OPTOMETRY LAWS OF OKLAHOMASection 581. Practice of Optometry - Definition
59 O.S. 581-598
(Top of Page)
A) The practice of optometry is defined to be the science and art of examining the human eye and measurement of the powers of vision by the employment of any means, including the use or furnishing of any self-testing device, the use of any computerized or automatic refracting device, including applications designed to be used on a computer or video conferencing via an Internet device either in person or in remote locations, the use of pharmaceutical agents, the diagnosis of conditions of the human eye, and the correcting and relief of ocular abnormalities by means including but not limited to prescribing and adaptation of lenses, contact lenses, spectacles, eyeglasses, prisms and the employment of vision therapy or orthoptics for the aid thereof, low vision rehabilitation, laser surgery procedures, excluding retina, laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), and cosmetic lid surgery. The practice of optometry is further defined to be non-laser surgery procedures as authorized by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry, pursuant to rules promulgated under the Administrative Procedures Act.
B) The practice of optometry shall also include the prescribing of dangerous drugs and controlled dangerous substances for all schedules specified in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act except Schedules I and II but allowing for the prescribing of hydrocodone or hydrocodone-containing drugs regardless of schedule for a period not exceeding five (5) days of supply, and the issuance of refills for such prescriptions following sufficient physical examination of the patient for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment of ocular abnormalities. The practice of optometry shall include the dispensing of medications to treat ocular abnormalities and may include the dispensing of professional samples of medications to treat ocular abnormalities to patients.
C) The Scope of the delivery of care as defined in subsections A and B of this section to an individual who is physically located in this state at the time care is delivered shall constitute the practice of optometry.
D) Optometrists shall be certified by the Board of Examiners in Optometry prior to administering drugs, prescribing drugs, or performing laser or nonlaser surgery procedures.
E) Nothing in this title shall be construed as allowing any agency, board, or other entity of this state other than the Board of Examiners in Optometry to determine what constitutes the practice of optometry.
Section 582. Board of Examiners in Optometry - Continuance -Vacancies - Qualifications - Term of Members
(Top of Page)
There is hereby recreated, to continue until July 1, 2020, in accordance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Sunset Law, the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry. This Board shall consist of five (5) persons, four of whom shall possess sufficient knowledge of theoretical and practical optics to practice optometry, be duly licensed as optometrists, and who shall have been residents of this state actually engaged in the practice of optometry for at least five (5) years. The term of each licensed optometrist member of the Board, one being appointed each year, shall be five (5) years, or until a qualified successor is appointed. The lay member of the Board shall serve a term coterminous with that of the governor and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Governor is hereby authorized to appoint a member of the Board of Examiners in Optometry at the expiration of any term or whenever, for any reason, a vacancy may occur on said Board. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term only.
Section 583. Board of Examiners - Authority to Make Rules and Regulations - Organization - Quorum
(Top of Page)
Said Board of Examiners shall make such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws, as may be necessary to the performance of its duties, and each member thereof may administer oaths, or take testimony concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of the Board. It shall organize by selecting one of its members as president, one as vice-president, and one as secretary and treasurer (the latter to give bond, approved by the Governor), and shall meet at least twice a year, and at such place or places as it may select. A majority of the Board present shall constitute a quorum, and its meetings shall at all times be open to the public. The Board may adopt a code of ethics for the practice of Optometry. A licensed optometrist may establish a practice in not more than two office locations in accordance with rules and regulations established by the Board of Examiners in Optometry. Practice in a governmental institution shall not be counted as one of these locations. Each office shall be registered by the Board and shall maintain such equipment and personnel as required by the Board.
