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Promoting public interest in receiving quality optometric health care from competent licensed optometrists. Protecting the public by ensuring that all licensed optometrists meet the educational and practical requirements specified in law. Protecting the public by setting standards for quality optometric health care.


Rules Committee Update

07/11/2018-Final Rulemaking Docket

03/05/2018-The final steps to Rule revisions includes the public posting of: 

The Minnesota Board of Optometry’s next board meeting is May 2, 2018. 

08/01/2017- The most recent edition of the Proposed Rules  and SONAR (Statement of Need and Reasonableness) are posted as a final copy by the review of the board at their July 12, 2017 meeting.  This is still considered a work in progress, as the Public Notice period will be placed in the state register for public comment. The board will consider all comments received. The next Minnesota Board of Optometry meeting is September 27, 2017.

04/19/2017-The most recent edition of the Proposed Rules are provided as a work in progress.  This is still considered draft state and the board works toward problem resolution before entering the multiple legal rule-making process.  The next Minnesota Board of Optometry meeting is July 12, 2017.

01/11/2017-Rules are the administrative legal procedures which provide greater clarity to Minnesota Statutes 148.52. The rules were last updated in 2008 and the board determined that a portion of the rules are outdated.  Current Optometry Rules are found in Chapter 6500.0100 - 6500.2900 on the website.  Minnesota requires multiple rule-making procedural steps to assure transparency and all steps take 12-15 months to complete. All public documents will be updated and posted on the website as completed.

Committee members were appointed in July by Chair Patrick O’Neill, OD and include; Don Sipola, O.D. (Virginia), John Muellerleile, O.D., (Owatonna), Ron Czerepak, Public Member (North St. Paul) and Jonathan Schorn, O.D., Lakeville, (non-board member representing the optometric provider).  Beth Coleman, fromthe Minnesota Optometric Association and Randy Snyder, Executive Director attend all of thepublic meetings.  All meetings are posted on the website.

The Committee is initiallyproposing changes to professional conduct, display and disclosure of license,prescriptions, record keeping, professional firms act, annual license renewal, paymentof fees, clinical practical examination, jurisprudence examination, emeritus registration, reinstatement of license and continuing education.  The detail ofthe proposed changes will be on the websiteand comments are welcome.

Potential Rule Change: Volunteer Programs and Continued Education:

One potential rule change is MinnesotaRule 6500.0950 and awardingof continuing education clock hours for volunteer service.  The primary missionof the Minnesota Board of Optometry is to promotethe health and safety of Minnesota residents whoreceive services from Optometrists.  A criticalpart of the board’s missionis to promote the continuing professional competence of Minnesotaoptometrists.

Several decades ago, members of the Minnesota Board of Optometry felt that itwas acceptable to rewardoptometrists for participating in volunteer programs that provided free eye care for people without the means or opportunities to receiveoptometric services. Recent boards have felt that these volunteer missions, however worthy, do not contribute to, nor do they support the board’s mission regarding public safety.

The Minnesota Board of Optometry has recently updated its statutes and is currently discussing this issue in the processof rules revision.Accordingly, if the newrules are promulgated, the board would no longer be awarding CE credit for licensee’s participation in volunteer programs that provide free eye care tounderserved people through the world.

During this transition, the board will allow 1-hour CE credit per volunteereye care event fortheir participation in organized volunteer programs helping underserved people through the world.

01/04/2017-The next Rules Committee Agenda will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 following the regular MBO board meeting.  Actions and recommended language revisions will be posted as soon as they are completed. 

10/24/2016-The Minnesota Board of Optometry reviewed Minnesota Rules Chapter 6500 on September 13, 2016 and again at the September 28, 2016 Board Meeting.  Following those two meetings, the board recommends proceeding with formal rulemaking or revising current rules over the next 9-15 month period.  All minutes and public information are posted on the website. 

The latest version of the proposed amendments covers all current board discussions.  The board accepts and will review all written comments.

Update from the Board:


Contact Lens Law:

04/19/2017-Two-year contact lens prescribing rule (Minnesota Statute 145.711)

A reminder to Optometrists who write contact lens prescriptions;  the Minnesota Contact Lens Prescription law applies to Optometrists and Physicians, and requires that a contact lens prescription be written with a two year expiration date unless there is a valid medical reason for a shorter expiration date. The medical reason must be documented in the patient’s chart and must be verbally communicated to the patient at the time the prescription is written. (The medical reason does not need to be written on the contact lens Rx card). The Federal Trade Commission allows a one year expiration, state law supersedes federal law when it is more restrictive.  The law was enacted by the 2002 Minnesota legislature and the board must enforce the current statute when complaints are presented.  

MS 145.712 Subd. 2 Requirements for Contact Lenses Prescriptions -- expiration date.  A prescription written by an optometrist or physician must expire two years after it is written, unless a different expiration date is warranted by the patient's ocular health. If the prescription is valid for less than two years, the optometrist or physician must note the medical reason for the prescription's expiration date in the patient's record and must orally explain to the patient at the time of the eye examination the reason for the prescription's expiration date.

Additional information from the Federal Trade Commission, the Contact Lens Rule, and “Complying with the Contact Lens Rule” is found on the website under FAQ’s.  advice/business-center/guidance/complying-contact-lens-rule

Criminal Background Check Effective September 1, 2017

The Minnesota Board of Optometry is statutorily required to complete a Federal and State Criminal Background Check prior to issuing your license. In Minnesota, a formal application to the Board will initiate this separate processing conducted by another agency, the Criminal Background Check Unit (CBC).   Initial results indicate this may add three to four weeks to complete the CBC and application to the license process.  Once you apply online or the paper application is received, the Criminal Background Check Unit will contact you with directions to complete the CBC.  The $32.00 fee is added to your application and there is no additional fee.   The Minnesota Board of Optometry will be informed of the results and move your application forward. 


Decorative Contact Lenses

The Minnesota Board of Optometry (MBO) joins with the US Food and Drug Administration to alert consumers of risks associated with Non-Prescription Decorative Contact Lenses Halloween inspired cosmetic contact lenses which can prove to be a health hazard.


Contact the board office with any questions you have. We will work to resolve any remaining questions. 

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