The Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians licenses: Individuals who test and fit hearing aids, and Individuals who fit and sell prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Licensing Fee Change For Hearing Aid Specialists

New fees

Important Exam Notices

Registered Apprenticeship Info

  • Applicants must read and understand Board Regulations. Application fees are not refundable. 

DPOR Boards only accept the most recent versions of the applications provided below. DPOR Boards are not responsible for processing delays associated with forms that do not conform to this requirement.

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Hearing Aid Specialists

  • Go to: Most Requested Forms (address change, criminal conviction reporting, certification request, etc.)
License Application Interactive Static
Universal License Recognition  Interactive Static
Training and Experience Form Interactive Static
Temporary Permit Application and Agreement Interactive Static
Reinstatement Application Interactive Static
Re-Examination Application Interactive Static



Examination and License Application
  • Note: Applicants must have completed either an approved training program or apprenticeship BEFORE applying to take the written or practical exam through the Board. 
Interactive Static
Universal License Recognition Interactive Static
Contact Lens Endorsement Application Interactive Static
Reinstatement Application Interactive Static
Voluntary Practice Registration Application Interactive Static
Sponsor Certification for Voluntary Practice Interactive Static


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Pending regulatory action (proposed changes, public hearings, etc.)

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The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

Visit the Town Hall:

Hearing Aid Specialists

  • NOTE: The Rules and Regulations portion of the exam will now be administered at PSI test centers.  Learn more here.
  • NOTE: Computer-based testing (CBT) now in effect for ILE written exam, administered by a vendor of IHS. Learn more here.
  • ALL applicants must obtain approval from the Board prior to taking the exam(s).
Exam Administrator                                     WRITTEN: IHS-ILE
PRACTICAL: DPOR Examinations
Frequency and Dates of Exam

Written, practical, and rules/regulations examinations each administered four times a year.

2024 Practical Exam 
February 7, 2024
May 8, 2024
August 7, 2024
November 6, 2024

2024 Written Exam and Rules/Regulations* 

February 1 - March 31, 2024
May 1 - June 30, 2024
August 1 - September 30, 2024
November 1 - December 31, 2024
*The written exam can be taken once in the 60-day window to be scheduled with IHS-ILE (learn more).  The Rules/Regulations exam can be taken once in the 60-day window with PSI.

Deadline for Application and Fees 

2024 Application Deadlines for Practical
December 27, 2023, for the February 7, 2024 test date
March 25, 2024, for the May 8, 2024 test date
June 26, 2024, for the August 7, 2024 test date
September 19, 2024, for the November 6, 2024 test date

2024 Application Deadlines for Written Exam and Rules/Regulations
December 27, 2023, for the February 1 - March 31, 2024 window
March 25, 2024, for the May 1 - June 30, 2024 window
June 26, 2024, for the Aug. 1 - Sept. 30, 2024 window
September 19, 2024, for the Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2024 window 

Application and Exam Fees   Application Fee
$125 (first-time applicants)

Exam Fees
Written: $225 (to be paid directly to IHS-ILE)
Practical: $90
Rules/Regulations: $35 (to be paid directly to PSI)

Re-Take Fees
Written: $225
Practical: $90
Rules/Regulations: $35 (to be paid directly to PSI)
Exam Locations 

Falls Church
Glen Allen
Virginia Beach

Dept. of Professional & Occupational Regulation
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
Rules and Regulations
Charlottesville, VA
Richmond, VA
Roanoke, VA
Vienna, VA
Virginia Beach, VA
Johnson City, TN
Salisbury, MD

Questions About Exam Scheduling or Registration?  Only applicants approved by the Board should contact the DPOR Examinations Section at (804) 367-8544 or
Other Questions? 



  • Important Notice Concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Prometric test center updates:
  • NOTE: Computer-based testing (CBT) is now in effect for both the written and practical exams. Learn more
  • Applicants must have completed either an approved training program or apprenticeship BEFORE applying to take the written or practical exam through the Board.  
  • Applicants must apply to the Board prior to registering to take either the written or practical exam, and cannot practice (or offer to practice) as an optician in the Commonwealth of Virginia until obtaining a Virginia license. 


