compact privileges. There is a $45 commission fee, as well as a fee charged by individual states (which varies from state to state).
The PT Compact is a faster online process and efficient, inexpensive option for PT and PTA’s looking to treat in multiple states or become travelling PTs.
For more information, visit FSBPT.