PA Licensure Compact

PAs are solution-seekers committed to expanding patient access to care. To make it easier for licensed professionals to practice across state lines, AAPA, along with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), and The Council of State Governments (CSG), are advocating for state adoption of a PA Licensure Compact. An interstate licensure compact will streamline the process for PAs to obtain authorization to practice in more than one state.

Latest News

An Interstate Effort to Address Health-Care Shortages

Governing: A dozen states have joined a compact to streamline physician assistants’ licenses. It’s not a complete solution for the shortage of primary-care doctors, but it should help.

A Licensure Compact in May, 2024

Clinical Advisor: May was a good month for physician associates (PAs). Minnesota and Tennessee became the 11th and 12th states to adopt the PA Licensure Compact model legislation following signatures from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (HF 5247) and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (SB 1727).

Crossing State Lines: PA Licensure Compact Coming Soon

Medscape: The interstate arrangement recognizes valid, unencumbered PA licenses issued by other states in the compact. PAs working within the seven states won’t need a separate license from any of those states to practice.

PA Licensure Compact Update: Minnesota and Tennessee Become the 11th and 12th States to Pass PA Licensure Compact

Minnesota and Tennessee became the 11th and 12th states to adopt the PA Licensure Compact model legislation following signatures from both states’ governors.

PA Licensure Compact Update: Colorado Becomes Tenth State to Enter PA Compact, Tennessee and Minnesota Aren’t Far Behind

Colorado has officially adopted the PA Licensure Compact model legislation, S.B. 24-018, bringing the total of states in the PA Licensure Compact to 10. 

PA Licensure Compact Update: Maine Becomes Ninth State to Enter PA Compact

Maine has officially adopted the PA Licensure Compact model legislation, L.D. 2043, bringing the total of states in the PA Licensure Compact to nine.

PA Licensure Compact Update: Oklahoma Becomes First State to Enact Compact Following Activation

With the recent signing of H.B. 3781/S.B. 1654, Oklahoma is officially the eighth state to enact the PA Licensure Compact model legislation and the first since the compact was activated following the seventh state’s passage.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs bill expanding access to care from physician assistants

KGOU: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill that joins the state into a licensing compact for physician assistants. The state’s physician assistant organization hopes this compact will help address the need for more PAs.

PA Licensure Compact officially activated

Becker’s Hospital Review: Seven states have adopted legislation to enact the PA Licensure Compact, meaning the model is now activated, the American Academy of Physician Associates said April 5.

Another state joins PA Licensure Compact

Becker’s Hospital Review: West Virginia is now the fifth state to enact the PA Licensure Compact, the American Academy of Physician Associates said March 28.

PA Licensure Compact Update: West Virginia’s Bill Signed by Gov. Justice

AAPA News Central: West Virginia is the latest state to secure enactment of the PA Licensure Compact model legislation, bringing the tally to five states! With West Virgnia’s enactment, the compact is just two states away from activation.

PA Licensure Compact Update: Washington Bill Signed Today

AAPA News Central: Four down and three to go! Governor Jay Inlsee has signed the state’s PA Licensure Compact bill, H.B. 1917, into law, officially rendering Washington the fourth state to enact the PA Compact.

PA Licensure Compact Update: 3 Bills Nearing Enactment

AAPA News Central: AAPA News Central: PA Licensure Compact model legislature advances in Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Washington and is now eligible for governor’s action.

PA Compact Legislation Advances in Several States

AAPA News Central: Last week, several states advanced the PA Compact model legislation. Here is an overview of recent activity.

The Physician Assistant Licensure Compact: Update and What It Means for PAs

AAPA News Central: In 2023, the PA profession reached a pivotal point in the mission to secure a PA Licensure Compact when states not only began introducing the model legislation but also passing the bills in short order.

PA Licensure Compact Update: Model Legislation Clears West Virginia Senate

AAPA News Central: West Virginia is one step closer to enactment of the PA Licensure Compact following the Senate passage of S.B. 667 on February 21.

