fbpx

PT Licensure

Getting licensed is a must for physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) in the United States, but don’t worry—it’s an exciting step! State regulatory boards are in charge of this process. And guess what? The PT Compact is like the superstar option for PTs and PTAs who love to travel! Get ready for an adventure in the world of physical therapy!

PT Compact by State

Color Key

How to Get Compact Privileges

Obtaining Compact Privileges in Compact Member States

Check Eligibility Criteria

Begin by confirming if you meet all eligibility criteria for applying, obtaining, and maintaining compact privileges.

Requirements

  • Possess a current, valid PT or PTA license in your home state, actively participating in the compact privileges system
    Your “home state” is where your permanent address is
  • Hold a valid driver’s license indicating permanent residency in your home state (Exceptions for active duty military and their spouses only)
  • Maintain a clean record with no active encumbrances or disciplinary actions against any license for at least two years
  • Ensure the state you’re applying to is a member of the PT Compact and currently issuing and accepting compact privileges (Refer to the map above)

Additional Criteria

If you meet all criteria, determine the compact privilege fees and jurisprudence requirements for each state you wish to obtain privileges in. Some states may necessitate successfully passing a jurisprudence exam before applying. (Refer to the map above)

Payment and Jurisprudence Exam

  • Pay the compact privilege fees
  • Fulfill any jurisprudence requirements/exams for the desired states. Note that not all states require this, but failure to comply when necessary may result in disciplinary action 

Application Process

  • Once you’ve passed the jurisprudence exam(s), click the “Purchase Now” button on the PT Compact website 
  • You will be directed to a page reiterating eligibility requirements, state fees, and the step-by-step process. Click “Continue” to reach the Compact login 

Login and Verification

  • Use your Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Identification (FSBPT ID) number and password. This is the same information you used to register for the NPTE 
  • If you’ve forgotten your FSBPT ID or password, use the provided links to retrieve them or contact customer support 
  • In case you encounter persistent problems or if your FSBPT account is linked to an outdated email, reach out at 703-562-8500 during office hours, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm Eastern time 

Dashboard and Purchase

  • Upon successful login, access your personal dashboard with pre-populated license information 
  • Click “Purchase” for a first-time application. Follow the steps to verify eligibility, select desired states, confirm passing of jurisprudence exams, pay fees, and obtain unique compact privilege number(s) 

Documentation

  • Have a copy of your current valid driver’s license as proof of home/permanent residence. The PT Compact Commission rules define your home states as the person’s true, fixed, and permanent home and is the place where the person intends to remail indefinitely, and to which the person expects to return if absent without intending to establish domicile elsewhere. There are special expectations to this rule for active duty military and their spouses. See ptcompact.org for more details 
  • Update your profile within thirty days if there’s a change in your home state 

Communication and Verification

  • The verification and purchasing process takes less than ten minutes 
  • You will receive a receipt with your unique compact privilege number for each state will be emailed and added to your dashboard 

All compact privileges can be verified on the PT Compact website under “Privilege Verification”

