On March 30, 2020 Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, authorizing the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to waive any of the professional licensing requirements relating to healing arts licensees in Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, and any accompanying regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, education and training requirements necessary to maintain licensure, and requirements governing the practice and permissible activities for licensees.
The California Board of Occupational Therapy (Board) is working closely with DCA to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic and allow licensees regulated by the Board to maintain and renew a license and remain employed.
Current waivers in place are:
- The time period has been extended (from four months to six months) for recent graduates who complete their education and fieldwork to qualify for a limited permit and the time period of the validity of the limited permit has been extended by up to three additional months. For more information, click here
- Examination and continuing education (renewal) requirements for current healthcare licensees. For more information, click here.
- Reactivation requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled licensees. If you have questions about the temporary reinstatement of your license, please send an email to CBOT.Wavers@dca.ca.gov
A full list of waivers will be placed on the DCA website as they are approved.
The Board encourages licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to be part of the workforce to support the medical surge during this time of need. The state is in need of help at quarantine sites, testing sites, and medical surge facilities and needs assistance with pre-hospital triage and pharmacy services.
Interested medical and health care professionals are encouraged to visit https://covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/ for more information and to register for the California Health Corps.
The Board thanks licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants for doing their part during the COVID-19 health emergency!
Are you an OT/OTA who holds a current/active license in another state and want to assist with Covid-19 here in California? You may be exempted from licensure.
The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is issuing waivers that allow providers who hold a license in another state to work in California during the declared COVID-19 emergency. These waivers are being issued for the following reasons:
- Medical providers physically coming into Califomia to assist at California medical facilities.
- Medical providers who are not physically located in California but are contracted to provide telehealth to the clients of a California medical facility.
- Medical providers who are not physically located and licensed in California, whose clients have moved or are moving to California permanently may receive a temporary 30-day waiver to help transition their client. This waiver is meant solely to help transition the client to the Califomia healthcare system. At this time, no extensions to the initial 30-day waiver are being offered. Providers who want to continue working with their clients longer than the 30-day temporary waiver period should request information regarding obtaining California licensure.
This waiver process allowing EMSA to authorize out-of-state medical professionals to work in California will only be available for the duration of the Executive Order (Governor's Emergency Proclamation on March 4, 2020). For more information on the waiver please visit the EMSA website at www.emsa.ca.gov/covid19 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a licensed OT or OTA? If so, click here for a joint statement from the California Departments of Health Care Services, Public Health, and Managed Health Care: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Documents/COVID-19/Joint-Bullletin-Medical-Treatment-for-COVID-19-033020.pdf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Continuing Competence Requirements Be Waived?
Are There Fee Waivers Available?
There are no fee waivers available at this time.
My License is Retired. Can I Renew to Help Combat Coronavirus?
I am licensed in a state outside of California. Does California allow reciprocity during the State of Emergency?
Please visit the Emergency Medical Services Authority for information to be able to practice in California.
Have the Fingerprinting requirements changed?
We are heard that some Live Scan locations may have temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not changed to their fingerprinting process or requirements. Therefore, no change or waiver is being granted to the fingerprint/background check required for licensing.