GA - GAC
Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
Terms and Conditions of Agreement for Access to Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia Website

(Note: certain features of this site have been disabled for the general public to prevent digital piracy. If you are an entitled government entity pursuant the Georgia Administrative Procedures Act, O.C.G.A.§ 50-13-7(d) contact the State of Georgia's Administrative Procedures Division at 678-364-3785 to enable these features for your location.)

To access this website, you must agree to the following:

These terms of use are a contract between you and/or your employer (if any), and Lawriter, LLC.

You agree not to use any web crawler, scraper, or other robot or automated program or device to obtain data from the website.

You agree that you will not sell or license anything that you download, print, or copy from this website.

THIS WEBSITE AND ITS CONTENT ARE PROVIDED "AS IS." THE STATE OF GEORGIA AND LAWRITER EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT AND ARE NOT LIABLE TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY ERRORS IN INACCURACIES CONTAINED IN THIS WEBSITE.

By accessing and/or using this website, you agree to the terms and conditions above. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions above, you must cease accessing and/or using this website and destroy all material obtained from this website without your agreement.

If you accept these terms enter the information below and click “I AGREE”.

Chapter 430-2 REGISTRATION

Rule 430-2-.01 Applications

(1) Candidates for licensure in Georgia will be required to pass Parts I, II and III of the National Board examinations; and Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD) examination, and the Georgia State Jurisprudence examination administered by the Georgia State Board of Optometry or the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. In addition, after July, 1994, all candidates must have completed all requirements for therapeutic certification before making application to take the Jurisprudence examination.
(2) All candidates' application must be received 45 days prior to the examination date and must include the following documents:
a. official transcripts of all optometric college credits;
b. certified scores of IAB "Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease" (TMOD);
c. certified scores of Parts I, II, and III of the National Boards.

Rule 430-2-.02 Refusal, Suspension, Revocation of a License to Practice

The Board shall refuse to issue its license to practice and may suspend or revoke its license to practice issued to any person who is not of good moral character, or who commits an act involving moral turpitude, or who is guilty of highly unprofessional conduct, or whose certificate was issued through error, fraud, or perjury.

Rule 430-2-.03 Address Changes

Each licensed optometrist shall maintain his/her current mailing address with the Board. Address changes may be submitted in writing to the Board, or license holders may update their mailing and physical addresses online at the PLB website, www.sos.ga.gov/plb. A current e-mail address is required and may also be updated from this site.

