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Optometry is the diagnosis and treatment of disease, optical deficiencies and deformities, and visual and muscular irregularities as related to the human eye and adjacent tissue.

Optometrists are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system.

Licensing Requirements:

Any use of the title "optometrist" within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as an optometrist in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age; and
  • meet education and examination requirements.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 143, Section 7104 of New York's Education Law and Section 52.17 and Part 66 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

Education Requirements:

To satisfy the education requirement for licensure as an optometrist, you must present evidence of completing A, B and C below.

  1. Preprofessional Education
  2. Professional Education
  3. Additional Requirements:
    • Child Abuse Identification Reporting
    • Infection Control and Barrier Precautions

Examination Requirements:

To meet the examination requirement for licensure, you must pass Parts I, II, and III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) examination. Contact the NBEO for eligibility requirements, fees, and other examination information at:

National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
200 S. College Street, #1920
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 704-332-9565 or toll free 800-969-EXAM (3926)
Fax: 704-332-9568

Alternatively, if you passed Parts I and II of the NBEO examination and the Northeast Regional Clinical Optometric Assessment Testing Service (NERCOATS) examination, you meet the examination requirement for licensure.

If you are seeking certification in the use of Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPAs), you must pass the NBEO's Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases (TMOD) examination.

All score reports must be sent directly by the testing agency to the Office of the Professions. Student copies will not be accepted.

Fees (as of November 2, 2016)

The fee for licensure and first registration is $377.
The fee for certification in the administration of topical diagnostic pharmaceuticals is $60.

Licenses Issued and Active:

As of July 1, 2014, there were 3,361 currently registered licenses for this occupation.
In 2015, there were 140 licenses issued for this occupation.

As of July 1, 2016, there were 3,422 currently registered licenses for this occupation.

Licensing Authority:

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Optometry Unit
Education Building, 2nd Floor
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-3817 Ext. 250
Fax: (518) 402-5354

Standard Occupational Classification:

29-1041 - Optometrists
To learn more about this occupation search the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).

Additional Information:

American Optometric Association
Education Services
243 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
Phone: (800) 365-2219

New York State Optometric Association, Inc
119 Washington Avenue, 2nd floor
Albany, New York 12210
Phone: (518) 449-7300


Fees stated and other information contained in this report are subject to change. Please contact the licensing authority listed above for the most current information.

This page was last updated on 12/19/16.

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