Exam Administrator ABO/NCLE 
Frequency and Dates of Exam


*If this will be your first time taking the exam or your application has expired, you MUST apply with the Board PRIOR TO registering to take the exam.  

Exam Update: The ABO/NCLE written and practical exams will be offered on a continuous basis. The previous four times a year offerings will be replaced with continuous testing. Candidates will no longer have to wait to test and retest for the ABO/NCLE exam. If you have any questions please email

Deadline for Application and Fee 

Applications and fees are accepted on an ongoing basis. Please remember, if this is your first time taking the exam or your application has expired, you must apply with the Board prior to registering to take the exam.

Exam Fees  

Application Fee
$100 (first-time applicants)

Written: $175
Practical: $75
Re-exam: Written $175
Re-exam: Practical $75

Contact Lens
Written: $175
Practical: $75
Re-exam: Written $175
Re-exam: Practical $75

Exam Locations  Conducted at Prometric test centers.
Falls Church
Questions About Exam Scheduling or Registration? Only applicants approved by the Board should contact the DPOR Examinations Section at (804) 367-8544 or
Other Questions? 

View the ABO/NCLE Exam Handbook

To check on the status of your application, contact the Board's Licensing Section at (804) 367-8509 or



Optician Apprenticeship Standards

Approved Related Instruction Curriculum for Registered Apprenticeships


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Consumer Guides

How do I contact the Board office? Will I be able to speak directly with a Board member? 

You may reach us by phone at 804-367-8509 (Licensing Section) or 804-367-8590 (Board Office), by FAX at (866) 245-9693, or by e-mail at Additionally, if you have information that you would like to mail to the Board, please send it to:
Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233

The Board members do not work in the Board office. They come into the Board offices for Board meetings and hearings, but are not here on a daily basis. Board office staff members can answer your questions and are trained to process all information that comes into the Board office. Please do not contact Board members directly.

How do I get my license? 

Every applicant must submit a complete application and fee to the Board. You will also need to provide all of the supporting documentation requested on the application, such as diploma, training certificates, or criminal history reports (if applicable). After all of your materials are reviewed, eligible applicants will be contacted to schedule the required examinations. After you have passed the examinations, you will be issued a license. 

What if I have a criminal conviction?

A prior conviction does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a license; there are no “barrier crimes” that are an absolute prohibition to licensure. State law requires the Board to evaluate applicants with past convictions on a case-by-case basis to determine whether their criminal history is related to the profession. The Board must take into account the nine factors outlined in § 54.1-204.B of the Code of Virginia. Only the full Board, voting in public session at a regular meeting, can make the decision to deny an application for licensure.

If you have a criminal conviction, you must submit the Criminal Conviction Reporting Form, along with a state police criminal history report for every state where you have convictions. Once the Board receives this information, the Board may request additional documents from you pertaining to the conviction, and you may be required to attend an Informal Fact-Finding conference. Learn more here.

What is an Informal Fact-Finding Conference?

An Informal Fact-Finding Conference, or IFF, is a due process administrative proceeding required by state law, to allow the Board to obtain facts “on the record” about a specific matter. It is an opportunity for an applicant or licensee to present evidence and provide the Board with information relating to their case. If the IFF is required due to an applicant’s criminal convictions, the Board will be seeking information relating to the nine factors described in § 54.1-204.B of the Code of Virginia, to assist its deliberations about whether the criminal history is related to the profession and if a license should be issued.

The IFF will be conducted by a presiding officer (a Board member, former Board member, or Department staff person); a court reporter will be present to transcribe the proceedings; and you may bring any witnesses you wish. You may also submit additional documents, including letters of reference. The IFF conference is your opportunity to provide your input to the Board. You do not need to have an attorney (although it is certainly your right to be represented by counsel if you choose).

