Applicant Instructions

To apply for a Texas license you may do so via paper application or beginning on July 19, 2021, you may apply for a license using an online application.  Regardless of the type of application you submit, paper or online, the application, required fees and supporting documents must be received by the deadline. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

 

Overview of the Paper Application Process

STEP 1: Please read all the information on this page, then use the “Application Forms” link at the bottom of this page. Additional links to study materials, exam dates, and fingerprint information are also at the bottom of this page.

STEP 2: Complete application and mail with required money order or cashier’s check to Optometry Board to be received on or before application deadline. The instructions list the required documents that must be submitted with the application.

Important Notice: Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned.

STEP 3: Register with the NBEO to take the Jurisprudence Examination on or before application deadline.

Important Notice: All fees associated with the application and examination process are non-transferable and non-refundable. Once the application is accepted, fees cannot be refunded if there is a failure to complete the application process.

STEP 4: Take the Jurisprudence Examination and submit any required additional documents. Submit fingerprints as instructed on this website — the link is at the bottom of this page.

 

Overview of the Online Application Process (as of July 19, 2021) 

STEP 1: Click on the the link below to apply online:

Online Application

STEP 2: Choose the “New User” area after clicking the link above. Follow the directions to sign up and register for an online account.

STEP 3: Once registered, you will see “Start a New Application”. Choose “Texas Optometry Board” from the first pulldown menu and then either “Acceptance Application” or “LWOE Acceptance Application” from the second pulldown menu. If you are unsure which to choose, please see the “decision tree” area of our website HERE.

STEP 4: Follow the directions to complete your license application and pay the application fee. There will be an area to upload attachments of documents for cursory review, but remember that you may also be required to mail certain original documents by the deadline. Required original documents include the following: Page 3 of the paper application (your signature), official birth certificate and NPBD report (in sealed envelope from NPDB). The following documents may be submitted via mail or sent by email if sent directly from the originating source: Page 4 (certification of school if still in the last semester) of the paper application and official transcripts (directly from institutions). Click on the following link to find the required pages and a list of all required documents (including recently taken passport-quality photos) from the application instructions: Paper Application & Instructions

Important Notice: Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will be returned.

STEP 5: Register with the NBEO to take the Jurisprudence Examination on or before application deadline.

Important Notice: All fees associated with the application and examination process are non-transferable and non-refundable. Once the application is accepted, fees cannot be refunded if there is a failure to complete the application process.

STEP 6: Take the Jurisprudence Examination and submit any required additional documents. Submit fingerprints as instructed on this website — the link is at the bottom of this page.

 

Application Requirements

Eligibility: To apply for a Texas optometry license, an applicant must be either:

  • a student in the last semester of an approved optometry school in the United States or Canada who can provide a statement of good standing by the dean, or
  • a graduate of an approved optometry school in the United States or Canada who passed Part III of the NBEO on or after June 1994 (other graduates may also be eligible: use the “Application Forms” link at the bottom of this page).

Military, Veterans, and Military Spouses: See this page first.

 

Application Deadlines

  • Applications: must be received in the Texas Optometry Board office on or before the application deadline. As of July 2021, exams are offered each month for a period of two weeks. There are deadlines for each exam: applicants must chose an exam period and submit application on or before deadline.
  • Jurisprudence Examination: applicants must also register on or before the application deadline with the NBEO to take the Texas Jurisprudence Exam (an on-line exam administered by the NBEO).

 

Jurisprudence Examination

  • All applicants must take and pass the Jurisprudence Exam (see military exception in Rule 273.14).
  • An applicant must register separately with the NBEO to take the Texas Jurisprudence Exam.
  • There is a NBEO registration fee. This registration and fee is separate from any other NBEO exam registration or Texas Optometry Board application fee.
  • The online exam administered by the NBEO may be taken at any time during the period beginning with the start date and ending two weeks later. All exams must be completed before the end date. Study materials for the exam are on this website (see “Have Applied, Need Study Materials” link below). Information regarding the form of the exam is on the NBEO Website.

 

Forms

The link at the bottom of the page (“Application Forms”) connects to a decision tree to determine the correct form and instructions to download.

An acceptable application will include (see the application instructions):

  • a completed application form,
  • two photographs (passport quality)
  • an official optometry school transcript, or for students in the last semester, a certificate requiring the dean’s signature and school seal, and
  • application fee.

 

Complete License Requirements

An applicant is eligible for a Texas Therapeutic Optometry License if the Optometry Board has received (see downloadable application instructions at the “Application Forms” link below):

  • completed application
  • official transcript(s) directly from optometry school showing awarding of O.D. degree
  • official transcripts directly from all colleges attended
  • official birth certificate
  • passing scores on NBEO Parts I, II, III and the TMOD
  • passing scores on the Texas Jurisprudence Exam
  • fingerprints (applicants are required to submit fingerprints so that a criminal history check may be performed. See the application instructions and the link below: “Fingerprint Information”)
  • if licensed in another state, license verifications from states in which licensed
  • self query ordered from the National Practitioner’s Databank (NPDB)
  • additional explanatory documents, if required by the application instructions

 

Receiving License

  • Successful applicants are sent a letter, via U.S. mail, stating that the license is being prepared with instructions for submitting the required fee.
  • Licenses are mailed in large cardboard envelopes by U.S. Mail, Certified, Return Receipt Requested. If you are not at your address during the day, the Post Office will leave you a notice that it will be holding mail at the Post Office for your signature. You cannot practice until you have received official notification from the Board (document containing the official seal of the Board) authorizing the practice of optometry.
  • Address Changes: Report all address changes immediately (by e-mail, fax or telephone).

 

Important Information

  • The Texas Optometry Board cannot extend deadlines.
  • Expiration: Regardless of when you receive your license, all licenses expire on December 31.
  • The Board cannot guarantee a date of license.

 

Links

Application Forms Link is to “decision tree” to determine correct application forms

Exam Dates

Have Applied, Need Study Materials

Fingerprint Information

 

References

Texas Optometry Act: Sections 351.251 – 351.258

Texas Optometry Board Rules: Rules 271.1 – 271.6