Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions to assist physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) applicants.



  • Q. What fees are required when applying for a PT/PTA license?
    A. All applicants are required to submit a non-refundable application processing fee with the application; applications without the application processing fee will not be accepted. Submission deadline of the initial license fee may vary depending on how you apply. To determine the appropriate application method and the amount of fees you are required to submit with your application, see the application instructions available here: https://www.ptbc.ca.gov/applicants/how_to_apply.shtml.

  • Q. Where do I get fingerprinted via Live Scan?
  • A. Live Scan is only available in California; however, you do not need to be a resident. A list of authorized Live Scan locations is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/locations.

  • Q. How do I get fingerprinted if I am not in California?
    A. If you will be in California at any time during the application process, the Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) strongly recommends having your fingerprints processed via Live Scan. If Live Scan is not an option, you may have your fingerprints processed using a hard card. You must use the fingerprint hard card provided by PTBC. To obtain a fingerprint card from PTBC, respond 'yes' on the online application when asked if you need a hard card for fingerprinting. This will also allow you to pay the fingerprint processing fee to PTBC electronically. Once PTBC receives your application, a fingerprint card will be mailed to the address of record you provided on the application. Upon receipt of your card, take it to an authorized fingerprint roller. Do not roll your fingerprints yourself; the Department of Justice (DOJ) will reject them. Return the completed card to PTBC, and PTBC will send it to DOJ for processing.


  • Q. What should I do if I forget to attach a document to my online application?
  • A. You may submit outstanding documents to PTA@dca.ca.gov.

  • Q. How should my school submit the Certificate of Completion (P1E)?
  • A. Schools are encouraged to submit P1Es electronically to Application_Material@dca.ca.gov. This email is for schools to submit P1Es only; other correspondence sent to this email will not receive a response.

  • Q. What is the current application processing time?
  • A. Please follow PTBC on social media to see current application processing times. Facebook Twitter

  • Q. How do I check the status of my application?
  • A. The status of your application is posted to your account. The status of your application is posted to your BreEZe account.

  • Q. When will I receive PTLA/PTALA status?
  • A. PTBC must have a complete application with fees and a P1E to grant PTLA/PTALA. If the P1E is on file at the time of application, PTLA/PTALA will be granted during the initial intake process, which takes approximately thirty (30) days from receipt. If the P1E is not on file at the time of application and initial intake, PTLA/PTALA will be granted two (2) weeks following receipt of the P1E.

  • Q. I’ve just taken the exam(s), how do I obtain my results?
  • A. The Federation of State Board of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) provides a candidate score report that is available for free for thirty (30) days. To access this score report, on the date indicated on the FSBPT Deadline Calendar, go to Check the Status of My Request on FSBPT's website. After thirty (30) days, the report may be purchased from FSBPT at the standard fee for an Individual Score Report.

  • Q. Can I pay to expedite the application process?
  • A.No. PTBC does not offer expedited processing for any applicant except as authorized by Business and Professions Code (BPC) sections 115.4 and 115.5.

  • Q. How long do I have to complete my application?
  • A. An application is valid for one year from the date of receipt; however, pursuant to Title 16, California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 1398.21, PTBC has the authority to deny an application if the applicant is not exercising due diligence in completing the application.

  • Q. Can I apply for both a PT and PTA license at the same time?
    A. Yes. You must submit two separate applications and pay the application fees required for each.

  • Q. Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for a license?
    A. You must have either a SSN or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for a license.

  • Q. Can foreign-educated applicants apply for licensure in California before having their credentials evaluated? A. No. Foreign-educated applicants must have a completed credential evaluation report indicating education is equivalent to that at an accredited education program in the U.S.

  • Q. Who do I contact for guidance about satisfying deficiencies identified by a credential evaluation agency?
    A. Contact the credential evaluation agency. PTBC is unable to provide guidance on fulfilling education deficiencies.

  • Q. Will PTBC accept a credential evaluation report from another state?
    A. No. Your credentials must be evaluated by a California- recognized credential evaluation agency and pursuant to California laws and regulations.

  • Q. How do I qualify for licensure as a PTA by equivalency using my work experience and education?
    A. Refer to Title 16, CCR section 1398.47 for requirements.

  • Q. If my application is closed and I reapply, am I require to fingerprint again?
    A. Yes. When an application is closed, the fingerprint reports are returned to DOJ.

  • Q. Do I have to resubmit all my documents when I reapply?
    A. Depending on the last time you applied, you may be required to resubmit all documentation with the new application. Please contact the PTBC at PTA@dca.ca.gov to verify what is required when reapplying.

  • Q. I have a criminal conviction. Will that affect my application for PT/PTA licensure?
    A. PTBC's primary responsibility is consumer protection. To that end, it has the authority to deny a license due to a conviction of a crime or offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee. Pursuant to Title 16, CCR Section 1399.21, PTBC will determine if the applicant has met the rehabilitation criteria for denial and reinstatement of licensure. If a license is denied, the applicant may request a hearing.