New Laws Affecting Optometrists

On January 1, 2013, Senate Bill 1215 went into effect. This Board of Optometry-sponsored bill created two retired license statuses, and updated Business and Professions Code section 3070 pertaining to the mandatory notification of addresses for the practice of optometry.
The new retired license statuses are currently not available.  That is because the regulation regarding the fee for the status has not yet been drafted or completed the regulatory process.  As a result, the Board of Optometry cannot presently issue these license statuses. The hope is that the fee will be set so that these licenses will be available soon.
However, the change in notification of addresses where practicing is in effect immediately.  The change was in regards to exemptions to certain practice locations.  The following practice locations are no longer exempt from notification:

    1. A facility licensed by the State Department of Public Health;
    2. A public institution, including, but not limited to, a school, a community college, and federal, state, and local penal and correctional facilities;
    3. A mobile unit that is operated by a governmental agency or by a nonprofit or charitable organization; and
    4. The home of a patient who is not ambulatory.

Furthermore, “Temporary Practice” is now defined. It is the practice of optometry at locations other than the optometrist’s principal place of practice for not more than five calendar days during a 30-day period, and not more than 36 days within a calendar year. This limitation shall apply to all practice locations where the licensed optometrist is engaging in temporary practice, not each practice location individually.
If the time period of the temporary practice needs to be extended for any reason, the licensed optometrist shall submit an application for a Statement of Licensure to the Board of Optometry pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 15 section 1506.