Military / Full-Time Federal Service
License Registration / Renewal Instructions
During the period that a doctor is serving in the military or directly employed full-time by the federal government, the doctor may register his or her out-of-state license with the Board. The registration is not an unrestricted license to practice optometry. If the military or federal government employer requires a full unrestricted license, the doctor is required to apply for a Texas license. An unrestricted license is also required if the doctor practices outside the military or federal government employment in Texas.
Doctors serving in the military or directly employed by the federal government are exempt from penalties when the doctor renews his or her license in order to enter private practice. See Section 351.307 of the Optometry Act.
Registration of Out-of-State Licensee Without Fee
You may register without paying a fee if you are currently:
- active duty with United States military,
- active duty with U.S. Public Health Service, or
- full-time federal service
- you do not practice outside the military or federal employment in Texas
To register your out-of-state license without paying the fee, first send an e-mail to allow Board staff to configure the database. You will receive a return e-mail notifying you when you can register on-line through the regular renewal process. This is not a full unrestricted license renewal.
Please include your out-of-state license number, your first and last name, name of employer, and statement that you are exempt from fee in your e-mail request.
Click here to send e-mail.
A renewal fee is required if:
- you practice outside the military or federal installation in Texas, or
- your employer requires you to be actively licensed and pay the renewal fee
To renew and pay the license fee:
- Military: send an e-mail to allow Board staff to configure the database. You will receive a return e-mail notifying you that you can renew on-line through the regular renew process..
- Federal Employee: use the regular renewal process if you practice in Texas outside of that employment: Instruction Page If you do not work outside of your employment but your employer requires you to pay a fee, send an e-mail to allow Board staff to configure the database. You will receive a return e-mail notifying you when you can renew on-line through the regular renew process..
E-mail: Please include your license number, your first and last name, name of employer, and statement that you are required to pay a fee in your e-mail request.
Click here to send e-mail.
Separation from Federal Service
If you separate from federal service and have not paid a renewal fee, you must pay the active renewal fee (and a fee for a new certificate) before you may start practicing. If you were not in the regular armed forces, you will also need to submit 16 hours of approved continuing education before you begin practicing. If you served in the regular armed forces within the 12 months preceding the date you wish to begin practicing, you are exempt from the continuing education requirements at that time.
If you have any questions regarding your federal service, please e-mail, write, or telephone the Board. Texas Optometry Board, 1801 Congress Avenue, Suite 9-300, Austin, Texas, 78701, 512/305-8500.