Abstract The floating body configuration in partially depleted (PD) SOI MOSFETs gives rise to the switch-on and switch-off transients of the drain current, that can strongly affect the performance of PD SOI circuits. In this work we present an experimental characterization of the impact of those transients on the current delivered under continuous switching operation. The on state current shows a frequency dependent behavior that changes with the bias region. For voltages below the kink where impact ionization is negligible, the current decreases increasing frequency, while for voltages above the kink, the current increases increasing frequency. Thus, circuit instabilities arise at low frequencies. At high frequencies, the transients vanish and the current capability of these devices, particularly in the kink region, can be fully exploited. However, the off state leakage current must also be taken into account.