Skip to:

Forms and FAQs



Licensee

  • How do I change my name or replace my original license wall certificate?
    Submit a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or official government issued document and mail with the processing fee of $12.00 to the board office.  A form is listed on the FAQ/Form section to guide you through.  Current public information must correspond to the name, practice locations provided on the board’s website.  If you misplace, lose or damage your license you may request a replacement by completing a request for wall certificate replacement.
  • How do I change my email, or telephone?
    Log on to your personal license data section at the website and update those fields.  Board staff members are notified the following day of those official modifications.  
  • How do I have a License Verification sent to another state?

    Most states require verification of your Minnesota license.   Go online to the home page and complete the Verify a License request.  A fee of $50.00 for each verification is required to review your file, and submit the required information to the state referenced.  If the state requires their 'own form', the OD can submit a check and written request to proceed.  The license verification will be sent within 72 hours of the receipt of the request.

  • How do I change my Practice Locations?
    Log on to your personal license data, and update those fields.  Board staff members are notified the following day of those official modifications.  
  • How do I request a duplicate or replacement license renewal certificate (3 X 5 card)?

    If you misplace, lose or damage the renewal certificate card (3x5) you may request an replacement renewal card.

  • Do I need to file my Professional Firm with the Board?

    Minnesota Statutes 319B, The Professional Firms Act  requires that any Optometrist that is organized as a corporation, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company must register with the Board (filed under 302A, 317A, or 322B). If you are unsure about which category your professional firm falls under, you may find your business information using the  Secretary of State's website  by searching via your practice name.

    Please see the  professional firms page  on our website for more information and registration forms.

     

  • Can an Optometrist prescribe Medical Cannabis?

    Background: The Minnesota Legislature approved a medical marijuana-medical cannabis law in 2014.  Patients with a qualifying medical condition and a prescription order from a defined health care practitioner may legally obtain medical cannabis beginning July 1, 2015.  Currently, Minnesota laws do not include Licensed Optometrists within the health care practitioner definitions or those authorized to diagnose a qualifying medical condition. 

     

    Minnesota Statutes 152.22; Enacted July 1, 2014

     

    Subd. 4. Health care practitioner.

     

    "Health care practitioner" means a Minnesota licensed doctor of medicine, a Minnesota licensed physician assistant acting within the scope of authorized practice, or a Minnesota licensed advanced practice registered nurse who has the primary responsibility for the care and treatment of the qualifying medical condition of a person diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.

     

    Subd. 14. Qualifying medical condition.

     

    "Qualifying medical condition" means a diagnosis of any of the following conditions:

    (1) cancer, if the underlying condition or treatment produces one or more of the following:

    (i) severe or chronic pain;

    (ii) nausea or severe vomiting; or

    (iii) cachexia or severe wasting;

    (2) glaucoma;

    (3) human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;

    (4) Tourette's syndrome;

    (5) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;

    (6) seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;

    (7) severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis;

    (8) Crohn's disease;

    (9) terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of under one year, if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following:

    (i) severe or chronic pain;

    (ii) nausea or severe vomiting; or

    (iii) cachexia or severe wasting; or

    (10) any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the commissioner.

Applicants

  • How do I apply for my initial license?
    The home page has the electronic 'Initial Application for First License" online application which allows you to create your application for your initial license. Staff will review the content and typically within 48 hours will email you a list a 'validation' requirements, such as College of Optometry transcript, two references, and NBEO examination scores. Once submitted, a check mark indicates acceptance. The downloadable paper application is also available. Instructions to complete the paper and online application is found under Applicants. 
  • How do I provide two letters of recommendation?

    For your initial license, two letters of recommendation must be provided, one of which must be from a practicing licensed Optometrist in good standing who has personal knowledge of applicant.

     

  • On the application it refers to practical experience, what should I list?
  • Under the section Application in other states/provinces; is that all states that I've applied for a license?
    formally applied
  • How do I request my NBEO scores be sent to Minnesota?
    When signing up for the examination, you are provided different options to notify various jurisdictions/states.  Once NBEO has received your official transcript notifying them that you have obtained your Doctor of Optometry, they release your scores to all jurisdictions that were previously identified in the application.  Applicants will contact NBEO at all times to release the examination scores even if requesting a license at a later date. 
  • I passed the NBEO how can I confirm the Minnesota Board received the scores?

    Once NBEO receives your official transcript notifying them of your successful completion of the Doctor of Optometry degree, they release your scores to all five jurisdictions that you listed when you applied to the NBEO. Applicants will also be notified when the scores are received as they are recorded in your Minnesota Board of Optometry (MBO) electronic file and you are automatically notified of all updates, indicating MBO accepting the official NBEO results. 

