Sub-Chapter 1: General Provisions
§ 2651. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Director" means the director of the office of professional regulation.
(2) "Optician" is a person who is qualified and licensed under this chapter to interpret and fill prescriptions of ophthalmologists or optometrists for ophthalmic lenses or repair and reproduce previously prepared ophthalmic lenses and frames, prepare and deliver work orders to technicians engaged in grinding lenses and fabricate eyewear, verify the accuracy of ophthalmic lenses, and adjust and disperse lenses, specially fabricated optical devices, frames, and appurtenances.
(3) "Optometrist" means a person licensed under chapter 30 of of this title.
(4) "Ophthalmologist" means a licensed physician who has had special training in the field of ophthalmology.
(5) "Registered optician trainee" means a person registered as an optician trainee under this chapter. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2005, No. 27, § 74; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 24.)
§ 2652. Prohibitions
(a) No person may engage in practice as an optician, or use any initials, letters, wording, abbreviations, or insignia used by an optician unless he or she is licensed under this chapter.
(b) A person may not seek or obtain a license or renewal by means of false or fraudulent actions or representations. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)
§ 2653. Exemptions
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit:
(1) Persons, firms, corporations, or others from supplying ophthalmic materials and supplies directly to licensed physicians, licensed optometrists, or opticians;
(2) The sales of magnifying glasses, goggles, nonprescription spectacles, sunglasses, telescopes, binoculars, or similar articles, when sold as merchandise at a regular established place of business;
(3) Any person, firm, or corporation from employing or otherwise engaging the services of one or more opticians;
(4) Any optician from practicing his o her occupation when the person, firm or corporation conducts his or her or its business in a permanently established place and in a manner which is in keeping with the limitations imposed upon individual opticians under this chapter;
(5) The employment of a person who only performs mechanical work upon inert matter in an optical office, laboratory, or shop. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)
§ 2654. Penalties
Any person who violates a provision of section 2652 of this title shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127(c). (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2007, No. 29, § 37.)
Sub-Chapter 2: Administration
§ 2661. Director; duties
(a) The director shall:
(1) provide general information to applicants for licensure as opticians;
(2) explain appeal procedures to opticians and applicants and complaint procedures to the public;
(3) administer fees established by law;
(4) receive applications for licensure, issue licenses, to applicants qualified under this chapter, deny or renew licenses and issue, revoke, suspend, condition, and reinstate licenses as ordered by an administrative law officer;
(5) refer complaints and disciplinary matters to an administrative law officer.
(b) The director may, after consultation with the advisor appointees, adopt rules necessary to perform the director's duties under this chapter. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 26, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 27, § 75; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 25.)
§ 2662. Advisor appointees
(a) The secretary of state shall appoint two licensed opticians as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129b. One of the initial appointments may be for less than a five-year term. Appointees shall have not less than three years' experience as an optician immediately preceding appointment and shall be actively engaged in optician practice in Vermont during incumbency.
(b) The director shall seek the advice of the optician advisors in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. Advisor appointees shall be entitled to compensation and necessary expenses in the amount provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010 for attendance at any meeting called by the director for this purpose. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 26.)
§§ 2663Repealed. 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 54.
§ 2664. Repealed. 2005, No. 27, § 117(1).
§ 2665. Powers and duties of the director
(a) The director shall:
(1) Promulgate only those rules and regulations necessary for the full and efficient performance of its duties;
(2) Conduct examinations and pass upon the qualifications of applicants for reciprocal registration;
(3) Establish standards of education required of applicants for licensing and establish, by appropriate rules and regulations, the minimum standards for any school presenting a course for present or future opticians;
(4) Conduct any necessary hearings in connection with the issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a license;
(6) Adopt rules establishing continuing education requirements and approve continuing education programs to assist a licensee in meeting these requirements.
(b) The director shall not:
(1) Adopt any rules or regulations prohibiting lawful advertising, the display of ophthalmic materials or merchandise, or limiting the place or location where opticians may practice; or
(2) Promulgate any rules and regulations specifically designed to limit the number of opticians in this state. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1983, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 27, § 117; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 27.)
§ 2666. Repealed. 2005, No. 27, § 117(1).
Sub-Chapter 3: Licenses
§ 2671. Applications
Any person who desires to practice as an optician shall file a written application for a license and the application fee with the office on forms provided by the office. An applicant shall submit satisfactory proof that he or she meets the qualifications under section 2672 of this title. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 60; amended 2005, No. 27, § 77.)
