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  • Writer's pictureJalin Coblentz

Is My State Part of the Physical Therapy Compact?

One of the toughest aspects of being a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant is that you can only practice in states in which you are currently licensed. This can make it tough for travel physical therapists because it means that any time they want to practice across state lines, they need to get a new license. That is, of course, unless you're part of the PT compact.

The PT Compact is a group of 31 states, plus Washington DC, that have decided to make it easier for physical therapists in participating states to practice across state lines. However, to qualify, your state of residence has to be a member of the compact, and you have to be licensed in that state. Depending on your home state, there may also be additional requirements.

While the physical therapy compact currently consists of 32 states and districts, more are joining each year. If you're wondering if your state is part of the compact or is going to join, you've come to the right place. We'll also look at what it means to have compact privileges as a therapist and the requirements to join.

What is the PT Compact?

The PT compact is a written agreement of legislation between participating states to make it easier for PTs and PTAs to practice physical therapy in multiple states. The goal of the compact is to make physical therapy services more readily available to hospitals and clinics. This, in turn, increases patient access to physical therapy services. The PT compact applies to both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Participating States in the PT Compact

Currently, there are 32 states and districts that are members of the PT compact. If you are a resident of one of these states and currently hold a PT license, you can apply for a PT compact license.

Here's a list of PT compact states.

  • Washington

  • Oregon

  • Utah

  • Arizona

  • Colorado

  • Ohio

  • North Dakota

  • North Carolina

  • Nebraska

  • Iowa

  • Texas

  • Oklahoma

  • Missouri

  • Arkansas

  • Louisiana

  • Mississippi

  • Kentucky

  • Tennessee

  • Virginia

  • West Virginia

  • New Hampshire

  • Montana

  • Wisconsin

  • Georgia

  • Maryland

  • Delaware

  • Indiana

  • New Hampshire

  • New Jersey

  • South Carolina

  • South Dakota

  • Washington DC

There are also 11 additional states that have started the process of joining the physical therapy licensure compact but are waiting on legislation.

Requirements For Having Compact Privileges

The requirements for obtaining compact privileges are fairly straightforward for both PTs and PTAs.

  • You must have graduated from an accredited university and passed your NPTE.

  • You must currently hold a PT or PTA license in your home state of residence.

  • You must be in good standing with your state's physical therapy board and not be subject to any sort of disciplinary action. Any disciplinary actions within the last two years will disqualify you.

  • Your home state of residence must be actively issuing compact privileges.

  • The state in which you want to practice must also be actively issuing compact privileges.

  • Pass any necessary jurisprudence requirements and exams.

How to Get My PT Compact License

If you check each of the boxes above and qualify for compact privileges, follow these steps to obtain your PT or PTA compact license.

  1. Navigate to the PT Compact website.

  2. Log in with your FSBPT ID and password.

  3. Select the button that says “Purchase.”

  4. Complete your user profile.

  5. Select the states for which you want a compact license.

  6. Attest that you’ve finished your jurisprudence exams as applicable.

  7. Pay for your compact privileges.

Advantages of Being Part of the PT Compact

Now that you have a better idea of what the PT compact is and how it works, let's look at why it's advantageous to have access to compact privileges.

Easier to Practice in Multiple States

The biggest advantage of being part of the PT compact is that it's significantly easier to get licensed in states that are also part of the compact. Rather than having to get a permanent license, you can apply for "compacting privileges." These privileges allow you to work and practice physical therapy in the state just as if you had a permanent license.

Cheaper, Easier, and Faster Than Getting a Permanent License

In addition to being easier to obtain, compacting privileges are also much cheaper and have fewer requirements than a permanent license. You'll also get your compacting privileges much faster than your permanent license.

Ideal For Travelers

If you're a traveling physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, it definitely pays off if your home state is a member of the compact. You instantly have easy access to over half of the country in terms of where you can practice. While you will still have to obtain compact privileges in each new state, it's easier, faster, and cheaper than getting a permanent license.

Is My State Going to Join the Compact?

As we said before, while there are only 25 member states of the compact, more are joining every year. Here is a list of states that have begun the process of joining the compact by passing the necessary legislation and will hopefully start issuing compact licenses soon.

  • Kansas

  • Alabama

  • Pennsylvania

  • Vermont

  • Connecticut

  • Maine

Additionally, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Alaska, Hawaii, and Michigan have introduced legislation to join the compact. However, the legislation has yet to pass both government houses, so their status remains up in the air. Florida, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, and California are the only states that have yet to make a move to join the PT compact.

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