  • How do I complete the Minnesota Jurisprudence examination?
    The Minnesota jurisprudence or law exam is administered through NBEO.  You will follow nearly identical procedures as completing the national exam.  The law exam is an open book exam focused on the specific Minnesota laws that will be applicable to your practice. There are 34 multiple choice questions with a passing score of 75% required.  You may complete the Minnesota examination at any time convenient for you.  Results are sent to the MBO upon their official score review and release within days of the completion of the examination. 

    For a current copy of the specific Minnesota laws, go to the home page and review "Statutes and Rules".  Statutes are mandated by the legislature and the Rules are created by the board members to provide clarity to the statute. 
  • How soon can I get a license?
    All items must be completed to receive your initial license.  Most applicants complete the NBEO and Minnesota exams, have applied with all requirements (i.e. recommendations, undergraduate transcript etc) completed and as soon as the MBO and NBEO receive the official OD transcript, the initial license can be granted.  MBO has delegated authority to staff to complete routine applications and the license is granted within 48 hours of all ‘clean’ applications.  If the application is required to go before the board, the quarterly meeting schedule is posted on the board website.  The website identifies all 'active' licenses.  As soon as the board staff physically prints the license, the online validation of the license is updated with the license number, active status and the license expiration date.  
  • How much is the initial application and license?
    The application is $160.00. Checks should be written to the Minnesota Board of Optometry.  

Continuing Education

  • How do I receive my OE Tracker Number and how do I enroll in OE Tracker?
    You are automatically assigned an OE Tracker upon completion of the NBEO exams.  You may locate your personal OE Tracker number at www.arbo.org.      

    You may enroll at www.arbo.org for $20.00 per year or $45.00 for three years. OE Tracker is very beneficial for the busy OD in documenting continuing education. 
  • What was the rationale for the utilization of OE Tracker and Online Renewals?

    The Minnesota Board of Optometry discussed the significant capabilities of using the OE Tracker system to document OE Tracker, mindful of two principles:
    1) the centralized electronic recording of Continuing Education is the most accurate and efficient, achieving a seamless final record for Optometrists, CE Sponsors and the board staff, and
    2) OD’s will find value in the system and voluntarily participate, rather than a mandate. At this time, a majority of Minnesota OD's are enrolled, however some choose to not participate in OE Tracker.  By not enrolling, there are limitations to viewing the accumulated CE during the Minnesota renewal cycle only and the non-enrolled Minnesota OD must track PAPER certificates to provide the evidence for license renewal.  

  • How do I check my CE for the year?
    The annual OE Tracker fee is $20.00 which allows you full benefits to review, upload non-COPE approved CE and validate your CE records year round.  Once entered into OE Tracker, all records (both COPE and NON-COPE approved) are electronically transferred into the Minnesota annual renewal of license and no other tracking of paper certificates is necessary.  

    By Minnesota Board request, the national OE Tracker system permits all Minnesota OD's to access their OE Tracker data during the renewal period of October 15 to December 31 of each year.  In 2015, non-enrolled OD's are not allowed to upload non-COPE approved CE to OE Tracker, the non-enrolled OD must track their paper documentation of earned CE and will submit a paper renewal application with copies of all CE earned to validate the renewal of their license.  For 'paper filing' renewals, the OD must keep those CE records for four years.  
    The Minnesota Continuing Education category limits: 

    Requirement

    Clock Hours

    Total Continuing Education for Two year period

      40  minimum

    Subcategories:  Not to Exceed

     

    Correspondence or Internet (non-live)

    15 maximum

    Practice Management

    6 maximum

    Volunteer Services

    7 maximum


    There are additional options for presentation(s) of a lecture or publishing articles.  Please contact the office of how to seek prior approval for those sessions.  

    Live Internet Webinars or synchronous education are considered a live event if originally broadcast and if interactive questions   and answers can occur during the original taping of the event.  Live Internet-Webinars have the capability of tracking a participant’s engagement.   
      
  • If it's my first license, what do I need to report CE?
     Minnesota is on a two-year CE cycle (current CE cycle is January 1, 2014-December 31, 2015), which requires evidence of 40 hours of CE to be submitted every other year, on the odd year, i.e 2015, 2017 etc.    If you are licensed in the first year of the CE cycle you will be required to report 20 hours of CE, all CE reported must have been taken after your initial date of licensure. Also, the maximum 6 hours of practice management is pro-rated to 3 hours, the maximum of 15 hours correspondence/internet is pro-rated to 7.5 hours and the maximum of 7 hours of volunteer hours is 3.5 hours.   If you are licensed in the second year of the CE cycle you are exempt from reporting any CE for the current cycle.   Your CE cycle will begin on January 1 of the next year.
  • How do I order a list of Minnesota Optometrists?
    Submit a request with your name, mailing address, email address and attach a $50.00 fee.  Once the fee and request are received, the Minnesota Board of Optometry will complete an excel spreadsheet with the public fields available and will email the list to the requesting party.
  • What are the basic steps to assure my CE is recorded in OE Tracker?

