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Physical Therapist guiding a patient through an exercise


State Licensure

All 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands require a license to practice as a physical therapist. Those states and jurisdictions also require a license or certification (jurisdiction dependent) to work as a physical therapist assistant.

If you’ve never had a license or certification, you will apply with the jurisdiction (state) where you want to work, pass the National Physical Therapy Examination, and meet any other jurisdiction requirements. For information on state specific requirements, you should reach out to your desired licensure state before you register for the NPTE. Information on how to contact each state board is included on our Licensing Authorities Contact page. You can also use our Licensure Reference Guide for general information about initial licensure requirements by state.

If you have a license or certification in one jurisdiction and you want to practice or work in another, you will need to have either a license, certification, or a Compact Privilege there; whichever option legally authorizes you to act as a PT or PTA.


Practice in Another State

Perhaps you want to open an office in another state or maybe you want to provide therapy at a client's home and the client lives across state lines. There are many reasons to want to practice in multiple jurisdictions.


Physical Therapy Compact

Practicing in another state may not even require obtaining a full license in that state. The Physical Therapy Compact (PT Compact) is an agreement between member states to improve access to physical therapy services for the public by increasing the mobility of eligible physical therapy providers to work in multiple states. For more information on the PT Compact, and to see if you are eligible to participate, visit


How to Become Licensed in Another State

The process of applying for licensure in another state may vary, but the information below will help get you started.

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