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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 14TEXAS OPTOMETRY BOARD
CHAPTER 273GENERAL RULES
RULE §273.7Inactive Licenses and Retired License for Volunteer Charity Care

(a) Placing a license on inactive status. A person who is licensed by the board to practice optometry but who is not engaged in the practice of optometry in this state may place the license on inactive status at the time of license renewal or during a license year as follows.

  (1) To place a license on inactive status at the time of renewal, the licensee shall:

    (A) complete and submit before the expiration date of January 1 of each year a license renewal application provided by the board;

    (B) state on the renewal application that the license is to be placed on inactive status and that the licensee shall not practice optometry in Texas while the license is inactive;

    (C) pay the fee for renewal of license as specified in §273.4 of this title (relating to Optometry Fees). The fee for renewal of license shall not be subject to the Section 351.153 of the Texas Optometry Act. Penalty fees as provided by Section 351.304 of the Act, will apply to those received after December 31 of the applicable renewal period.

  (2) To place a license on inactive status at a time other than the time of license renewal, the licensee shall:

    (A) return the current renewal certificate to the board office;

    (B) submit a signed statement stating that the licensee shall not practice optometry in Texas while the license is inactive, and the date the license is to be placed on inactive status;

    (C) pay the fee for issuance of an amended renewal certificate as specified in §273.4 of this title (relating to Optometry Fees).

(b) Reactivation of an Inactive License.

  (1) A holder of a license that is on inactive status may return the license to active status by:

    (A) applying for active status on a form prescribed by the board;

    (B) providing proof of completion certificates from approved continuing education programs as specified in Chapter 275 of this title (relating to Continuing Education Requirements) for the number of hours that would otherwise have been required for the renewal of the license. Approved continuing education earned within the calendar year prior to the licensee applying for the return to active status may be applied toward the continuing education requirement;

    (C) paying the fee for issuance of an amended renewal certificate as specified in §273.4 of this title (relating to Optometry Fees);

    (D) paying the fee imposed by Section 351.153 of the Act, if the licensee begins practice within the state.

  (2) If the application for reactivation of the license is made at the time of license renewal, the applicant shall pay the license renewal fee specified in §273.4 of this title (relating to Optometry Fees). If the application for reactivation of the license is made at a time other than the time of license renewal, the applicant shall pay the license renewal fee as well as a fee for issuance of an amended certificate to practice optometry as specified in §273.4 of this title.

(c) Prohibition against practicing optometry in Texas. A holder of a license that is on inactive status shall not practice optometry in this state. The practice of optometry by a holder of a license that is on inactive status constitutes the practice of optometry without a license.

(d) Retired License. The Board may issue a Retired License to optometrists or therapeutic optometrists whose only practice is volunteer charity care pursuant to subsections (d) - (k) of this section.

(e) Application. An applicant holding a current license may apply for a Retired License by submitting to the Board a completed application with the license fee required by §273.4 of this title (relating to Fees (Not Refundable)). There is no charge to apply. A Retired License will not be issued to applicants subject to current or pending disciplinary action. In determining whether to grant retired status, the board shall consider the age, years of practice, and status of the license holder at the time of the application. Applicants must supply proof that the continuing education requirements for a Retired License have been met in §275.1(g)(1) of this title (relating to General Requirements) (Rule 275.1).

(f) Application by Expired Licensee. A former licensee whose license has expired for one year or more may apply for a Retired License by submitting to the Board a completed application with the license fee required by §273.4 of this title. There is no charge to apply. A Retired License will not be issued to applicants subject to current or pending disciplinary action. Applicants must supply proof of having met the continuing education requirements of §275.1(g)(2) of this title. An applicant for a therapeutic Retired License must have been licensed by the Board as a therapeutic optometrist. An applicant for a therapeutic Retired License whose license has been expired for five years or more must supply proof of a passing score on the jurisprudence examination taken within the one year period prior to the submission of the application. In determining whether to grant retired status, the Board shall consider the age, years of practice, and status of the license holder at the time of the application.

(g) Scope of License. The holder of a Retired License may practice optometry or therapeutic optometry in the same manner as an active licensee of the Board, subject to the restrictions contained in this section. A holder of a Retired License may only practice optometry or therapeutic optometry when such practice is without compensation or expectation of compensation (except for the reimbursement of travel and supply expenses) as a direct service volunteer of a charitable organization.

(h) Charitable Organization. A charitable organization includes any bona fide charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty to children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational, neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, or educational organization (excluding fraternities, sororities, and secret societies), or other organization organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare by being primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the people in a community, including these types of organizations with a §501(c)(3) or (4) exemption from federal income tax, some chambers of commerce, and volunteer centers certified by the Department of Public Safety.

(i) Renewal. A Retired License expires on the same date as a regular license. Prior to renewing the license, the licensee must supply proof that the continuing education requirements for a Retired License have been met. The license renewal fee is set in §273.4 of this title.

(j) Penalty. The holder of a Retired License shall not receive compensation for the practice of optometry. To do so constitutes the practice of optometry without a license and subjects the optometrist or therapeutic optometrist to the penalties imposed for this violation.

(k) Reinstatement of an Active License by a Holder of a Retired License. The Board may reinstate an active license to applicants who hold a Retired License pursuant to the requirements of this subsection. Applicants may apply for reinstatement by submitting to the Board a completed application with the application fee required by §273.4 of this title. Applicants must supply proof that the continuing education requirements for an active license have been met. If the Board approves the application to reinstate the active license, the Board may issue the license once the requirements of subsection (b)(1)(C) and (D) have been met. An active license will not be issued to a holder of a Retired License who applied for that license under subsection (f) of this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §273.7 adopted to be effective September 10, 1993, 18 TexReg 5745; amended to be effective August 2, 1998, 23 TexReg 7563; amended to be effective April 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 2923; amended to be effective December 6, 2005, 30 TexReg 8096; amended to be effective December 24, 2009, 34 TexReg 9211

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