Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Optometry License Application

This FAQ is intended to answer questions regarding obtaining licensure in California as an Optometrist. If you are seeking information about obtaining an Optician registration, visit Frequently Asked Questions - Opticians.

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 BreEZe, please contact the BreEZe Help Desk at (916) 557-1208 or with questions related to:

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

1. How do I begin my application for an Optometry license?

Please visit the BreEZe website and click on the "New Registration" link. Once that process is complete, apply for the "Optometrist - Initial Exam Request Application Part 1". This will allow you to take the California Laws and Regulations Exam (CLRE).

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

PSI sends exam information to the email listed on your application, not the email you signed up with BreEZe. If you have not received an email within seven business days, you likely did not include an email on your exam application. When there is no email listed, the exam information is mailed by PSI to the address of record listed on your application. Information on the Exam and the bulletin can be found here and on PSI’s website.

3. PSI is asking for a Candidate ID number. What is my number?

Your Candidate ID number is the same as your file number listed on your BreEZe account.

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

Once you have graduated, please go to the BreEZe website and complete your application called “Optometrist – Initial application for Licensure Part 2”. It can take a few days for the Board to received CLRE Exam results. If it has been seven days since you passed and you do not see part 2 on your BreEZe account, please contact the Board by emailing Do not submit Part 2 until you have not completed the requirements in question #6. If you submit your application early your application will not be processed until after you have graduated, and you will be added to the general queue with those who submitted after graduation.

5. I failed the Law Exam. What are my next steps?

If you have failed the Law Exam you will be eligible to take the exam again in 6 months. If you fail the exam a second time you will need to contact the Board to ask for reapproval and pay a new exam application fee.

6. 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 part 2 online application.
  • The Board requires official school transcripts. Transcripts are released after graduation and must list a confer date. The Board accepts electronic transmittals of your transcripts; however, transcripts must be sent from your school directly to
  • The Board requires a criminal history background check. After you have filled out your online BreEZe application, You will need to send an email to the Board asking for the LiveScan form. You will take this form to a Live Scan location in California 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 and Staff will send you fingerprint Hard Cards.
  • You are required to earn passing scores on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Exam. You must have passed parts 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. If you included your OE tracker number on your application the Board will also be able to locate your records.
  • A passport-style photo is NOT required for applicants. We are working on updating the application on BreEZe to remove this language.

7. I submitted Part 2 of my application. What do I need to do now and what is the status of my application? How long does it take?

Once you submit all the requirements for Part 2, as outlined in question 6, the Board will begin processing your application.

Please note there is a processing time for all applications. Current processing times can be viewed at Application Processing Times. During that time there is no update on the status of your application as it is pending review by the Licensing unit. Once your application is reviewed, you will be contacted if anything is missing. Otherwise, your application will be approved, and your license issued.

8. 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 #6, out of state applicants must obtain a Letter of Verification (LOV) from any state(s) from which you may have or had optometry licensure. When you contact the respective optometry board, their staff will help you request a LOV. Other states may submit LOVs by email at or by mail to 2450 Del Paso Rd, Suite 105, Sacramento, CA. 95834. Depending on the original state of licensure, CSBO may be able to verify your out of state license electronically.

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

Read this fact sheet for an explanation of the types of licenses California issues.

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

$279 ($275 to the State Board and $4 to the National Practitioner Data Bank) for Part 1 and $25-$134 for Part 2, depending on the certifications (DPA, TPA, TPL, TPG, TLG) and whether you pay for fingerprints within Part 2 or separately. All current fees can be found at Title 16 California Code of Regulations section 1524.

11. When can I start practicing Optometry?

Practice as an optometrist in California is allowed only when you possess a California-issued license or have authorization to practice in California pursuant to federal law. Graduation from optometry school does not authorize practice.

12. 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. You will need to contact NBEO to schedule the exam. Otherwise, applicants will only be able to be licensed as DPA. See this fact sheet for more information.

13. 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 such as the California Optometric Association and educational institutions may also be of assistance.

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

Once your application has been approved it can take up to 30 calendar days for your wall certificate and pocket certificate to arrive. The most common reason for this is that your address of record is incorrect in our system If you have not received your certificates within that time frame, please email an inquiry to

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

Once you have been licensed you can go to the BreEZe website and have it changed there.

16. I graduated from a non-accredited school/college of optometry in another country as an international graduate. How can I apply for the 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. You may also wish to contact the following accredited schools/colleges of optometry who may offer NBEO sponsorship and Advanced Standing International Programs:

  • New England College of Optometry
  • State University of New York College of Optometry
  • Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry

17. Applying for Licensure with a Conviction or Past Disciplinary Action?

Applicants with convictions or disciplinary action on a professional license need to go through some extra steps in the review process when they apply for a license or registration with the Board. This does not necessarily mean that they won’t get licensed or registered; many go on to either receive full licensure or registration or are granted a license or registration with certain probationary conditions to ensure public protection.

The reason for the review is that the Board is tasked with the protection of consumers in California. Therefore, the Board has the responsibility to make sure that all licensees and registrants are safe to practice. Find out more here CSBO Conviction or Past Disciplinary Action FAQ.

18. Name and Gender Change Notification and Request for Confidentiality (SB 372)

Effective January 1, 2024, under Business and Professions Code section 27.5, licensees may notify the licensing board or bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) of a name and/or gender change and request confidentiality of the previous name or gender information, when meeting certain specified requirements. For more information and to make a request, click here.