Starting on August 27, 2019, Arizona's licensing boards will recognize out-of-state occupational licenses for people who:
- Have been licensed in their profession for at least one year
- Are in good standing in all states where they are licensed
- Do not have any past or pending investigations or complaints
- Pay applicable Arizona fees
- Meet all residency, testing, and background check requirements per law.
Individuals seeking to work in occupations that require a background check will still need to complete those background checks. In addition, professionals receiving licenses under the new law can only become licensed in practice within areas they have been trained and certified to practice in their original state. Arizona licensing boards will be required to verify that an individual is in good standing in all states where they are licensed.
What the new law does not do: The new law DOES NOT recognize other states’ occupational licenses automatically. For example, workers licensed in other states who move to Arizona still must apply for a license through the appropriate Arizona licensing board before working. However, under the new law, workers will not be required to duplicate training and other requirements that often needlessly delay or prevent them from getting to work.
Pathways to Licensure
Application for Licensure by Examination
This is the traditional license application type. Use this if you have passed the NBCOT exam and do not qualify for licensure by universal recognition. (More Info)
Application for Licensure by Universal License Recognition
If you have recently established residency in Arizona AND hold a license in another state (for at least one year), you may qualify for licensure by universal license recognition. With this option, you are not required to submit proof on NBCOT certification. (More Info)
I've you recently graduated and have not taken the NBCOT exam, you may qualify for a limited license. (More Info)
If your 2019 income was below 200% of the Federal poverty level, you may qualify for a fee waiver. (Application)
Definition of Occupational Therapy
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists defines occupational therapy as a profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enhancing the individual's ability to participate, by modifying the environment, or by adapting the activity to better support participation.
Another way of thinking about the ideas contained in these definitions could be: occupational therapy is about understanding the importance of an activity to an individual, being able to analyze the physical, mental and social components of the activity and then adapting the activity, the environment and/or the person to enable them to resume the activity. Occupational therapists would ask, "Why does this person have difficulties managing his or her daily activities (or occupations), and what can we adapt to make it possible for him or her to manage better and how will this then impact his or her health and well-being?”