Classification of Licenses Policy


The Board recognizes the following categories of licensure:

ACTIVE LICENSE - The optometrist has been granted her initial license or has renewed her license at the last renewal cycle; such renewal requires that the optometrist have completed all required continuing education and have paid the appropriate renewal fee. This optometrist is eligible to engage in the practice of optometry in North Carolina.

INACTIVE LICENSE - The optometrist who no longer wishes to engage in the active practice of optometry in North Carolina may notify the Board of his intention to become inactive, pay his annual renewal fee for an inactive license, and complete an annual renewal application each year he remains inactive. The optometrist does not have to meet the continuing education requirement for active licensure during such period of inactivity.

LICENSE VOLUNTARILY RELINQUISHED - The optometrist’s license is placed into this category when she notifies the Board of her intention to cease practice and no longer wishes to maintain either an active or inactive license. The optometrist who wishes to advise the Board of her intent to voluntarily relinquish her license may do so in either of the following ways: (i) by mailing a signed request to the Board Office in Wallace, North Carolina indicating the effective date the optometrist will cease practice, and enclosing her registration certificate if still valid, or (ii) by checking the box on the Annual Renewal Application indicating that the optometrist will not be renewing her license for the upcoming calendar year.

LICENSE NOT RENEWED - The optometrist’s license is placed into this category by the Board on April 1 of the current calendar year when the optometrist fails to complete and return the annual license renewal application and pay the renewal fee(s) for such year. Further, in the event the optometrist continues to practice after April 1, the following provision of the Optometry Act (G.S. 90-118.10 Annual renewal of licenses) applies:

If such application accompanied by the renewal fee is not received by the Board before March 31 of each year, every person thereafter continuing to practice optometry without having applied for a certificate of renewal shall be guilty of the unauthorized practice of optometry and shall be subject to the penalties prescribed by G.S. 90-118.11.

REVOKED OR OTHERWISE DEPRIVED OF LICENSE – The grounds on which the Board may revoke a license are specified in North Carolina General Statutes section 90-121.2(a). A license voluntarily surrendered as a result of a consent order or other agreement with the Board or in lieu of or to terminate a Board investigation is also considered to be a “deprivation” of license for purposes of the application of G.S. 90-121.4.

Adopted 2/20/2018

See also the Board Policy on Reinstatement or Restoration of a License.