Foreign Trained Physical Therapist & Assistant by Examination


Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Foreign Trained Physical Therapist & Assistant by Examination.

Application by Exam is for:

  • Applicants who have never passed the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), or;
  • Applicants who passed the NPTE within the five years immediately prior to the filing of the application and do not hold an active license in another state, or;
  • Applicants who passed the NPTE more than five years ago but do not hold an active license in another state.

If you have passed the NPTE, you must have your score report transferred from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), https://www.fsbpt.org/.

Applicants must have graduated from a school giving a course for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants in a foreign country and have educational credentials deemed equivalent to those required for the educational preparation of physical therapists or assistants in this country, as recognized by the appropriate agency as identified by the board.

PTA applicants must have graduated from a school giving a course for physical therapist assistants in a foreign country. Applicants cannot use a physical therapist degree to apply as a physical therapist assistant. Please refer to Rule 64B17- 3.001(3)(b), F.A.C.

Approved credentialing agencies are:

  • International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF) – www.ierf.org
  • Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) – www.fccpt.org
  • International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. (ICD) – www.icdeval.com

For exam dates and deadlines, visit https://www.fsbpt.org/. The board office must receive the completed application and all supporting documents by the FSBPT’s registration deadline of the desired exam date.

Applicants who have failed the NPTE three times must complete remediation training. Applicants who have completed these additional requirements may take the examination on two more occasions.

Applicants with Criminal History:

Any applicant who has ever been found guilty of or pled guilty or no contest/nolo contendre to any charge other than a minor traffic offense must list each offense on the application. Failure to disclose criminal history may result in denial of your application. Each application is reviewed on its own merits.

The Board of Respiratory Care has created guidelines for specific offenses to be cleared in the board office; however, staff cannot make determinations in advance as laws and rules do change over time. Violent crimes and repeat offenders are required to be presented to the Board of Respiratory Care for review. Evidence of rehabilitation is important to the board members when making licensure decisions.

Applicants with prior criminal convictions are required to submit the following documentation to the board:

Self-Explanation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the offense.

Final Dispositions/Arrest Records – Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions – Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Letters of Recommendation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit 3-5 professional letters of recommendation from people you have worked for or with.

Applicants with Disciplinary History:

Applicants who have ever been denied licensure, had disciplinary action taken against their license, or have action pending against their license to practice any health care related profession by a licensing authority are required to submit the following documentation to the board:

Self-Explanation – Applicants who have listed disciplinary action on the application must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the action.

Agency Records – All relevant documentation regarding the action should be sent to the board office by the licensing agency. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on agency letterhead sent from the licensing agency attesting to their unavailability.

Applicants with Health History:

Applicants who answer “Yes” to any of the Health History questions on the application are required to submit the following documentation to the board office:

Self-Explanation – Applicants must submit a letter in your own words explaining the medical condition(s) or occurrence(s). Include a description of all treatments and diagnoses you have received for any condition(s)/impairment(s) you are/have been treated for. Include all medications prescribed and all physicians/counselors that have provided treatment.

Physician(s) Letter – Applicants must submit a statement from your treating physician(s)/counselor(s) for each condition you are/were being treated for and whether or not you are currently able to safely practice Respiratory Care. The physician’s statement should include all DSM IIIR/ DSM IV, Axis I, II, and III diagnoses.

Health Care Fraud, Disqualification for Licensure, Certificate, or Registration:

Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:

  1. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
    1. For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    2. For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    3. For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
  2. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
  3. Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
  4. Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
  5. Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.

Applicants must contact the desired credentialing agency to complete the evaluation process. The credential evaluation must be sent to the board office directly from the credentialing agency.

Complete the online Florida licensure application.

Applicants must register with the FSBPT for the NPTE and the Florida laws and rules exam at https://www.fsbpt.org/.

If applicants have any affirmative answers in the Criminal, Personal, or Disciplinary sections of the application, submission of the personal statement and supporting documentation can be emailed or faxed to our board office.*

Applications are reviewed within 15 days of receipt. Applicants will receive status updates by email and mail and can also check the application status on our website.

Once approved for testing, applicants will be emailed the Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from the FSBPT. This letter provides scheduling instructions.

Applicants who do not successfully pass their examination will have to submit a re-examination application and re-register with the FSBPT at https://www.fsbpt.org/. The board office must receive the completed application by the FSBPT’s registration deadline of the desired exam date.

NPTE scores are received seven days after administration and are processed within four days.

*Any affirmative answers on the initial application to the criminal, disciplinary or personal history sections will require a personal written statement and supporting documentation. This documentation is reviewed to determine of a personal appearance at a board meeting is required.

$180.00 Application and Licensing Fee to Board of Physical Therapy

$485.00 NPTE fee and $65.00 Florida Laws and Rules Exam fee to FSBPT

Applicable fees to Prometric, testing vendor

$100.00 NPTE Retake Application

No fee for Laws and Rules Retake Application; this application can be faxed or emailed

Click on Chapter or Section Number to View

Florida Statutes

Chapter 456: Health Professions and Occupations: General Provisions
Chapter 486: Physical Therapy

Florida Administrative Codes

Rules: Chapter 64B17, Board of Physical Therapy Practice