DOS Licensure Changes in Response to COVID-19 Include Expedited Temporary Licensure for Out-of-State Practitioners

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2020

physicians-meetingGovernor Wolf has granted the Pennsylvania Department of State’s (DOS) request for certain suspensions to allow expedited temporary licensure to practitioners who are licensed in other states so that they may provide health care services to Pennsylvanians for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

State Board of Medicine

For temporary licenses issued by the State Board of Medicine, Gov. Wolf has suspended the requirement that limits a practitioner to participating in a medical procedure necessary for a specified patient. Under this waiver, after it has been determined an applicant is licensed by and in good standing with their home state or Canada, the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) may suspend the requirements for letters of good standing, criminal history record checks, National Practitioner Data Bank reports, and any other requirement deemed by BPOA as “administrative” in nature. CME mandates, that typically must be fulfilled by applicants before temporary licensure may be issued, will be suspended as well.

In light of these suspensions, a revised Temporary License Application has been posted on the Medical Board’s website, this application can be accessed here. The application form must be filled out and then emailed to the State Board of Medicine at The application fee has been temporarily waived.

For additional information on this regulatory suspension, please see the guidance issued by DOS here.

On Dec. 21, 2020, the State Board of Medicine announced that the expiration date of temporary emergency MD licenses has been extended from Dec. 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Such MD licenses who want to continue practicing in Pennsylvania past this new expiration date need to apply for full Pennsylvania licensure.

If an individual already holds an emergency temporary license but is unable to meet all requirements for full licensure by Dec. 31, 2020, that individual may continue to practice in Pennsylvania after Dec. 31, 2020, until the next expiration date of June 30, 2021. Any new out-of-state applicants who apply for and meet the requirements for an emergency temporary license will be issued a license bearing that same expiration date, June 30, 2021.

Additionally, the Governor has also suspended certain requirements related to institutional licenses issued by the State Board of Medicine. Specifically, the institutional license requirement that limits qualified medical doctors to practicing at no more than two (2) affiliated facilities has been suspended.

Click here for more information on this suspension.

State Board of Osteopathic Medicine

The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine does not have a statutory provision for the issuance of temporary licenses. However, for osteopathic physicians and surgeons licensed in other states or Canada, who wish to provide assistance in Pennsylvania related to the COVID-19 emergency, DOS will utilize the existing “short-term camp license,” similar to the State Board of Medicine’s temporary license.

While short-term camp licenses already exist in statute and regulation, short-term camp licenses are limited to practice in camps in the Commonwealth and for a period not exceeding three (3) months.

Requirements and provisions for short-term camp licensure that require practice in a camp and that limit licensure to three (3) months or less have been waived. This waiver will permit practice in facilities and wherever osteopathic physicians are needed in the Commonwealth. Further, osteopathic physicians issued a short-term camp license will be licensed until Oct. 31, 2020 rather than be subject to a three (3) month limit.

Additionally, requirements, deemed by BPOA to be administrative in nature such as CME requirements, related to the issuance of short-term camp licenses have also been temporarily waived. The application fee has also been waived.

For more information, access the complete waiver document here.

Click here to access the Osteopathic Short-Term License Application. The application should be emailed to the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine at

Where can I find additional information?

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, additional statutory and regulatory suspensions are expected to be forth coming, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) will continue to provide updates as suspensions related to physician practice and licensure are announced. When announced, licensing suspensions will be posted by DOS here.

PAMED has established a COVID-19 resource page where you will find additional information and resources on the COVID-19 outbreak.


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  1. Missing user | Mar 23, 2020
    Dr. Mejia, thank you for your question. PAMED reached out to the governor's office with several suggestions, including expedited licensure. Additional suspensions and announcements are forthcoming and PAMED will continue to provide details as this information is released.
  2. Jose Mejia Aguirre | Mar 21, 2020

    These are god news. But I 

    dont know if the society knows about physicians who have applications alredy with the 

    Board. Are they going to

    expedite this process as well?

    Dr Mejia

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