Physical Therapy: Requirements and Continuing Education
Application For Licensure
The board may issue a license to an applicant, other than one applying for licensure by endorsement, who fulfills the following requirements:
- completes the application;
- includes a passport-size photograph taken within the preceding twelve months and affixes it to the application;
- pays the non-refundable application fee in full as provided in Part 5;
- passes the jurisprudence exam (as specified in 220.127.116.11) and pays the non-refundable exam fee
- official college or university transcripts from a program approved by the commission on accreditation in physical therapy education (CAPTE) verifying one of the following:
- post-baccalaureate degree in physical therapy;
- associate degree in physical therapy assistant;
- if official transcripts are not available because of school closure or destruction of the records, e.g., the applicant must provide satisfactory evidence of meeting the required physical therapy educational program by submitting documentation that will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the board and pursuant to the following:
- for applicants who graduated after January 1, 2002, documentation of graduation with a post-baccalaureate degree in physical therapy from an educational program accredited by CAPTE;
- for applicants who graduated prior to January 1, 2002, documentation of graduation with a baccalaureate degree in physical therapy or a certificate in physical therapy from an educational program accredited by CAPTE;
- for physical therapist assistant applicants, documentation of graduation from an accredited physical therapist assistant program accredited by CAPTE and approved by the board;
- passes the national physical therapy licensure examination (NPTE) (as specified in 18.104.22.168 NMAC); if the applicant has previously taken the NPTE, the testing entity shall send the test scores directly to the board; test scores sent by individuals, organizations or other state boards will not be accepted.
- For applicants who have not practiced since graduating from a physical therapy education program, or who have not practiced as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant for a period of more than three (3) consecutive years, full licensure requires fulfilling the following requirements:
- satisfactory completion of all application requirements for licensure as provided in Subsection A of 22.214.171.124 NMAC;
- provides proof of having taken fifteen (15) continuing education contact hours for each year the applicant was not practicing as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant (coursework to be pre-approved by the board);
- provides evidence of additional competency to practice as required by the board.
- Felony or misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude directly related to employment in the profession have to be satisfactorily resolved. The board may require proof that the person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to warrant the public trust if the prior conviction does not relate to employment in the profession. Proof of sufficient rehabilitation may include, but is not limited to: certified proof of completion of probation or parole supervision, payment of fees, community service or any other court ordered sanction.
- A licensee requesting a name change must submit proof of name change, the original license and a replacement license fee.
- Foreign educated applicants must meet all requirements for licensure as provided in Subsection A of 126.96.36.199 NMAC as well as those requirements listed in 16.20.9 NMAC.
- Initial application is valid for a period of twelve (12) months.
Licensure By Endorsement:
A license may be issued to a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who provides verification of all licenses from other U.S. jurisdictions, and meets all the requirements in 188.8.131.52 NMAC. The board will accept verifications via regular mail, electronic mail, or facsimile. Verifications must be signed and dated by an official of the agency licensing the applicant and must include the following:
- name and address of the applicant;
- license number and date of issuance;
- current status of the license;
- expiration date of the license;
- national examination scores received directly from the reporting jurisdiction;
- a statement as to whether the applicant was denied a license by the agency;
- a statement as to whether any disciplinary action is pending or has been taken against the applicant.
A license may be issued to a foreign-educated physical therapist who has a valid unrestricted license from another U.S. jurisdiction provided that the applicant meets all of the requirements in 184.108.40.206 NMAC and 16.20.9 NMAC.
Continuing Education Requirement:
Continuing education is required for license renewal of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in order to ensure that New Mexico licensees are providing the highest quality professional services.
- Thirty (30) hours of continuing education will be required biennially. All continuing education hours must be earned during the current two (2) year renewal period of February 1 through January 31.
- A licensed physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant shall apply for license renewal and pay the renewal fee as set forth in 16.20.5 NMAC, Schedule of Fees.
- The board office will mail a renewal notice to each licensee no later than December 15 at the address on record. Timely renewal of license is the full and complete responsibility of the licensee. If the renewal form is not received by the licensee within a reasonable time after December 15, it is the responsibility of the licensee to contact the board office. Non-receipt of the renewal form by the licensee will not exempt licensure expiration or late penalty fees.
- Each licensee is responsible for submitting the required biennial renewal fee by the expiration date whether or not a renewal notice is received by the licensee and licensee shall not practice if license is expired.
- All license renewals postmarked after February 1 will be subject to a late fee. (Refer to 16.20 5 NMAC, Schedule of Fees.)