Licensure

A person shall not engage in the practice of physical therapy without a license issued in accordance with the Physical Therapy Practice Act. A person who practices as a physical therapist or as a physical therapist assistant without being licensed under the Practice Act or whose license has been suspended or revoked or who uses in connection with his name the words or letters "PT", "Licensed Physical Therapist", "Physical Therapist", "Physio Therapist", "Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant", "PTA", or any other letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that he is a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant or who in any other way, orally or in writing or in print or by sign directly or by implication, represents himself as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant without being licensed by the board is subject to the penalties provided for in the Physical Therapy Practice Act.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t40c045.php

The following categories of individuals are not required to be licensed:

(1) a "PT student" who is a student enrolled in a board-approved physical therapist program while engaged in completing the clinical education requirement for graduation under the on-site supervision of a physical therapist who is licensed to practice in this State;

(2) a "PTA" student who is a student enrolled in a board-approved physical therapist assistant program while engaged in completing the clinical education requirement for graduation under the on-site supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who is licensed to practice in this State;

(3) a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant licensed in another state who is teaching or participating in special physical therapy education projects, demonstrations, or courses in this State;

(4) a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant solely employed by the United States Armed Services, United States Public Health Service, Veterans Administration, or another federal agency and practicing within the scope of employment.

Requirements

To be licensed by the board as a Physical Therapist you must:

(1) be a graduate of a physical therapy educational program approved by the board or provide satisfactory evidence that your education is equivalent to the requirements of physical therapists educated in United States educational programs as determined by the board. If the board determines that an applicant's education is not equivalent, it may require completion of additional course work before proceeding with the application process;

(2) pass an examination administered or approved by the board.

(3) speak the English language as a native language or demonstrate an effective proficiency of the English language in the manner prescribed by and to the satisfaction of the board; and

(4) submit evidence satisfactory to the board on a form approved by the board of not less than one thousand clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this State or in a state with licensure requirements equal to or more stringent than this State; or

(1) provide satisfactory evidence that your education is equivalent to the requirements of physical therapists educated in United States educational programs as determined by the board. If the board determines that your education is not equivalent, it may require completion of additional course work before proceeding with the application process;

(2) speak the English language as a native language or demonstrate an effective proficiency of the English language in the manner prescribed by and to the satisfaction of the board;

(3) pass an examination administered or approved by the board; and

(4) submit evidence satisfactory to the board on a form approved by the board of not less than one thousand clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this State or in a state with licensure requirements equal to or more stringent than this State.

To be licensed by the board as a Physical Therapist Assistant you must:

(1) be a graduate of a physical therapy assistant educational program approved by the board.

(2) pass an examination administered or approved by the board; and

(3) Speak the English language as a native language or demonstrate an effective proficiency of the English language in the manner prescribed by and to the satisfaction of the board.

You may apply for a Physical Therapy or Physical Therapy Assistant license by:

Examination-Applicants who are new graduates and have not been licensed in any jurisdiction.

Endorsement-Applicants who hold a current license in another jurisdiction

Reinstatement -Applicants whose license is inactive or lapsed in the state of South Carolina.

How To Apply

Application by Examination Instructions:

(1) Submit a complete application with fee. Incomplete applications and applications without the fee will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(2) Submit a certified check or money order in the amount of $120. Applications submitted without the appropriate fee will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(3) Submit a 2x2 standard photo attached to application. Any other photo will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(4) Submit a signed copy of your social security card with your application.

(5) Submit a legible copy of documents verifying your identity (e.g., copy of valid driver’s license, passport etc.) with your application.

(6) Submit a copy of the official document effecting any change of your legal name (e.g., copy of the marriage license, divorce decree indicating the name change, etc.), if applicable, with your application.

(7) Register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) upon submitting your application to the Board. Payment must be paid online at the time your application is submitted.  Register and pay the exam fee at www.fsbpt.net/pt. Applicants who are not registered to take the NPTE cannot be approved by the Board to sit for the exam.

