Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois Licensing 

Optometrists practicing in the state of Illinois must hold a current license. This license to practice is granted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Optometric Licensing and Review Board provides the department with expert knowledge and advice on disciplinary matters and professional performance and conduct. Every optometrist will complete a form prescribed by the Board and submit a renewal fee in order to receive his/her renewal certificate. Currently, the renewal must occur by the end of March of every even-numbered year.

Every practitioner of optometry shall post and keep conspicuously displayed his/her license certificate in the office wherein he/she practices. All practice locations must be registered with IDFPR using the Ancillary Location Registration form

Frequently Asked Questions-

General Licensing Questions:

Q: What are the CE requirements for the 2022-2024 licensing cycle?

A: 30 hours are required for renewal:

12 hours must be tested (TQ or CEE)

18 hours must be regular CE:

  • Of which, no more than 4 hours can be practice management 
  • A maximum of 4 hours per pre-renewal period for verified self-instruction or self-instruction by electronic means that is sponsored or co-sponsored by any approved optometry college, institution or national or State optometry association.
  • 1 hour of an in-person CPR course may be counted towards your regular hours. The course must be certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, an Illinois licensed hospital, an approved medical or optometric institution, or a licensed CE sponsor. CPR is no longer a requirement for license renewal.  

1 hour of sexual harassment CE must be taken by all licensed optometrists at each renewal.

1 hour of implicit bias awareness training must be taken by all licensed optometrists at each renewal.

1 hour of training on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias must be taken by all licensed optometrists who provide services to adult populations age 26 and older at each renewal.  

3 hours of safe opioid prescribing CE must be taken by all optometrists who hold a Controlled Substance license in order to renew the license.  

Sexual harassment training, implicit bias training, dementia training, and safe opioid prescribing may all count towards your 30 hours of required CE. 

First-time renewal applicants are exempt from CE requirements at the time of their first renewal. However, if the licensee holds a controlled substance license, they must comply with the 3-hour opioid CE requirement, even if this is the first renewal.  

Please note, these requirements may change before the 2024 renewal. The IOA will publish any changes to CE requirements in InSight, the IOA Journal, and through email communications.

Q: How much does it cost for a new grad to get their license?
A: $500 for a first-time applicant + $5 for the controlled substance license (not required)

Q: When do licenses expire?
A: In March of the renewal year (Current renewal is April 1, 2022-March 31, 2024)

Q: Do all ODs in Illinois renew at the same time?

Q: How many online CE courses are ODs in Illinois allowed to have per license renewal?
A: 4 out of 18 regular hours can be online CE in a typical CE period. The CE rules may change during the 2022-24 renewal period. IOA will send out Insider alerts as changes to the CE rules are made.

Q: Are ODs exempt from CE at the time of the first license renewal? 

A: Yes, ODs are exempt from the 30 hours of continuing education. However, if the license holder has a controlled substance license, then they must complete 3 hours on safe opioid prescribing in order to renew their controlled substance license. 

Q: Where do I renew my license?
A: Online, here:

For more information, please contact the IOA at 217-525-8012.

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