Section 584. Qualifications of Applicants - Examination - Registration - Certificates to Practice to Persons from other States
(Top of Page)
A. Every person desiring to commence the practice of optometry except as hereinafter provided, upon presentation of satisfactory evidence, verified by oath, that he is more than twenty-one (21) years of age and has met the undergraduate requirements and is a graduate of an accredited school of optometry, conferring the degree of Doctor of Optometry or its equivalent, shall, upon application, be examined by the Board of Examiners to determine his or her qualifications, and such examination shall be based upon the subjects taught in the standard schools and colleges of optometry, such as general and ocular pharmacology, anatomy of the eyes, use of the ophthalmoscope, retinoscope and the use of trial lenses, general anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry, biology, bacteriology, ocular pathology, ocular neurology, ocular myology, psychology, physiological optics, optometrical mechanics, clinical optometry, visual field charting and orthoptics, the general laws of optics and refraction, as is essential to the practice of optometry. Every candidate successfully passing such examination shall be registered by the Board as possessing the qualifications as required by Section 581 et seq. of this title and shall receive from the Board a certificate thereof. Every optometrist desiring to use dangerous drugs and controlled dangerous substances as specified in Section 581 of this title shall have satisfactorily completed courses in general and ocular pharmacology at an institution accredited by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation or the United States Department of Education. The Board of Examiners in Optometry shall approve such courses and shall certify those qualified by such training to use dangerous drugs and controlled dangerous substances as specified in Section 581 of this title. The use of any such pharmaceuticals by an optometrist or the obtaining of same by an optometrist shall be unlawful unless said optometrist is in possession of a current certificate as provided in this section. Such optometrist shall furnish evidence to any pharmacist or other supplier from whom such pharmaceuticals are sought as to his holding a current certificate. The Board may, in its discretion, issue said certificates to practice, to persons otherwise qualified under this act, who have established by legal proof their knowledge of optometry, as shown by previous examination in any state of the Union; provided, the examination in said state was, at the time taken, of an equal standard with that of this state; provided, further, that citizens of this state are by the statutes of said state, admitted to practice on like conditions.
B. Every person desiring to commence the practice of optometry shall be required to submit to a national criminal history record check, as defined in Section 150.9 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The costs associated with the national criminal history record check shall be paid by such person.
Section 585. Revocation of Certificate - Grounds - Unprofessional and Unethical Conduct, Definition of - Rules and Regulations - Practice Under Own Name - Notice of Hearing on Revocation - Reissuance of Revoked Certificate
(Top of Page)
A. The Board shall have the power to revoke or suspend any certificate granted by it pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, for fraud, conviction of crime, unprofessional and unethical conduct, alcohol or narcotic impairment, exorbitant charges, false representation of goods, gross incompetency, contagious disease, any violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or any violation of this chapter. The following acts shall be deemed by the Board as unprofessional and unethical conduct:
1. Employment by an Oklahoma-licensed optometrist of any person to solicit from house to house the sale of lenses, frames, spectacles, or optometric services or examinations; and
2. Selling, advertising or soliciting the sale of spectacles, eyeglasses, lenses, frames, mountings, eye examinations, or optometric services by house-to-house canvassing either in person or through solicitors; and
3. Acceptance of employment, either directly or indirectly, by an Oklahoma-licensed optometrist from an unlicensed optometrist or person engaged in any profession or business or owning or operating any profession or business to assist it, him, or them in practicing optometry in this state; provided that renting a separate area or room within or adjacent to a retail store pursuant to Section 944 of this title shall not be considered as direct or indirect employment, but any signage and advertisement of the optometric practice shall conform with section 943.1 of this title; and
4. Publishing or displaying, or knowingly causing or permitting to be published or displayed by newspaper, radio, television, window display, poster, sign, billboard, or any other advertising media any statement or advertisement of any price or fee offered or charged by an optometrist for any optometric services or materials including lenses, frames, eyeglasses, or spectacles or parts thereof, including statements or advertisements of discount, premium, or gifts, if the statements or advertisements are fraudulent, deceitful, misleading or in any manner whatsoever tend to create a misleading impression or are likely to mislead or deceive because in context the statements or advertisements make only a partial disclosure of relevant facts; and
5. No person shall practice optometry under any name other than the proper name of the person and it shall be the same name as used in the license issued by the Board of Examiners to the person; provided that renting a separate area or room and practicing optometry within or adjacent to a retail store pursuant to Section 944 of this Title shall not be considered a violation of this section. Before any certificate is revoked or suspended, the holder thereof shall be provided with notice and hearing as provided for in the Administrative Procedures Act, Sections 301 through 326 of Title 75 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The Board, after the expiration of the period of three (3) months after the date of the revocation, may entertain application for the reissuance of the revoked certificate and may reissue the certificate upon payment of a reinstatement fee not to exceed three times the annual renewal fee. The Board shall have the right to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to put into effect the provisions of this chapter. The rules may prescribe which acts are detrimental to the general public health or welfare and may prescribe a minimum standard of sanitation, hygiene, and professional surroundings, and which acts constitute unprofessional or unethical conduct. The conduct shall be grounds for revocation or suspension of the license or certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of Section 584 of this title.