(8) Verify Completion of Graduation Requirements by submitting the Form C-20.  The form must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from your school and received for admission to exam.  If an official transcript is available, the Form C-20 is not necessary, but the transcript must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school.  SCBPTE will not accept transcripts issued to the students.

The C20 form is for applicants who have met all requirements for graduation, but have not graduated and who wish to take the NPTE. A license will not be issued until an official transcript is received by the Board.

(9) Provide a copy of your official transcript to the Board.  The transcript with the registrar's seal must include the physical therapy degree and date of the degree was conferred. The transcript must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school in a sealed envelope and must be on file in the Board's office prior to a license being issued.  If an original transcript is provided to a credentialing agency for evaluation, a copy of the transcript is acceptable only if submitted directly to the Board from the credentialing agency. Transcripts that are received from applicants will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant.

Physical Therapy Applicants who are not graduates of a Board-approved program must submit:

(1) A credential evaluation prepared by a Board-approved credential evaluation agency. Approved Board credentialing agencies are:

(a) Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (“FCCPT”);

(b) International Consultants of Delaware (“ICD”);

(c),International Credentialing Associates (“ICA”); and

(d) International Education -Research Foundation (“IERF”). 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to pay any expenses associated with the credential evaluation.

The credential evaluation must provide evidence and documentation that the applicant's education outside a state or territory of the United States is substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy education program approved by the Board.

The approved credential evaluation agency must use the appropriate Course Work Tool ("CWT") 4th edition adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the CWT in place at the time the foreign educated physical therapist graduated from their physical therapy program.  Please visit FSBPT website to view the specific CWT and the requirements at: http://www.fsbpt.org/RegulatoryTools/CWT; and  

(2)  Documentation of successful completion of 1000 clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a SC licensed physical therapist after the exam has been passed and prior to issuance of a permanent license.  The applicant will be required to submit a completed supervisory agreement form prior to the issuance of a provisional license.  The provisional license will authorize the individual to work in South Carolina in order to obtain the required 1,000 clinical practice hours. The provisional license is valid for one

(1) year from the date of issuance and may not renewed; or

(3) Documentation of successful completion of 1,000 clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this state, or in a state with licensure requirements equal to or more stringent than this state. Must be reviewed and approved by Board prior to issuance of a permanent license. If required, clinical practice hours in South Carolina will be competed under a provisional license. 

(4) NPTE scores.  NPTE scores are accepted as a transfer score report only if the applicant has applied for original licensure by exam in another state and has completed the licensure process in that state.   Applicants must make the request to FSBPT Score Transfer Service, 509 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 and pay the required fee.  You may contact FSBPT Score Transfer Service at (703) 739-9420 or scoretransfer@fsbpt.org   Score reports must be submitted directly to SCBPTE from FSBPT. The Board will not accept score reports sent from any other sources.  Scores are automatically reported to South Carolina for applicants who apply for original licensure by examination in this state.

(5) Proof of proficiency in the English language if the applicant’s native language is not English.  Such applicants must demonstrate such proof by successfully completing the Test on English as a Foreign Language (“TOEFL”) exam.

Applicants are required to make a passing score in the following areas:

Writing  – 24

Speaking  - 26

Reading  - 18

Listening – 21

Total score of 89

Exam arrangements may be made with:

TOEFL/TSE Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-61
Telephone:  (609) 771-7100
Internet: http://www.toefl.org.

The TOEFL code number for South Carolina is 9561.  Enter this code on the answer sheet and/or the score report request form.  Scores must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from Educational Testing Service.  SCBPTE will not accept photocopies of score reports.

Exam Results

No person may be licensed under this chapter if the person has failed the examination three or more times, whether or not the exam was taken in South Carolina.

The exam results will not be given over the telephone.  If an applicant passes the exam, the Board will issue the license and mail a wall certificate and a wallet size license.  If an applicant fails the NPTE, he or she may take the exam a second (2nd) time by submitting the application found online to Repeat NPTE.  Note: Exam fee must be paid online.  If the NPTE is failed a second (2nd ) time, applicants must take courses approved by the Board, furnish evidence of completion of the required coursework, and appear before the Board to request permission to take the exam a third (3rd) and final time.

