Licensing Information

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License renewals | Frequently asked questions

Dispensing optician

Apply online

The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.

For further information please see:

Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.

You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.

If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.

There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:

If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff at 360-236-4700.

Getting started

Online Application Instructions

See the online application video.

Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.

Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.

Apply on paper

Application Packets

Forms

Dispensing Optician Apprentice

Important Information About Dispensing Optician Apprenticeship Registration

May I work as an apprentice without being registered?

No. You must be registered with the secretary of the Department of Health before you can work as an apprentice dispensing optician.

Who can be a supervisor?

A primary supervisor can be a licensed optician, optometrist or physician who registered as your supervisor with the Department of Health. Your primary supervisor is responsible for your work, and must provide a majority of your training and supervision.

What if my supervisor in not available to supervise me all of the time?

If your primary supervisor is not available to provide supervision for you where you work, you may be supervised by another qualified supervisor. No supervisor may have more than two apprentices under their direct supervision at any one time.

What do I do if the supervisor leaves?

If your primary supervisor is no longer able to act as your primary supervisor for any reason, you may not continue to work. You must submit an application to the Department of Health to be registered under a different primary supervisor. The secretary of health must approve the application before you begin your work as an apprentice under the new primary supervisor.

What should my supervisor do?

When the supervisor will no longer act as your primary supervisor, he or she must send a training certificate to the Department of Health. The training certificate must show the beginning and ending dates that you were under that person's supervision and give the number of apprenticeship hours you completed during that time. To be removed from your supervisor's license, he or she must select the box to remove an apprentice from his or her license.

How many apprenticeship hours are required?

To be eligible for dispensing optician licensure, an apprentice must complete at least 6,000 hours of certified apprenticeship training in no less than three years, but no more than six years.

How long does the apprenticeship last?

The apprentice is registered for six calendar years. The six-year period continues whether or not a person is actively engaged in the practice of an apprentice dispensing optician.

Apply online

The Washington State Department of Health requires that only the applicant or licensee may complete an attestation for an application, or for continuing education. This is a legal attestation. Completion of the attestation by anyone other than the applicant may constitute a reportable felony offense. The Department of Health can take action against people for perjury or for making a false statement they know to be false.

For further information please see:

See the online application video.

Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through SecureAccess Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.

Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork

If you have questions, contact our Customer Service staff at 360-236-4700.

Getting started

Online Application Instructions

Washington State law authorizes the Department of Health to obtain fingerprint-based background checks for licensing purposes. This check may be through the Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We may require this if you have lived in another state or if you have a criminal record in Washington State. This would be at your own expense.

You must pay the application fee at the time you apply. You may use a credit or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo, or pay by ACH/E-Check. Please make sure your address on the payment information screen matches the address your financial institution has on file for you. This fee is non-refundable. There is a convenience fee to apply online.

If we need additional documentation, we'll notify you by email.

There are additional items you may need, in addition to your application:

Apply on paper

Application Packet

Forms

Fee Schedule

See fee information below
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount
Original license application $100
Active license renewal $125
Late renewal penalty $65
Retired active renewal $50
Late renewal penalty $25
Expired license reissuance $65
Apprentice registration $75
Duplicate license $10
Verification of license $25
Endorsement application $100
Inactive license $35

WAC 246-12-340 – Refund of fees

Fees submitted with applications for initial credentialing, renewal, and other fees associated with the licensing and regulation of the profession are non-refundable.

Examination

See examination information below

Effective March 15, 2018, the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) national competency and practical basic examinations became Washington State's examination requirement for dispensing optician licensure.

Washington State Department of Health no longer administers the state's dispensing optician examination. Changes to the exam don't affect Washington State licensing requirements under WAC 246-824-040.

If you passed the basic or advanced ABO exam, the ABO practical, the basic or advanced NCLE exam and/or the NCLE practical on or after June 1, 2015, you don't need to retake any of the exams you passed on or after that date. You're eligible to be licensed in Washington if you also meet all other licensing requirements. If you took any of these exams before June 1, 2015, you'll need to retake those examinations taken before that date.

These changes don't affect current license holders and people who have already passed all sections of the state examinations.

Registration information for the ABO and NCLE exams, including test sites, exam schedule, deadlines, study guides, and practice exams is on the ABO-NCLE website.

If you have questions, email our Customer Service Center or call 360-236-4700.

Licensing Requirements

Dispensing Optician

To be eligible for licensure, applicants must be 18 years or more of age, and have graduated from an accredited high school or received a general education development (GED) diploma. We must receive an official transcript, with degree and date posted, directly from the applicant's program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation. Applicants must have completed either an apprenticeship program in this state or have five years of out-of-state experience, or have completed a prescribed course in opticianry approved by the secretary of health. We must receive a training certificate completed by a supervisor, a certificate of experience completed by employers, or a transcript from the institution with degree posted.

The applicant must have successfully passed one of the following examinations: the state-administered examination offered on or before August 1, 2017; or on or after June 1, 2015, the basic competency examination, basic contact lens examination, and the practical examinations from the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE). Applicants may also fulfill this requirement by successfully passing the ABO-NCLE advanced competency examination, advanced contact lens examination, and the practical examinations on or after June 1, 2015.

State license verification

Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form (PDF). The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.

Personal data questions

Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If the case is pending, applicant must indicate status.

Process for approving/denying applications

We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.34 RCW and chapter 246-824 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.

Renewal requirements

Dispensing opticians must renew their license annually on or before their birthday. Thirty hours of continuing education is due every three years. At least 15 of those hours must pertain to contact lenses.

Continuing education requirements

Dispensing opticians whose three-year continuing education reporting cycle begins on or after June 1, 2015, must complete 30 hours of continuing education every three years. Of the 30 hours, a minimum of five hours must be completed in each of the three years, and at least 15 of the hours must pertain to contact lenses.

Dispensing Optician Apprentice

Registration of an apprentice must be requested by a physician licensed under chapter 18.57 or chapter 18.71 RCW, an optometrist licensed under chapter 18.53 RCW, or a dispensing optician licensed under chapter 18.34 RCW. Application for registration is required.

State license verification

Applicants must list all states where they do or did hold credentials. This list must also include when the applicant has applied for a credential, even if a credential was not granted. The jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed must complete and submit the verification form (PDF). The jurisdiction must send the completed form directly to the department.

Personal data questions

Each applicant must answer the personal data questions. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If a case is pending, applicant must indicate status.

Process for approving/denying applications

We finish final review for approval after a credentialing specialist verifies that the application is fully complete, and complies with requirements in chapter 18.34 RCW and chapter 246-824 WAC. We complete background checks and make sure applicants have submitted required fees. Credentialing supervisors and lead workers have the authority to approve routine applications. The disciplining authority may conduct further review if the credentialing supervisor can't verify the applicant meets all requirements. We'll formally notify applicants of a denial. Those applicants may request a hearing to appeal the decision.

Renewal requirements

Dispensing opticians apprentice registration is valid for six years from the first registration date.

 

 

 

 

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