Jessica Vaidya, IAUPR Trustee

The Ohio State Board of Optometry makes licensure a relatively simple process. To apply for an optometry license in the state of Ohio, the applicant must be a graduate from an accredited college of optometry. Applicants can also apply for licensure prior to graduation during their fourth year of optometry school.

In order to obtain an Application for Licensure, the applicant must call the Ohio Optometry Board at 614-466-5115 to receive the application paperwork. Along with the completed application form and $175 licensure fee, the applicant must also submit:

  • Final official transcript from optometry school
  • NBEO scores
  • A small photograph
  • Copy of CPR training
  • Proof of residency if born outside the United States
  • A criminal background check

If the applicant is licensed in another state, a self-query must be submitted to the National Practitioner Data Bank, along with verification of good standing from the state(s) of previous licensure. Along with passing all three parts of the NBEO exams, the TMOD (Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease) is reported as a stand-alone score within Part II and the appli-cant must have a passing score as determined by the NBEO. If any part of the NBEO exams have been failed four times, the applicant must complete 30 hours of remedial training in the failed subject area.

Prior to beginning the practice of optometry in Ohio, the applicant must complete a two-hour session on Ohio rules and legislation. This session can be scheduled after the license application has been submitted by calling the Board office. Applications for licensure are reviewed at Board meetings that take place four times a year. The application, as well as supporting documents, must be in the board office one month prior to the board meeting.

To apply for a licensure by endorsement, the applicant must be licensed to practice optometry in a state that requires passage of a written examination at the time of initial licen-sure. In addition to being in good standing and active in the world of optometry, the applicant must be active in practicing optometry and use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents for at least three years before applying for an endorsement licensure. Much like applying for regular licensure, the applicant must also complete a two-hour session on Ohio legislation and rules.

Once licensure is obtained, it must be renewed on an annual basis. As part of the renewal process, every licensed optometrist must show proof of attending 25 hours of continuing education (CE), including 10 hours in pharmacological-based courses. The time frame to complete CE extends from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 in the year prior to license renewal. In addition to attending CE, a certificate of attendance must be submitted as well.

For more information regarding optometric licensure in the state of Ohio, visit the Ohio State Board of Optometry either online at optometry.ohio.gov or at 614-466-5115.