Rule 430-2-.04 Continuing Education Requirements; Approval of Education Programs

(1) The Board has pre-approved continuing education (post-graduate) courses from schools and colleges of optometry accredited by the Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association; a maximum of ten (10) hours per biennium in ophthalmologic related courses taught by the Medical College of Georgia, Emory University, Mercer University and Morehouse College; any courses offered by the American Optometric Association or its regional or state affiliates; the Society of Professional Optometrists of Georgia; the SECO International, LLC, the Council on Optometric Practice Education (C.O.P.E.) and any courses approved by C.O.P.E.; American Board of Optometry and American Academy of Optometry. All preapproved continuing education providers must give notification of their courses on a timely basis to all Georgia Optometrists. Any other individual or organization desiring Board approval of an educational program sponsored by the individual or organization, or particular segments of such a program shall submit a request for approval to the State Board of Optometry, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217, not later than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled date of such program. Each administrator of continuing education credit that gives credit to more than five doctors at any single event shall register all attendees and credits with the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry-OE Tracker Program. The Board will act on such request within thirty (30) days after receipt of the request for approval. Any request for Board approval of an educational program must include the following information:
(a) The identity of the sponsor, including:
1. The name and address of the sponsoring individual(s) or organization and a description of any organizational form (e.g., unincorporated association, non-profit corporation, etc.) and the date of organization;
2. The name and address of the principal officers of the sponsor.
(b) A description of the program, including:
1. With respect to each course for which approval is sought:
(i) the name and address of the instructor;
(ii) the title of the course;
(iii) a brief biographical sketch of the instructor including a detailed description (curriculum vitae) of his/her academic qualifications and a listing of prior publications including published speeches, which relates to the subject matter of the course;
(iv) an outline of the proposed content;
(v) the number of hours for which approval is requested, including a specification of those hours relating to practice management.
2. The scheduled time and place of the course;
3. A description of the method by which course attendance is to be monitored;
4. The amount of any registration fee, tuition or other charge for attendance, including a statement of any difference in such charges, which depend on membership in the sponsoring organization;
5. A sample of any advertisement or announcement intended to be employed concerning the program.
(c) Such additional information as the Board may request in the course of its deliberations concerning the application for approval.
(2) The following course content will not satisfy the continuing education requirement:
(a) Courses dealing with social and health trends;
(b) Any course unrelated to or not designed to enhance the professional skill of the practitioner;
(c) Courses conducted by any individual who is the owner of or is directly connected with any optical wholesale concern unless approved by the Board.
(d) CPR.
(3) A doctor of optometry is expected to ascertain in advance that the courses, which he/she attends, have received prior Board approval and do not fall within the exceptions of sub-part (2).
(4) Board approval of any educational program under this section relates to the program as proposed to the Board. In the event the actual program does not substantively correspond to the proposed program approved by the Board, the board will not give credit for that program under Code Section 43-30-8. The Board will not consider for approval the program as modified.
(5) Minimum hours required. The Board requires a minimum of 36 hours of attendance at Board-approved continuing education programs.
(a) Those licensed in the first year of the biennium will be required to obtain eighteen (18) hours of continuing education. This requirement applies regardless of when you establish practice in Georgia. Licensees in this category shall obtain one (1) hour of CE in Georgia laws and rules. This one (1) hour shall be included in the total eighteen (18) hours required for renewal.
(b) Those licensed in the second year of the biennium are not required to obtain continuing education in that biennium.
(c) All licensees are required to obtain thirty-six (36) hours per biennium beginning in the third calendar year of licensure. Licensees shall obtain one (1) hour of Board-approved continuing education in Georgia laws and rules. This one (1) hour shall be included in the total thirty-six (36) hours required for renewal.
(d) All CE hours on Georgia laws and rules must be prior approved by the Board. A maximum of one (1) hour per biennium will be allowed as continuing education credit in this area. Georgia licensed optometrists not practicing in Georgia are exempt from acquiring the one (1) hour of CE in Georgia laws and rules.
(e) A maximum of eight (8) hours per biennium will be allowed as continuing education credit for grand rounds. One (1) hour credit will be allowed for every two (2) hours spent in grand rounds.
(f) A maximum of ten (10) hours of continuing education credit will be allowed per biennium for any coursework that is offered by correspondence or electronic medium, which coursework is approved or sponsored by any provider identified in paragraph (1) of this rule.
(g) A maximum of ten (10) hours of continuing education credit will be allowed per biennium for practice management course work, as long as it is patient care related.
(h) Effective January 1, 2006, of the thirty-six (36) required hours, a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education per biennium is required for pharmacology and pathology courses as related to ophthalmologic conditions.
(6) Reporting and Auditing. The method of reporting and auditing continuing education shall be:
(a) At the time of license renewal, each Optometrist shall certify to the Board that he/she has completed the continuing education required for license renewal. The preferred method of tracking continuing education is through the ARBO OE-Tracker system and the licensee is encouraged to verify that all course work has been posted to OE-Tracker. If the licensee chooses to not participate in the OE-Tracker system and if all of his/her education credits are not posted therein, the licensee may be required to submit paper records via email or FAX directly to the board in order to demonstrate compliance with the required continuing education hours.
(b) The Board shall audit the continuing education of a percentage of licensees for compliance with all rules and regulations. Such audits will be completed after the license renewal date and will cover course work completed during the just-completed biennium.
(c) Each licensed Optometrist shall maintain records of attendance and supporting documents for continuing education for a period of three (3) years from the date of attendance.
(d) Deferral of the requirement for education program hours may be considered by the Board. Requests for deferral must be submitted to the Board in writing and should include complete documentation of the reasons for the request. Deferral will be considered for the following reasons:
1. certified illness; and
2. hardship.

Rule 430-2-.05 Requirements for Inactive License Status. Amended

Georgia licensed optometrists may request in writing to the Board that their active license to practice optometry in Georgia be placed in inactive status under the following conditions:

(a) The request must be received prior to the license expiration date to be considered. There is no fee required to request inactive status.
(b) In the event that a Doctor of Optometry who holds a valid license to practice Optometry in the State of Georgia notifies the Board that he chooses to retire from active practice of the profession, his license shall be considered to be inactive;
(c) Doctors holding an inactive license shall not engage in the practice of Optometry and shall not hold themselves out to the public as being available to provide optometric services;
(d) A Doctor of Optometry holding an inactive license shall not be required to obtain the necessary continuing education credits and no renewal fee shall be assessed.
(e) In order to return to the practice of optometry, a reinstatement application for licensure must be submitted to the Board. Refer to Board rule 430-2-.09.