§ 2672. Qualifications
No person may be examined or licensed under this chapter, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, unless the applicant has attained the age of majority and possesses the following qualifications:
(1) Has obtained a high school education or its equivalent and has completed at least a two-year course of study in a school of ophthalmic dispensing approved by the board or a school which is a candidate for accreditation by an accreditation agency approved by the United States Department of Education and by the director; or
(2) Has completed three years of practical training and experience, approved by the director, under the supervision of a licensed optician, ophthalmologist, or optometrist. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2005, No. 27, § 78; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 28.)
§ 2673. Examination; licenses
(a) Examinations for licenses shall be conducted at least once each year and shall be devised in form and substance to evaluate fairly the applicant's qualifications to practice as a licensed optician. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, ophthalmic materials, laboratory, practical and physiological optics, prescription interpretation, dispensing preparation, adjustment of lenses, spectacles, eyeglasses, prisms, tinted lenses, and appurtenances, the use of lensometers or equivalent instruments, adjusting instruments, and pupillary and facial measurements.
(b) Any applicant passing the examination and meeting the requirements established by the director shall be issued a license under this chapter. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1975, No. 111, § 2; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 29.)
§ 2674. Optician trainee; registration
(a) Any person entering into employment for the purpose of obtaining practical experience and skill as a licensed optician shall register as an optician trainee with the office within 60 days of entering the employment. The computation of any period of training shall commence at the date of the registration.
(b) The application for registration shall be certified by the employer and by the applicant and accompanied by an application fee. The office may issue to the applicant an optician trainee's certificate. Every registered optician trainee who continues to act as an optician trainee shall, biennially, renew his or her optician trainee's certificate of registration by paying a renewal fee.
(c) No optician may have more than two optician trainees under his or her supervision during any given period of time, nor shall any establishment employ more than two optician trainees for every full-time optician in its employment. An optician trainee must be under direct personal supervision of an optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist. A supervisor shall provide direct personal supervision of an optician trainee, while the optician trainee is working, by being physically present for consultation or intervention on the premises where the trainee is working. Merely being available at another optical facility for consultation does not constitute direct personal supervision. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 61; 1993, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2005, No. 27, § 79; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 30.)
§ 2675. Examinations not required
Licenses shall be issued without examination on application and upon payment of the required fee to an applicant who is an optician currently licensed in another state, territory, country, or province provided the requirements for the regulation or licensing of opticians in the other state, territory, country, or province are substantially equal to the requirements in force in this state. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1975, No. 111, § 3; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 62; 1993, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 2676. License; renewal; reinstatement
(a) A license issued under this chapter shall be valid for a period of two years. A person may renew the license biennially by payment of the renewal fee to the office.
(b) Any person whose license expired, provided the period of expiration has been less than five years, may reinstate that license by paying the renewal fee plus the late renewal penalty.
(c) Licenses which have lapsed for more than five years may be reinstated by:
(1) demonstrating more than 1,000 hours' licensed practice in another state over the preceding two years; or
(2) successfully completing the national licensing examination within one year prior to applying for reinstatement; and
(3) paying of the renewal fee and late renewal penalty. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1975, No. 111, § 4; 1983, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1989, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), § 63; 2005, No. 27, § 80; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 31; 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 29.)
§ 2677. Revocation; suspension and refusing of renewal of license
The director may, in his or her discretion, refuse to issue, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license when the applicant or licensee engages in any of the following conduct or the conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a:
(1) Is guilty, upon the finding of a court of competent jurisdiction, of violating the provisions of this chapter;
(2) Is incompetent to practice, by reason of addiction to alcohol, narcotics, or other habit-forming drugs;
(3) Is guilty of fraud or deceit in practice as an optician;
(4) Violates, induces others to violate, or cooperates with others in violating any of the rules and regulations of the profession;
(5) Advertises in any manner that would tend to deceive or mislead the public, or engages in any form of house-to-house canvassing or soliciting for the sale of eyeglasses or other ophthalmic materials or services;
(6) Participates in the division, assignment, rebate, or refund of fees or parts thereof in connection referrals from the prescriber; or
(7) Originates, issues, alters, or changes in any way any optical prescription, or practices ocular refraction, orthoptics, or visual training, or offers to do so. (Added 1973, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 48; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)
§§ 2678, 2679. Repealed. 2005, No. 27, § 117(1).
§ 2680. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(2), eff. June 30, 1997.
§ 2681. Repealed. 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 54.