How to Register for the NPTE in all 50 States

Apr 19, 2015
3 min read

Hey New Grads! Congratulations on making it to the NPTE!

We created this resource because new graduate physical therapists like you have the challenge of both preparing for and to apply for the NPTE once you complete your education.

I know... Why is it a challenge to apply for the board exam? Great question! The last thing you should have to think about is applying to take an exam.

To apply for the NPTE seems straight forward. Like everything else in healthcare, it surely is not. Applying for the NPTE must be done in a timely manner, and their are multiple steps that must be completed. The NPTE is only available 4 times per year so any oversight can lead to missing a deadline and delaying the time at which you are able to test and practice as a therapist.

This eBook will take you through the necessary steps to apply for the national exam through the FSBPT and follow with the steps and considerations required for each of the 50 states.


This reference is to be used as a guide. Every effort has been made to make this resource as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty of fitness is implied. The information is provided on an as-is basis. The authors and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this resource.

We strongly recommend you read all directions carefully and clarify any part of the process you are uncertain of for the state(s) in which you choose to apply. Following the steps laid out in this guide will make your life much easier, and relieve many questions or concerns that you may have regarding the process. Registering for the exam was a struggle for me and many others in my graduating class. I almost missed the deadline because I was unaware of the time it takes to register!

Before reading any further, visit to check on exam dates and deadlines.

  • Exam dates and deadlines can be found on the right side of the screen
  • Click the link below for a full list of dates and deadlines for PT and PTA NPTE Dates and Deadlines

Step By Step Directions

  1. Notify your school of the states in which you plan to apply for licensure
  2. Register with the state(s) in which you wish to apply for licensure
  3. Register with the FSBPT
  4. Your state will contact the FSBPT when your application has been processed and you will receive an Authorization to Test.
  5. Schedule your exam with Prometrics
  6. Register with alternate states if you chose to practice in a state other than the one you originally signed up for the exam in
  7. Pass the NPTE
  8. Many states allow you to practice for a limited period while you await your license under a “temporary license”

State Specific directions

Quick reference - Your state’s website can be found at this link. State Website Reference List.

Follow the steps outlined for the state that you would like to practice in. If, after applying for the exam you decide you want to work in another state, send an application to your desired state immediately to ensure it is processed by the time you require a license. States can take up to 3 months to process your application so stay on top of it!

Note: you will need to pay a fee for each state you apply for.

We hope this guide is helpful. If you discover any updates in the process, or have suggestions on how we can improve this resource, please contact us so we can make updates ASAP!

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About Brett Kestenbaum, PT, DPT

As co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at CovalentCareers, I am afforded the opportunity to connect with thousands of healthcare practitioners around the country. My goal is to assist doctors in improving their careers and focus on providing the best healthcare possible.