Rule 430-2-.06 Repealed

Rule 430-2-.07 Renewal of Licenses

(1) Each person holding a valid license to practice optometry shall renew said license with the Division Director by completing and filing the renewal form furnished by the Board. Said licenses expire on December 31 of every odd-numbered years and shall be renewed biennially upon payment of the biennial renewal fees and providing proof, if selected for an audit, of the completion of the required continuing education hours. The renewal form shall be considered filed with the Board upon being postmarked. All forms not postmarked by December 31 of the odd numbered years shall be considered late.
(2) Each person holding a valid license to practice optometry who does not renew said license by December 31 of the odd-numbered years shall be afforded a late renewal for a period of thirty (30) days after the deadline date. Late renewals shall be processed after filing the renewal form, payment of the renewal fee and late renewal penalty fee and providing proof, if selected for an audit, of the required continuing education hours. The late renewal form shall be considered filed with the Board upon being postmarked. All late renewal forms not postmarked by January 30 following the December 31 deadline shall not be considered timely filed with the Board.
(3) Any service member as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-1-31 whose license to practice optometry expired while serving on active duty outside the state shall be permitted to practice optometry in accordance with the expired license and shall not be charged with a violation relating to such practice on an expired license for a period of six (6) months from the date of his or her discharge from active duty or reassignment to a location within the state. Any such service member shall be entitled to renew such expired license without penalty within six (6) months after the date of her or her discharge from active duty or reassignment to a location with the state. The service member must present to the board a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the service member's commanding officer to waive any charges.
(4) After the late renewal time period, all non-renewed licenses will be revoked by operation of law for non-renewal, and will require reinstatement at the discretion of the Board.

Rule 430-2-.08 Volunteers in Optometry

(1) The Board may issue volunteer licenses in its discretion when it has identified an area of this state in which there is an urgent, unfilled need for optometric services, and when it has located a competent optometrist to fulfill such need. In granting these volunteer licenses, the Board shall observe the following criteria:
(a) Need of the Community. A volunteer license shall be issued for the purpose of serving indigent patients in areas of this state in which there is inadequate personnel to supply optometric services. In determining what constitutes an inadequate supply of optometry personnel, the Board shall consider various factors, including the optometrist-patient ratio in the area in question, the distance between patients and existing optometrist, the misdistribution of particular types of specialty care, and any other factors which are indicative of an absence of adequate optometric services in or reasonably accessible to the area in question. Any group or groups of persons seeking to secure such an optometrist for a community shall supply the Board with all information necessary for it to make a determination as to the existence of all the foregoing factors.
(b) Qualification of the Optometrist.
1. The optometrist must submit an application for a volunteer license to the Board and must be retired from the practice of optometry and not currently engaged in such practice either full time or part time and has, prior to retirement, maintained full licensure in good standing;
2. As a condition precedent to a volunteer license being issued, after five (5) years have passed without the applicant being engaged in the direct observation and treatment of patients, the Board, in its discretion, may require a refresher course or the passage of an examination administered by the board or a testing agency designated and approved by the Board;
3. If the Board determines there is demonstrated inability and reasonable grounds to inquire into an applicants mental and physical capacity, the applicant may be asked to submit a statement from a physician attesting to the applicant's physical and mental capacity;
4. If the applicant is not in compliance with the continuing education requirements established by the Board at the time application is made for the volunteer license, the applicant may be issued a nonrenewable temporary license to practice for six months provided the applicant is otherwise qualified for such license. During the period of time the licensee maintains such license, the licensee must comply with the continuing education requirements established by the Board;
5. There shall be no application or licensing fee for initial issuance of a volunteer license;
6. Volunteer licenses shall expire at the close of December 31 in all odd-numbered years, and shall be administratively revoked for failure to renew on January 31 of the following even-numbered year. Fees for license renewal shall be assessed as shown on the schedule of fees adopted by the board. Licenses which have been administratively revoked shall be reinstated only in the discretion of the board;
7. Any other provisions of Chapter 30, Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated not inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the provisional license statute shall be fully applicable to all licensed optometrist.

Rule 430-2-.09 Reinstatement

(1) Reinstatement is at the sole discretion of the Board.
(2) The Board may consider reinstatement when the following requirements have been met:
(a) Reinstatement applications received within one (1) year from the last effective date of the licensee shall include evidence of thirty-six (36) continuing education hours in accordance with Board rule 430- 2-.04(5)(a-h), and must have been obtained within two (2) years prior to the date of reinstatement application.
(b) Reinstatement applications received after one (1) year from the last effective date of the license shall include:
1. Evidence of fifty (50) continuing education hours, thirty-six (36) of which must be in accordance with Board rule 430-2-.04(5) (a-h). The remaining fourteen (14) of the fifty (50) continuing education hours shall be in pharmacology and pathology and shall be obtained in person, and must have been obtained within two (2) years prior to the date of reinstatement application.
2. In addition, applicants for reinstatement after one year of the last effective date of the license shall register and take and pass the Georgia Laws and Rules exam.
(c) Provides documentation of current CPR.
(d) Provides evidence of current liability insurance as defined by law.
(e) Has met qualifications for scope of practice that includes therapeutics licensure.
(f) The Board may deny reinstatement for failure to demonstrate current knowledge, skill and proficiency in the practice of optometry or being mentally or physically unable to practice optometry with reasonable skill and safety or for any ground set forth in O.C.G.A. § 43-1-19.
(g) The Board reserves the authority to require any additional information or documentation necessary to complete the reinstatement application.