File a Complaint Against a Pennsylvania-Licensed Professional

If you are having issues with a licensee or registrant in Pennsylvania, you can file a complaint.


​If you think a licensed professional is behaving unethically or below the standards of their profession, you should submit a Statement of Complaint Form on the Department's PALS website. You can also file a complaint if you suspect someone is practicing without a license.  If you require special accommodation in downloading or obtaining the form, please email  or call the complaint hotline at 717-783-4849 to have a form mailed to you.



How to File a Complaint

Here is how to file a complaint against a Pennsylvania-licensed professional. 

For the Department of State to initiate an investigation of a possible violation, please complete a Statement of Complaint Form. Please ensure you follow the instructions provided on the form and fill out all mandatory fields to submit your complaint successfully.


Notice to Impacted Individuals

Pursuant to Act 5 of 2024

A person who has suffered an adverse effect stemming from the conduct alleged in the Order to Show Cause or other Department of State charging document may, before or at the hearing, submit a written impact statement that may be considered by the hearing examiner, board or commission solely for purposes of determining a sanction imposed on the respondent.  

Accordingly, if you believe you have suffered an adverse effect stemming from the conduct of a Respondent that has been formally charged by the Department and scheduled for a hearing (a list of cases scheduled for a hearing can be found by reviewing the Prothonotary's website), you may provide a written statement regarding the impact the Respondent's conduct, as alleged in the charging document, has had on you, which the hearing examiner, board or commission may take it into consideration for purposes of determining a sanction if it is determined that the Respondent should be subject to discipline.  Please note that not all complaints will result in the filing of formal charges and/or scheduling of a hearing.

The information that you provide in your written impact statement as well as your identity will be public; the Respondent will be given a copy; and you may be called/subpoenaed to testify.  Should you opt to submit an impact statement, please include the case number on your statement. Additionally, so that the parties can review the information contained in your impact statement, if possible, please try to submit your statement at least three (3) business days prior to the date of the hearing (although submissions up to the date of the hearing will be accepted). You may return your statement via email to or via mail to:  

Prothonotary- Department of State 
P.O. Box 2649 
Harrisburg, PA  17105-2649

Please note that in most instances the Department is unable to get monetary restitution on behalf of a party. We recommend you contact an attorney if you are seeking restitution.



Frequently Asked Questions

The Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS) receives complaints concerning the licensees and registrants regulated by the Department's Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). Professional licensing protects the health and safety of the public from fraudulent and unethical practitioners. There are 29 licensing boards and commissions, each with their own statutes and regulations governing their respective professions. These boards are ultimately responsible for adjudicating complaints and taking disciplinary action where appropriate.

The Department accepts complaints from all sources and will review all information provided.

The Professional Compliance Office, within the Prosecution Division of the BPOA's Legal Office, reviews thousands of complaints per year.  Initial review of those complaints is focused on whether each complaint alleges conduct that may be a violation of governing laws and regulations and whether a board has jurisdiction over the alleged conduct.

When the Department receives a complaint, legal office staff review it to determine whether it falls under the jurisdiction of the boards. Complaints are also reviewed to determine what investigation, if any, is appropriate in light of the allegations. Oftentimes, cases are investigated by the Department's Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI). BEI investigators interview witnesses, obtain relevant documentary evidence, and provide information to the Prosecution Division for review. Investigations take varying lengths of time depending on complexity.

In some cases, settlements are reached through a Consent Agreement and Order, where both parties (the Commonwealth and the Respondent) negotiate agreed-upon facts and penalties. These settlements must be approved by the applicable licensing board or commission.​

Disciplinary actions, whether through adjudication or settlement, become part of the licensee's disciplinary record and are a matter of public record. The BPOA has the authority to expunge some disciplinary matters after 5 years have passed. ​

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