Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov

Occupational Therapy Advisory Board
Frequently Asked Questions

1. When did licensure become effective?

Regulations requiring licensure for Occupational Therapy became effective July 1, 1998.

2. When should a new graduate apply for licensure?

The Board of Medicine recommends that Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant students who are about to graduate apply for licensure with the Board when they register to take their NBCOT exam.

3. Can I practice with a temporary license until a full license is issued?

Virginia does not issue a temporary license, however, a graduate of an OT or OTA program may practice designated as an OT-License Applicant or an OTA-License Applicant for 6 months after the date of graduation or until the graduate receives a failing score on the NBCOT exam whichever comes first.

4. What if I fail the NBCOT Exam?

An applicant that fails the NBCOT exam must cease practicing upon learning of the score.

5. What happens if I pass the NBCOT Exam but have not been licensed?

You may only practice for a total of 6 months after graduation, even if you have applied for licensure after passing the NBCOT exam and have not received your license. It is unlawful to practice beyond the 6 month period of time after graduation without receiving a license.

6. My school is no longer in existence. How do I provide documentation of education?

You must provide a notarized copy of your school’s diploma and transcript and a statement that your school is no longer in existence.

7. When do I have to renew my license and how long does it take to process?

Your license must be renewed biennially during your birth month in each even-numbered year. The fee is $135.00. Licenses are updated upon receipt of fees. A current license is printed, mailed and delivered to its destination within 10 working days. If you do not receive your updated license within four weeks of payment, contact the board office.

8. What is the difference between an active and inactive license?

An active license allows practice. An inactive license does not allow practice.

9. I am applying for a license in another state that requires verification of my Virginia license. How do I verify my license to another jurisdiction?

Licensees needing a verification can access License Lookup which serves as primary source verification of the credential issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia and meets the requirements of the Joint Commission.  This information can be obtained free of charge, is in real time, and available 24 hours a day.

10. What if I have not notified you of my change of address and the renewal form was sent to the old address?

If you do not receive a notice to renew, you will need to contact the board office at 804-367-4600 for instructions to renew.

11. What if my renewal payment is not received by the deadline?

An additional fee for processing a late renewal will be imposed. The license will not be updated until the additional fee is received.

12. I have mailed my renewal form to you. When can I expect to receive my new wallet card?

A renewal certificate with the wallet card attached is generated upon receipt of the renewal fee. It should reach the address of record within 10 to 14 business days.

13. I am going out of the country for a year. Can I renew early?

A license can only be updated within 60 days prior to the expiration date. Early renewal for military deployment may be considered.  Call 804-367-4600.

14. What do I have to do to notify the board of an upcoming name change?

Name changes must be submitted in writing with a copy of legal documentation of name change. Request may be faxed to 804-527-4426.

15. I have not received my renewal certificate for the current year. What do I need to do?

Contact the board office at 804-367-4600.

16. Can you fax renewal forms to me?


17. May I verify a license online?

Yes. Visit the License Look Up.

18. Does the Virginia Board have a newsletter?

The board publishes a Board Brief newsletter periodically. The latest Board Briefs can be found online.

19. May I renew my Virginia license online?

Yes, you are able to renew during your renewal cycle through the Online Licensing website.

20. May I change my address online?

Yes. Visit the Online Licensing site for more details.

21. If I want to file a complaint, may I obtain a complaint form online?

Yes, visit the Enforcement section of the DHP web to get the form and you may email your complaint to

22. I have not practiced as an occupational therapist for 2 years. Can I still obtain a Virginia license?

If previously licensed in another jurisdiction, documentation of 160 hours (within the 24-month period immediately preceding application) of professional practice as an occupational therapist is required. Active practice may include supervisory, administrative, educational or consultative activities or responsibilities for delivery of such services. If you have not engaged in active practice, you shall serve a board-approved practice of 160 hours to be completed within 60 consecutive days, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

23. What are the CE requirements for renewal?

Renewal in a current/active status requires attestation of having completed 20 contact hours of continuing learning activities to include 10 hours of Type 1 activities offered by a sponsor or organization recognized by the profession and may include in-service training, self-study courses, continuing education courses, specialty certification or professional workshops and no more than 10 hours of Type 2 activities, which may include consultation with another therapist, independent reading or research, preparation for a presentation, fieldwork with students, or other such experiences that promote continued learning.