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North Carolina Physical Therapy Identification and Notification

Individual Identification

Persons licensed are required to wear an identification badge or other form of identification displaying the name of the person and level of licensure. A licensee will be exempted from this requirement if the licensee advises the Board that the person’s or patient’s safety or some therapeutic concern requires that only a first name and level of licensure be displayed.

Display of License

Each individual who is issued a license shall be issued a license number. Should that number be retired for any reason (such as death, failure to renew the license, or any other reason) that number shall not be reissued. The license and current renewal card must be available for inspection at the licensee's principal place of business.

When providing health care to a patient, a health care practitioner shall wear a badge or other form of identification displaying in readily visible type the individual's name and the license, certification, or registration held by the practitioner. If the identity of the individual's license, certification, or registration is commonly expressed by an abbreviation rather than by full title, that abbreviation may be used on the badge or other identification.

The badge or other form of identification is not required to be worn if the patient is being seen in the health care practitioner's office and, the name and license of the practitioner can be readily determined by the patient from a posted license, a sign in the office, a brochure provided to patients, or otherwise.

Exemption: A licensed person shall be exempted from the requirement if such person notifies the Board in writing that the person's safety or some therapeutic concern requires that only a first name and level of licensure be displayed.

Use of Clinical Designator, PT, DPT, and PTA

The North Carolina Physical Therapy Practice Act and Board’s rules do not specifically address this question; however, a physical therapist should not mislead or misrepresent himself / herself to patients or the general public. It does not matter whether it is intentional or unintentional, it the responsibility of the physical therapist to make sure that that the patient clearly understands that he/she is not a medical doctor. To the extent that a physical therapist can distinguish the doctoral degree in physical therapy when communicating with others, that is permitted. However, if the manner in which the DPT is currently introducing himself / herself or writing correspondence to patients or the general public is confusing, that is a problem. The DPT needs to choose his/her words carefully to clarify that he/she is not a medical doctor.

Position Statement – NC Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

PT & PTA designator originally printed in the Board Newsletter, 1994, Issue 12 DPT designator printed in Board Newsletter, 2012, Issue 44 Updated – September 23, 2010, June 17, 2015

Notice of Information Changes

Each licensee must notify the Board within thirty (30) days of a change of name or work or home address.


N.C. Gen. Stat. ยง 90-640

21 NCAC 48F .0105

21 NCAC 48A .0107

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