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Respiratory Therapy Advisory Board
Frequently Asked Questions

1. When did licensure become effective?

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

2. How can I obtain an application for a license and how long does the process take?

You may apply online here. The average time to process an application is 6 to 8 weeks.

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

No. Virginia does not issue a temporary license.

4. Does your state have reciprocity?

No. An applicant must meet the education and examination requirements to become licensed.

5. 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.

6. When do I have to renew my license and how long will it take to receive my renewed license once fees have been sent?

Your license must be renewed biennially during your birth month in each odd-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.

7. What is the difference between an active and inactive license, and what are my options to renew my license?

An active license allows practice. An inactive does not allow practice. You may renew in an active or inactive status or allow your license to expire.

8. 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?

Go to and click on “License Lookup” from the menu bar. This is current, primary source verification that includes the same information the Board provides in a written verification.

You may also complete a Virginia license verification request form and submit with the appropriate processing fee.

Please note the following:

9. What if I had 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.  Requests may be faxed to 804-527-4426 or sent via email to

14. 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.

15. Can you fax renewal forms to me?


16. May I verify a license online?

Yes. Visit the License Look Up.

17. Does the Virginia Board have a newsletter?

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

18. May I renew my Virginia license online?

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

19. May I change my address online?

Yes. Visit the Online Licensing site for more details.

20. 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

21. Who is required to have a license?

Anyone who wishes to practice as a respiratory therapist or assume the title, “Respiratory Therapist” or use, in conjunction with his name, the letters “RT”.

22. I have not practiced respiratory therapy for three years. Can I still obtain a license in Virginia?

If previously licensed or certified in another jurisdiction, a minimum of 160 hours of professional practice as a respiratory care practitioner within the 24-month period immediately preceding application for licensure is required. Active practice may include supervisory, administrative, educational or consultative activities or responsibilities for the delivery of such services.

23. What are the CE requirements for renewal?

Renewal in a current/active status requires attestation of having completed 20 hours of continuing respiratory therapy education as approved and documented by a sponsor recognized by the AARC or in courses directly related to the practice of respiratory therapy as approved the American Medical Association for Category 1 CME credit within the last biennium.