Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the qualifications for a license?
For an Optician:
Show proof of high school graduation or GED certificate, successfully complete the South Carolina Practical Examination in Opticianry and successfully pass the American Board of Opticianry Examination (ABO), and meet one of the four following criteria to take the South Carolina Practical Examination in opticianry:
1. Complete a two-year South Carolina apprenticeship in opticianry or
2. Graduate from a two-year COA program in opticianry or
3. Document valid and current licensure in another licensing state or
4. Document at least two years employment as an optician in a state that does not license opticians.
For a Contact Lens Dispensing Optician:
Meet all qualifications for an optician, and successfully pass the National Contact Lens Examination (NCLE)
Q. When are examinations given?
The South Carolina Practical Examination in Opticianry is given twice a year in June and in December.
Q. How much does it cost to get a license?
The application fee to become a licensed optician is $100 and the S.C. Practical Examination fee is $295. The application fee for a contact lens dispensing license is $100. Applicants may contact the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners at 703-719-5800 for the national examination fees.
Q. What are the fee requirements for renewing my Optician's license?
Biennial renewal fees for instate Opticians are $200 for a licensed optician and an additional $100 for a licensed contact lens dispensing optician. Out of state or inactive renewal fees are $120 for an optician and $60 for a contact lens dispensing optician. License renewal fees are due by October 1 of odd numbered years. There is a $50.00 late fee if renewed during the month of November.
Q. What are the fee requirements for renewing my Apprentice Registration?
Annual renewal fees are $50 for an apprentice registration. Registration renewal fees are due by October 1 of EVERY year. There is a $50.00 late fee if renewed during the month of November.
Q. How do I renew my Optician's license?
Renewal notices are sent at least three (3) months prior to the license expiring to all licensees with instructions on how to renew online. You will be unable to renew your license prior to the renewal notices being mailed.
Q. How do I renew my Apprentice Registration?
Renewal notices are sent at least three (3) months prior to the registration expiring to all registered Apprentices with instructions on how to renew online. You will be unable to renew your registration prior to the renewal notice being mailed.
Q. What is the criteria for continuing education for renewal purposes?
For Opticians: Eight (8) hours of continuing education credit is due at renewal time by October 1st of odd numbered years from every licensed optician. Two (2) hours of the eight (8) may be in practice management. If the optician holds a contact lens license, an additional two (2) hours are required in contact lens work. This makes a total of ten (10) hours due October 1st of odd numbered years from contact lens dispensing opticians. All education hours must be ABO or NCLE approved.
For Apprentices: Four (4) hours of continuing education credit is due at renewal time by October 1st of every year from every registered Apprentice. All education hours must be ABO or NCLE approved.
Online continuing education courses will not be accepted by the Board.
Q. Does South Carolina share reciprocity with any other State in regards to licensure in Opticianry?
South Carolina does not share reciprocity with any other State in regards to licensure in Opticianry.
Q. What States require Opticians to be licensed?
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina