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The Board of Examiners in Optometry was created in 1914. It is composed of five optometrist members and two consumer members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Board is mandated to regulate the practice of optometry in Maryland and to ensure the delivery of vision services by qualified optometrists. It is the responsibility of the Board to:

  • Credential and approve applicants for licensure
  • Participate in administration of national licensing examination
  • Certify optometrists to use diagnostic pharmaceutical agents and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in practice of optometry
  • Promulgate and adopt regulations to govern the practice of optometry in Maryland
  • Monitor continuing education programs
  • Investigate complaints against licensees concerning alleged violations of the law and conduct hearings concerning these violations
  • Discipline licensees found to be in violation of the law

Optometrists provide primary eye care to the majority of Maryland’s citizens. The Board serves the citizens of Maryland by ensuring that this vision care is provided by qualified practitioners. The Board cooperates with the Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division, the State’s Attorney throughout the State and other DHMH fiscal and data processing divisions in carrying out its responsibilities. The Consumer Protection Division handles complaints concerning opticians, optical companies and fee disputes because these are not within the Board’s jurisdiction. The State’s Attorney’s offices for various counties assist with the prosecution of unlicensed practitioners. The Board is a 100% special funded entity. Revenue collected from licensing fees covers the operation costs of the Board.


Important News Updates

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the online renewal system will open on April 21, 2014. The Board apologizes for any inconvenience. Thank you.



Pursuant to the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013, military veterans discharged within one (1) year of application for licensing or registration qualify for expedited processing of applications and review of equivalency requests for military training. The Board will expedite review and processing of applications of any military schools or courses submitted as qualifying equivalents for required educational licensing/registration educational standards. The Board extends these privileges to active duty military, including reservists called to active duty for training or deployment. These provisions also fully apply to spouses of active duty and qualifying veterans.
To further comply with the letter and spirit of the Act, veterans counseling assistance is available to qualifying veterans, active duty personnel, and spouses on application, licensing and credentialing issues. The Board Executive Director, Ruth Ann Arty serves as the Board liaison and counselor to any qualifying veteran, active duty service member, or dependant spouse who requires information, guidance or assistance on issues relating to licensing and registration. She may be reached via email at or by phone at 410-764-5994.
This Board stands ready to assist all qualified military veterans in any way possible to meet the Act’s provisions. Should any Act provisions be further amended (or as further information becomes available) information will be posted on this website.

Patricia G. Bennett, MSW
Executive Director


MVA Online Vision Certification Service

​This new service is now available and allows licensed optometrists the ability to create an account and submit their patient's eye exam results to the MVA electronically. Citizens 40+ benefit greatly from this new service because it allows them to renew their driver's license online after the eye exam results have been submitted to MVA. Not only does it make it easier for patients to renew their driver's license, there is no need for optometrists to fill out the MVA's paper form if they use the online system.

 Licensed optometrists can also review information on the MVA website here: and can register for an account by visiting​



Mission​ Statement: The mission of the Board is to protect the citizens of Maryland and to promote quality health care in the field of optometry by:

  1. Licensing optometrists;

  2. Receiving and resolving complaints from the public, courts, employers, insurance companies, and other licensees regarding optometrists who may have violated the optometry law (Annotated Code of Maryland, Health Occupations Article, Title 11) and its regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations 10.28; and

  3. Setting standards for the practice of optometry that reflect new and emergent developments in the practice of optometry through legislation and regulations.