Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy - Apply, Renew and Reactivate

Board of Physical & Occupational Therapy - Apply For a New License

      See left menu for Renewal and Reactivation.

Physical Therapy Licensure, PT Compact Membership and PT CompacPrivileges

Application Process

The Iowa Legislature enacted law to participate in the licensure compact for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, which became effective July 1, 2018. 

The Board office requests your patience as it may take up to 8 weeks of total processing time due to the requirement for the Board to review the criminal background report prior to issuing your license. Please review the FAQs below for more information.

Physical Therapy/Assistant Application Process FAQs 

Beginning November 14, 2019, the Iowa Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy (PTOT Board) will participate in the Alternate Approval Pathway (AAP) for applicants from accredited programs for licensure by examination. The AAP will separate the functions of exam registration/approval from licensure application/issuance. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) will have the final authority to determine who is eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) with input from the schools, and the PTOT Board will concentrate on the requirements for issuing a license once the NPTE is passed by an applicant. The processing step of the PTOT Board verifying eligibility to FSBPT once all of the required licensure documentation has been received will be eliminated.

The AAP will not affect the current procedure for processing foreign-educated applicants.

Application Guidelines (PT/A)

These two documents explain the required steps to complete the application process.  While the process has several steps many of the requirements can be done simultaneously. Best practice is to apply online for a new license.

Application Guidelines (OT/A)

These four documents explain the required steps to complete the application process.  While the process has several steps many of the requirements can be done simultaneously. Best practice is to apply online for a new license.

Documents may be submitted electronically to the Board office. The Board’s fax number is 515-281-3121. Emailed documents should go to plpublic@idph.iowa.gov .

To expedite processing a new license request, take advantage of our secure online application.

Click here to Access Online Services or to Apply Online

Applications are reviewed by Board staff as soon as possible, in the order received,  typically within 5 business days.

  • Refer to the Application Guidelines above to determine what steps you can complete while awaiting review.
  • Once your application is reviewed, you will receive an email with an attached letter indicating what additional information is required to approve the license.

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants: The Board office requests your patience as it may take up to 8 weeks of total processing time from the date we receive your last required document to the license issuance date due to the criminal background check process required from the compact

Application Rules  

The rules below describe the application process for Physical and Occupational Therapy.

Scroll down in the Fees Rules to the name of this board to find the application fee.

Special accommodations to take the national examination.  To eliminate discrimination and guarantee fairness under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual who has a qualifying disability may request an examination accommodation.

Application Forms

Due to COVID-19, paper applications will not be processed at this time.  Click here to apply, renew, or reactivate online.  For questions about username and password, please call the State of Iowa Service Desk at 515-281-5703 or 800-532-1174.  For assistance with the online application contact 515-281-0254. 

Related Links - Physical Therapy

IPTA (Iowa Physical Therapy Association)
521 E. Locust St., Suite 202
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Tel: (515) 222-9838
Fax: (888) 414-3183
Web: www.iowaapta.org


FSBPT (Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy)
124 West St South
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (703) 299-3100
Fax: (703) 299-3110
Web: www.fsbpt.org


FSBPT Score Transfer Service
124 West St South
Alexandria , VA 22314
Tel: (800) 200-3031
Web: www.fsbpt.org


APTA (American Physical Therapy Association)
1111 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1488
Tel: (800) 999-2782 or (703) 684-2782
Fax: (703) 684-7343
Web: www.apta.org

Related Links - Occupational Therapy

NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy)
800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Tel: (301) 990-7979
Fax: (301) 869-8492
Web: www.nbcot.org