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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 14TEXAS OPTOMETRY BOARD
CHAPTER 273GENERAL RULES
RULE §273.14License Applications for Military Service Member, Military Veteran, and Military Spouse

(a) Definitions.

  (1) "Military service member" means a person who is on active duty.

  (2) "Military spouse" means a person who is married to a military service member.

  (3) "Military veteran" means a person who has served on active duty, who was discharged or released from active duty, and who was not dishonorably discharged.

  (4) "Active duty" means current full-time military service in the armed forces of the United States or active duty military service as a member of the Texas military forces, as defined by §437.001, Government Code, or similar military service of another state.

  (5) "Armed forces of the United States" means the army, navy, air force, coast guard, or marine corps of the United States or a reserve unit of one of those branches of the armed forces.

(b) License eligibility requirements for applicants with military experience.

  (1) Verified military service, training, or education will be credited toward the licensing requirements, other than an examination requirement, of an applicant who is a military service member or military veteran.

  (2) This subsection does not apply if the applicant holds a restricted license issued by another jurisdiction or has an unacceptable criminal history.

(c) Alternate licensing procedure authorized by Texas Occupations Code §55.004 and §55.005.

  (1) Applicants currently licensed in another state.

    (A) Application.

      (i) The military service member, military veteran or military spouse applicant must be licensed in good standing as a therapeutic optometrist or the equivalent in another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory of the United States that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of the Texas Optometry Act.

      (ii) The military service member, military veteran or military spouse applicant shall submit a completed Military application, including the submission of a completed Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint card provided by the Board, official license verifications from each state in which the applicant is or was licensed, a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate, a certified copy of the optometry school transcript granting the applicant a doctor of optometry degree, and proof of the applicant's status as a military service member, military veteran or military spouse.

      (iii) A military service member, military veteran, or military spouse licensed in another state is exempt from the application fee in §273.4 of this title (relating to Fees (Not Refundable)). Such an applicant is not exempt from exam fees charged for an exam administered by an organization or person other than the Board.

      (iv) A license issued under this subsection shall be a license to practice therapeutic optometry with the same obligations and duties required of a licensed therapeutic optometrist and subject to the same disciplinary requirements for that license.

    (B) License Renewal.

      (i) A license issued under this subsection shall expire twelve months subsequent to the date the license is issued. If the license is timely renewed, the licensee may thereafter renew the license by paying the renewal fee not later than January 1 of each year. Beginning 2021, a license issued under this subsection shall expire 24 months subsequent to the date the license is issued. If the initial license is timely renewed, the licensee may thereafter renew the license by paying the renewal fee prior to the expiration date set in §273.8 of this title (relating to Renewal of License).

      (ii) Prior to renewing the license for the first time, the military service member, military veteran or military spouse licensee shall take and pass the Texas Jurisprudence Examination.

      (iii) With the exception of clause (ii) of this subparagraph, the requirements for renewing the license are the same as the requirements for renewing an active license.

  (2) Requirements for license for military service member, military veteran or military spouse applicant not currently licensed to practice optometry who was licensed in Texas within five years of the application submission.

    (A) Application.

      (i) The military service member, military veteran or military spouse applicant shall submit a completed Military application, including the submission of a completed Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint card provided by the Board, official license verifications from each state in which the applicant is or was licensed, a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate, a certified copy of the optometry school transcript granting the applicant a doctor of optometry degree, and proof of the applicant's status as a military service member, military veteran or military spouse.

      (ii) An application fee in the same amount as the application fee set out in §273.4 of this title must be submitted with the application.

      (iii) A license issued under this subsection shall be a license to practice therapeutic optometry with the same obligations and duties required of a licensed therapeutic optometrist and subject to the same disciplinary requirements for that license.

    (B) License Renewal.

      (i) A license issued under this subsection shall expire twelve months subsequent to the date the license is issued. If the license is timely renewed, the licensee may thereafter renew the license by paying the renewal fee not later than January 1 of each year. Beginning 2021, a license issued under this subsection shall expire 24 months subsequent to the date the license is issued. If the initial license is timely renewed, the licensee may thereafter renew the license by paying the renewal fee prior to the expiration date set in §273.8 of this title (relating to Renewal of License).

      (ii) Prior to renewing the license for the first time, the military service member, military veteran or military spouse licensee shall take and pass the Texas Jurisprudence Examination.

      (iii) With the exception of clause (ii) of this subparagraph, the requirements for renewing the license are the same as the requirements for renewing an active license.

(d) Alternative method to demonstrate competency. To protect the health and safety of the citizens of this state, a license to practice optometry requires the licensee to obtain a doctorate degree in optometry and passing scores on lengthy and complex nationally accepted examinations. An alternative method to demonstrate competency is not available at this time.

(e) Alternate licensing procedure for military spouse authorized by Texas Occupations Code §55.0041.

  (1) Application.

    (A) The military spouse applicant must be licensed in good standing as a therapeutic optometrist or the equivalent in another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory of the United States that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of the Texas Optometry Act. For purposes of this subsection, the Board finds that every state and territory that issues a therapeutic license to a graduate of an accredited optometry school has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of the Texas Optometry Act.

    (B) The military spouse applicant shall submit:

      (i) proof of the spouse's residency in this state and a copy of the spouse's military identification card;

      (ii) a completed Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint card provided by the Board;

      (iii) an official license verification from the state in which the applicant is licensed that has licensing requirements substantially equivalent to the Texas Optometry Act; and

      (iv) application form with proof of identity.

  (2) License

    (A) A license issued under this subsection:

      (i) shall be a license to practice therapeutic optometry with the same obligations and duties required of a licensed therapeutic optometrist and subject to the same disciplinary requirements for that license,

      (ii) will expire three years after the license is issued, or if occurring prior to the expiration of the three-year period, the date when the military spouse is no longer stationed at a military installation in this state, and

      (iii) may not be renewed.

    (B) The application and license is exempt from the Texas Jurisprudence Examination and the application fee and initial license fee in §273.4 of this title.


Source Note: The provisions of this §273.14 adopted to be effective March 23, 2014, 39 TexReg 2079; amended to be effective March 29, 2016, 41 TexReg 2316; amended to be effective December 9, 2019, 44 TexReg 7540

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