After the conference concludes, the presiding officer will make a recommendation to approve or deny the license application. This recommendation will be presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, along with all of your documents, and a copy of the transcript from the IFF conference. You will receive a copy of the recommendation prior to the Board meeting. At the Board meeting, when your case is called, you are allowed five minutes maximum to address the Board on whether you agree or disagree with the recommendation, and why. You cannot present new evidence or information at the Board meeting. The Board will then consider all of the information and vote to approve or deny your application.

Please note: The IFF process is lengthy and takes several months because it includes application review; drafting a referral memo; mailing the hearing notice and scheduling the IFF; conducting the IFF; writing the recommendation; and then waiting for the next scheduled Board meeting.

What optician schools are approved by Virginia?

In Virginia, the only approved school of opticianry is J. Sargeant Reynold Community College’s Opticianry Program. Schools located outside of Virginia must be accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and offer a two-year course in a school of opticianry.

May I use my license from another state to practice in Virginia?

No. State law prohibits any person from practicing as a Hearing Aid Specialist or Optician in Virginia without a license issued by the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.

If I have a license from another state, will I automatically get a Virginia license?

Hearing aid specialists and opticians licensed in another state still must complete the license application. On the application, you will have an opportunity to indicate that you are licensed in another state, and you may be exempted from taking all or part of the examinations.

I did not need to be licensed in another state where I worked for many years. May I take the exam based on my years of experience or training?

For Hearing Aid Specialists: It depends. Board regulation 18 VAC 80-20-30.3 describes specific areas of training and experience in which every applicant must document completion. Evidence can be academic transcripts, apprenticeship documents, or any other documentation demonstrating that you obtained the required training.

For Opticians: No. The only acceptable training or experience is completion of a two-year course in a school of opticianry accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation. Out-of-state experience or apprenticeships are not acceptable under the Board’s regulations.

I was trained in the military. Is my training acceptable?

Yes, training received in the military is acceptable. If your training is substantially equivalent to the Board’s requirements, you will be eligible for the examination. If your training is not substantially equivalent, then the portion of your training that is equivalent will be credited toward completion of the training requirements. You will need to submit your military-issued training documents along with your application.

May I apply for a temporary permit?

Hearing aid specialists may apply for a temporary permit solely for the purpose of gaining the necessary training and experience required for licensure.
There is no temporary permit for opticians.

My temporary permit expired; may I get it renewed? (hearing aid specialist only)

Hearing aid specialists are issued temporary, 12-month permits solely for the purpose of gaining the necessary training and experience required to become licensed. If you have not completed your training, you may request a one-time six-month extension to complete your training. If you have completed the training, you will not receive an extension. 

In the event you have suffered serious personal injury, military deployment, or death in the family and this event has delayed your completion of training, you may contact the Board to request a special circumstances extension.

I am a licensed Audiologist. Do I need to take the entire Hearing Aid Specialist exam?

Licensed Audiologists are exempt from certain portions of the hearing aid specialist exam. Please contact the Exams section at (804)367-8544 or to determine which section you will need to take.

How do I obtain licensure in another state?

Contact the state or jurisdiction in which you are seeking licensure. That state might request proof of your Virginia license, which you can request from the Board using the Certification Request Form.

I need a letter of certification quickly. If I come into the office in Richmond with the fee, can you process it the same day?

No. Although Board staff make every effort to send letters of certification out within five business days, our official turnaround time is 30 days. Certifications are processed in the order they are received.

I need to renew my license, but I haven't received my renewal form. What do I need to do?

Send in the renewal fee, make checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia, and include your license/certificate number on your check. Please complete a Name/Address Change Form if you have moved or changed your name. Mail this information to:
Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, VA 23233

You CANNOT continue to practice in Virginia after your license has expired.

My renewal payment was one day late and I have always paid on time. Can you waive the late fee?

No. The Board's regulations allow a 30-day grace period in which a license may be renewed without penalty (therefore, your payment is actually 31 days late). Staff cannot waive the fee. Board regulations state that if the requirements for renewal of a license, including receipt of the fee by the board, are not complete within 30 days of the expiration date, a reinstatement fee is required.

I did not renew on time because I didn't receive my renewal card. Do I still have to pay a late fee or reinstate my license?

