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Becoming a Physical Therapist in Illinois – IL

The following steps must be taken in order to become a physical therapist in Illinois.  The licensure application should begin shortly after all requirements have been completed for the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree.

(1)  Apply to take examinations:  The first step towards licensure is to download the initial application forms at the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website, given below.  The four-page application is lengthy and must be filled out by several parties such as all medical schools attended by the candidate and all licensing boards from states that the applicant may hold additional physical therapy licenses.  The applicant must give his/her social security number and contact information.  Any criminal background or any default on student loans must also be disclosed to the IDFPR.


Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR)
320 W. Washington
Springfield, IL  62786
Tel: (217) 785-0800
Fax: (217) 782-7645
http://www.idfpr.com/

(2)  Take examinations:  Once the initial application forms have been received, the applicant will have three years to complete all additional requirements and pass all the examinations, or else the application will be void.  In Illinois, like the rest of the United States, applicants must take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE).  Test takers must first apply to take the exam at the Continental Testing Services (CTS) website (http://www.continentaltesting.net/index.html), and then must register with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT), which administers the exam.  The CTS fee is $95.50 and the FSBPT fee is $350.

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
124 West Street South, Third Floor
Alexandria, VA  22314
Administrative Office:
Exam Services:
Tel: (703) 739-9420
Fax: (703) 739-9421

The NPTE is taken at Prometric computer testing centers.  In Illinois, there are testing centers in Carterville, Champaign, Chicago, Deerfield, Homewood, Lombard, Peoria, Springfield, and Sycamore.  There are 250 multiple choice questions in the NPTE and test takers have five hours to complete the exam.  Usually a score of 600, out of a range of 200 and 800, is considered a passing score.  In one year, test takers have three chances to pass the exam.  In Illinois, applicants can practice physical therapy while they wait to take the exam; however, if they fail the exam, they must halt their practice immediately.

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
124 West Street South, Third Floor
Alexandria, VA  22314
Administrative Office:
Exam Services:
Tel: (703) 739-9420
Fax: (703) 739-9421
https://www.fsbpt.org

(3)  Submit examination results:  Once the examination is passed, the scores must be sent directly to the IDFPR.  Applicants must then pay an additional application fee of $100.

(4)  Continuing education credits and renewal:  Illinois physical therapy licenses are renewed every even numbered year on September 30th.  The renewal fee is $60.  During the first two-year licensure period, there are no continuing education requirements, but in all subsequent licensing periods, physical therapists in Illinois must complete 40 hours of continuing education approved by the IDFPR.


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