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

See left menu for Renewal and Reactivation.

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.

  1. To access the Online Services web site click on this link: https://ibplicense.iowa.gov
  2. Select ‘Create an Account’ from left menu bar and follow the prompts on the screen to complete the process.
  1. For questions regarding accounts call the State of Iowa Service Desk at 515-281-5703 or 800-532-1174 or view the ‘Creating Your Account Tutorial
  2. Make sure you write down all account information, you will need it every time you log in.
  1. Once the account is created, go to Online Services and select ‘Sign In’ from the left menu bar
  2. On the ‘My Profile’ page enter name and contact information, click ‘Submit’
  3. On the ‘My Profile Update’ page, click ‘Confirm and Apply for a License’
  4. On the ‘Apply for License’ page, select Board and License Type, click ‘Continue’
  5. Complete the application questions.  All fields, even those which aren’t required at submission, should be completed.
  6. Upload Attachment: Supporting documentation can be uploaded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Refer to the Application Guidelines above to determine if a document can be submitted by the applicant or must come directly from an outside agency. Note: attaching online is just an option.
  7. Pay the bill now using MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express card.
    1. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your payment and a separate email confirming receipt of your application.

Applications are reviewed by Board staff as soon as possible, in the order received, typically within 2 – 3 weeks.

  • 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.  Apply, renew, or reactivate online at https://ibplicense.iowa.gov   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.