Yes. Board regulations state that failure to receive the renewal notice does not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew.

Does the Board office use the date of receipt or the postmark date to determine whether an application or renewal was received on time?

The date the application or renewal was received in the agency determines whether it is on time, not the postmark date. If the renewal fee is received after the due date, you will be required to pay the reinstatement fee. If the reinstatement fee is received after the due date, you will be required to reapply for licensure, meeting all current requirements.

My address and/or name has changed. What do I need to do to notify the Board?

Many Boards allow you to update your ADDRESS using Online Services, so login to your personal profile to see if this is an option for your license type. The alternative is to complete, print, sign, and submit an Address Change Form to the Board office by mail. Unless updated online, all Address Change Forms must be received by the Board in writing. When providing a post office box as the mailing address, it must be accompanied by the physical address.

To report a NAME CHANGE: complete, print, sign, and submit a Name Change Form to the Board office. All name changes must be received by the Board in writing. Individual name change requests must be accompanied by a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, or other official documentation that verifies the name change.

Do you accept scanned applications and supplemental documentation by e-mail?

Yes, we strive to make the application process as fast and convenient as possible. You may scan the application or document into a PDF (not password-protected) or take a clear photo in JPG or GIF format and e-mail to 

Make sure that the scans or photos are high quality and easy to read. We cannot accept scans or photos of poor quality that are are crooked, blurry, cut off, shadowed, etc. The resolution must be good enough to show clearly all text, images, markings, and seals visible on the original paper document. Essentially, when printed, the image must look like a photocopy of the original application or document.

Remember to include all pages of multi-page documents and both sides of double-sided documents. If a scanned document is not acceptable, we will request a new, higher quality image or ask you to send it to us in a different way (such as by fax or regular mail).

Board Roster

Board Executive Director

Kelley Smith

Licensing Operations Administrator

Wendy Duncan

Regulatory Operations Administrator

Tamika Rodriguez

Member Roster

Board Member Roster

Darla All

  • Optician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024


  • Citizen Member


  • Optician Member

Michael Armstrong, M.D.

  • Otolaryngologist Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2025

Stacey Brayboy

  • Citizen Member
  • Unexpired term ends June 30, 2025

Pamela S. Chavis, M.D.

  • Ophthalmologist Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Desire'e Lewis-Nelson

  • Optician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2027

Kristina F. Green | Board Chair

  • Optician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Erik S. Meland

  • Optician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Debra Ogilvie, AuD | Board Vice-Chair

  • Hearing Aid Specialist Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2022

Pamela Sue Smith

  • Hearing Aid Specialist Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Laura Lee Thompson

  • Citizen Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Bruce Wagner

  • Hearing Aid Specialist Member
  • Second four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Kaytlyn Young

  • Optician Member
  • First four-year term ends June 30, 2024

Board members are appointed by the Governor. To learn more about the gubernatorial appointment process, visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website. 

Military and Veterans Services

DPOR stands ready to assist veterans and active-duty military personnel as they maintain or transition to civilian careers requiring professional credentials.

Active-duty military personnel and their spouses having served outside the U.S., as well as certain diplomatic service members and veterans, may be eligible to receive up to a five-year extension for meeting license renewal requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-117 of the Code of Virginia).

Spouses of active-duty military personnel assigned to a duty station in Virginia are eligible for expedited processing using the Military Spouse Expedited License Application (Interactive | Static). A temporary, non-renewable 12-month license for certain military spouses licensed in another state who need more time to meet Virginia-specific requirements is also an option if necessary. [Section 54.1-119

  • Military spouses also can get help covering the costs of transferring their professional licenses or certifications when they experience a permanent-change-of-station move with their service member spouse

For honorably discharged veterans, “substantially equivalent” military training, education, or experience may be credited toward certain license requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-118). The Virginia Department of Veteran Services does not reimburse for exam costs. However, Veterans can be reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The link for the information is here:

(Please check back periodically as we modify transactions in the future.)

Address change

ALL license types

  • Except temporary permits


Renew a license

ALL license types

  • Except temporary permits


Go to Online Services