    Beginning in July, 2013, The Minnesota Board endorsed the use of OE Tracker and all documented Continuing Education clock hours are recorded into the single location at OE Tracker.  OE Tracker allows for both Council of Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) nationally approved and Non-COPE (Minnesota approved CE) to be uploaded into the OE Tracker account.   They are entered once approved by the accrediting body and the attendance validated by the sponsor via  two methods:

    1.       COPE Approved: are sent in directly by the CE Sponsor or by the OD , if you are enrolled and the vendor does not submit them.  The Board encourages you to ask the vendor to send the documented attendance directly to OE Tracker. 

    2.       Minnesota Approved only will be validated with an identifier such as (MN14-001-XX) and sent in by the Minnesota CE sponsor, Minnesota Board of Optometry or the OD.

    ·       As you attend approved Continuing Education events, please verify with the sponsor that they have submitted your attendance validation to COPE.   You will no longer need to keep track of any paper certificates, nor any record keeping through OE Tracker for your Minnesota license. 

     ·       If you are submitting CE from an organized volunteer program, (ie VOSH), presenting at a national seminar or academic presentations for CE credit, an ‘Application for Experiential CE Approval ‘is found on the Minnesota website.  For those options, the Minnesota Board will approve/deny and send in the approval directly to OE Tracker.  Please complete those within 21 days of the event to avoid any unnecessary delays. 

  • I have a COPE approved certificate of completion for an online program, how do I get it added to OE Tracker?

    If you are enrolled in OE Tracker, merely, scan and email, fax or mail a copy of the certificate to OE Tracker and it will be added to your OE Tracker record. 

    The Contact information is: 

    email directly to OE Tracker coordinator srice@arbo.org

    or 

    Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry

    200 South College Street, Suite 2030

    Charlotte, NC  28202

    Phone: 704-970-2710

    Fax: 704-970-2720

     

    www.arbo.org

  • I completed CPR with a certificate of completion, is that approved?

    The Minnesota Board of Optometry recognizes the American Heart Association (AHA) CPR courses within the scope of practice for continuing competency for Optometrists.  A maximum of four hours is approved within the OE Tracker system for Minnesota OD's. For subscribing OE Tracker members, merely send a copy of your card or certificate of attendance directly to OE Tracker.

    For non-subscribing OE Tracker members, you must provide the AHA documentation of completion to the board.  The board staff will assign a unique Minnesota identifier CE number and send it in directly to OE Tracker near the end of the renewal cycle each year.

     

  • How do I record a "Volunteer Program" for Continuing Education credit?

Board Advisory Guidance

Renewal Cycle

  • When do I renew?
    Renewal postcards are mailed approximately October 15th of each year. An email blast is also sent with the online renewal system going 'live' at the same time. To encourage efficiency, the board has directed staff to encourage online renewals with the OE Tracker system recording all CE activity of the individual optometrist.  The mailed postcard is the only hard copy sent to Optometrists as all other communications will occur through email. 

  • Do I need to maintain a paper copy of the CE?

    For OE Tracker enrolled Optometrists:  CE Sponsors will be forwarding validation of your attendance to OE Tracker for COPE approved CE.  For non-COPE approved, Minnesota will accept when verified as a meeting Minnesota requirements and will contact the OD only when sponsor validation is unknown. There is no reason to issue a paper copy of the CE anymore for those using OE Tracker. The board considers continuing education recorded once it's officially entered into OE Tracker. 


    For non-enrolled OD's, you will need to maintain a paper copy of all CE submitted to renew your license. 

  • What happens if I'm audited?

    By using OE Tracker, the board has assurance that your attendance has been validated. There is no need to request an individual audit when using the OE Tracker system.

    Other Benefits:

    • Utilize proven technology and ’go green’ to avoid printing certificates of attendance.  
    • 100% CE audit compliance is achieved by the board. 
    • Ease of use for O.D’s to focus on the education and not the bookkeeping and maintenance of certificates of attendance.
    • Uniformity of completed continuing education for all O.D’s. 
    • Optional for the MN Optometrist to fully utilize OE Tracker. Without the $20 fee, the CE summary pages will only be available to you from October 15 to December 31.  
    • When renewing online, you will be able to review all your COPE and Minnesota approved CE which has been automatically downloaded into your Minnesota license renewal.  No more manually completing your biennial attendance.  Please ask the sponsor of education if they have had the session COPE or MN Approved. If so, they will send the required OD participation information to OE Tracker.  

