Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text


Repeal of professional designation rules and fees
Stage: Fast-Track

18VAC105-20-20. Fees.

A. Required fees.

Initial application and licensure (including TPA certification)


Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification


Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification


Annual renewal of inactive license


Late renewal without TPA certification


Late renewal with TPA certification


Late renewal of inactive license


Handling fee for returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card


Professional designation application


Annual professional designation renewal (per location)


Late renewal of professional designation


Reinstatement application fee (including renewal and late fees)


Reinstatement application after disciplinary action


Duplicate wall certificate


Duplicate license


Licensure verification


B. Unless otherwise specified, all fees are nonrefundable.

C. From October 31, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the following fees shall be in effect:

Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification


Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification


Annual professional designation renewal (per location)



18VAC105-20-40. Standards of conduct.

The board has the authority to refuse to issue or renew a license, suspend, revoke, or otherwise discipline a licensee for a violation of the following standards of conduct. A licensed optometrist shall:

1. Use in connection with the optometrist's name wherever it appears relating to the practice of optometry one of the following: the word "optometrist," the abbreviation "O.D.," or the words "doctor of optometry."

2. Notify the board of any disciplinary action taken by a regulatory body in another jurisdiction.

3. Post in an area of the optometric office that is conspicuous to the public, a chart or directory listing the names of all optometrists practicing at that particular location.

4. Maintain patient records, perform procedures or make recommendations during any eye examination, contact lens examination, or treatment as necessary to protect the health and welfare of the patient and consistent with requirements of 18VAC105-20-45.

5. Notify patients in the event the practice is to be terminated or relocated, giving 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 in compliance with requirements of § 54.1-2405 of the Code of Virginia on the transfer of patient records in conjunction with closure, sale, or relocation of practice.

6. Ensure his access to the practice location during hours in which the practice is closed in order to be able to properly evaluate and treat a patient in an emergency.

7. Provide for continuity of care in the event of an absence from the practice or, in the event the optometrist chooses to terminate the practitioner-patient relationship or make his services unavailable, document notice to the patient that allows for a reasonable time to obtain the services of another practitioner.

8. Comply with the provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia related to the confidentiality and disclosure of patient records and related to the provision of patient records to another practitioner or to the patient or his personal representative.

9. Treat or prescribe based on a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship consistent with criteria set forth in § 54.1-3303 of the Code of Virginia. A licensee shall not prescribe a controlled substance to himself or a family member other than Schedule VI as defined in § 54.1-3455 of the Code of Virginia. When treating or prescribing for self or family, the practitioner shall maintain a patient record documenting compliance with statutory criteria for a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship.

10. Comply with provisions of statute or regulation, state or federal, relating to the diversion, distribution, dispensing, prescribing, or administration of controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia.

11. Not enter into a relationship with a patient that constitutes a professional boundary violation in which the practitioner uses his professional position to take advantage of the vulnerability of a patient or his family to include actions that result in personal gain at the expense of the patient, a nontherapeutic personal involvement, or sexual conduct with a patient. The determination of when a person is a patient is made on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to the nature, extent, and context of the professional relationship between the practitioner and the person. The fact that a person is not actively receiving treatment or professional services from a practitioner is not determinative of this issue. The consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a practitioner by a patient does not change the nature of the conduct nor negate the prohibition.

12. Cooperate with the board or its representatives in providing information or records as requested or required pursuant to an investigation or the enforcement of a statute or regulation.

13. Not practice with an expired or unregistered professional designation.

14. Not violate or cooperate with others in violating any of the provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.), 24 (§ 54.1-2400 et seq.) or 32 (§ 54.1-3200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or regulations of the board.


18VAC105-20-50. Professional designations. (Repealed.)

A. In addition to the name of the optometrist as it appears on the license, an optometrist may practice in an office that uses only one of the following:

1. The name of an optometrist who employs him and practices in the same office;

2. A partnership name composed of some or all names of optometrists practicing in the same office; or

3. A professional designation, if the conditions set forth in subsection B of this section are fulfilled.

B. Optometrists licensed in this Commonwealth who practice as individuals, partnerships, associations, or other group practices may use a professional designation for the optometric office in which they conduct their practices provided the following conditions are met:

1. A professional designation shall be registered with the board by a licensed optometrist who has an ownership or equity interest in the optometric practice and who must practice in any location with that registered designation and who shall assume responsibility for compliance with this section and with the statutes and regulations governing the practice of optometry.

2. A professional designation shall be approved by the board and a fee shall be paid as prescribed by board regulations prior to use of the name. Names which, in the judgment of the board, are false, misleading, or deceptive will be prohibited.

3. No licensed optometrist may, at any time, register to practice optometry under more than one professional designation.

4. All advertisements, including but not limited to signs, printed advertisements, and letterheads, shall contain the word "optometry" or reasonably recognizable derivatives thereof unless the name of the optometrist is used with the professional designation with the O.D. designation, Doctor of Optometry or optometrist.

5. In the entrance or reception area of the optometric office, a chart or directory listing the names of all optometrists practicing at that particular location shall be kept at all times prominently and conspicuously displayed.

6. The names of all optometrists who practice under the professional designation shall be maintained in the records of the optometric office for five years following their departure from the practice.

7. The name of the licensed optometrist providing care shall appear on all statements of charges and receipts given to patients.

8. An optometrist may use a professional designation which contains the name of an inactive, retired, removed, or deceased optometrist for a period of no more than one year from the date of succession to a practice and so long as he does so in conjunction with his own name, together with the words, "succeeded by," "succeeding," or "successor to."