Applying for a professional license from outside Pennsylvania
Many of the boards and commissions of BPOA already have existing procedures that allow for consideration of applicants licensed in another state, territory or country to obtain a Pennsylvania license by way of reciprocity1 or endorsement.2 Act 41 provides yet another option for the boards to consider applicants licensed in other jurisdictions and will help reduce unnecessary barriers for new residents, veterans, military spouses and other individuals who wish to move to and work in Pennsylvania.
When can I apply under Act 41?
Boards will begin implementing Act 41 endorsement requirements on August 29, 2019. Applicants must apply through PALS: www.pals.pa.gov
How does this work?
If a board's existing endorsement/reciprocity options do not provide a means of licensure, applicants who hold a license in another state or country will be given Act 41 consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Most boards have an application review subcommittee to review applications. Under Act 41, the subcommittee will consider whether you:
- hold the same or similar license in another jurisdiction and the jurisdiction's licensing requirements are substantially equivalent to those required in Pennsylvania;
- are in good standing with the other jurisdiction;
- demonstrate competency in the occupation or profession; and
- meet other administrative and background requirements.3
For applications that do not initially satisfy all of Act 41's requirements, the boards may (but are not required to) issue a "provisional license"4 in appropriate situations which will allow an applicant to practice while fulfilling additional requirements for licensure.
How long will it take to get my license?
The business of each board, including consideration of licensure applications and a variety of other matters, is generally conducted in conjunction with public board meetings that are held at regular intervals throughout the year. On average, each board meets approximately every 8-12 weeks. However, the review of applications is an ongoing process, and in many instances approval does not require formal action of the full board. Licenses for approved applications are issued on a continual basis.
What about a permanent solution?
Act 41 requires that each board develop and implement regulations by February 28, 2021, to formally implement rules and procedures to process and consider applications under Act 41.