BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE AS AN OPTOMETRIST IN NORTH CAROLINA

*Please note that in order to practice in North Carolina you must take and pass our licensing exam, we do not have a reciprocity/endorsement policy.*

In order to become licensed as an optometrist in North Carolina an applicant shall present to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry (“the Board”) satisfactory evidence that the applicant:

  1. Is at least 18 years of age.  (GS 90-118(b))
  2. Is of good moral character.  (GS 90-118(b))
  3. Is a graduate of an accredited optometric institution approved by the Board.  (GS 90-118(b) and 21 NCAC 42B .0101))
  4. Has attained the required levels of performance on the National Board examinations given by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, as more specifically set forth in Board Rule (21 NCAC) 42B .0107.
  5. Provide a fully-completed application form and the required fee (see “Documentation” below). 
  6. Has achieved a passing score on the Board’s clinical-practicum examination. (GS 90-118(a) and (c))
  7. A military optometrist seeking licensure in North Carolina without taking and achieving a passing score on the Board’s clinical-practicum examination must comply with parts 1-5 above, and must comply with the applicable provisions of GS 93B-15.1(a) and Board Rule (21 NCAC) 42B .01114(a), which require, in part, that the applicant must provide evidence that he/she has been engaged in the active practice of optometry for at least two of the past five years, and must demonstrate to the Board through an oral interview or otherwise that he/she has completed testing or equivalent training and has experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the eye and its adnexa substantially equivalent to or exceeding that of optometrists licensed to practice in North Carolina.  (See GS 93B-15.1(a) and 21 NCAC 42B .0114(a) for the complete set of requirements for licensure.)
  8. In order for a military spouse-optometrist to become licensed in North Carolina without taking and achieving a passing score on the Board’s clinical-practicum examination, he/she must comply with parts 1-5 above, and must comply with the applicable provisions of GS 93B-15.1(b) and Board Rule (21 NCAC) 42B .0114(b), which require, in part, that the applicant hold a license from another jurisdiction in which the requirements for licensure are equivalent to or exceed the requirements for licensure in North Carolina, and must demonstrate to the Board through an oral interview or other methods determined by the Board that the requirements for licensure in the jurisdiction(s) in which he/she is licensed are substantially equivalent to or the requirements for licensure in North Carolina and demonstrate competence in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the eye and its adnexa.  (See GS 93B-15.1(b) and 21 NCAC 42B .0114(b) for the complete set of requirements for licensure.))

CRITERIA OR REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE SATISFIED BY MILITARY TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE AS PROVIDED IN GS 93B-15.1

The military services do not offer, provide, or award military occupational specialties in optometry, nor do the military services offer programs of training in optometry within the meaning of GS 93B-15.1.

Service in the military as a practicing optometrist does constitute the “active practice” of optometry within the meaning of GS 93B-15.1(a)(2) and may constitute “recent clinical experience” in some or all facets of the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases of the eye and its adnexa, within the meaning of GS 93B-15.1(b)(2).   

        

DOCUMENTATION

 

The Board requires that an applicant obtain the Board’s Form BEO-1 (Application for Examination of Licensure to Practice Optometry in the State of North Carolina: see Board Rule (21 NCAC) 42B .0103)) or BEO-1.2 Military (Application for Examination of Licensure to Practice Optometry in the State of North Carolina Under the Provisions of NCGS 93B-15.1 (Military)), complete that form, and provide certain information and certain additional documentation.  That documentation consists in substantial part of the following:

 

  1. A fee of $800.00, consisting of a $50.00 application fee and an examination fee of $750.00 due when the Application is filed.  (GS 90-123)
  2. A passport-size photograph. (GS 90-118)
  3. Pre-optometry college/university transcripts.  (GS 90-118)
  4. Optometry college/university transcripts.  (GS 90-118)
  5. National Board Examination results. (GS 90-118) and Board Rule (21 NCAC) 42B .0107)
  6. Birth certificate.   (GS 90-118)
  7. In addition to the items listed above, for an application by a military optometrist under GS 93B-15.1(a) or military optometrist-spouse under GS 93B-15.1(b), the following items will also be required:
    1. Three letters of recommendation.  (GS 90-118)
    2. For all those applying under GS 93B-15.1, proof that the applicant has been actively engaged in the practice of optometry for at least two of the preceding five years. (Board Rule 42B 00114(a)(2) and (b)(2).)
    3. For an application by a military optometrist under GS 93B-15.1(a), any documentation or information the applicant can provide which establishes that his/her clinical education, training, and experience is substantially equal to that of persons licensed by the Board through its clinical-practicum examination procedure.  (GS 93B-15.1(a) and Board Rule 42B. .0114(a)(1).)
    4. For an application by a military optometrist-spouse under GS 93B-15.1(b), evidence of an active license to practice optometry duly issued by another state or jurisdiction and evidence that he/she is married to an active member of the U. S. military.  (GS 93B-15.1(b)(1) and Board Rule 42B .0114 (b)(1) and (b)(4).)
    5. For an application by a military optometrist-spouse under GS 93B-15.1(b), any documentation or information the applicant can provide which establishes that the requirements for licensure in the applicant’s state of licensure are substantially equivalent to the requirements for licensure in North Carolina, and any documentation or information the applicant can supply which establishes the applicant’s recent clinical experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases of the eye and its adnexa.  (GS 93B-15.1(b) and Board Rule 42B. 0114(b)(2).)

 

The appropriate application along with the remainder of the examination application fee in the amount of $ 750.00 must be received in the Board office no later than sixty (60) days prior to the scheduled start of the examination for which the applicant applies.  Applicants applying under GS 93B-15.1 must apply to take a specific examination, and in the event the applicant is not approved for licensure under GS 93B-15.1 he/she may sit for the exam for which he/she has applied without paying any further fee.

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                  

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Persons who have questions regarding the application process should contact the Board Staff, at the Board’s offices, 109 North Graham Street, Wallace, NC 28466 or by phone at 910-285-3160, or at info@ncoptometry.org .

Information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

The State of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Board of Optometry disclaims liability for any errors or omissions.

To verify any information please contact:

 

North Carolina State Board of Optometry

109 North Graham Street Wallace, NC 28466

(910)-285-3160

(910)-285-4546 Fax