Applying for a Professional License From Outside Pennsylvania

Act 41 of 2019 provides another option for the boards to consider applicants who wish to move to and work in 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:


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.



1 - Licensure by Reciprocity – license is granted to an applicant based on an agreement between or among licensing jurisdictions in which each agrees to issue licenses to applicants who hold the same type of license in the other jurisdiction, usually based on an assessment that their licensing requirements are similar.

2 - Licensure by Endorsement – When a license is granted to an applicant who holds the same type of license in another licensing jurisdiction with substantially equivalent licensing requirements, without regard as to whether the other jurisdiction would do the same.

3 - Act 41 Requirements - requires that the applicant hold a current license from another state, territory or country whose licensing requirements are substantially equivalent to Pennsylvania’s requirements.  An applicant will also have to demonstrate competency and satisfy several additional requirements as set forth in Act 41.  See:

4 - Provisional License -  A provisional license enables an applicant to begin operating in Pennsylvania for a limited period of time while satisfying any outstanding requirements or issues that remain, and for the Board to then make its determination whether to issue or deny the license.