Information You Need to Know Before Getting Your Compact Privilege

NurseLicensure-2
  • Compact privileges, granted by the PT Compact Commission on behalf of state boards, are secured exclusively through the PT Compact website, ptcompact.org 
  • Only individuals meeting all eligibility requirements are eligible to acquire and uphold compact privileges 
  • States actively issuing and accepting compact privileges are those that have enacted mandatory PT Compact legislation and fulfilled all implementation prerequisites 
  • Each state imposes a distinct fee for compact privileges and may require passing a separate jurisprudence exam before applying. Additionally, a fee might be necessary for taking the state jurisprudence exam. The PT Compact Commission levies an extra fee for each compact privilege obtained 
  • Failure to complete mandatory state jurisprudence exam(s) may lead to disciplinary measures and/or the revocation of compact privileges 
  • Compact privileges align with the expiration date of an individual’s home state license. As there are no prorations, the full fee is always charged, and the date on the dashboard at the application time determines the compact privilege expiration date. In certain situations, it might be prudent to renew the home state license before obtaining compact privileges and waiting about a week to ensure the PT Compact database reflects the updated expiration date 
  • It is the duty of the physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) to comprehend and adhere to the scope of practice in the patient’s location. Compact privileges do not grant additional authority or enable practice beyond that of a regular license 
  • Any disciplinary action against a license or compact privilege results in automatic termination of all compact privileges and renders the individual ineligible for at least two years. Any encumbrance on a license or compact privilege leads to automatic termination and ineligibility until the encumbrance is resolved 
  • Compact privileges cannot be used in an individual’s permanent residence/home state 
  • An individual’s home state is determined by the location of their current valid driver’s license. Any change in the home state must be reported to the PT Compact Commission within 30 days by updating the compact dashboard, which may impact compact eligibility and lead to privilege termination. Individuals should be aware of possible changes and resulting consequences that may require obtaining a regular license from the state licensing board to continue practicing 
  • A separate compact privilege is necessary for each state in which an individual intends to practice; physical therapy compact privileges do not constitute a multi-state license 
  • For further details, consult the PT Compact Commission at info@ptcompact.org or 703-562-8500 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET) 

Documents Needed

PT License Requirements

About the PT Compact

The Physical Therapy Compact functions as an agreement among member states, aiming to enhance public access to physical therapy services by facilitating the mobility of eligible physical therapy providers across multiple states. 

The governing entity responsible for implementing the provisions of the PT Compact is the Physical Therapy Compact Commission, comprising member states. 

PT Compact Commission Delegates: Each member state’s PT Board designates a delegate to the PT Compact Commission. The delegate, a current member of the PT Board, must hold one of the following roles: 

  • Physical therapist 
  • Physical therapist assistant 
  • Public member 
  • Board administrator 

PT Compact Commission Executive Board: The PT Compact Commission elects a seven-member Executive Board from the Compact Commission Delegates to represent the collective interests of the member states. Additionally, non-voting ex-officio members from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) contribute to the Executive Board. 

Helpful websites: 

NurseLicensure-1

FAQ

Normally, healthcare practitioners need a separate license for each state they want to work in. Each state has its own rules and application process. If practitioners want to work in a different state, they usually have to apply for a new license there.

This process involves applications, fees, and often a test on the state's rules for their field. It also requires providing transcripts, passing scores for national exams, and confirming good standing in any state where they've been licensed before. This process is often lengthy, challenging, and costly.

For many practitioners, getting one or two state licenses in their career isn't a big problem. However, for those who move a lot or live near state borders, it can be a major hassle. That's where having a compact licensure can save a lot of time, effort, and money.

Yes, Compact Privileges can be obtained by both eligible physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

No, a regular license is required to practice/work in a home state.

No, you must obtain a Compact Privilege for each state where you intend to work. You may hold a Compact Privilege or a license in a member state to work legally. However, a license is still required for non-member states.

Eligible PTs and PTAs can acquire Compact Privileges by using the "Purchase Now" link on ptcompact.org. Typically, Compact Privileges are issued within minutes of purchase. It's important to be aware that some states may mandate the successful completion of their jurisprudence exam before obtaining a compact privilege, potentially affecting the overall time required to complete the process.

Yes, you must obtain a Compact Privilege for each state in which you wish to provide physical therapy services. Whether it's a Compact Privilege or a license, you need the appropriate authorization to legally practice or work in a member state. Keep in mind that it does not function as a multi-state license, and a separate privilege is required for each state.

Yes, you can still apply for a license even if you are not eligible for a Compact Privilege. The decision for licensing is made by the licensing board of the specific jurisdiction.

The continuing competence criteria vary by state. It's important to fulfill the continuing competence requirements specific to your home state license. Note that there is no obligation to meet the continuing competence requirements for the state(s) where you hold a Compact Privilege.

The Commission does not issue certificates or wallet cards for compact privileges. Upon completion of the purchase, you can print the purchase confirmation details, and an email will be sent to the registered email address. Public verification of compact privilege holders can be conducted at ptcompact.org\verification.

Ready for an adventure?