How to Make Your PT License Renewal Seamless


If you’re familiar with the PT licensure process, you’ll know that physical therapists need to renew these licenses every so often. Just like your driver’s license, you’ll need to provide some information before you receive a new license. Now, it’s not as bad as sitting hours on end in the DMV, but it can still cause quite the headache if you’re not familiar with what you’re doing. Luckily, below we’re going over the process of your PT license renewal. While a few minor details of the process can vary from state to state, most will be pretty similar when it comes to the major requirements needed.

Your PT License Renewal

Getting Your License

Before we jump into the renewal process, let’s first jump into what it’s like getting your license in the first place. We won’t go into every detail, but we think it’s important to remember how you got here. After you’ve earned a bachelor’s in a health-related field, you’ll then need to earn a physical therapy degree. You should have no problem choosing from the 228 programs offered all over the country.

PT license renewal

After that, you’ll need to meet all the requirements to get your PT license. All states require their PTs to be licensed, and these requirements can differ from state to state. Licensing requirements are set by individual states but include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). The exam is multiple choice and applicants can take the exam up to three times within a 12-month span. Other requirements may include a law and/or ethics exam as well as a criminal background check. Again, we recommend that you check with your specific state board so you know the exact requirements needed.

Renewing Your License

So, you’re tasked with the stressful task of PT license renewal. Well, what if I told you it actually isn’t all that bad? In fact, over the that few years, the process has been streamlined to make the PT license renewal process as painless as possible. Let’s take a look at a few of the steps you’ll need to renew your license!

PT Renewal Goes Digital

Gone are the days where you’re rifling through forms and trying to figure out which you need to mail in and which you need to hold onto for yourself. In fact, almost everything you need to your PT license renewal can be done online. You’ll usually have to renew your license every 2 to 4 years. Most states will give you the option to fill out your renewal form online, or print it out and mail it in. While the online version is much quicker, some less computer-savvy PTs will opt to print the form out and mail it in.

Documents Needed

When submitting your PT license renewal there are a few documents that you’ll be required to provide. One form you may need to fill out is a Mandatory Criminal Conviction and License Disciplined Disclosure Questionnaire. Essentially, this is just a fancy way of saying that it’s a form where you have to tell them if you’ve gotten in any legal trouble during the time you’ve been a PT. This includes both police charges as well as discipline and actions dealing with your current PT license.

Another form you’ll most likely be required to submit is a Continued Competency Requirements form. All states require PTs to continue on their journey of learning even after they become licensed. Basically, they need proof that you’re still taking courses, training, and/or shadowing a different department. This can include becoming a specialist in a new area, doing research, or taking other college courses.

Finishing Your Renewal

The fee for license renewal varies from state to state but it will usually cost a couple hundred dollars to renew, and you can expect to tack on a few more hundred if your renewal is late. If your license has already expired, there might be a few more steps you need to take. This might include filling out a form to “activate” your license before you renew it so make sure you know when exactly your license expires.

What has your experience been like renewing your PT license? Comment below! Also, if you’re looking for a new adventure as a travel PT, make sure to check out the hundreds of jobs available.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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