The Physician Assistant Licensure Compact: Update and What It Means for PAs

AAPA News Central: In 2023, the PA profession reached a pivotal point in the mission to secure a PA Licensure Compact when states not only began introducing the model legislation but also passing the bills in short order.


“The Colorado Academy of Physician Associates is so proud of our state in its passing of the licensure compact bill.We look forward to joining our fellow compact states in this groundbreaking feat towards PA modernization in Colorado and continue to strive for the best patient care possible.”

– Kellie Webber, PA-C

“The compact bill will open up a lot of opportunities for PAs in Tennessee who may be interested in working in different settings, such as telemedicine or for PAs who live around the state border. Bordering eight states, Tennessee PAs often have patients from other states that they treat. This compact bill will streamline healthcare, decrease the burden on patients and PAs alike, and improve access to care. We are grateful for our TAPA leadership who spearheaded the legislation and for the bipartisan support in passing the compact.”

– Marie Patterson, PA-C, DHSc

“I am incredibly proud of our Nebraska legislature for supporting the PA Licensure Compact! As a PA providing specialty endocrine care, this interstate compact is a game changer for improving pateints’ access to care. Given the lack of specialists in my field, it’s common for patients to spend a full day driving to and from their appointments to be seen. Additionally, I care for students and military families that frequently move prompting me to hold licenses in multiple states. This compact empowers PAs and ensures that patients can save time, travel costs, and have continuity of care with their same provider. I look forward to serving across more state lines with my fellow PAs!”

– Lisa Kuechenmeister, PA-C, BC-ADM

“I work in endocrinology serving patients in Northwest Kansas. This compact will be beneficial as many of my patients are elderly and have long distance to travel. The ability to provide visits via telehealth will significantly improve access to care.”

– Amy Mahar, PA-C

“I am excited about the PA Compact. I live and work in Nebraska but have done locum tenens work for the past five years in several states. Many locum opportunities intrigued me; however, some of these would require obtaining a new license. Acquiring a license in a new state can be a lengthy process to obtain and maintain. The PA Compact will increase license portability, thus allowing PA providers extended opportunities to provide care. With most counties in Nebraska being underserved for primary care, the PA Compact can open up possibilities for PAs to provide medical care in Nebraska, thus increasing access to medical care.”

– Nicole Schwensow, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

“Passage of this legislation is great for PAs and for the patients we serve across Wisconsin, and we are grateful that lawmakers supported this effort to enhance access to care.”

– Roger Lovelace, PA-C

“This compact better positions PAs to remain key healthcare providers and increases the profession’s ability to continue working towards improved patient health and access to care.”

– Gwen Dalphon, PA-C

PA Licensure Compact FAQ

Read the FAQ below to learn more about the PA Licensure Compact.

What is the PA Licensure Compact?

The PA Compact is an optional agreement between states that will allow PAs with a license in a compact member state to more easily become authorized to practice in any other member state. A state opts to become a member of the compact by adopting the PA Compact through its legislative process. The PA Compact is completely optional for licensees.

The PA Compact is the result of a joint initiative that began in 2019 between the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The Council of State Governments (CSG) has provided technical assistance in the development of the compact and its consideration by states.

How does the PA Compact work?

The PA Compact will provide a streamlined process for eligible PAs to obtain authorization to practice in other compact member states through a compact privilege, without the need to apply through each state’s licensure application process. Once the compact becomes operational after seven states have adopted the compact model legislation, eligible PAs will only need to complete a single application to receive compact privileges from each compact state in which they intend to practice.

For example, a PA with practice locations in three compact states or who delivers care through telemedicine in those three states will no longer need to apply for an individual license from each state. A PA will be able to maintain a license in one state and through a single application obtain compact privileges to practice in the additional two states. This will significantly reduce the burden of going through multiple application processes, and may reduce fees for the PA, but more importantly will reduce delays in providing patient care and increase patient access as this PA can now see patients in all three jurisdictions.

What states are currently in the PA Compact?