Application Instructions to Repeat the NPTE

(1) Complete and submit the Application to Repeat NPTE to the Board;

(2) Submit a copy of the official document effecting any change of your legal name (e.g., copy of the marriage license, divorce decree indicating the name change, etc.), if applicable, with your application; and

(3) Register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (“FSBPT”) to take the NPTE upon submitting your application to the Board. Payment must be paid online at the time your application is submitted to SCBPTE.  Register and pay the exam fee at www.fsbpt.net/pt. Applicants who are not registered to take the NPTE cannot be approved by the Board to sit for the exam.

Application by Endorsement Instructions:

(1) Submit a complete application with fee. Incomplete applications and applications without the fee will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(2) Submit a certified check or money order in the amount of $120. Applications submitted without the appropriate fee will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(3) Submit a 2x2 standard photo attached to application. Any other photo will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(4) Submit a signed copy of your social security card with your application.

(5) Submit a legible copy of documents verifying your identity (e.g., copy of valid driver’s license, passport etc.) with your application.

(6) Submit a copy of the official document effecting any change of your legal name (e.g., copy of the marriage license, divorce decree indicating the name change, etc.), if applicable, with your application.

(7) Submit verification of only one current permanent license by using the Verification of License Form C-10. Must be mailed directly to the Board from that state. Copies of licenses are not acceptable.

(8) Contact FSBPT and have the NPTE scores transferred to South Carolina.   Applicant must make the request to FSBPT Score Transfer Service, 509 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 and pay the required fee.  You may contact FSBPT Score Transfer Service at (703) 739-9420 or scoretransfer@fsbpt.org   Score reports must be submitted directly to SCBPTE from FSBPT. The Board will not accept score reports sent from any other sources. 

(9) Submit an official transcript with the registrar's seal, which must include the physical therapy degree and date of the degree was conferred. The transcript must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from the school in a sealed envelope and must be on file in the Board's office prior to a license being issued.  If an original transcript is provided to a credentialing agency for evaluation, a copy of the transcript is acceptable only if submitted directly to SCBPTE from the credentialing agency. Transcripts that are received from applicants will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant.

Physical Therapy Applicants who are not graduates of a Board-approved program must submit:

(1) A credential evaluation prepared by a Board-approved credential evaluation agency.

Approved Board credentialing agencies are:

(a) Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (“FCCPT”);

(b) International Consultants of Delaware (“ICD”);

(c) International Credentialing Associates (“ICA”); and

(d) International Education -Research Foundation (“IERF”). 

It is the responsibility of the applicant to pay any expenses associated with the credential evaluation.

The credential evaluation must provide evidence and documentation that the applicant's education outside a state or territory of the United States is substantially equivalent to the education of a physical therapist who graduated from an accredited physical therapy education program approved by the Board.

The approved credential evaluation agency must use the appropriate Course Work Tool ("CWT") 4th edition adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The appropriate CWT means the CWT in place at the time the foreign educated physical therapist graduated from their physical therapy program.  Please visit FSBPT website to view the specific CWT and the requirements at: http://www.fsbpt.org/RegulatoryTools/CWT; and  

(2) Documentation of successful completion of 1000 clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a SC licensed physical therapist after the exam has been passed and prior to issuance of a permanent license.  The applicant will be required to submit a completed supervisory agreement form prior to the issuance of a provisional license.  The provisional license will authorize the individual to work in South Carolina in order to obtain the required 1,000 clinical practice hours. The provisional license is valid for one

(1) year from the date of issuance and may not renewed; or

(3) Documentation of successful completion of 1,000 clinical practice hours under the on-site supervision of a licensed physical therapist in this state, or in a state with licensure requirements equal to or more stringent than this state. Must be reviewed and approved by Board prior to issuance of a permanent license. If required, clinical practice hours in South Carolina will be competed under a provisional license; and 

(4) Proof of proficiency in the English language if the applicant’s native language is not English.  Such applicants must demonstrate such proof by successfully completing the Test on English as a Foreign Language (“TOEFL”) exam.

