Any use of the title "optometrist" within New York State requires licensure.
To be licensed as an optometrist in New York State you must:
- be of good moral character;
- be at least 21 years of age; and
- meet education and examination requirements.
You must submit an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.
You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.
The fee for licensure and first registration is $377.
The fee for certification in the administration of topical diagnostic pharmaceuticals is $60.
NOTE: If you are applying for both, you may submit one check for $437 for both fees.
Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.
- Do not send cash.
- If you apply for licensure electronically using the online Application for Licensure, you will be required to pay by credit card.
- Other payments must be made by personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
- Mail any required forms and fees to the indicated address on the form.
NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.
Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.
- For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Optometry Unit at email@example.com or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 250 or by fax at 518-402-5354.
- The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.
If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure fee and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.
To satisfy the education requirement for licensure as an optometrist, you must present evidence of completing A, B and C below.
- Preprofessional Education
Satisfactory completion of not less than 60 semester hours of college study from a New York State registered program or the equivalent as determined by the New York State Education Department. These 60 semester hours must include courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology or zoology, and physics.
- Professional Education
Satisfactory completion of a professional program in optometry registered by the Department as licensure qualifying, accredited by the American Optometric Association Council on Optometric Education (AOACOE), or determined by the Department to be the equivalent of such a licensure qualifying or accredited program. The educational program must consist of four years of college study (or its equivalent) based upon the prerequisite education defined in Part A above and must lead to the degree of Doctor of Optometry, or its equivalent.
- Additional Requirements:
- Child Abuse Identification Reporting
You must also complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.
- Infection Control and Barrier Precautions
You must also complete approved coursework or training appropriate to the professional's practice in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis b virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.
- Child Abuse Identification Reporting
To meet the examination requirement for licensure, you must pass Parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examination. Contact the NBEO for eligibility requirements, fees, and other examination information at:
National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
200 S. College Street, #1920
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone 704-332-9565 or toll free 800-969-EXAM (3926)
Alternatively, if you passed Parts I and II of the NBEO examination and previously taken and passed the Northeast Regional Clinical Optometric Assessment Testing Service (NERCOATS) examination, you meet the examination requirement for licensure.
If you are seeking certification in the use of Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPAs), you must pass the NBEO's Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases (TMOD) examination.
All score reports must be sent directly by the testing agency to the Office of the Professions. Student copies will not be accepted.
Reasonable Testing Accommodations
If you have a disability and require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, contact the NBEO for information on the procedures for requesting such accommodations.
Certification in the Administration of Topical Diagnostic Pharmaceuticals (DPAS) Requirement
If you graduated from a college of optometry registered by the Department as licensure qualifying or accredited by the AOACOE after January 1, 1984, your educational program included the training required for you to obtain certification in the administration of topical diagnostic pharmaceuticals. To apply for the certification, you must check the box in item 1 of the Application for Licensure (Form 1) for "Optometrists DPA Certification" and include the $60 certification fee.
If you graduated from your college of optometry prior to January 1, 1984, please contact the Office of the New York State Board for Optometry at 518-474-3817 ext. 591 for information on the requirements you must meet to obtain the certification.
Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPA) Requirement
If you are interested in certification to use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPAs), graduated from a college of optometry registered by the Department as licensure qualifying or accredited by the AOACOE after January 1, 1993, and passed the TMOD examination, you must complete item 14 on your Application for Licensure (Form 1) to apply for that certification.
If you graduated from your college of optometry prior to January 1, 1993, you must contact the SUNY College of Optometry for information regarding the requirements you must meet to obtain certification.
SUNY College of Optometry
TPA Application Office
33 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036-8003
Licensure by Endorsement
Licensure by endorsement of a license issued by another state applies only to those applicants who were licensed without having taken the NBEO, Parts I, II and III or the NBEO Parts I and II and the NERCOATS examination. For the most part, this is an option for applicants who graduated from a professional optometry program prior to 1969, before the use of the NBEO as a national examination. All endorsement applicants must present evidence of at least five years of professional practice of optometry following initial licensure and within the 10 years immediately preceding application for licensure in New York. If you have failed a licensing examination used by the State of New York, you are not eligible to apply for licensure by endorsement unless you have subsequently passed a comparable licensing examination.