Professions & Occupations

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

Optometrist — A license is required to practice optometry in Nebraska. An optometrist examines, diagnoses and treats conditions of the visual system. He or she prescribes corrective procedures and conserves, improves and corrects vision. This is done through the use of lenses, contact lenses, prisms, orthotopic exercises, visual training and controlled visual environment. Optometrists examine patients for visual pathology or manifestations of disease. They refer patients with pathological conditions to a medical practitioner and/or treat the condition if certified to do so.

DEA Registration Information

Anyone who will be prescribing controlled substances in the state of Nebraska must obtain a DEA registration.

Applications, Requirements & Fees

Credentialing Information for Military Spouses

Two means of qualification for an optometry license in Nebraska:

Examination: Those who have just graduated from an accredited school or college of optometry  
Reciprocity: Those who are currently licensed in another state or jurisdiction

Applicants must pass a jurisprudence examination that relates to the statutes and regulations governing optometry. The minimum score is 60 percent or above.


  • Initial License: $146
  • Fee waiver information
  • Renewal: $146
  • Diagnostic Certification: $10
  • Therapeutic Certification: $10 


Applicants must submit fingerprints to the Nebraska State Patrol. The State Patrol will forward the results of the background check to DHHS. Please read the following instructions for this procedure carefully.

DEA Information

Federal controlled substances (DEA) registrant information can be accessed by credentialing organizations, hospitals, and pharmacies after obtaining a user ID and password. To obtain them, contact the Licensure Unit at dhhs.licensuresupport@nebraska.gov.

In addition to general license information, this version of the data contains federal controlled substances registration numbers and expiration dates for health care providers who hold a Nebraska license and have submitted proof of holding such federal registration. Federal controlled substances registrant information is validated on licenses at the time of issuance and updated on a quarterly basis.

Federal Controlled Substance Registrant   

Renewal, Continuing Education & Reinstatement


  • Licenses expire on August 1 of even-numbered years.
  • The renewal fee is $146.
  • A license may be placed on Inactive Status at any time.
  • 44 hours of acceptable continuing education earned during the preceding 24-month period prior to the license renewal are required to renew your license. If you are randomly selected for an audit to provide proof of continuing education, you will be notified by mail at a later date.

Continuing Education

List of acceptable continuing education:

  • State and national meetings
  • Formal education courses related to optometry
  • College-sponsored courses in optometry
  • Home study with a testing mechanism (limited to 8 hours)
  • CPR initial certification (hour per hour) or re-certification (limited to 2 hours)
  • Practice management (limited to 4 hours)

Examples of unacceptable subject matter include, but are not limited to, education provided by a business entity for the purpose of promotion of their products or services.

Retain all documentation of continuing education activities completed for the renewal of your credential for at least four years.

***Do NOT submit continuing education certificates to this office unless they are requested***


In order to reinstate your license, you must submit:

  • A completed Reinstatement Application 
  • The renewal and reinstatement fees; and
  • Additional documentation requested, if applicable, based on the answers you give to the questions on the application for reinstatement

Office of Medical & Specialized Health
Department of Health & Human Services/Division of Public Health/Licensure Unit 
Phone Number
(402) 471-2118
Fax Number
(402) 742-8355
Mailing & Physical Addresses

DHHS Licensure Unit

Attn: Optometry

PO Box 94986

Lincoln NE 68509-4986


Nebraska State Office Building

301 Centennial Mall South

14th & M Streets, 3rd Floor

Lincoln NE 68508

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Closed federal holidays.