I don’t really like blogs that are a pointless rant, so I promise I’ll try to keep this productive and at least a little informative for anyone who hasn’t yet been through getting a new state license.
Kate and I are currently seeking our Washington and Alaska licenses for some potential work this coming summer. We have 4 licenses in common; I have Illinois and Vermont, and she has Florida, 7 states total. To simplify things, we’ve dropped being current in all but two states, our Home State which is the Vacation State (seems contradictory), and Colorful Colorado. Simplify? Yeah, I thought so, until both Alaska and Washington requested official license verification from every state where I hold or have ever held a license as part of their PT License Application. That’s a spousal-total of 11 licenses that need verifying through mostly snail mail and hand written checks. Who uses mail and checks!?!? Even the USPS has online options so that you don’t have to use the mail!
1. Florida – $25 and an online submission will get you verified
2. Colorado – No fee and you may fax your request.
1. Hawaii – For only $15 per request you can have a verification sent within 20 days of receipt of your written request via mail.
2. Vermont – Written request. They’ll deposit your check and then have no record of your request. <– happened to me
3. Illinois – Don’t bother calling, you’ll be on hold for 2 hours.
So, back to point, I’ve spent four hours getting these 2 applications together and probably have another 2 hours to go. Most of this time is a result of pre-internet legislation that dictates you do things as you would when mail and and personal checks were pretty much your only options. Part of the reason these laws have persisted is that no one likes to open their practice acts. When a practice act is modified, it offers a chance for other professions and interests to alter the law for their benefit as opposed to the benefit of PTs, PTAs, and patients. HOWEVER! Should you find yourself in a state with an open practice act and the chance to have your voice heard, please beg that licensure be brought into the 21st century, argue against the arbitrary barriers that keep well qualified professionals from practicing in a place that could probably use them, and educate your colleagues on the difficulties these laws place on state employees who must waste their time dealing with all kinds of paperwork for information quickly and easily available on the internet (fsbpt.org).
Really, I’m being a little melodramatic. Getting your license in a new state is generally a matter of paperwork, if your status as a PT/PTA is healthy, there’s no reason you won’t be licensed if you can get the paperwork to the right places in a timely matter. We’ve been licensed in many states now and have a greater burden because of it, if you’ve only worked in one state, it’s pretty straight forward.
Well I have to run, I’ve got some applications to fill out and an currently open Colorado Practice Act to leave my mark on. 🙂