B. If an out-of-state license or certificate of an optometrist who also holds an Oklahoma license or certificate is suspended or revoked for any reason, his Oklahoma license may come under review by the Board. Should the out-of-state suspension or revocation be on grounds the same or similar to grounds for suspension or revocation in Oklahoma, the Board, after notice and hearing pursuant to the provisions of this section, may suspend or revoke the certificate of the optometrist to practice in Oklahoma.
C. The following acts shall not be deemed by the Board as unprofessional and unethical conduct:
1. An optometrist practicing optometry within or adjacent to a retail store, regardless of whether the retail store derives income from the sale of prescription optical goods and materials; and
2. An optometrist renting a separate area or room within a retail store pursuant to Section 944 of this title to practice optometry.
Section 586. Certificates - Recordation - Exhibit of Certificates
(Top of Page)
Every person practicing Optometry shall display his certificate of registration or exemption in a conspicuous place, and whenever required exhibit such certificate to said Board of Examiners or its authorized representatives.
Section 587. Examinations-Fees-Compensation and Expenses - Optometry Board Revolving Fund
(Top of Page)
The fee for such examination shall be set by rules promulgated by the Board of Examiners in Optometry, not to be less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), and a yearly license fee set by rules promulgated by the Board of Examiners in Optometry, not to exceed Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), shall be paid each fiscal year by all persons holding a license to practice optometry in this state, and shall be paid not later than the 30th day of June of each year. In the event of default of payment of such license fee by any person, his or her certificate shall be revoked by the Board of Examiners who shall take such action only after notifying the person in default by registered mail and allowing that person fifteen (15) days in which to comply with this requirement. The Board shall be paid travel expenses as provided in the State Travel Reimbursement Act, Section 500.1 et seq. of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The secretary-treasurer shall receive compensation fixed by the Board, not to exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per month. All fees and charges collected by the secretary-treasurer of the Board shall be paid on the first day of each month into a revolving fund in the State Treasury to be designated as the "Optometry Board Revolving Fund". This fund shall consist of all moneys received by the Board of Optometry other than appropriated funds. The revolving fund shall be a continuing fund not subject to fiscal year limitations and shall be under the control and management of the Board of Optometry. Expenditures from this fund shall be made pursuant to the purposes of Sections 581 through 606 of this title and without legislative approval. Warrants for expenditures shall be drawn by the State Treasurer based on claims signed by an authorized employee or employees of the Board of Optometry and approved for payment by the Director of the Office and Enterprise Services.
Section 588. Practice by Unauthorized Person - False Personation - Evidence of Violations - Punishment
(Top of Page)
A. No person shall practice optometry in this state or make any tests or measurements of the human eye for diagnostic purposes unless said person has been issued a certificate pursuant to the provisions of Section 584 of this title or is a physician or surgeon authorized to practice medicine in this state. No person shall impersonate a registered optometrist. No person shall buy, sell or obtain in any manner a certificate of registration or exemption issued to another. Practicing or offering to practice optometry, or the public representation of being qualified to practice optometry, by any person not authorized to practice optometry shall be sufficient evidence of the violation of the provisions of Sections 581 through 604 of this title. No optometrist shall aid or abet any person not authorized to practice optometry in this state to practice optometry. Any person who violates any of the provisions of Sections 581 through 604 of this title shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction for each offense, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00), nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment in the county jail not less than thirty (30) days, nor more than ninety (90) days, or by both fine and imprisonment.
