Submitting a License Application via the ePLACE Portal - Dispensing Opticians

General Instructions

Please follow the instructions on this page to apply for a Dispensing Optician license issued by the Division of Professional Licensure’s (DPL) Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians. Prior to beginning your application, please review the information below.

Creation of an ePLACE Account

In order to apply for your license online, you will first need to create an ePLACE account. For detailed instructions on creating an account, please consult DPL’s Creating an ePLACE Account webpage.

Application Fees

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee as part of the application process. The fees applicable to license(s) issued by the Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians are as follows:

Profession Fee
Dispensing Optician Initial Licensure and Wall Certificate  $59

In addition, please be aware that errors incurred during the payment process, whether online or by money order or personal check, may subject an applicant to an additional $23 fee. Applicants, if successfully licensed, may also purchase additional Wall Certificates for $27 each.

Licensing Benefits for Active Duty Military, Relocated Military Spouses, and Veterans

The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) and the Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians are pleased to offer licensing benefits to active duty members of the military, relocated military spouses, and veterans, pursuant to the Veterans’ Access, Livelihood, Opportunity and Resources Act (VALOR Act) and the new VALOR Act II, signed into law on April 4, 2014. These benefits include:

  • Credit for related military experience;
  • Extensions of the license renewal period;
  • Expedited license application processing; or
  • Waiver of certain licensing fees.

To apply for any of these licensing benefits, interested parties must self-identify as an active duty member of the military, military spouse, or veteran. To apply for these benefits or for more information, please visit this page.

Dispensing Optician License Application

General Instructions

Please review and complete the steps noted below to prior to starting and submitting your Dispensing Optician license application. Questions regarding the application process should be directed to dispensing.opticians@mass.gov.

Please note that if you do not wish to submit your application online, you may download hard copies of the application from Board’s Applications and Forms page on its website.

  1. Review the Board’s Regulations

Prior to completing your application, please review the Board’s regulations, set forth at 235 Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR).  You may purchase an official copy of 235 CMR in person at the State Bookstore located at the Massachusetts State House, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, or you may order a copy online through the Secretary of State. The Board also maintains an unofficial, courtesy copy of the regulations accessible through the Statutes and Regulations section of its website. 

  1. Apply to take the Licensing Examination

All applicants must have passed the National Competency Examinations administered by the American Board of Opticianry & National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE). You will be required to upload a copy of your ABO and NCLE scores or certificate during the online application process. The examination for ABO and NCLE is held four times a year. You may contact ABO-NCLE at 109341 Democracy Lane, Fairfax VA 22030. Call (703) 719-5800 to schedule an appointment to take the examination, or register through ABO-NCLE website.

To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must have accomplished one of the following: 

  • Completed four-thousand and two hundred (4,200) hours of apprenticeship in no less than three (3) years;
  • Graduated from a two (2) year educational program in opticianry which is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation; or
  • Completed one (1) year of an educational program which is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and completed two thousand and one hundred (2,100) hours of an apprenticeship in no less than eighteen (18) months.

Apprentices must be registered with the Massachusetts Division of Apprentice standards.  Experience in a wholesale RX Lab, or under a non-licensed optical trainer, will not be accepted by the Board for licensure eligibility. Once you have completed the online application, you will receive a letter explaining how to become scheduled to take the next available Practical Exam. Exams are offered two times a year.

  1. Creation of an ePLACE Account

In order to apply for your license online, you will first need to create an ePLACE account. For detailed instructions on creating an account, please consult DPL’s Creating an ePLACE Account webpage.

  1. Submission of Supporting Documentation and Required Forms

The following documents are required to be uploaded during the online application process:

  • A 2”x 2” passport style photo;
  • Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Acknowledgment Form;
  • ABO and NCLE Scores or Certificate;
  • Apprenticeship Certificate or transcripts from an approved school of Opticianry (an official transcript must also be mailed to the Board in an envelope sealed by the school); and
  • A letter or letters from the optician(s) or optometrist(s) who sponsored your apprenticeship, on their letterhead, stating the areas covered during your four thousand and two hundred (4,200) hours (or the amount of hours for which they are signing if you worked for more than one supervisor) during the no less than three year period of apprenticeship. The Original letter(s) must be mailed to the Board office.

The following documents must be mailed to the Board:

  • Transcripts from an approved school of Opticianry (in a sealed envelope);
  • Official verification of out of state license (if applicable); and
  • Notarized Letters(s) from your apprenticeship supervisor (sponsor).

Hard copies of the application form and a sample supervision letter may be downloaded and printed from the Board’s Applications and Forms section of its website.

All required documents, other than the verification, should be mailed in one complete packet. Please mail these documents to:

Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians

Division of Professional Licensure

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02118-6100

Note for Reciprocity Applicants: If you are licensed by another state, you must mail an official verification letter in an unopened, sealed envelope from that state, directly to the Board at the address noted above.

  1. Non-Refundable Application Fee

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $59.00.  The fee covers the application, and if the application is approved, it also covers the initial license and a wall certificate.  This fee can be paid online at the end of the application process, either by check or credit card. Please note that a convenience fee will be assessed for credit card payments.

Application Determinations

Please direct any questions regarding the application process to the Board’s office. Contact dispensing.opticians@mass.gov.

Begin Your Application Now

To start your online application, please go to the ePLACE Portal.

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