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Division of
Professional Regulation

Therapeutic Optometrist Licensure



When To Apply by Reciprocity

To be licensed by reciprocity, you must

  • hold a current optometry license in another jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia), and
  • have practiced at least five years in any single jurisdiction where you hold a current license.

If you do not meet both of the criteria above, you must complete a six-month internship before you can be licensed as a Therapeutic Optometrist.

IF you…

AND IF you have…

THEN you…

do not hold a current license in another jurisdiction

– –

must serve an internship.
hold a current license in another jurisdiction NOT practiced at least five years in any single jurisdiction where you hold a current license must serve an internship.
hold a current license in another jurisdiction practiced at least five years in any single jurisdiction where you hold a current license must apply by reciprocity.

When you apply by reciprocity, the Board will determine whether any jurisdiction where you hold a current license and where you have practiced at least five years has licensure standards that are substantially similar to Delaware’s standards.

Since Delaware issues only Therapeutic Optometrist licenses, the Board will evaluate both the basic licensure standards and standards of therapeutic practice of each jurisdiction. It is possible that the basic licensure standards are equivalent to those of Delaware, but the standards of therapeutic practice are not. If the Board determines that none of the jurisdictions has equivalent basic and therapeutic standards, you must re-apply by internship because you cannot be licensed by reciprocity.


Information on How to Apply for a License in DELPROS

All applications are submitted our online system DELPROS. We no longer accept paper applications.


PRIOR TO APPLYING

In order to apply for a license or submit a service request, you must first have a DELPROS user account. To LOG IN or CREATE a DELPROS (Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services) user account:

  1. Go to: https://delpros.delaware.gov/OH_HomePage.
  2. Click GO on the Apply/Manage a License and Service Requests tile.
  3. If you do not have a DELPROS user account, click the REGISTER button on the left side of page for NEW USERS.
  4. If you already have a DELPROS user account, enter your email address and password on the right side for EXISTING USERS and click the LOGIN button.

DELPROS allows you to save your incomplete application and return to it later to finish the process. You only have six (6) months to submit your application once you begin.

  • If you do not submit your application within six months of starting it, you will be required to restart the entire online application again.

You may check the status of your application online throughout the entire application process by using the “View Application Status” feature in DELPROS on your e-License dashboard.


KNOW YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND COLLECT YOUR DOCUMENTS

  1. Know the requirements for the license you are pursuing.
  2. Request and gather all documents required to upload on the Attachments page. All information and forms are located on your profession’s webpages.


ATTACHING AND ACKNOWLEDGING DOCUMENTS

On the ATTACHMENTS page of your application, you may be instructed to:

  • either “attach” or “upload” the required document(s) directly to your application. This means you will find the document(s) saved on your computer or device and upload it to your application.
  • click “acknowledge” . This means you will either mail the documents yourself or request the “third-party” to mail the document(s) directly to the Board office.
    • Examples of “third-party forms” are transcripts from schools, employment verifications from a supervisor, or license verifications from another state.
  • Forms requiring a supervisor signature, seal, or notary may have to be MAILED to the Board office directly UNLESS the document specifically indicates to UPLOAD the document.


Requirements for Reciprocity Applicants

In addition to submitting the application and fee in DELPROS, you must submit:

  • An official transcript from the college(s) of optometry where you received a degree, sent directly from the college to the Board office. The transcript must show that you have received a degree of “Doctor of Optometry” from a legally incorporated and accredited optometric college or school accredited by the American Optometric Association.
  • If you passed the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examination before 2007, have NBEO send an official report of your passing scores on Parts I – III and TMOD to the Board office.
  • Copies of or links to the current optometry license law and rules and regulations from each jurisdiction where you hold a current license and where you have practiced at least five years. The Board will compare Delaware’s basic licensure standards and standards of therapeutic practice to those of each jurisdiction.
    • Because you probably will not know at the time that you submit the application if the jurisdiction(s) where you hold a current license has licensure standards equivalent to those of Delaware, it is preferable that you obtain your rules and regulations in each jurisdiction where you hold a current license and have practiced at least five years.
  • Verification of your practice in any jurisdiction where you hold a current license and you have practiced at least five years.
    • The verification letters must come from persons in a position to know your practice history, such as employer, colleague or accountant.
  • A copy of front and back of your current cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for adults and children.
  • State/Jurisdiction Licensure Verification sent directly to the Board office from each state or jurisdiction in which you currently hold or have ever held a license.
  • A self-query from the National Practitioner Protection Data Bank (NPDB) website at npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov. NPDB will mail the self-query report to your address. When you receive the report, upload the original report into DELPROS.
  • State of Delaware and Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks (CBC). Follow the instructions on the Criminal History Record Check Authorization form to arrange to be fingerprinted. Submit the forms and payment to the State Bureau of Identification (SBI). Do not send these forms to the Board office.
    • Allow at least four weeks for the SBI to send criminal history records to the Board office.
    • A new criminal background check is required even if the person recently had a criminal background check done for some other reason.


Requirements for Applicants by Internship

When your internship period is complete, each supervising doctor must verify that you successfully completed your internship. Generally, the Board will review these verifications at the scheduled Board meetings closest to the end of your internship. This is to ensure that you receive your permanent license as soon as possible after your internship ends. For the schedule of Board meetings, see Public Meeting Calendar.

In addition to submitting the application and fee in DELPROS, you must submit:

  • A Verification of Completion of Internship form, from each supervising doctor verifying that you have successfully completed your internship.
    • If the internship end date falls after the closest Board meeting, the supervising doctor(s) should submit a preliminary Verification of Completion of Internship form for the Board’s review at its meeting and a second, final Verification of Internship form on or after the internship end date.
    • If the internship end date falls before the closest Board meeting, the supervising doctor(s) should submit the final Verification of Completion of Internship form before the meeting. In this situation, the Board office may extend the internship period to cover the days leading up to the meeting.

The Board will review the Verification(s) at its meeting. If you have successfully completed the internship and met all other requirements, the Board will approve your Therapeutic Optometrist licensure.


Prescriptive Authority and Controlled Substance Registration

Your licensure as a Therapeutic Optometrist authorizes you to use and prescribe specific pharmaceutical agents to diagnose and treat diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eye and adnexa. See 24 Del. C. §2101 (3) for the list of medications you are and are not authorized to prescribe/use.

To prescribe controlled substances, you must hold a controlled substance registration (CSR) in addition to your Therapeutic Optometrist license.

  • You may apply concurrently for your Therapeutic Optometrist license and CSR, or you may apply for the CSR later. If you apply for your Therapeutic Optometrist license and CSR at the same time, the CSR application will be processed after your Optometrist license is approved. See the instructions for CSR licensure.
  • When your Delaware CSR is approved, you must then submit a request for a federal DEA registration for Delaware. You must have both a Delaware CSR and DEA registration for Delaware before you prescribe controlled substances in Delaware.
  • Your prescriptive authority for controlled substances is limited to:
    • Schedule II controlled substances containing hydrocodone, up to a maximum 72-hour supply
    • Schedules III, IV, and V controlled substances up to a maximum 72-hour supply.
  • You are not permitted to store or dispense controlled substances.

 


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