Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Licensing Information

Apply for a License

Apply online

The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.

For further information please see:

Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.

You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.

If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.

There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:

If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff members at 360-236-4700.

Getting started

Online Application Instructions

See the online application video.

Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.

Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.

Apply on paper

The following forms are required for completing the application process. Please download and print forms.

Initial licensure

Endorsements

Expired and reactivation of licensure

Additional forms

Fee Information

Physical therapist
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount
Application $65
Renewal $75
Late renewal penalty $50
Expired reissuance $50
Inactive license renewal $35
Expired inactive license reissuance $50
Duplicate license $10
Verification of license $25

WAC 246-12-340 – Refund of fees

Fees submitted with applications for initial credentialing, examinations, renewal and other fees associated with the licensing and regulation of the profession are nonrefundable.

Physical therapist assistant
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount
Application $60
Active license renewal $70
Active license late renewal penalty $50
Inactive license renewal $35
Expired inactive license reissuance $50
Duplicate license $10
Verification of license $25

WAC 246-12-340 – Refund of fees

Fees submitted with applications for initial credentialing, examinations, renewal and other fees associated with the licensing and regulation of the profession are nonrefundable.

Licensing Requirements

Physical Therapist

Education

Applicant must graduate from an institution of higher learning accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education under RCW 18.74.030(2). Official transcript, with degree and date posted, must be received directly from applicant's program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation.

Examination

Applicant must take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

State license verification

Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form (PDF). The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.

Employment

Applicant must list all employment history for three years before the date of application.

Personal data questions

Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If the case is pending, applicant must indicate status.

Additional information/documents required

  • Applicants must take and pass the online Washington State Physical Therapy Jurisprudence Exam.
  • Applicants must receive a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

Process for approving/denying applications

We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.74 RCW and chapter 246-915 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.

Renewal requirements

Physical therapists must renew their license every year on or before their birthday.

Continuing competency requirements

Physical therapists must complete 32 hours of continuing education and 200 hours of employment every two years.

Suicide prevention training requirements

Beginning January 1, 2016, physical therapists and assistants are required to take three hours of one time training. Read more on suicide prevention training for health professionals.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Education

Applicant must graduate from an institution of higher learning accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education under RCW 18.74.030(2). Official transcript, with degree and date posted, must be received directly from applicant's program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation.

Examination

Applicant must take and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

State license verification

Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form (PDF). The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.

Employment

Applicant must list all employment history for three years before the date of application.

Personal data questions

Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If the case is pending, applicant must indicate status.

Additional information/documents required

  • Applicants must take and pass the online Washington State Physical Therapy Jurisprudence Exam.
  • Applicants must receive a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).

Process for approving/denying applications

We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.74 RCW and chapter 246-915 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.

Renewal requirements

Physical therapist assistants must renew their license every year on or before their birthday.

Continuing competency requirements

Physical therapist assistants must complete 24 hours of continuing education and 200 hours of employment every two years.

Suicide prevention training requirements

Beginning January 1, 2016, physical therapists and assistants are required to take three hours of one time training. Read more on suicide prevention training for health professionals.

Additional Licensing Information

Contact and connect

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