Virginia Board of Optometry
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I obtain application information?
You may download the application and instructions from the website under “forms” or via e-mail or phone.
Am I required to take a state regulations examination?
No; however, please note that your signature on your application attests to the statement that you have read, understood and will comply with any laws and regulations governing the practice of optometry and the use of controlled substances in Virginia.
How long does it take to become licensed?
Upon receipt of all required documents, applicant is licensed immediately.
Does Virginia allow reciprocity with any state?
No; however, an applicant may request licensure through endorsement provided that the requirements of 18 VAC 105-20-15 of the optometry regulations have been met.
How do I change my name, postal or e-mail address?
A name change must be made in writing with a copy of legal documentation of name change. A postal or e-mail address change can be revised on-line provided you have your assigned password. Otherwise, you may fax or e-mail the board office.
How do I notify patients that I am terminating practice?
Patients must be notified within a reasonable time period within which the patient or an authorized representative can request in writing that the records or copies be sent to any other like-regulated provider of the patient’s choice or destroyed (18 VAC 105-20-40.5).
How many hours of CE are required?
Sixteen (16) hours are required annually. Up to two (2) hours may be for cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, and up to two (2) hours may be in recordkeeping for patient care.
TPA certified optometrists must complete at least two (2) of the sixteen (16) hours with courses directly related to prescribing and administering TPA’s.
How many hours can be obtained by correspondence?
All of them; be advised that the date the required exam is graded is considered the obtained date. Please ensure that you take the courses and exams in a timely manner to ensure that you receive a certificate of passing grade within the renewal period.
What is the timeframe for obtaining CE?
The licensure renewal period is January 1 through December 31 of each year.
Can CE be carried over to the next renewal?
My continuing education course sponsor is not listed in the blanket listing of approved sponsors, how do they obtain approval?
See link: General Information for CE Providers
See link: Drug Law for Practitioners
What is the licensure renewal fee for a TPA certified optometrist?
What is the licensure renewal fee for non-TPA certified optometrist?
Who are checks payable to?
Treasurer of Virginia
How do I obtain licensure verification to another state?
Verification of license to another jurisdiction requires a written request to the board office with payment of $10.00 per verification. Check should be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. You must provide your full name or license number and the mailing address of jurisdiction to receive verification.
How can I verify the licensure status of a licensee?
You may obtain information via an automated line (804) 270-6836, or through “license lookup”.
Who owns the medical record – the optometrist or the patient?
Virginia Code Section 32.1-127.1:03 declares that medical records are the “property of the provider maintaining them”.
How do I get a copy of my medical record?
Virginia Code Section 32.1-127.1:03 states that a request must be in writing, dated and signed by the requester, and include a reasonable description of the records sought as well as evidence of the authority of the requester to receive the records. The provider shall accept a photocopy, facsimile, or other copy of the original signed by the requestor as if it were an original. Upon receipt of such a request, the health care provider has 15 days to do one of the following:
1. provide copies of the records;
2. inform the requester if the information does not exist or cannot be found;
3. inform the requester of the provider who now maintains the records; or
4. deny the records for specific reasons set out in Section F of the statutes.
Although Section 32.1-127.1:03 is silent as to charging for records, Section 54.1-111 permits a provider to charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed the amount in Section 8.01-413 of the Code, for patient records. However, failure to pay charges for records is not listed in either law as a permissible reason for refusing to respond to the requester within 15 days.
Section 32.1-127.1:03 also provides that the patient's physician or clinical psychologist may make a notation in a patient's record that furnishing of the records will be "injurious to the patient's health or well-being." If a patient's request for his record is denied for this reason, the provider must permit the record to be copied and reviewed by a provider, selected by the patient, of similar background to the individual who made the notation in the chart, and that practitioner may make a judgment as to whether the records should be made available to the patient.
See link for board’s guidance document: Board motion on Prescribing for Self and Family, January 21, 2005
When will I receive my license renewal notice?
Notifications will be mailed 45 to 60 days in advance of expiration. If one does not wish to renew on-line, a written renewal form may be requested by calling (804) 217-8056. Renewal fees are not displayed on the on-line renewal notification and are only reflected on a written renewal request or during the on-line renewal process.
How do I renew an expired license?
A license may be renewed with late fees for up to one year past the expiration date. After December 31st, a license that is not renewed is considered lapsed and may subject the licensee to disciplinary action and additional fines.
How do I reinstate my license?
If a license has been lapsed for more than one year, a reinstatement application is required. The reinstatement application may be downloaded from our website by selecting “forms” or may be requested by contacting the board office.
5 years from date of last visit