Delaware, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Nebraska, Virginia, Oklahoma, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota and Tennessee

AAPA is working closely with state constituent organizations to introduce and enact the PA Compact. Please contact your AAPA state advocacy and outreach liaison to find out the status of your state.

Now that that PA Compact is activated, how can I apply for a compact privilege?

PAs cannot yet apply for a compact privilege. The PA Compact has been activated, which means that the process to operationalize the compact – and be able to give out privileges to practice – has begun. The process for a licensure compact to become fully operational can take anywhere from 18-24 months after its activation, which is typical of other licensure compacts as well. Applications for compact privileges will not be available until the compact commission becomes fully operational.

Each state that enacts the PA Compact will choose a delegate for the PA Compact Commission. These delegates must be the following: a member of the entity that regulates the PA profession in the state (either a current PA, a physician, or a public member of a licensing board or PA Council/Committee) OR an administrator of that regulatory body. The Inaugural Compact Commission meeting is set to meet in Fall 2024 and will work to operationalize the compact including hiring staff, developing a data system, and writing rules.

What are the requirements for a compact privilege?

The PA Compact will be available for PAs holding an unrestricted license issued by a compact member state and meet the following requirements set forth by the compact:

  • Have graduated from a PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or other programs authorized by the PA Licensure Compact Commission.
  • Hold current NCCPA certification.
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions.
  • Have never had a controlled substance license or permit suspended or revoked.
  • Have a unique identifier as determined by the compact commission.
  • Have no limitation or restriction on any state license or compact privilege in a remote state.
  • Meet any jurisprudence requirements of the state where a compact privilege is being sought and pay any required fees.
  • Report to the PA Licensure Compact Commission any adverse action taken by a non-member state within 30 days after the action is taken.
Why is there a need for the PA Compact?

The compact will reduce time and cost burdens for PAs to engage in multistate practice, whether in person or by telemedicine. The compact will also establish a multistate data system that will enhance public protection by facilitating the sharing of licensure and disciplinary information across compact members states.

Furthermore, the PA Compact will allow for increased license portability, an area of particular need for PAs who travel or relocate regularly, including the military spouse community. With an active interstate PA Compact, a currently practicing PA can maintain licensure and avoid licensing-related downtime between jobs, as long as relevant states are members of the compact.

Will the PA Compact expand telemedicine services?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine usage increased substantially; however, licensing requirements were not permanently changed in response. A PA – no matter how they are delivering care – must be licensed or otherwise authorized to practice in the state or jurisdiction in which the patient is located. The PA Licensure Compact would make it easier for PAs to obtain the necessary state authorization to see patients, including through telemedicine. For example, for those in rural communities, a telemedicine visit may be more feasible than a long drive to a medical office.

My state doesn’t require me to have a supervising or collaborating physician. Do I need one in another state in which I am practicing?

State collaboration and supervision requirements are preserved with a state’s participation in the PA Compact. PAs must follow collaboration and supervision requirements of the state where the patient is located. The compact provides PAs with the authorization to practice from a licensure aspect. PA professionals may be subject to other requirements in order to legally practice, including supervision/collaboration and prescribing authority requirements. PAs practicing under the compact must abide by the laws and regulations of where the patient is located/where they are providing services.

What can I do to help?

If you would like to advocate for the compact in your state, please contact your state membership organization or your target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>AAPA state advocacy and outreach liaison.

Compact commission meetings will be open to the public, and there will be opportunities for public comment. Information can be found on

Don’t see your question here? Email us!


PA Compact Timeline

This document provides an overview of the expected timeline for operationalizing the PA Compact.


This website provides detailed information and resources to keep PAs up to date on compact, including where each state is in the process.

Go To Site

Model State Legislation

The model legislation provides the language must be enacted by a state to officially join the PA Compact.


PA Compact Key Provisions Summary

This summary of key provisions is intended to assist legislators, regulators, counseling professionals and other members of the public in better understanding the PA Compact.


PA Compact Fact Sheet

This fact sheet breaks down what stakeholders need to know about the PA compact, including the benefits to the healthcare system and patients.