Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants - Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the application fee?

See the licensing information webpage.

If I have a student-issued transcript, may I send that with my application?

No. All required documentation must be sent directly from the issuing institution to:

Department of Health
Occupational Therapy Practice Board
P.O. Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877

If I'm licensed in another state, may I begin practicing once you have my application?

No. You must have a valid Washington occupational therapy practitioner license before practicing as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

How do personal data questions affect my application?

A "yes" answer to a personal data question or the existence of a criminal conviction does not automatically prohibit the department from issuing a credential. If you answer "yes" on any of the personal data questions or if criminal history appears on a background check, the board or the board's designee will evaluate your file on an individual basis. The application now becomes an exception file and normal processing time does not apply.

What is the process for obtaining a limited permit?

The applicant will need to download and submit a completed application, application fee and the required supporting documents.

If your transcripts aren't yet available, you may be issued a limited permit upon submission of a letter from your program director verifying successful program completion and date of graduation.

The applicant needs to provide verification of being scheduled to take the NBCOT examination. The limited permit attestation portion of the application must be signed and dated. The sponsor is required to sign and date the limited permit attestation portion of the application

Under my graduate limited permit, may I have more than one sponsoring occupational therapist?

Yes. The law requires you to be under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Some limited permit holders work at more than one facility. You may be sponsored by as many supervising occupational therapists as you need.

May I renew my limited permit?

Limited permits aren't renewable. One 90-day extension of this permit may be granted if the applicant has failed the examination.

How much is my renewal fee?

See Occupational Therapist Fee webpage.

If you renew after your birth date/expiration date, there is an additional late penalty fee.

It's important to plan ahead. With more than 3,000 licensed occupational therapy practitioners in Washington, the board isn't able to fax copies of licenses or provide written verification for those who renew late. Internet or online verification is available online. This verification system meets the requirements of the Joint commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO).

What if I didn't receive my renewal notice?

The renewal notice is a courtesy reminder. You must renew you license on or before the date of expiration with or without a renewal notice. Be sure to contact Customer Service Center at 360-236-4700 to make an address change or verify correct address is on record.

What if I'm not practicing? (inactive status)

There is an inactive status available for individuals not currently practicing. A written request along with renewal fee must be received. You may not practice while you have this type of license. You'll be required to renew the inactive license every two years. When you choose to return to active practice, you'll be required to verify continuing competency and pay the current active status renewal fee.

What is the process for having a verification of my Washington occupational therapy practitioner license sent to another jurisdiction?

Submit a written request with the certification fee in a check or money order made payable to:

Department of Health
Occupational Therapy Practice Board
P.O. Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099

How many continuing competency hours am I required to report and when?

To renew an occupational therapy practitioner license, you must have 30 hours of continuing competency every two years. Occupational therapy practitioners must have completed this requirement by their birth date every two years. The continuing competency must have been obtained during the preceding two years, from birth date to birth date. Continuing competency hours cannot be carried over to the next reporting period.

Does the board pre-approve continuing competency courses?

No. The board does not pre-approve continuing competency courses for presenters or licensees. The 30 contact hours may be obtained through two or more of the following methods which have specified goals and objectives relating to the practice of occupational therapy as defined in RCW 18.59.020 and WAC 246-847-010; inservices, coursework, conferences, workshops, peer reviewed self study, presentations or publications.

May I get an extension of time to complete my continuing competency?

Extensions may be granted for emergency situations only. It is not advisable to wait until the continuing education (CE) is due to request the extension. If you have exhausted all possibilities for fulfilling your continuing competency requirements and are contemplating requesting an extension, keep in mind that:

  • Requests could take six weeks or longer. If your license is set to expire before your request can be considered, you can't practice without an active license.
  • The average extension of time granted by the board is six months.
  • If your request is denied, you will still have to complete the 30 hours of continuing competency prior to your expiration date or before your license can be renewed.
  • If an extension is granted, you must complete all past due requirements in addition to the 30 hours of continuing competency required for the next reporting period.
  • The board grants extensions of time to complete continuing competency requirements only for extenuating circumstances. Each request is determined on a case by case basis.
What happens if I'm audited?

The board audits a percentage of all currently licensed occupational therapy practitioners to ensure compliance with the continuing competency requirements.

If audited, you'll be required to provide:

  • Certificates of completion.
  • Course sponsors.
  • Dates of attendance.
  • Contact hours earned.
  • Two-page synopsis for all cassette tape, video tape and book reviews.
  • Course description/syllabus and exam scores for correspondence courses.