(A) Each certificate of licensure, topical ocular pharmaceutical agents certificate, and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate issued by the state board of optometry shall expire annually on the last day of December, and may be renewed in accordance with this section and the standard renewal procedure established under Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code. An optometrist seeking to continue to practice optometry shall file with the board an application for license renewal. The application shall be in such form and require such pertinent professional biographical data as the board may require.
(B) All licensed optometrists shall annually complete continuing education in subjects relating to the practice of optometry, to the end that the utilization and application of new techniques, scientific and clinical advances, and the achievements of research will assure comprehensive care to the public. The board shall prescribe by rule the continuing optometric education that licensed optometrists must complete. The length of study shall be twenty-five clock hours each year, including ten clock hours of instruction in pharmacology to be completed by all licensed optometrists . Unless the continuing education required under this division is waived or deferred under division (D) of this section, the continuing education must be completed during the twelve-month period beginning on the first day of October and ending on the last day of September. If the board receives notice from a continuing education program indicating that an optometrist completed the program after the last day of September, and the optometrist wants to use the continuing education completed after that day to renew the license that expires on the last day of December of that year, the optometrist shall pay the penalty specified under section 4725.34 of the Revised Code for late completion of continuing education. At least once annually, the board shall mail to each licensed optometrist a list of courses approved in accordance with standards prescribed by board rule. Upon the request of a licensed optometrist, the executive director of the board shall supply a list of additional courses that the board has approved subsequent to the most recent mailing of the list of approved courses.
(1) Annually, not later than the first day of November, the board shall mail a notice regarding license renewal to each licensed optometrist who may be eligible for renewal. The notice shall be sent to the optometrist's last address shown in the board's records. If the board knows that the optometrist has completed the required continuing optometric education for the year, the board may include with the notice an application for license renewal.
(2) Filing a license renewal application with the board shall serve as notice by the optometrist that the continuing optometric education requirement has been successfully completed. If the board finds that an optometrist has not completed the required continuing optometric education, the board shall disapprove the optometrist's application. The board's disapproval of renewal is effective without a hearing, unless a hearing is requested pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
(3) The board shall refuse to accept an application for renewal from any applicant whose license is not in good standing or who is under disciplinary review pursuant to section 4725.19 of the Revised Code.
(4) Notice of an applicant's failure to qualify for renewal shall be served upon the applicant by mail. The notice shall be sent not later than the fifteenth day of November to the applicant's last address shown in the board's records.
(D) In cases of certified illness or undue hardship, the board may waive or defer for up to twelve months the requirement of continuing optometric education, except that in such cases the board may not waive or defer the continuing education in pharmacology required to be completed by optometrists who hold topical ocular pharmaceutical agents certificates or therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificates. The board shall waive the requirement of continuing optometric education for any optometrist who is serving in the armed forces of the United States or who has received an initial certificate of licensure during the nine-month period which ended on the last day of September.
(E) An optometrist whose renewal application has been approved may renew each certificate held by paying to the treasurer of state the fees for renewal specified under section 4725.34 of the Revised Code. On payment of all applicable fees, the board shall issue a renewal of the optometrist's certificate of licensure, topical ocular pharmaceutical agents certificate, and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate, as appropriate.
(F) Not later than the fifteenth day of December, the board shall mail a second notice regarding license renewal to each licensed optometrist who may be eligible for renewal but did not respond to the notice sent under division (C)(1) of this section. The notice shall be sent to the optometrist's last address shown in the board's records. If an optometrist fails to file a renewal application after the second notice is sent, the board shall send a third notice regarding license renewal prior to any action under division (I) of this section to classify the optometrist's certificates as delinquent.
(G) The failure of an optometrist to apply for license renewal or the failure to pay the applicable annual renewal fees on or before the date of expiration, shall automatically work a forfeiture of the optometrist's authority to practice optometry in this state.
(H) The board shall accept renewal applications and renewal fees that are submitted from the first day of January to the last day of April of the year next succeeding the date of expiration. An individual who submits such a late renewal application or fee shall pay the late renewal fee specified in section 4725.34 of the Revised Code.
(1) If the certificates issued by the board to an individual have expired and the individual has not filed a complete application during the late renewal period, the individual's certificates shall be classified in the board's records as delinquent.
(2) Any optometrist subject to delinquent classification may submit a written application to the board for reinstatement. For reinstatement to occur, the applicant must meet all of the following conditions:
(a) Submit to the board evidence of compliance with board rules requiring continuing optometric education in a sufficient number of hours to make up for any delinquent compliance;
(b) Pay the renewal fees for the year in which application for reinstatement is made and the reinstatement fee specified under division (A)(8) of section 4725.34 of the Revised Code;
(c) Pass all or part of the licensing examination accepted by the board under section 4725.11 of the Revised Code as the board considers appropriate to determine whether the application for reinstatement should be approved;
(d) If the applicant has been practicing optometry in another state or country, submit evidence that the applicant's license to practice optometry in the other state or country is in good standing.
(3) The board shall approve an application for reinstatement if the conditions specified in division (I)(2) of this section are met. An optometrist who receives reinstatement is subject to the continuing education requirements specified under division (B) of this section for the year in which reinstatement occurs.
Effective Date: 02-12-2001; 2007 HB149 03-24-2008