Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Occupational Therapy Assistant.
The basic requirements for licensure may be found in Chapter 468, Part III, Florida Statutes and Rule Chapter 64B11, Florida Administrative Code, and are as follows:
- Be of good moral character.
- Have graduated from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
- Have completed 2 months of supervised fieldwork experience at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the education institution where you met the academic requirements; and
- Have passed an examination approved by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for occupational therapy assistants. Applicants must contact the NBCOT, for the exam application and deadline information at (301) 990-7979 or visit the NBCOT website.
Reentry into the profession (For Endorsement or Exam with Waiver applicants Only):
For Applicants Seeking Reentry Into The Profession: Rule 64B11-2.012, F.A.C., requires any applicant seeking licensure, who has not been in active practice within the last five years, to submit documentation of 50 continuing education hours, relevant to the practice of occupational therapy. Twelve (12) of these 50 hours may be completed as home study. These hours must be completed within the year prior to licensure and verification must be submitted before a license can be issued.
“Yes” answers to Personal History, Criminal History or Disciplinary History:
Applicants must submit complete documentation of past criminal convictions or professional disciplinary actions, and must not have committed a crime listed in s. 456.0635 F.S., or similar statute in another state.
Applicants with “Yes” answers to Personal History, Criminal History or Disciplinary History questions on the application will be required to submit a written personal statement(s) to any and all “YES” answers. You must explain in detail the circumstances, dates, and locations surrounding the issue(s), offense(s), problem(s), etc., including current disposition or circumstances.
Note: It is the applicants responsibility and very important to submit all documentation necessary to validate, confirm, and support your desire, eligibility and merit for professional licensure. Requirements for licensure, requires an applicant applying for a license as an occupational therapist or as an occupational therapy assistant to show to the satisfaction of the Board that they are of good moral character. In addition to your statement you may wish to request others to submit personal reference letters on your behalf. It is suggested these letters may be from professional colleagues, employers, clergy, school administrators, and/or long term acquaintances. This information may be mailed, faxed or emailed. (See 468.209 and 468.217, Florida Statutes)
Failure to submit the aforementioned information will result in the delay of your application. Applicants with positive answers to Personal, Criminal or Disciplinary History questions may require the Boards individual review of their application and/or may be asked to personally appear before the Board to discuss their application. The Board’s quarterly scheduled meetings are posted on the Board’s Meetings page on the website. Agenda deadlines are 30 days prior to each meeting and required for completion of applications and submission of all documentation submitted to the Board. Certain applicants may be referred to the Professionals Resource Network (PRN) for an evaluation of competency to practice as a contingency for licensure. PRN is a consultant to the State of Florida contracted to evaluate prospective licensees and practitioners to ensure their ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety to the public. Please note: The expense for such evaluation and/or monitoring contract, if required by the Board, will be the applicant’s responsibility. Visit PRN.
Individual consideration of an application by the Board, a Personal Appearance before the Board, a PRN referral, or combination require additional time for processing, due to the Boards quarterly scheduled meetings. See the Board’s scheduled meetings at The Florida Board of Occupational Therapy.
Applicants with Health History
Personal History documentation must include: documentation regarding conditions, addictive disorder(s), impairment(s), such as medical records, diagnosis, prescription medication(s), and a current evaluation letter(s) from treating physicians, therapist/counselor, and/or institution(s).
Applicants with Discipline History
Disciplinary History documentation must include: documentation regarding discipline, employment or occupational therapy related charges, Board orders, disciplinary reports, court documents, arrest records, sentencing information, final disposition(s), restitution records, completion of probation, employment records and/or employment verifications, employer and/or colleague recommendation letters, etc.
Applicants with Criminal History
Criminal History documentation must include for each offense: court and arrest records, sentencing information, final disposition(s), restitution records, completion of probation. If the records are no longer available, we must have a certification or letter of their unavailability from the Court or regulatory entity.
Health Care Fraud; Disqualification for License, Certificate, or Registration
Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:
- Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
- For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
- Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
- Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
- Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.
