Physician Assistant Advisory Board
Frequently Asked Questions

1. When did licensure become effective?

Regulations requiring licensure for Physician Assistants became effective February 1, 1989.

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

Applications can be downloaded from the board’s website or you may call the board office at 804-367-4600. The average time to process an application is 6 to 8 weeks, but it may take longer depending on the required documentation or other unique circumstances.

3. Can I begin practice immediately after the license is issued?

Virginia requires a current, active license to practice physician assisting. The Board no longer requires Practice Agreements to be submitted for approval prior to practicing. However, a Practice Agreement needs to be developed by the physician assistant and the supervising physician, kept in the office or by both parties, and be available to the Board upon request. Similarly, Invasive Procedure forms no longer need to be submitted to the Board prior to the physician assistant performing such procedures under continuous supervision. However, the process for a physician attesting to a physician assistant’s ability to safely and competently perform the invasive procedure, e.g., observe the physician assistant perform the procedure at least 3 times, remains an obligation of the supervising physician. A form for each invasive procedure should be completed and kept in the office or by the parties and be available to the Board upon request.

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

Virginia does not issue a temporary license, however, pending the outcome of the next examination administered by the NCCPA, an applicant who has met all other requirements at the time his application is submitted may be granted provisional licensure. The provisional licensure shall be valid until the applicant takes the next subsequent NCCPA examination and its results are reported, not to exceed 30 days. A provisional license may not be extended, renewed or re-issued.

5. How can I apply for prescriptive authority?

In Virginia, a licensed physician assistant is authorized to prescribe controlled substances and devices for Schedules II through VI. The board requires successful completion of a minimum of 35 hours of acceptable training in pharmacology. The application for employment protocol must include a request for prescriptive authority which will constitute a written agreement with the licensed physician for the supervision of the prescriptive practices of the assistant.

6. How can I obtain a copy of my employment protocol?

You must provide a written request for a copy of your employment protocol to include the name of your supervising physician.

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 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.

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

An active state licensee allows practice. Current NCCPA certification is required for an active license. An inactive does not allow practice.

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 licensees address of record within 10 to 14 business days.

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

No. 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?

A name change must be made in writing with a copy of legal documentation of name change. Requests may be faxed to 804-527-4426.

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 in the Newsletters section.

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. How can I reinstate an expired license?

A P.A. who has allowed his license to expire for over a two-year period must make a new application to the Board and pay the licensure fee of $130.00.