Historically, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants have had to obtain multiple state licenses to practice their trade across state lines.
With the passing of new legislation, the mobility of physical therapy providers is increasing.
The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC) was brought to attention during the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) 2010 annual meeting, and in 2014 the FSBPT created a task force to explore the feasibility of an interstate licensure compact for physical therapy.
According to the APTA, “the purpose of this Compact is to facilitate interstate practice of physical therapy with the goal of improving public access to physical therapy services.”
The PTLC has several goals:
- Increase public access to physical therapy services by providing for the mutual recognition of other member states licenses;
- Enhance the states’ ability to protect the public’s health and safety;
- Encourage the cooperation of member states in regulating multi-state physical therapy practice;
- Support spouses of relocating military members;
- Enhance the exchange of licensure, investigative, and disciplinary information between member states; and
- Allow a remote state to hold a provider of services with a compact privilege in that state accountable to that state’s practice standards.
Four years have passed since the creation of the task force, and in 2017 Governor Jay Inslee signed on to the Compact, making Washington the tenth state to participate, the number of states needed to officially establish the system.
There are now 21 participating states in the PTLC (as of 07/09/2018)*. These states follow:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
In order to take advantage of the benefits of the Compact, licensees must:
- Hold a license in the home state;
- Have no encumbrance on any state license;
- Be eligible for a compact privilege in any member state in accordance with Sections 4D, G, and H**;
- Have not had any adverse action against any license or compact privilege within the previous 2 years;
- Notify the Commission that the licensee is seeking the compact privilege with a remote state(s);
- Pay an applicable fee, including any state fee, for the compact privilege;
- Meet any jurisprudence requirements established by the remote state(s) in which the license is seeking a compact privilege; and
- Report to the Commission adverse action taken by any non-member state within 30 days from the date the adverse action is taken.
Want to learn more about obtaining an interstate physical therapy license? Visit ptcompact.org to learn which states have joined the Compact thus far, stay up to date on legislation, and learn if an interstate license is right for you!
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**Gardner, Kelly. “Interstate Licensure Compact for Physical Therapy.” APTA, www.apta.org/StateIssues/InterstateLicensureCompact/.
*mHealthIntelligence. “Telehealth Licensure Compact for Physical Therapists Is Ready to Go.” MHealthIntelligence, MHealthIntelligence, 29 June 2018, mhealthintelligence.com/news/telehealth-licensure-compact-for-physical-therapists-is-ready-to-go.
News Now Staff. “Don’t Stop Believin’: Multistate Licensure Compact Set to Begin in 2018.” APTA, 26 Apr. 2018, 8:23 AM, www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2017/4/26/CompactWashington/.