For additional information please review our Frequently Asked Questions:
- BEFORE you submit this state licensure application, apply to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to schedule the examination required for licensure. Visit: www.nbcot.org or call: (301) 990-7979.
- AFTER you have passed the examination, you are READY to apply for your State of Florida license. Apply online at https://floridasoccupationaltherapy.gov for a streamlined process or submit the paper application. After successfully completing the exam, you may select the “ENDORSEMENT” application method.
- Once we determine that your application is COMPLETE and we are able to verify your passage of the examination, your license will be issued.
NBCOT CERTIFIED APPLICANTS
- Complete a Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice approved 2-hour prevention of medical errors course and retain your certificate of completion. To find a Board-approved medical errors course, please use the “Course Search” function for Florida Occupational Therapists or Therapy Assistants at www.CEBroker.com.
- If you have ever been certified by the NBCOT, you are READY to apply for your State of Florida license! If your NBCOT Certification is CURRENT/RENEWED/ACTIVE, You will want to select the “Occupational Therapist License by Endorsement option. If your NBCOT Certification is NOT CURRENT/NON-RENEWED/INACTIVE, and you have at least one (1) CURRENT/ACTIVE license in another state or jurisdiction, you will want to select the “Occupational Therapist License by Exam with Waiver (Certification is Not Current)” option.
- Once we verify that your application is COMPLETE and are able to verify your NBCOT certification, your license will be issued.
Licensure Methods and Requirements
The Examination method is for an applicant waiting to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
The Endorsement method is for an applicant who successfully completed the examination and holds CURRENT certification with NBCOT. Licensure in another state is not a requirement for this method.
The Exam with Waiver method is for an applicant who successfully completed the examination, but does not have a current (renewed) NBCOT certification, therefore prefers to waive the current Certification required to apply by endorsement. However, must present proof of current licensure as an occupational therapy assistant in another state, the District of Columbia, or any territory or jurisdiction of the United States or foreign national jurisdiction which requires standards for licensure determined by the board to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure in Florida.
- It is advisable to complete and acquire ALL application requirements/documentation BEFORE submitting an application.
- Please make sure to include your Social Security Number (SSN) on your application. Your application will not be approved unless this information is included on your application.
For Exam Applicants Only
BEFORE submitting an application: (May only apply “By Exam Method” with a paper application found under the Resources TAB) PDF Applications: OT/OTA Application Form
- Apply to sit for the NBCOT exam. Be sure to request and pay for your scores to be sent to Florida at the same time you are registering for the examination. Submitting proof of this payment and request with an application will be required if a Temporary Permit is issued.
- Note: You are NOT required to provide proof of graduation.
- Note: You are NOT required to provide a NBCOT exam eligibility letter.
- Submit proof of your Scheduled Exam Date as received directly from the Testing Center.
Proof of Scheduled Exam Date – You will receive a NBCOT Exam Eligibility letter verifying your eligibility to sit the exam with instructions to contact and schedule your exam date with a Testing Center. After you contact the Testing Center and receive your “Confirmation of Appointment” letter/email to sit the exam, you may forward this letter/email to the Board office at:firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board Staff must receive the “Confirmation of Appointment” number on this letter/email to verify your exam date online before completing your application file and issuing a temporary permit, if requested.
Temporary Permits (For Exam applicants only):
- Temporary permits may be requested if you wish to practice prior to examination and/or licensure.
- Temporary permits are issued based upon meeting the eligibility requirements to sit the national exam, submission of proof of a scheduled exam date, proof of requesting a score transfer from NBCOT, and employment offer with an assigned licensed OT supervisor.
- NOTE: If you fail the examination, the temporary permit is automatically invalid and you must inform your employer and cease practice immediately. The Board will subsequently revoke the temporary permit upon receipt of your unsuccessful scores. Practicing on a revoked temporary permit can subject you to fines, probation and/or possible denial of licensure.
- Temporary permits are not renewable, nor extended, or available to anyone who has previously failed the exam.
- There is no additional fee for a Temporary Permit.
- Temporary Permits are issued as a favor of the board to eligible applicants, and may be withheld, based upon questions or problems that arise, and especially in regards to affirmative answers of previous personal health, criminal or disciplinary issues, on the application.
