With the expansion of telehealth during the pandemic physical therapists utilized the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC) to achieve licensure and increase their ability to provide care across state lines.
The states that have adopted the PTLC legislation include:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
The following states have passed PTLC legislation but have not begun issuing or accepting compact licenses:
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Prior to 2016 PT’s and PTA’s 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 approval (which can be weeks to months). This created a barrier for traveling therapists.
PTLC provides PTs and PTAs “compact privilege” to practice or work in another participating state if they meet certain criteria. PT’s and PTA’s who meet the 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 home state of residence and your 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.
Other benefits include:
- The continuing education requirements are those required for the home state license.
- Compact privilege renewal is tied to the home state license.
- Gaining compact privileges typically is cheaper than going through a state's traditional licensure process.
It is important to consider that eligibility for a compact privilege is tied to your state of primary residence. If you are planning to relocate to another state, the APTA recommends obtaining licensure in the state to which you are moving and apply for compact privileges in other remote states in which you choose to practice.
The PT Compact is a faster, online process, efficient, and inexpensive option for PT and PTA’s looking to treat in multiple states or traveling PTs.
Licensees meeting the criteria can seek compact privileges through the PTCC website at ptcompact.org.
For more information see http://www.fsbpt.org/FreeResources/PhysicalTherapyLicensureCompact.aspx.