B. In addition to the criminal penalties prescribed above, any natural person, partnership, or business entity, found by a preponderance of the evidence to have practiced optometry within the State of Oklahoma without a currently valid license or certificate issued by the Board, or to have dispensed, supplied, fitted, adjusted, adapted, or in any manner applied contact lenses to the eyes of a person whether or not those contact lenses are designed to aid or correct human vision or have no prescription power or are cosmetic contact lenses, without a full contact lens prescription issued by a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 11, Chapter 13 or Chapter 14 of this title, shall, after notice and an opportunity to be heard pursuant to the Board’s rules and Article II of the Administrative Procedures Act, be liable for a civil administrative penalty of at least One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) but not more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) for each instance of unlicensed practice of optometry. This provision shall not apply to any duly-licensed physician authorized to practice medicine and/or surgery under the laws of the State of Oklahoma and any business entity authorized to practice medicine or optometry in the State of Oklahoma. Any administrative order or settlement agreement imposing a civil administrative penalty pursuant to this section may be enforced in the same manner as civil judgments in this state. The Board may file an application to enforce an administrative order or settlement agreement in the district court of Oklahoma County. Any person aggrieved by a final agency order of the Board may obtain judicial review in accordance with the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. All money received as civil administrative penalties shall be placed in the operational account of the Board.
C. Nothing in the provisions of Sections 581 through 604 of this title shall prohibit the performance of routine visual screening by a person not licensed to practice optometry in this state. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an optometry student officially enrolled in a college of optometry which is approved by the State Regents for Higher Education from performing educational functions within the institution or prohibit an instructor in such optometry college from practicing optometry so long as such practitioner is licensed in any state and his or her practice is limited to instruction of optometry students in an accredited Oklahoma college of optometry or state or federal hospital which is utilized as a teaching institution for students of optometry, provided such instructor has been issued a temporary license by the Oklahoma Board of Examiners in Optometry.
Section 589. Exceptions
(Top of Page)
Nothing in this act shall be construed to apply to duly licensed physicians authorized to practice medicine and/or surgery under the laws of the State of Oklahoma.
Section 591. Certificates of Registration.
(Top of Page)
The certificates of registration heretofore issued and not revoked by the Board of Examiners in Optometry prior to the passage and approval of this act, are hereby expressly declared valid and shall entitle the holder thereof to the legal right to practice optometry in the State of Oklahoma as defined herein.
Section 592. Effect of Invalid Sections.
(Top of Page)
Should any section or portion of a sections of this act, be, for any cause, adjudged invalid, only such section or portion of section shall be thereby affected.
Section 593. Public Policy.
(Top of Page)
It is the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that optometrists rendering visual care to its citizens shall practice in an ethical, professional manner; that their practices be free from any appearance of commercialism; that the visual welfare of the patient be the prime consideration at all times; and that optometrists shall not be associated with any nonprofessional person or persons in any manner which might degrade or reduce the quality of visual care received by the citizens of this state.
Section 595. Certain Agreements, Contracts, Understandings, etc. Prohibited.
(Top of Page)
No optometrist, licensed under Chapter 13 of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall enter into any agreement, contract, arrangement, practice, or understanding, written or otherwise, with any optical supplier engaged in the sale of optical goods and materials to the public, whereby persons are referred by the optical supplier to said licensed person, and/or whereby persons are referred back to the optical supplier for the purchase of optical goods and materials.
Section 597. Penalties.
(Top of Page)
Violation of the provisions of this act shall be a misdemeanor. If violation hereof is by a licensed optometrist the same shall constitute grounds for revocation of such license whether or not he may be also charged with a misdemeanor. The Board of Examiners in Optometry shall determine the existence of a violation of this act by an optometrist and shall proceed with revocation under powers granted to said Board and in accordance with procedure prescribed in Section 585 of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Said Board may make rules necessary for the enforcement of this act so long as such rules are not inconsistent with the provisions of this or any other law of this state.
Section 598. Provisions Cumulative.
(Top of Page)
The provisions of this act shall be cumulative to other laws.