The Board of Examiners in Optometry was created in 1914. It is composed of five optometrist members and two consumer members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Board is mandated to regulate the practice of optometry in Maryland and to ensure the delivery of vision services by qualified optometrists. It is the responsibility of the Board to:
- Credential and approve applicants for licensure
- Participate in administration of national licensing examination
- Certify optometrists to use diagnostic pharmaceutical agents and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in practice of optometry
- Promulgate and adopt regulations to govern the practice of optometry in Maryland
- Monitor continuing education programs
- Investigate complaints against licensees concerning alleged violations of the law and conduct hearings concerning these violations
- Discipline licensees found to be in violation of the law
Optometrists provide primary eye care to the majority of Maryland’s citizens. The Board serves the citizens of Maryland by ensuring that this vision care is provided by qualified practitioners. The Board cooperates with the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, the State’s Attorney throughout the State and other DHMH fiscal and data processing divisions in carrying out its responsibilities. The Consumer Protection Division handles complaints concerning opticians, optical companies and fee disputes because these are not within the Board’s jurisdiction. The State’s Attorney’s offices for various counties assist with the prosecution of unlicensed practitioners. The Board is a 100% special funded entity. Revenue collected from licensing fees covers the operation costs of the Board.
Important News Updates
2014 Renewal Requirement for Licensees A through L
As you know, the Board sent out a letter earlier this month about the renewal process for this year. Board staff have received a number of questions about the continuing education requirements for renewal in 2014. In an effort to maintain and foster the fair and equitable application and implementation of its statute and regulations to all licensees, the Board has established the following continuing education requirements for the renewal of your license in June 2014. You will only be required to attest to compliance and if audited, you will submit your documentation. DPA and TPA certified licensees must maintain proficiency with current CPR procedures.
1. Non certified optometrists will be required to attest to compliance with having completed 18 credit hours of continuing education for the one-year licensing period July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014.
2. DPA certified optometrists will be required to attest to compliance with having completed 18 credit hours of continuing education ( 3 credit hours relating to the use of DPAs) for the one-year licensing period July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014.
3. TPA certified optometrists will be required to attest to compliance with having completed 25 credit hours of continuing education (15 credit hours relating to the use of TPAs) for the one-year licensing period July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014.
Board staff are available to provide assistance and guidance to licensees during this transitional period. You can contact us by calling 410-764-4710 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as the Board effects this new process.
MVA Online Vision Certification Service
This new service is now available and allows licensed optometrists the ability to create an account and submit their patient's eye exam results to the MVA electronically. Citizens 40+ benefit greatly from this new service because it allows them to renew their driver's license online after the eye exam results have been submitted to MVA. Not only does it make it easier for patients to renew their driver's license, there is no need for optometrists to fill out the MVA's paper form if they use the online system.
Licensed optometrists can also review information on the MVA website here: www.mva.maryland.gov/Online-Vision-Service and can register for an account by visiting www.egov.maryland.gov/mva/vision.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Board is to protect the citizens of Maryland and to promote quality health care in the field of optometry by:
Receiving and resolving complaints from the public, courts, employers, insurance companies, and other licensees regarding optometrists who may have violated the optometry law (Annotated Code of Maryland, Health Occupations Article, Title 11) and its regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 10.28; and
Setting standards for the practice of optometry that reflect new and emergent developments in the practice of optometry through legislation and regulations.