Applicants are required to make a passing score in the following areas:

Writing  – 24

Speaking  - 26

Reading  - 18

Listening – 21

Total score of 89

Exam arrangements may be made with:

TOEFL/TSE Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-61
Telephone:  (609) 771-7100
Internet: http://www.toefl.org.

The TOEFL code number for South Carolina is 9561.  Enter this code on the answer sheet and/or the score report request form.  Scores must be mailed directly to SCBPTE from Educational Testing Service.  SCBPTE will not accept photocopies of score reports.

Reinstatement Application Instructions

(1) Submit a complete reinstatement application with fee. Incomplete applications and applications without the fee will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(2) Submit a certified check or money order in the amount of $390 for PTs and $380 for PTAs. Applications submitted without the appropriate fee will not be accepted and will delay the process

(3) Submit a 2x2 standard photo attached to application. Any other photo will not be accepted and will delay the process.

(4) Submit a signed copy of your social security card with your application.

(5) Submit a legible copy of documents verifying your identity (e.g., copy of valid driver’s license, passport etc.) with your application.

(6) Submit a copy of the official document effecting any change of your legal name (e.g., copy of the marriage license, divorce decree indicating the name change, etc.), if applicable, with your application.

(7) Verification of License, Form C-10: Submit verification of licensee of only one current permanent license is required. Must be mailed directly to the Board from that state. Copies of licenses are not acceptable.

(8) If applicable, submit verification of only one current permanent license by using the Verification of License Form C-10. Must be mailed directly to the Board from that state. Copies of licenses are not acceptable.

(9) Continuing Education-Submit proof of continuing education hours if applicable.

Fee Information

Fees

Initial License Application Fee

Physical Therapist, $120

Physical Therapist Assistant, $120

Examination Fee

National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), $400

Biennial Renewal Fee

Physical Therapist, $90

Physical Therapist Assistant, $80

Late Renewal Fee

Physical Therapist, $150

Physical Therapist Assistant, $150

Reinstatement Fee from Lapsed Status to Active

Physical Therapist, $390

Physical Therapist Assistant, $380

Reactivation Fee from Inactive Status to Active

Physical Therapist, $240 ($150 + $90 renewal fee)

Physical Therapist Assistant, $230 ($150 + $80 renewal fee)

Inactivation Fee from Active Status to Inactive

Physical Therapist, $50

Physical Therapist Assistant, $50

Miscellaneous Fees

Request license verifications online at https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/SSO/Login/LoginPage?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineVerification2%2f.

License Verification to Another State Board, $5

Name Change and a New License, $10

Duplicate License, $10

Duplicate Certificate, $10

Returned Check Charge, $30

Licensure Listing by E-mail, $10 (download form)

Paper Applications

Please select the link below for the paper application for initial license by exam. Please print and mail the application with the fee and supporting documents

/pt/Applications/PTapp.pdf

Please select the link below for the paper application for initial license by endorsement. Please print and mail the application with the fee and supporting documents

/pt/Applications/PT-PTA_Endorsement_App.pdf

Please select the link below for the paper application for reinstatement. Please print and mail the application with the fee and supporting documents. You cannot apply online for reinstatement.

/pt/Applications/PTReinstatementApp.pdf

Please select the link below for the online application. Online applications are for initial licenses only.

https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/NewAppsV3/Login/LoginPage?ReturnUrl=%2fNewAppsV2%2f

Please submit the documents below with the online application. The documents maybe uploaded or mailed in to the Board.

/pt/applications/PT-PTA_Exam_Electronic_Instructions.pdf

/pt/applications/PT-PTA_Endorsement_Electronic_Inst.pdf

Please select the link below for the application to repeat the NPTE. Please print and mail the application with the fee and supporting documents. You cannot apply online.

/pt/Applications/NPTE%20Repeat.pdf

FAQ
FAQ