    Sponsors:

    • Pursue most CE to be uploaded into COPE for a single source understanding a few outliers may require a different option.  

    ARBO and COPE: 

    • Pledge their cooperation to make the next two transition years smooth. 
    • COPE is the single source for CE especially for those with multiple state licenses. 
    • If interested in more information on OE Tracker; contact Sierra.Rice@arbo.com

    Optometrists:

    • All Minnesota Sponsors of Education will either have COPE approval numbers or Minnesota CE approval.  All sponsors will submit their CE roster listing attendee’s OE Tracker number and the approved hours of attendance. 
    • The comprehensive benefit of utilizing OE TRACKER would be achieved by logging into the OE Tracker system at www.arbo.org. and paying the $20.00 annual fee. 
    • This will provide even greater benefits than the free enrollment.  Minnesota Optometrists that decide they do not wish to pay the annual fee will have a limited window from October 15 through December 31 to review and attest to their continuing education.  

Renewals

  • When is the deadline for renewal of my Minnesota Optometry License?

    All renewals must be submitted by December 31 with the office closing at 4:00 PM.  Postmarks with December 31st are accepted.  All late renewals can only be processed once the late fee of $75.00 is submitted.

  • How do I officially record CE into my personal OE Tracker file?

    The Minnesota Board of Optometry is encouraging all approved CE sponsors to forward your earned continuing education directly to OE Tracker.  Once entered, the Minnesota Board accepts the entered CE as official documentation of your CE.  If you are an OE Tracker Subscriber and have a certificate of attendance from non-COPE approved sponsor, you may mail, scan, or fax the copy of the certificate directly to: 

    Contact Information

    Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry

    200 South College St., Suite 2030  * Note new suite number *
    Charlotte, NC 28202

    Phone Number
    (704) 970-2710

    Fax Number
    (704) 970-2720

    E-mail
    ARBO@arbo.org

    Office Hours: 

    Monday-Friday
    9 am - 5 pm Eastern 

     

  • What is the electronic link to renew online?

    The direct link is found on the home page and will be activated only during the renewal cycle. 

  • How can I print off the renewal form and submit a paper form?
    You may download a Paper Renewal Form from the home page. The board mandates a 100% audit of continuing education and therefore if you renew by paper, you will need to print off documentation from OE Tracker or by any means you desire to validate your attendance for those sessions submitted.  For non-subscribing OE Tracker licensees, you will be required to copy all certificates of attendance and the paper renewal form to renew your license.  
  • If I'm late with my renewal can I still practice?

    All licenses expire on December 31st.   Minnesota Statute 148.603(22) states, "The board may impose disciplinary action against any optometrist practicing a board-regulated profession under lapsed or non-renewed credentials". 

    If you provide services to patients as an OD, you must have an active license. The Minnesota Board allows a six month period to complete CE if you contact the board with a hardship case to be continuously licensed. This means that an expired license renewed within six months will not be required to meet current applicant license or payment requirements.   No Minnesota licensed Optometrist may see patients in Minnesota with a lapsed or non-renewed license. 

  • How do I report my Continuing Education?

    All approved continuing education is submitted to OE Tracker and all Minnesota Optometrists can review their CE when renewing their license by proceeding through the renewal log in and exited prior to the payment page. For those OD's who track their continuing education through out the year, consideration may be warranted to enroll for year round access at www.arbo.org.   For an annual fee of $20.00 paid to ARBO, all certificates are consolidated and easily tracked for the renewal of the Minnesota license. The fee also allows you to better manage and track CE throughout the year as once it is entered into OE Tracker the Minnesota Board determines it as an official CE, meaning you no longer need to keep a paper copy of any certificate. The board desires to have a 100% audit rate for all Continuing Education.


    For Minnesota Optometrists who are not enrolled in OE Tracker, you will need to maintain documentation of all paper certificates and submit copies to renew your license.  

Late Renewals

  • How many days does it take for the board to renew a license?
    All postmarked mail as of December 31 will be considered on time with a continuous license date and a new expiration date for the following year.  Renewals are processed daily.  As staff update the internal records and approve the renewal of license, the new expiration date is automatically posted to the website.  The mailed renewal certificate will arrive in the mail a few days later.   

    When renewing online, the payment is validated first at US Bank, and electronically forwarded to the board.  This is synchronous and once the payment transaction is confirmed license renewal certificates are printed within 48 hours and mailed.  For immediate confirmation, the website is updated throughout the day once the approval has been granted. 
  • Our organization’s policy is that you need an active license in order to practice, what if I don't have a license for a few days?
    There is no grace period if a licensed Minnesota Optometrist seeing patients in Minnesota. 

    The website shows immediately when a renewal is approved by the board.  If a person doesn't renew, the website will show they were licensed until December 31, 20XX.