Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Optometry License Application

We are here to help you with the application process! Please contact the California State Board of Optometry at 916-575-7170 or email optometry@dca.ca.gov if you have any questions. If you are seeking information about obtaining an Optician registration, please click here.

The Board uses an online platform called BreEZe for all licensing applications, forms and account maintenance. For the following actions, please visit the BreEZE website:

  • Apply for Optometrist License
  • Fictitious Name Permit (FNP)
  • Statement of Licensure (SOL)
  • Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and Lacrimal Irrigation and Dilation Certification
  • Order New Certificate
  • Address Change
  • Name Change
  • Basic information changes

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the BreEZe, please contact the BreEZe Help Desk at (916) 557-1208 or BreEZe@dca.ca.gov with questions related to:

  • Registration
  • Password Resets
  • Account Unlocks
  • Linking licenses to your accounts
  • BreEZe Error Messages

1. How do I initially apply for an Optometry license?

Please visit the BreEZE website and click on “New Registration” link.

2. I applied for the California Laws and Regulations Exam (CLRE), but have not received any information. What should I do?

If you have not received an email within seven business days, you will likely need to update your contact information. Please contact the California State Board of Optometry.

3. I completed the CLRE; what are my next steps?

Please go to the BreEZE website and complete your application.

4. What are the requirements to obtain an Optometry License in California?

Optometry license requirements are set out in Business and Professions Code (BPC) §§ 3056 and 3057. As such, applicants must do the following:

  • First, you must earn a passing score on the CLRE. Do not submit any other items or documentation until this step has been completed. Once you have completed the CLRE—you must return to BreEZe and complete the online application.
  • The Board requires official school transcripts. Transcripts are released after graduation, and must list a confer date. The Board accepts electronic transmittal of your transcripts; however, transcripts must be sent from your school directly to optometry@dca.ca.gov.
  • The Board requires a criminal history background check. After you have filled out your online BreEZe application, a Live Scan form will be sent to you by email. You will take this form to a Live Scan location to have your fingerprints recorded electronically and sent to the California Department of Justice and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. If you are out of state, please email your updated address to optometry@dca.ca.gov.
  • You are required to earn passing scores on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Exam. You must have passed part I, II, III and TMOD for licensure. Please inform NBEO that you would like to have your records released to the California State Board of Optometry. NBEO Results are released after graduation.

5. I am a licensed Optometrist in another state. What must I do to obtain licensure in California?

In addition to completing the items listed above on question four, out of state applicants must do the following:

  • As per BPC §3059 and Title 16, CCR §1536, a total of 50 hours of continuing education (CE) courses must be completed prior to licensure approval. You may complete 20 hours of self-study online. Webinars are not accepted as “live hours”. Please submit your proof of Continuing Education certificates or ARBO transcript via email to optometry@dca.ca.gov. Or you may submit these by fax to 916-575-7292.
  • Obtain a Letter of Verification (LOV) from any/all state(s) from which you may have or had an optometry licensure. When you call the respective optometry board, their staff will help you request an LOV. Other states may submit LOVs by email at optometry@dca.ca.gov or postal service to 2450 Del Paso Rd, Suite 105, Sacramento, CA. 95834.

6. What kind of Optometry license types does California issue?

Please click here for an explanation of the types of licenses California issues.

7. How can I check my application status? How long does it take?

Please click here for application processing times; processing times start once we have received all items requested above. If you have not received contact from the processor, please call the Board at 916-575-7170 or email optometry@dca.ca.gov

8. How much does it cost to apply for licensure?

For a complete list of fees, please visit here. Please note: these fees are non-refundable.

9. When can I start practicing Optometry?

The Board does not issue temporary or “in-process” licenses. You must have met all the application requirements, be approved for licensure, and have received your license number to begin practice as an optometrists.

10. I am not licensed in another state and I did not pass the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD) portion of the NBEO. Without passing TMOD, can I become a licensed optometrist in California?

No. TMOD is required for all TPA and above license types in the state of California.

11. Am I required to have completed 5000 practice hours before applying for licensure?

No, you are not required to submit an accounting of practice hours.

12. Do you offer assistance obtaining insurance or setting up a practice?

No, but the California Secretary of State’s Small Business Portal may be useful. Professional associations and educational institutions may also be of assistance.

13. When will I get my wall certificate and pocket certificate?

Once you receive a congratulatory email from the Optometry Board, it takes up to 30 calendar days for your wall certificate and pocket certificate to arrive. If you have not received your certificates within that time frame, please email an inquiry to optometry@dca.ca.gov.

14. How do I change my address in the system?

Please go to the BreEZE website and have it changed there.

15. I graduated from a non-accredited school/college of optometry in another country as an international graduate. How can I apply for National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) sponsorship?

As a result of Assembly Bill 1708, effective January 1, 2018, the Board no longer provides NBEO sponsorships. Please contact NBEO for more information.