Licensing Requirements

Education Requirement

  1. United States Educated Applicants - Each applicant for licensure as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant must have completed a program of physical therapy education appropriate for preparation as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, respectively, which is approved by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
  2. Non-United States Educated Applicants - Foreign educated physical therapist applicants must submit their education credentials to:

    International Credentialing Associates, Inc.
    10801 Starkey Rd
    Seminole FL 33777
    Telephone (727) 549-8555
    Fax (727) 549-8554
    www.icaworld.com
    www.customerservice@icaworld.com


    Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy
    124 West St., South; Third Floor
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Telephone (800) 881-1430
    Fax (703) 684-8715
    www.fccpt.org

    A copy of the evaluation by the credentials evaluating agency must be sent directly to the board. The board shall make the sole judgment in determining whether educational credentials are equivalent and acceptable. An English translated copy of the transcript must be sent directly to the board from the university.

    A foreign educated applicant must have made acceptable TOEFL scores: TOEFL (220); TSE (50); TWE (4.5); ibT writing (24), ibT speaking (26), ibT Reading Comprehension (21), and ibT Listening Comprehension (18). A minimum of 124 semester hours of specific education if completed before 2003 and 155 semester hours if completed from 2003 to the present is required. Applicant must be licensed in the country in which physical therapy education was completed. The Board shall make the sole judgment in determining equivalency and acceptability of education.

Good Moral Character Required

The determination as to what constitutes other than good moral character and reputation shall be solely within the judgment of the board. Licensure shall be refused to any applicant who is of other than good moral character.

Application, Fees and Examinations

Application forms, fees and other required documentation must be received at the Board's office before an application is complete. For licensure by endorsement, the applicant must demonstrate a total of twenty (20) hours of acceptable continuing education in the twenty-four (24) months prior to application. Individuals licensed within one year of graduation from a CAPTE approved program will not be required to meet the continuing education requirement for initial licensure or the first renewal. The administrative staff reviews the application when it is complete and makes a determination respective of the specific application (endorsement or examination).

Temporary License

In addition to meeting the requirements for sitting for the examination in Alabama (first exam only) and payment of a $10 fee, a supervisory agreement form must be received by the Board's office in order to consider temporary licensure for the applicant. The supervisory agreement form has to be signed by the applicant and the supervising physical therapist. Upon approval, the administrative staff issues a temporary license and it shall be valid only until the first examination is scored.

License Renewal

Each license expires on October 1, of the year following its issuance. Failure to renew a license on or before September 30 acts as a forfeiture of the right to practice. A licensee practicing with an expired license will be subject to board disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct. The criminal penalty for unlicensed practice can include a fine of up to $500, a term of imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both.

A renewal fee of $130.00 shall be required for annual renewal of the physical therapist license or $93.00 for the physical therapist assistant.

Completion of approved continuing education shall be a requirement for the renewal of licenses. A physical therapist shall complete a minimum of ten (10) board approved contact hours and a physical therapist assistant a minimum of ten (10) board approved contact hours during each compliance period. October 1 through September 30 of each year shall constitute a compliance period.

Beginning October 1, 2015 licensees shall complete a 2 hour, board approved continuing education course for renewal every 5th year (years ending if "5" or "0" (2020, 2025...)) on the topic of physical therapy jurisprudence, covering both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code. Individuals licensed by endorsement shall complete a 2 hour, board approved continuing education course on the topic of physical therapy jurisprudence, covering both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code as part of their continuing education requirements for initial licensure renewal.

Beginning with the 2006 renewal, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants may carry over a total of 10 excess contact hours respectively toward the next year’s requirement for continuing education units. It is the licensee’s responsibility to keep up with any hours over and above the requirement to be used toward the following year’s renewal.

Beginning with the compliance period starting October 1, 2015, licensees shall begin retaining a record of completed courses for five (5) years, including an agenda, brochure or other documentation that substantiate how the activities meet the accepted general guidelines, as well as documentation to establish the completion of those activities Licensees shall provide the Board a copy of their records, or grant access to any online recording and reporting system the licensee elects to use for purposes of the Board verifying completion of the continuing education requirements.

License Restoration

A license which has expired may, within five years of its expiration date, be renewed on the payment to the board of a fee set by the board for each year or part thereof during which the license was ineffective and the payment of a restoration fee set by the board. After said five-year period, a license may be obtained only by complying with the provisions relating to the issuance of an original license.

License Replacement

A licensee whose license has been lost or destroyed may be issued a replacement license upon completing appropriate documentation and payment of a $25 fee. The licensee must complete an Affidavit Of License form and have it notarized before returning it to the board office. A licensee wanting a replacement license because of a name change should surrender his/her license along with the completed Affidavit Of License.

License Verification Fee

The board charges a fee of $25.00 to verify to other boards or entities that a licensee is a member in good standing with the Alabama Board. Requests for license verification must be mailed to the board's office to include name, license number, valid email address and telephone number, and state(s) to which you wish verification to be sent along with a fee of $25 per request. (It is the board’s policy not to accept personal checks, cash or credit cards, but will accept money orders, certified checks or company checks.)

Jurisprudence Examination

All applicants for licensure by examination must successfully complete the Alabama Jurisprudence Examination as a prerequisite for licensure. Applicants for licensure by endorsement are not required to complete the Alabama Jurisprudence Examination as a prerequisite for licensure but must complete a 2 hour, board approved continuing education course on the topic of physical therapy jurisprudence, covering both the Practice Act and the Administrative Code as part of their continuing education requirements for initial licensure renewal.