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Chapter 420-5 LICENSES

Rule 420-5-.01 Application and Examination Requirements

(1) The optical dispensing practical examination shall be held a minimum of twice a year.
(2) Only complete applications submitted with the required fee and all attachments and documents will be accepted by the Board. Each application must be accompanied by the following attachments:
(a) A Secure and Verifiable Document and Affidavit of Citizenship as defined in Code Section 50-36-2;
(b) Copy of high school diploma or its equivalent as defined by the State Board of Education;
(c) If applying on the basis of education, the applicant must have satisfactorily completed an opticianry degree or diploma from a recognized school of ophthalmic dispensing approved by the Board as defined in 420-5-.01(d) below. An official college transcript and copy of diploma or degree indicating the graduation date must accompany the application.
(d) A recognized school of ophthalmic dispensing as referenced in OCGA 43-29-7(b)(4), is one which provides an ophthalmic dispensing program which shall include approved curriculum of opticianry courses leading to a diploma, degree or certificate that is approved by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Recognition may be granted to other opticianry educational programs by the Georgia State Board of Dispensing Opticians on a provisional basis pending application, acceptable quarterly reports on progress to the board. Failure to report acceptable progressive reports quarterly will result in withdrawal of recognition of the program by the Georgia State Board of Dispensing Opticians.
(e) Applicants applying on the basis of education and experience must submit a transcript and an affidavit that specifies total course clock hours completed from a program. The applicant must also furnish an affidavit of work hours engaged in ophthalmic dispensing activities approved by the Board while under the direct supervision of a Georgia licensed optician, a Georgia licensed physician or a Georgia licensed optometrist. The total combined number of hours must be a minimum of 3000 hours; and not less than two calendar years;
(f) Applicants applying on the basis of practical experience shall furnish an affidavit of work hours engaged in ophthalmic dispensing activities approved by the Board while under the direct supervision of a Georgia licensed optician, a Georgia licensed physician or a Georgia licensed optometrist. The total of hours must be a minimum of 3,000 hours and not less than two calendar years;
(g) Applicants applying on the basis of formal home study programs through the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program with the National Academy of Opticianry or other programs approved by the board must furnish an affidavit of having successfully completed the program.
(3) Subject matter of examination shall be related to ophthalmic dispensing.
(4) Prior to issuance of a license, applicant must submit current National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE or ABO Basic) and Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE or NCLE Basic) certifications in addition to certification of completion of the ABO Practical and NCLE Practical exams.

Rule 420-5-.02 Military Spouses and Transitioning Service Members Licensure by Endorsement

The Board will consider applications by Endorsement for military spouses and transitioning service members as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-1-34 (2017) subject to the following:

(a) As used in this rule, the following terms shall mean:
1. "Military" means the United States armed forces, including the National Guard.
2. "Military spouse" means a spouse of a service member or transitioning service member.
3. "Service member" means an active or reserve member of the armed forces, including the National Guard.
4. "Transitioning service member" means a member of the military on active duty status or on separation leave who is within 24 months of retirement or 12 months of separation.
(b) A military spouse or transitioning service member may qualify for a license by endorsement where the applicant:
1. Holds a license in good standing from another state for which the training, experience, and testing substantially meet or exceed the requirements to obtain a license as a Dispensing Optician in Georgia;
2. Has submitted to the Board a verification of licensure from the appropriate licensing agency of another state showing that the applicant's active license is in good standing in that state;
3. Has submitted documentation satisfactory to the Board which verifies the applicant's status as a military spouse or transitioning service member as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-1-34; and
4. Has submitted a completed application for licensure by endorsement on a form approved by the Board, has paid the required fee.
(c) Effective July 1, 2017, military spouses and transitioning service members may qualify for expedited processing of the license application by showing that the applicant is a military spouse or transitioning service member and that the applicant has paid the fee and meets the requirements for a license under the laws and rules for the type of license for which the applicant has applied.

Rule 420-5-.03 Revocations; Suspension

Any violation of the provisions of law governing Optical Dispensing or of any rules and regulations of the Board of Dispensing Opticians shall be cause for suspension or revocation of the license of the offender. Upon a verified complaint against any dispensing optician of such violation, the Board after careful investigation, may conduct a hearing to determine whether the license of such practitioner shall be suspended or revoked. At least fifteen days prior to holding such hearing written notice thereof shall be transmitted to the person charged by course of United States Registered Mail, with return receipt requested, addressed to him at the last known place of residence. The notice shall recite the nature of the charge, the act or acts of the practitioner complained of, the provision of law or the regulation of the Board charged to have been violated, and the day, hour, and place at which the hearing will be held. The person charged shall be afforded opportunity to be present in person and by counsel at such hearing, with such witnesses as he may desire to produce. The Board may summon witnesses to testify to facts pertinent to the inquiry. Proceedings at the hearing shall be recorded and transcribed, and the person charged shall be entitled to receive upon request a copy of such transcription. If the Board, upon consideration, shall determine that the person charged has been guilty of a violation of the provision of the statute or the rule of the Board specified in the notice, the Board shall suspend or revoke any certificate and any license which may be issued to such person, otherwise the complaint shall be dismissed. Upon such suspension or revocation the Board may in its discretion impose such terms and conditions as in its judgement shall be considered just. Any action taken as a result of such hearing shall have the concurrence of a majority of the Board. In addition, the provisions of the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act dealing with contested cases are applicable.

Rule 420-5-.04 Repealed