NOTE: OT and OTA Applicants with a Temporary Permit must work under the supervision of a Florida licensed occupational therapist, as defined in Chapter 468.203 (8), Florida Statues.
- “Supervision” means responsible supervision and control, with the licensed occupational therapist providing both initial direction in developing a plan of treatment and periodic inspection of the actual implementation of the plan. Such plan of treatment shall not be altered by the supervised individual without prior consultation with, and the approval of, the supervising occupational therapist. The supervising occupational therapist need not always be physically present or on the premises when the assistant is performing services; however, except in cases of emergency, supervision shall require the availability of the supervising occupational therapist for consultation with and direction of the supervised individual.
Endorsement and Exam with Waiver Applicants
- Provide a correct NBCOT certification number on your application. Board staff will attempt to verify your certification on NBCOT’s “Verify my Credentials” online site. If verification is unavailable online, you will be required to request a certification letter to be sent directly from NBCOT to the Florida Board. Copies of your certification are not acceptable
- Complete the 2 hours of Prevention of Medical Errors continuing education requirement.
- Licensure Verifications are required for each OT or OTA license and other health-related licensures regardless of status. Board staff will research state licensing entity’s websites to verify your license. If unavailable online, or if online verification lacks disciplinary history, you must request a verification letter to be sent to support your application directly from that applicable state licensing authority. For a list of all state regulatory entities visit the NBCOT website: www.nbcot.org
- NOTE: To become licensed under the Exam with Waiver method, you must have a current OTA license in another state, the District of Columbia, or any territory or jurisdiction of the United States or foreign national jurisdiction which requires standards for licensure determined by the board to be equivalent to the requirements for licensure in Florida.
|Application Fee||$100.00 (non-refundable)|
|Initial License Fee||$75.00|
|Unlicensed Activity Fee||$5.00|
|Total Fee Due with Application:||$180.00|
Make checks or money orders payable to the “Department of Health.”
Applicants and licensees are responsible for the fees outlined in applicable board or department rule at the time an application is received.
Other Payer Code
Other Payer Information
The Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA), is pleased to offer employers, recruiters and schools of Occupational Therapist and/or Occupational Therapist Assistant applicants an option to pay for the applicant’s licensure fees.
Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants may complete and submit an application for licensure online. Instead of providing their own credit card for payment, applicants will have the option to enter the ‘Other Payer Code’ to complete the application process. The application will be uploaded for processing and will stay in pending status until the other payer makes payment.
Interested parties will need to register with the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice by providing, in letter format, the following information:
- Business Name
- Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Federal ID Number.
In addition, we will need a contact person and email address. Please indicate if you require more than one payment code, or a code expiration, date and sign the letter indicating that all of the provided information is true and correct. Please mail this letter to:
Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin # C-05
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3254
Once the third party payer is registered, the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice will mail a notification letter including the payment code and instructions on how to submit payment for applicants who applied for an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant license. The third party payer will need to provide their “Other Payer Code” to applicants prior to them applying.
Third party payers who elect to use the Other Payer Code will be required to log-on to MQA’s secure on-line services website to approve and submit payment. The payer will be able to deselect applicants who are not eligible to use their ‘Other Payer Code’. Then the payer will be prompted to a Credit Card payment screen where they can pay by using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
Third party payers wishing to pay by check will need to send a cashiers check or money order along with a list of applicants and their file number. Applicants are issued a file number as a part of their application confirmation e-mail. The applicant’s file number is required when submitting payments by this method:
Department of Health
Post Office Box 6330
Tallahassee, FL 32314
PLEASE NOTE: Applicants are responsible for the fees at the time an application is received. Applications will stay in Pending and Deficient status until the other payer makes payment.
Chapter 468, Part III: Occupational Therapy
Chapter 456, Florida Statutes: Health Professions and Occupations: General Provisions
Chapter 120, Florida Statutes: Administrative Procedure Act
Florida Administrative Code
Rules: Chapter 64B11: Board of Occupational Therapy, Florida Administrative Code